Calendar & Briefs: Chamber awards dinner details

Chamber awards dinner
The San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau announced details on this year’s annual awards dinner where the organization will honor a man, woman, business and ambassador of the year. The 94th annual awards dinner is set for 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at San Juan Oaks Golf Club and has a theme, “The Stars of San Benito County.” The evening starts with a champagne reception and includes some “changes and surprises,” according to the announcement. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased from the chamber, or any board member or ambassador. People can contact the chamber to pay for their tickets or sponsorships at (831) 637-5315.
Lights On winners
The Hollister Downtown Association announced winners of this year’s Lights On Celebration in downtown Hollister. The parade was held Nov. 29 along San Benito Street and coincided with the 24th annual Lights On Celebration. The parade winners were as follows:
Best of Parade: Hollister Dual Language Academy
Best Lighting: Yamamoto Hula Ohana
Best Use of Theme: Hollister Future Farmers of America
Best Community Group: Magical Christmas Ponies
Dec A Tree winners were as follows:
First place: Girl Scout Troop 20024
Second: Pacheco 4-H Club
Third: Hollister Blue Star Moms
Honorable mention: Ausaymas 4-H Club, Women’s Club of Hollister and Girl Scout Troop 20022
Olive Festival winners
The San Benito Olive Festival is proud to announce the winners of its first Olive Oil Awards that were presented at the second annual gourmet celebration on October 11 at the Bolado Park Fairgrounds in nearby Hollister. California olive growers from Tehama, Butte, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Luis Obispo and San Benito counties competed in two categories. Extra-virgin olive oil was one category, while the other was flavor-infused olive oil, according to an announcement from the festival. Ascolano, a Tuscan mono-varietal harvested by Lucero Olive Oil, of Corning, won the grand prize in the extra-virgin olive oil category. The Gold Award went to Trabia Farms, of Templeton, for its Arbequina Olea Reserve and the Silver Award to Brigantino Olive Oil of Hollister for its Tuscan Blend. The Bronze Award was presented to Sons-of-Sicily, also from Hollister, for its Italian variety. The grand prize for flavor-infused olive oil was bestowed to MoonShadow Grove, of Oroville, for its Mandarin Orange. Owned by Rich and Diane Mathews, MoonShadow Grove is one of the largest organic olive groves in California. Trabia Farms also took home the Gold Award for its garlic-infused olive oil. The Silver Award went to Pietra Santa Winery, of Hollister, for its rosemary-infused olive oil, while Big Paw, of Campbell, earned the Bronze Award for its rosemary-and-garlic infused olive oil.
Jaime the Elf event
Children are invited to don their favorite pajamas and cozy up with a good book from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 19 when Mrs. Claus makes an appearance at Mars Hill Coffeehouse at 610 San Benito St. to share the book Jaime the Elf. For more information, call The San Benito County Arts Council at (831)636-2787 or email [email protected]
La Catrina grand opening
La Catrina Mexican Grill at 449 San Benito St. held a grand opening ceremony Nov. 30. According to an announcement on the event, Mayor Ignacio Velazquez and owner Gustavo Gonzalez cut the ribbon for the grand opening that Sunday. The menu includes original family recipes and a modern Mexican cuisine. The dining room is completely renovated with new colors, pictures of Mexican actors from the “Golden Age of Mexican cinema” and many other details.
Pinnacles Partnership charity
Pinnacles Partnership is delighted to partner with the Monterey Peninsula Foundation again this year for the Charity Match program, a unique way for nonprofits to raise more funds through the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament, which takes place February 9-15. As a Charity Match participant, Pinnacles Partnership will receive 100 percent of donations collected through Charity Match, plus a 20 percent match provided by the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. Donations can be made now through February 27. If you have any questions, please contact Rochelle Fischer or call (831) 637.4879.
Pinnacles interns
Pinnacles National Park is seeking three full-time interns (40 hours per week) to join the California Condor Recovery Program. Primary duties will be: Tracking, monitoring and recording condor movements, behaviors and interactions; observing and recording nesting behavior; and communicating with park visitors. Interns will need to be able to hike up to 10 miles on steep and rugged terrain carrying 40-plus pounds of equipment, have a tolerance for summer temperatures that exceed 100 degrees, and possess a sense of humor and a great deal of patience.  This is a four- to eight-month internship with possibility of extension for candidates in the local commuting area, no housing available. Weekend and evening work required. Stipend of $200 to $360 week, with a possibility of an AmeriCorps educational award.  Position begins in mid-January 2015.  Application deadline: December 15, 2014. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume including your age, and contact information for 3 references to Jennie Jones at [email protected]; Questions call 831-389-4486 x276.
Aquarium’s free entry for locals
Residents of San Benito County are admitted to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for free through Dec. 14. It is a Community Open House for residents of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. Photo identification with proof of residence (utility bill, student I.D. or bus passes are OK) required. For more information, call (831) 648-4800.
Annual food drive
Community Food Bank of San Benito County is hosting its annual food drive through Dec. 16. People can donate money or goods such as turkeys, chicken, ham or holiday canned goods. The food bank is located at 1133 San Felipe Road in Hollister. Canned food can go to the Veterans Memorial Building as well at 649 San Benito St.

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