VISTA — Vista community members united for the city’s annual “Heroes of Vista Awards Gala” which marked its sixth year of celebration. More than 300 individuals joined at the Carlsbad Sheraton for the festivities. The evening was described as a resounding success due to the collaborative efforts.
Vista Chamber of Commerce CEO Bret Schanzenbach shared that 14 people received awards.
“We had people honored in all facets of life,” he said. “This event brings everybody together to celebrate the people who are making an impact in our community.”
Those honored included teachers, businesses, a law enforcement officer, a firefighter and a military veteran. A lifetime achievement honor also was awarded.
In the corporate sector, honorees included Open Source Maker Lab, Tri-City Medical Center, Bear Roots Brewing, Medhi Chitgari of Classic Chariots. In the nonprofit category, Boys & Girls Club of Vista was honored.
On the educational front, winners included Andrew Driffill of Hanalei Elementary School, Roger Royster of Vista Magnet Middle School, Ramiro Santana of Temple Heights Elementary, Velia Huerta of Alta Vista High School and Laura Smith of Casita Center.
Community awards were designated to firefighter Mike McFadden, Deputy Kia Bowman and military veteran Robert Noble. Kathy Brombacher was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
According to Schanzenbach, the Vista Education Foundation chose winners in the scholastic category while the sheriff and fire departments implemented their protocol.
“The executive committee of the board of directors (Vista Chamber of Commerce) determines three finalists in each of the five business categories,” Schanzenbach said. “Then a panel of 10 chamber colleagues, from outside of the area, rate the finalists’ applications and those ratings determine the winners. The winners were revealed at the dinner event.”
The Heroes of Vista planning committee chose both the Military Veteran of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award winners.
During the evening, silent and live auctions helped raise monies for the Vista Education Foundation. Tri-City Medical Center received recognition as the event sponsor.
Historically, the annual Heroes of Vista Awards Gala can bring the entire community together for one big celebration, which enhances the town. Schanzenbach pointed out that the event offers a platform for the community to take pride in the positive steps they have created within different sectors.
“People may not be aware of these things in their daily life, so this event raises a lot of awareness,” Schanzenbach said.