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San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust
Nonprofit Organization 501(C)(3)
Tax ID # 33-0700417                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

SBMLT in the News

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Paying Homage to Their Own

Thursday, November 1, 2012

As part of the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting, President Kevin Somes presented a slide show highlighting the challenges and victories of the past year.

Underscoring the sense of community in the towns that make up the chamber, the musical group Quarter to Three sang "Stand By Me" as the images flashed on the screen.

"We are the gateway to the San Bernardino Mountains," Somes told the crowd that filled the Hootman Center "Our community is very resilient."

He shared the news that the chamber's financial balance sheet is the strongest it has been in years. However, Somes warned the chamber is in danger of losing the so-called bed tax, the transient occupancy tax, which is a major source of funding for the chamber's marketing.

Mountaintop Days this past summer was very successful, Somes said, in large part due to Laurie Everett's leadership. "It was the most successful in a long time," he added.

The village project, under which local businesses will be repainted or refaced, "is moving ahead slowly," Somes said. The committee hopes to pressure wash Neo's soon.

Somes acknowledged the three retiring board members: Don Nagy, Lauren England and Mike Scullin. He welcomed the directors who join him on the 2012-2013 board of directors: Rod Cole, vice president; Terisa Bonito, secretary; Laurie Everett, treasurer; and directors Dan Begley, Debbie Harper, Susan Heisler, Lisa Makeig, Joan Moseley, Connie Riach, John Shaddox and Danny Wagner.

The president paid special tribute to administrative assistant Linda Peabody for her efforts and also recognized the chamber's ambassadors—Ryan Derleth and Rebecca Norton.

Following the prime rib dinner, prepared and served by Baccus Catering, Somes called two strong women to the stage to be honored.

For months, he said, Cathy Clemens and Suzie Heisler did research, traveled all over the state and made hundreds of phone calls to big farmer's markets in preparation for staging their own in Running Springs.

The two were tireless in their efforts to create what turned out to be an exceptionally successful series of markets, combining fresh fruits and vegetables with a wide variety of crafts, food and other goods for sale.

In accepting her award, Heisler said she and Clemens had made a good team. "What I couldn't do, she did and what she couldn't do, I did."

Heisler also said she had to "throw some of the recognition back to the committee."

SB Mts Land Trust

SB Mts Land Trust

Walt Ford, Arnie Bean, Polly Sauer and Peter Jorris (l-r) received the Organization of the Year award from chamber secretary Terisa Bonito.

The award for organization of the year was presented by Bonito to the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust. What they do, she explained, is "recapture land bought by developers and bring it back to natural forest."

The group's most recent project is Eagle Ridge in Lake Arrowhead, where they have a memorandum of understanding with the Rim of the World Recreation and Park District.

Executive Director Peter Jorris said they hope to transfer the land to the Rec and Park District at some point.

"These are very quiet people," Bonito said. "They just care about the land."

Somes also gave special recognition to the Running Springs Area Golden Oaks Seniors and the Running Springs Water District.

Without the assistance of the members of the Golden Oaks, he said, "the farmer's market would not have come to be."

And the water district, Somes noted, "let us use their property. They have been so supportive of everything we do. They are about our community.”

Ken Ayers, president of the Running Springs Water District's board of directors, said "when Cathy came to us and wanted to use our land as a farmer's market, we thought it sounded good."

As Quarter to Three—Terisa and Richie Bonito and LouEllen Whitton—continued to play, folks started dancing in the kitchen, bringing to light the friendly spirit of the community.