EL CENTRO — Assembly member Eduardo Garcia, 56th District, recognized local community leaders accompanied by attendees sipping hot coffee and chocolate in a small dark room as rain continued pouring that evening.
The lights initially flickered a few times followed by a brownout lasting ten minutes. Nevertheless, presentations continued with faint lights from cellphones directed upon speakers in a cozy customer room at the State Street Coffee House in El Centro. Despite the power issues, the recently opened coffee house was alive with laughter and applause.
Assembly member Eduardo Garcia presented certificates of recognition to Sara Griffin and retiring Imperial County Supervisor Jack Terrazas.
This past June, during the inaugural California Nonprofits Day in Sacramento, Executive Director Sara Griffin, represented Imperial Valley Food Bank at the nation’s capital to receive the Non-Profit of the Year award. The California Nonprofits Day website, http://calnonprofits.org, listed 49 organizations that were given recognition by the California assembly, including the Imperial Valley Food Bank.
Griffin said, “This is a great recognition. It is the inaugural award that was began by CalNonprofits (California Association of Nonprofits) to recognize non-profits throughout the state that are doing exemplary work, and we are very honored to have this award. Obviously, that recognizes, not only our impact to the community, but our fiscal soundness and our leadership. It is a great recognition.”
Also given recognition by Garcia was retiring Imperial County Board of Supervisor Jack Terrazas for his decades of service to Imperial County. Terrazas was presented a “Resolution California Legislature” plaque, both signed by the Honorable Ben Hueso, 40th Senatorial District, and Honorable Eduardo Garcia, 56th Assembly District.
“You’ve seen, you’ve been, you’ve done a tremendous work here in El Centro and then moved on to the County to serve the people of this region very well,” Assembly member Garcia said.
The Imperial Valley Community Coffee and Food Drive is an opportunity to meet with the community that Assembly member Garcia serves.
“We are making ourselves available to the public as it relates to reporting on what went on this last legislative session; as well as answering any questions, comments or concerns about any of the decisions that were made in Sacramento and any of the votes that I took or didn’t,” Assembly member Garcia said.
Guests brought imperishable/canned food items and were stored in boxes under a collapsible tent as a protection from the rain. Collected food donations were given to the Imperial Valley Food Bank for distribution to families in need this holiday season.
State Street Coffee House owners, Angela Martinez and her son Alec Cotugno, were given a certificate of recognition for it’s first year of business in El Centro. It was only after their recognition that the power came back to the coffee house which attendees applauded.