Chula Vista recognized more than 3,000 people earlier this month at its annual Chula Vista Champions event.
People were celebrated for their community service and academic and athletic achievements, but most individuals were honored for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center and San Ysidro Health Clinics were two of the organizations providing essential care to thousands of patients in the city.
“They’ve helped us so much,” Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas said. “They were saving lives, (and) they were preventing disease. They helped to ensure that the pandemic did not claim more victims than it did.
About 2,000 of those recognized were from Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, and the city will award medals to hospital workers.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be recognized by the City of Chula Vista for the courageous impact, sacrifices and exemplary contributions that the dedicated nurses, doctors and staff of Sharp Chula Vista have made to our community. during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gabriella Malagon. -Maldonado, vice president of patient care services and head nurse at the hospital.
Salas said there were other local pandemic heroes.
“We also recognize many of our teachers who have helped their students through a difficult time,” Salas said. “We can’t thank them enough.”
It was the first time the Chula Vista Champions ceremony had been held in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Athletes including Olympic basketball Athlete Isalys Quinones, boxing champion Nico Sanchez, the Valley Vista Vikings football team, the Otay Ranch High School softball team and the Chula Vista Cowboys flag football team were also among the rewarded people.
Other people excelled in community service, such as Angelica Davis, who worked to help Chula Vista’s homeless population, and John Acosta, who worked to support the city’s seniors.
Young journalists were also rewarded. The event noted Julia Woock, Xiomara Villarreal-Gerardo, Camila Gomez, Nicolette Monique Luna, Diego Higura, Ji Ho Kim, and Katelyn Stegall for their work in their local college publications.
Salas said the goal was to honor residents who work to improve the community.
“Ordinary people doing extraordinary things – that’s who we honor,” Salas said.
The champions were nominated by fellow citizens.
Typically, the event honors around 200 people, but the number has increased due to the thousands of healthcare workers the city has decided to recognize.
The city has honored champions every year since 2017. The event has always been held at the city’s Olympic training facility, but this was the first year the event was held in conjunction with the annual block party. .
The event was created to honor the city’s superb athletes, but has grown to recognize champions in all disciplines.
“These communities really deserve this attention and this spotlight,” Salas said.