The Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce held its annual Installation Dinner Friday, March 4, transforming the Community Center into a Mardi Gras-themed party dubbed, “Morro Gras” and honoring 2-year’s worth of citizens, businesses and non-profits for their contributions to the community.
Canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic response, the dinner honored 2-year’s worth of Citizens of the Year, Businesses of the Year, Living Treasures, and Non-profits of the Year.
The 2021 Citizen of the Year is Police Chief Jody Cox, with last year’s winner, Chuck Stoll also being honored.
The new Business of the Year is Coalesce Bookstore & Garden Wedding Chapel with last year’s honoree Fitness Works.
This year’s Non-Profit of the Year is the Morro Bay Lion’s Club, and last year’s inaugural winner was Morro Bay in Bloom.
This year’s Living Treasure awardee was Carole Truesdale and last year’s was Jack Smith.
The Cajun-inspired dinner menu was sponsored by several local businesses — Buttercup Bakery with salad and cornbread biscuits; oyster shooters from Grassy Bar Oyster Co.; beignet pastries by Second Line Beignets; and an incredible shrimp jambalaya and Louisiana bean salad from Pair with Chef Rachel the main course.
Music was by Dante Marsh with “fire dancer” Ariana Filice also performing. Deadair Dave, a DJ on community radio station 93.7 The Rock, served as emcee.
The night featured a fabulous silent auction with gift baskets donated by local businesses and including vacation getaways both in town and away.
The new Chamber of Commerce Board was also announced and the out-going board given a rousing “Thank you” for serving during the pandemic, which everyone agreed has been a very challenging time.