Fourth an­nual Read­ers’ Choice Gala

rec­og­nizes Im­pe­rial Val­ley fa­vorites

Imperial Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - BY VIN­CENT OSUNA Staff Writer

EL CEN­TRO —After a twoweek long vot­ing process in which Im­pe­rial Val­ley Press read­ers nom­i­nated their fa­vorite lo­cal busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions, fi­nal­ists gath­ered Wed­nes­day night to see who would claim the ti­tle of Im­pe­rial Val­ley’s best dur­ing the fourth an­nual Im­pe­rial Val­ley Press’ Read­ers’ Choice Awards Gala.

Held at the Old Eu­ca­lyp­tus School­house, dozens of awards were pre­sented to some of the Val­ley’s fa­vorite restau­rants, gyms, beauty sa­lons and other lo­cal ser­vices.

“Each year our goal is to grow the event larger, and this year was no ex­cep­tion,” IV Press Ad­ver­tis­ing Man­ager and the Gala’s Or­ga­nizer Alexis Singh said. “Thanks to our sponsors and lo­cal busi­nesses, we had a great night and hon­ored both win­ners and fi­nal­ists in their re­spec­tive cat­e­gories.”

The fi­nal­ists re­flected the re­sults of more than 5,000 vot­ers cast­ing over 71,000 votes. This year’s bal­lot fea­tured more than 132 cat­e­gories from which vot­ers could choose.

While a full list of win­ners will be pub­lished June 3 in a spe­cial sec­tion of this news­pa­per, those in at­ten­dance were able to see many first-time and re­peat win­ners cel­e­brate after win­ning in highly con­tested cat­e­gories such as Best Hos­pi­tal, Best Ham­burg­ers, Best Cof­fee and Desert and Best Beauty Sa­lon. Guests also had the op­por­tu­nity to win gift cards and other prizes in an op­por­tu­nity draw­ing held through­out the night.

The event also served as an oc­ca­sion to honor the event’s an­nual Legacy Award win­ner Johnny’s Bur­ri­tos, Im­pe­rial Stores and Vessey and Co. Join­ing that list this year was Burg­ers & Beer.

The award was de­signed to high­light a lo­cal busi­ness that em­bod­ies a bal­ance of pas­sion, qual­ity, cre­ativ­ity and in­volve­ment with the com­mu­nity.

Founded in 1985 in Calexico by Jaime and Marco Honold with the help of their fa­ther, the fam­ily-owned restau­rant has since ex­panded to six different lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing two in El Cen­tro.

“When they told me we were go­ing to be cho­sen for the Legacy award, there was no words,” Jaime, who ac­cepted the award on be­half of the restau­rant, said. “I’m very hum­bled. As part of the fam­ily, we re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it, and we be­lieve that at the end, good work al­ways pays off.”

Honold said he be­lieved sup­port from the com­mu­nity has played an im­por­tant role in the restau­rant’s growth over the past 32 years.

“The Im­pe­rial Val­ley has been very good to our com­pany, so we’re com­mit­ted to giv­ing back to this com­mu­nity,” Jaime said. “But to be hon­est, we’re not look­ing to get any­thing back, be­cause we al­ready have it. They’re here, and they’ve shown that they like the restau­rant.”

VIN­CENT OSUNA PHOTO

Over 300 guests in at­ten­dance ap­plaud while the win­ners of each cat­e­gory are an­nounced dur­ing the fourth an­nual Im­pe­rial Val­ley Press Read­ers’ Choice Awards Gala held at the Old Eu­ca­lyp­tus School­house in El Cen­tro.

Burg­ers & Beer Owner Jaime Honold gives an ac­cep­tance speech after Burg­ers and Beer was pre­sented the Legacy Award dur­ing the fourth an­nual IV Press Read­ers’ Choice Awards Gala held at the Old Eu­ca­lyp­tus School­house in El Cen­tro. VIN­CENT OSUNA PHOTO

Im­pe­rial Val­ley Press Pub­lisher Belinda Mills in­tro­duces the Legacy Award re­cip­i­ent dur­ing the fourth an­nual IV Press Read­ers’ Choice Awards Gala held at the Old Eu­ca­lyp­tus School­house in El Cen­tro. VIN­CENT OSUNA PHOTO

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