Needles, CA: A great night of awards and dancing during the Needles Chamber of Commerce’s Awards Dinner 2019 and Needles Dances with the Stars.

Needles, CA: A great night of awards and dancing during the Needles Chamber of Commerce’s Awards Dinner 2019 and Needles Dances with the Stars.

The Needles Chamber of Commerce’s Awards Dinner 2019 was held on Saturday, October 5th, 2019 inside The Palms River Resort at The Palms River Resort in Needles, California.

The event center room was filled with people from throughout the Colorado River Tri-State area, all ready to enjoy a great night of dance, awards, prizes and food.

River Front Cafe in Needles, California was the official beverage sponsor, offering a no-host bar during the event, and the Two Foodinis catered the event.

A silent auction was held during the event with many great prizes donated from the around the community.

During the event, awards were announced in the categories of Business, Citizen, Educator and Volunteer of the Year.

** Educator of the Year Award: **

Needles Unified School District Superintendent Mary McNeil, Ph.D., announced Vista Colorado Elementary School Principal Marie Armijo as the winner for the “Educator of the Year” award.

Marie is an individual who clearly is dedicated to our service to all students.

Marie is an active participant in school activities, and when the Needles Unified School District needed a principal for the day school and a district coordinator, Marie jumped to the opportunity, wanting to make a difference with her ‘Can-Do’ attitude.

Marie and her family are supportive of all students, participating in a food basket drive with Saint Vincent de Paul for familes of needles Unified School District students.

During her seven years since joining, Marie supports the lives of her students; working hard to help students succeed in their education.

Marie knows each of her students by name, and being the kind of person who is kind, caring and approachable.

** Business of the Year Award: **

Mary Gonzales announced Saint Vincent de Paul as the winner of the “Business of the Year” award.

This business helps many local families and children in the community; helping those who are in financial difficulties with utilities, pharmacy and even transportation vouchers, and helps families who are need a food by providing monthly commodities, free food boxes on the size of the family and free frozen food and produce items to anybody who needs them.

The volunteers and staff at Saint Vincent de Paul have participated in several community events that given meals and food boxes to individuals and families in need.

In the pass year, Saint Vincent de Paul has provided to the community 250 males and 60 food boxes to families in need of a family meal during their annual Thanksgiving Day dinner and provided 350 meals during their annual Christmas dinner, as well as provided Easter baskets to Head Start students.

The volunteers and staff at Saint Vincent de Paul work above and beyond the duty as a business to help the community, and show a great example to other businesses to follow.

** Citizens of the Year Award: **

Mary Gonzales announced the Needles Rodeo Association as the winner of “Citizen of the Year” award.

This group works hard for Needles; sponsoring two Needles scholarships and donate to many different children associations such as Dance Trax 51, the Needles Recreation Center, the California 4-H Club, Needles High School football, Needles Little League, the Needles Sandsharks and Craig Softball, as well as donating to the Needles Animal Shelter and the Needles Regional Museum.

This group not only works hard to give to the community, but also puts on a great rodeo show each spring at the Needles Rodeo Grounds, which brings people near and far to enjoy a bull and horse riding good time.

** Volunteer of the Year Award: **

Mary Gonzales announced Zachary Lopez of ZachNews the winner of the “Volunteer of the Year” award.

I was very surprised about receiving the award, and seeing the reaction of the crowd all very happy for me brought me to tears. I thank everybody for this award, which means so much to me to receive something that shows how much this wonderful community appreciate the hard work and sacrifice to keep a self run, self-funded and free independent news service. I hope that all how want to get into journalism to remember to be honest, trustful, hard working especially on making sure of checking and confirming information, make sure to not be bias on your work no matter what and be somebody in journalism that people can look up to.

Zachary started ZachNews in January 2010, reporting on news, breaking news, weather, traffic, school sports and community events that are happening in the community.

ZachNews than began reporting and recording local community meetings, bring residents with the latest information on what’s going on in their local government.

ZachNews has grown a large following of people who love the hard work and dedication he puts into ZachNews, and even with the lack of transportation; going the distance on foot to go cover a new story that affects the community.

In January 2020 will make 10 years of ZachNews, a big milestone for Zachary and hopes to continuing this news service to the community thst people trust and appreciates so much.

** Needles Dancing with the Stars Winner: **

This year, in the theme of “Needles Dances with the Stars,” a dance competition was held during the event featuring local celebrities paired with dancers from Dance Trax 51.

The trophy dance team winners in the “Needles Dances with the Stars” competition was the dance team of Barbara Earl, Abigail Belt and Bryar Leivas.

Donations were held for the public to vote on your favorite dance team, which those donated proceeds going to Cindi’s Kids, a non-profit foundation that supports the needs of the dance studio for costumes, shoes, scholarships, and travel.

In the last few weeks, a total of $2,760.00 was raised for Cindi’s Kids.

The great dancers of Dance Trax 51 have been seen at many different community events, performing at past community health fairs and annual Christmas events held in Downtown Needles, California.

Dance Trax 51 have even participated in winter and spring performances at Needles High School, bringing the community together to enjoy wonderful musical dance performance.

The dedication of the students, the hard work of their great instructor and the great people who help, Dance Trax 51 brings our community lots of joy and unites our community together in music and dance.

The Needles Chamber of Commerce thanked Instructor Graci Weiss and the team at Dance Trax 51 for the great performances.

Donations are continuing to be collected for a week after the event for Cindi’s Kids, which you can either stop on into come on into the Needles Chamber of Commerce Office, now located at 119 F Street in Downtown Needles, California or by calling the Needles Chamber of Commerce Office at: 1 (760) 326-2050 between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. PT Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays.

A big thanks for everybody who were working behind the scenes on thus event, and a big thanks to The Palms River Resort for the unit of their new The Red Barn event center.

If you want more information about The Red Barn to host your next big event, gathering or party, please check out: https://palmsriverresort.com/red-barn/ or call The Palms River Resort at: 1 (760) 326-0333.

** Pictures courtesy of Lynn Parker: **

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