Although Wayne Eggleston was the last to be honored at the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce’s annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on Friday afternoon, Feb. 24, the 2022 Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Awardee received a substantial celebration.
Eggleston, a former San Clemente mayor and councilmember and current Heritage of San Clemente Foundation president, was recognized for his years of dedicated service to the community.
Chamber Board of Directors member Burton Brown spoke of Eggleston’s time on the council and the Planning Commission, and his efforts to serve active and retired veterans through organizing events and leading the campaign to construct Park Semper Fi near the Municipal Pier.
Eggleston then thanked the Chamber for his award, and the governing boards of numerous organizations that have collaborated with him for years in beautifying the city and honoring the sacrifices of military servicemembers.
“After I leave this earth, if the city tries to build condos (at Park Semper Fi), I’m coming back,” Eggleston said as the crowd began to laugh.
Mayor Chris Duncan added to the moment, saying San Clemente was “incredibly fortunate” to have Eggleston in town despite his tendency to make things difficult on the council, Duncan joked.
Another well-hailed community member honored on Friday was Teri Steel, executive director of the Noble Path Foundation’s AIM High program and the 2022 Citizen of the Year.
Steel was recognized for her friendly personality and communication skills, according to board member Vicky Wilson, in addition to her compassion for young adults manifested through her work at AIM High.
After involving herself increasingly in her own children’s activities once she became a mother, Steel sought to give local children a healthy space and opportunities to interact and have fun with each other. She first did so as part of the Community Outreach Alliance, then fought to continue her mission with Noble Path.
“Without community, isolation and loneliness prosper during our darkest times,” Steel said, thanking her family and local volunteers. “I was able to survive coming out of COVID after losing my mother—that’s why I (teared) up. She was beautiful and she raised me to give back to the community.”
The Chamber exemplified Eggleston and Steel’s commitment to San Clemente as the kind of behavior all in the audience and beyond should seek to emulate moving forward.
“Today’s program theme is ‘Be Inspired.’ An inevitable outcome for all of us today as we celebrate this year’s award winners, our most inspirational community members,” said emcee Tim Brown, a former San Clemente mayor.
To drive home another point, that reading is essential to “rising above the ordinary”—as does the town of San Clemente—the room hosting the luncheon at Bella Collina San Clemente featured inspirational books at all the tables where guests sat.
The other influential entities recognized Friday included Active Culture Natural Foods Cafe for the Sustainable Leadership Award; Mary Rampone for Ambassador of the Year; the Boys & Girls Club of the South Coast Area for Nonprofit of the Year; Tyler Boden for Volunteer of the Year; and Antoine’s Café for Business of the Year.
Boden, a board member and owner of solar consulting firm Boden Energy Solutions, praised Active Culture for its use of recyclable materials and diverting recyclables and food waste from landfills.
“Through all these sustainable practices, they are leading the change to a greener community and San Clemente, and showing us that you can have it all, by serving delicious food while also serving the planet,” he said.
The Nonprofit of the Year, the Boys & Girls Club led by CEO Terry Hughes, has relied on years of generosity and volunteering to provide extracurricular programs and opportunities for local children as a means of giving them access to a brighter future.
Hughes invited the audience to spend time at the club and mentioned that the community’s support was what allowed the club to help children.
“For as long as there will be kids, they’re going to need a place to go after school and during vacations,” he said. “We feel truly blessed to help them with all of your support.
Discussion about this post