"Everything I have is because of what our society offers, but our society doesn't work unless people are willing to give," Joel Peterson, born into poverty in Korea before finding success in corporate America, said after being sworn in for another year as chairman of the chamber's board.
"It's a privilege to be able to give," continued Peterson, also a member of the LCUSD Governing Board.
Taix Workout Studio owner Linda Taix was one of more than two-dozen volunteer board members sworn in for a year-long term.
"We want to make sure La Cañada remains a great city to live in, go to school in, work in and own a business in," she said, "and I want to be one of those who help."
Spotlight on service
Held up as a model for civic dedication, Pankratz was given a standing ovation for volunteering thousands of hours to chamber, city and other efforts in 2010.
Over the course of five decades in La Cañada, Pankratz has been instrumental in organizing a number of projects for the public good. Her favorites, she said, include the conversion of a neglected patch of weeds on the city's northeast side into present-day Glenola Park, the planning and dedication of Mayor's Discovery Park, numerous PTA projects and even the framed photos of former mayors on the walls of City Hall.
"I've been volunteering since my children first went to kindergarten here. It's not that they ask me to do it, [it's that] they let me do it. It's fun," she said.
The chamber also presented a number of other community service awards.
Capt. Dave Silversparre of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station received the chamber's Community Service Spirit Award for business and civic outreach, but flipped that praise back to residents who've supported the station's efforts to suppress crime.