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Story and photos of Breeana Greenberg
Jody Marcon did her best to remain anonymous as she beamed uplifting messages of hope and encouragement on surfboards across Dana Point at the start of the pandemic in 2020.
But it was thanks to a friend who let her identity slip that the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce was able to honor Macron for placing the signs of hope around the city as a 2020 Citizen of the Year.
The Chamber held its annual Business Awards and Installation Dinner on Wednesday, February 9 at the Dana Point Yacht Club, where citizens and community business leaders were recognized for their work over the past two years.
“How else could messages of hope be scattered around a beach town here in sunny California, known for its epic waves and laid-back coastal culture,” asked Dana Point City Manager Mike Killebrew, at dinner Wednesday night. “On surfboards of course.”
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marcon left surfboards painted with messages such as “Spread Hope not Fear”, “Be Well, Dana Point Strong”, “Mama Says: Stay Home, Stay Well, Be Cool” and “Even when life seems uncertain, keep paddling”,
When the Dana Point Time reported on these mystery boards of hope in late March 2020, Marcon’s identity was still unknown.
Her son, John Marcon, accepted the award on her behalf while she was on vacation – a fitting event, John noted, as she worked hard to remain anonymous.
Due to the pandemic, the dinner was not held in 2021, so the Chamber presented awards to the recipients for 2020 and 2021. The awards highlighted Citizens and Businesses of the Year, as well as the Chamber Ambassador of the Year.
“The award recipients are not publicity seekers,” Killebrew said. “Their satisfaction is knowing that their work has made a difference in the lives of others at Dana Point, and honestly, in my words, that they are affecting positive change.”
“Their dedication, volunteerism and passion have a huge impact on our community, local youth groups and non-profit organizations,” he continued. “No one personifies this more than Jack Loconsolo of Jack’s Restaurant.”
The Dana Point Chamber of Commerce honored Jack Loconsolo as 2021 Citizen of the Year for his volunteer efforts throughout the pandemic. Loconsolo prepared more than 50 meals a week for the city’s senior services for homebound seniors.
Killebrew added that Loconsolo has been personally involved and donates to the 5th Marine Regiment Dana Point Support Group, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9934, the Ocean Institute and more. Loconsolo was also instrumental in organizing the Del Prado Artwalk, which will return this year, Killebrew said.
“I’ve been in the restaurant business in Dana Point for 31 years and I’ve never known the city to be so accessible and I’ve never known the world of business to be so harmonious,” Loconsolo said. “Things are going well for Dana Point.”
Loconsolo is also one of the few people to have won Chamber awards for Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Wind and Sea has been voted Company of the Year 2020.
“This restaurant is all about people. Without our employees, we couldn’t have done it, and they have been stars throughout this year and our loyal customers. Wind and Sea chief executive Jay Styles said. “There were no tourists coming to Dana Point to drink those Mai Tais, it was you guys.”
Introducing the category, Bryon Ward of the Dana Point Harbor Partners recalled on Monday during the pandemic that take-out cocktails had become legal. Wind and Sea, he said, sold nearly 700 Mai Tais.
For over 46 years, Dana Pont Hardware has operated in the city, with four generations working at the counter during that time. On Wednesday evening, the Chamber recognized the hardware store as the company of the year 2021.
Over time and money, Dana Point Hardware has supported the Redo Vintage & Maker’s Market, Del Prado Artwalk and the Dana Point Classic Car Show. The store also provided propane for heaters to restaurants that opened or expanded their outdoor dining operations during the pandemic.
“Whether it’s (personal protective equipment), cleaning products or a personal home improvement project, Dana Point Hardware was there every step of the way, providing supplies or advice – and most of the time – both,” Ward said. “Dana Point Hardware is an iconic example of community, small, friendly, eclectic and stable. They love their business community and are strong supporters of small businesses in that community.
Ward added that Dana Point Hardware employees are by first name with their customers and always have a treat ready when they walk in with their dogs.
“They are proof that the values of yesterday can thrive today,” Ward said of the longtime company.
The Chamber also installed its new board members with Marco Scognamiglio leading the group as chairman. Mayor Joe Muller, Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and representatives from the offices of Sen. Pat Bates and Assemblyman Laurie Davies honored outgoing Speaker Ryan Krause with framed resolutions.
Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Prior to joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance journalist for the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at [email protected]
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