Costa Mesa public safety staff honored at annual chamber barbecue lunch


Costa Mesa’s public safety employees were treated to a free lunchtime barbecue at the OC Fair & Event Center care of the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce that included live music and performances from the Orange Coast College cheerleaders.

About 200 people attended this year’s Public Safety Recognition Barbecue on Thursday Oct. 8, including 90 police, fire and dispatch personnel.

Guests were served up dishes of chicken, tri-tip steak, mashed potatoes, vegetables and salad.

The community and civic leaders in attendance which included City Council Members Katrina Foley and Sandy Genis, OC Fair & Event Center CEO Kathy Kramer, Orange Coast College President Dennis Harkins, Costa Mesa Police Chief Rob Sharpnack and Fire Chief Dan Stefano.

“It was an honor to attend today’s Public Safety Recognition Barbecue,” Chief Sharpnack said. “On behalf of the CMPD staff, I want to thank the Chamber of Commerce for their generosity and others in attendance for their support of public safety personnel. We are proud to serve the Chamber of Commerce membership and look forward to collaborating in the future to make Costa Mesa an even greater city in which to live, work, and visit.”

Chamber of Commerce CEO Eileen Benjamin said the chamber is proud to honor the city’s protectors.

“The men and women of our Fire, Police and Communications departments keep our community safe and are willing to put their lives at risk for us every workday,” said Benjamin, who emceed the event along with Chamber President Tom Johnson.  “This event is a small way to demonstrate our appreciation.  It is wonderful to see many supporters joining together to show gratitude to these fine guardians.  The people of Costa Mesa are inspiring in so many ways.”

In addition to the OC Fair & Event Center donating the venue, the Orange County Marketplace donated the catering and other supporters were Care Ambulance, Harbor Center and ICI Development, Metro Pro Towing and The Triangle. Longtime Chamber Board of Director member Patty Mason was also instrumental in supporting this event, and the music was provided by the Mike Donahue band.