Calexico Chamber hosts 21st Annual Lava Lamp awards

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(L-R) Richard Warne, John Moreno, David Cañes, Victor Legaspi, Luis Delgado and Flor Delgado were all recipients of the Lava Lamp awards during Calexico’s annual Chamber of Commerce reception.

CALEXICO – Lava lamps were the highlight of the evening of June 24 during the 21st Calexico Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Reception and 2015 Lava Lamp Awards hosted by the Calexico Chamber of Commerce at the Carmen Durazo Cultural Arts Center.

Hildy Carrillo, executive director of Calexico Chamber of Commerce, explained the event. “Inspired by Ms. Linda Garwood, a community volunteer who did so much for our community, I created the Lava Lamp Awards in 1995 to honor those who keep Calexico moving forward, people who love their community, who do special things and don’t need to be recognized in any shape or form,” said Carrillo.

The Lava Lamp Awards are similar to the Academy Awards and have become a signature event for Calexico. The winners are kept a secret until the very night of the awards — no one knows who will be receiving one, not even the recipient.

“I chose the lava lamp because I was a child of the ‘sixties who attended a Catholic school and was brought up much like a lava lamp in a bubble,” Carrillo said. “A lava lamp meant a bright future, looking through everything through a rose color glass where everything was possible. It meant I could do anything.”

This year’s recipients of the Lava Lamp included John Moreno, Calexico’s mayor, who dedicated the award to his parents and shared his father’s quote. “Hard work doesn’t guarantee anything, but without it you don’t stand a chance,” Moreno said.

The second recipient, Calexico City Manager Richard Waren, was described as a surfer, riding a wave that falls now and then, but picks himself up.

“I am extremely humble to be here among people who have done great things in the past,” Warne said. “Calexico is what it is because of the awesome community. I have fallen in love with the city and the people. It is a great privilege to serve you,” said Warne.

Recognized as the most worthy and deserving for his high involvement with the community was David Cañes, president of California Gateway Toastmasters. Cañes could not contain his tears as he spoke of his appreciation. With a breaking voice, he shared his award with everyone, stating, “This is a team effort.”

Sgt. Victor Legaspi of the Calexico Police Department, took the fourth award of the evening for being a true community leader and his drive to move Calexico forward during difficult times within the police department. Legaspi was also honored for creating the Annual Talent Show Extravaganza, an event that benefits children of the community during the holidays.

Business owners Luis and Flor Delgado of DEPO Productions obtained the fifth and final award of the night. The couple was honored for representing the true Mexican culture, their involvement with the community and in education, and for adopting Calexico as their city.

Not only did the Calexico Chamber of Commerce award those involved with the community, the chamber also received unexpected recognition from Congressman Juan Vargas, 51st District.

Rene Felix, Field Representative and Border Liaison of the 51st District for Juan Vargas, presented a certificate of recognition to the Chamber of Commerce for the group’s hard work and vitality provided to the community.

Guests enjoyed a spectacular evening with delicious food provided by YumYum Chinese Restaurant along with music and many laughs.