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MB Chamber Honors 'Heroes of Manhattan Beach'

Oct 23, 2018 11:58AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Photo credit: Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce

Recognizing local police, fire, and lifeguard personnel, the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday honored the "Heroes of Manhattan Beach'."

The inaugural luncheon event, held at Verandas Beach House, brought together the Manhattan Beach Police Department, the Manhattan Beach Fire Department, the Los Angeles County Lifeguards, and chamber members. 

Honorees included Charlotte Lesser, winner of the MB Community Champion Award. An active resident since 1981, Lesser is part of the MB Hometown Fair 10K Run, MB Neighborhood Watch and more.

Winner of the MB Community Leadership Award was MBPD Chief Derrick Abell for his outstanding service in the field since 1999, for his leadership in overseeing both the MBFD and MBPD. 

The MB Community Hero Award was Mario Rodriguez, a Manhattan Beach-based Los Angeles County Lifeguard. Rodriguez was credited for his heroic efforts with numerous life rescues on July 24, 2018 when a large southern hemisphere swell peaked with sets of 8 to 10 feet hitting Manhattan Beach. Rodriguez saved the most lives that day, working from 10 a.m. to after sunset.

The MBFD and MBPD were given the MB Community Action Award for their constant involvement in the city and efforts on behalf of the residents.

“We’re lucky to have a city that recognizes and appreciates people who give continually to the
community like Charlotte Lesser, as well as our lifeguards, police and firefighters," said Manhattan Beach City Council member Nancy Hersman. "Thanks to the Manhattan Beach Chamber for hosting this wonderful event.”

Former Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth served as the emcee, joined by KTLA news reporter and anchor Mary Beth McDade as the celebrity auctioneer.

Lead sponsors included Chevron, Athens Services, Continental Development Corporation, MBS Media Campus, The Copy Shop, Waste Management, Manhattan Beach Toyota, Torrance Memorial, On Location Marketing, and the City of Manhattan Beach.

Moving forward, the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce plans to rotate the Heroes of Manhattan Beach and Best of Manhattan Beach Award Ceremony on alternate years.

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