Further evidence of the quality of Arcadia Chamber of Commerce members:
Dozens of Arcadia Chamber members – individuals, businesses, organizations, the City and the School District — have stepped up big time time to ensure a memorable first impression of the USA, California, and Arcadia for about 100 Special Olympics World Games athletes, coaches and mentors from the Caribbean dual-island country of Trinidad and Tobago as well as the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan).
As the competitors in the World Games over the following two weeks transition from their home countries upon arrival on Tuesday, the Chamber’s Taste of Arcadia volunteer “Chief Taste Officer” Bruce McCallum has put together an all-volunteer Host Town Arcadia committee of 20 to help them acclimate by providing all hotels, meals, transportation, and training facilities from July 21-24 at no charge under the Host Town Arcadia program. Fun outings have also been arranged Wednesday and Thursday to Chamber member venues including the Los Angeles County Arboretum, Westfield Santa Anita mall, the Arcadia Police station, the first swim at the new aquatic center at Arcadia High School, and an outdoor concert and dinner on the lawn of City Hall featuring Caribbean music, among other activities.
And the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run will feature the Flame of Hope, lit in Greece and carried overseas and 1,500-miles across the country and California, during a ceremony in front of Arcadia City Hall at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 22, before its next stop in Beverly Hills. The torch will light the flame in front of 50,000 people at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the Opening Ceremony Saturday, July 25 (televised by ABC), featuring entertainers from Avril Lavigne and Stevie Wonder, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama.
The Host Town Arcadia Committee will provide gift packages with photos for each of the attendees to take home. Immediate Chamber Past President Denise Weaver of Weaver & Associates Insurance has organized 185 community volunteers for myriad duties, including many Chamber member organizations that are supporting in various ways, including the Arcadia Chinese Association, Arcadia Woman’s Club, Arcadia Civic Youth Council, Arcadia Rotary Club, Girl Scouts Troop 5801, among others. Matt Denny’s Ale House Restaurant, owned by Chamber member Matt McSweeny, is donating a gala dinner. In-N-Out is providing lunch valued at $1,300 from one of its trucks. Chamber members The Derby and BJ’s restaurants donated proceeds from recent Host Town Arcadia fundraisers. Coca-Cola and Sowing Seeds for Life have donated dozens of cases of water and beverages.
Arcadia Chamber of Commerce Community Builder Presenting Sponsor, Westfield Santa Anita, is one of more than a handful of Westfield malls supporting some of the dozens of Host Towns in Southern California. Westfield Santa Anita will host a ceremony and shopping excursion in Arcadia that will include gift bags and commemorative pins for the visitors.
Three Arcadia Chamber member hotels – Embassy Suites Arcadia, Hilton Garden Inn, and Santa Anita Inn — are offering guests greatly discounted room rates for three nights, plus three free breakfasts and free WiFi, a collective donation of tens of thousands of dollars.
And then there is all the support help in accounting, publicity, merchandise, transportation, etc. of committee members, almost all of which are also Chamber members.
See below for a complete schedule of Host Town Arcadia activities, and keep up with photos at the Facebook page called Host Town Arcadia, and give it a “Like.”
More than 500,000 spectators are expected across the nine-day event from July 25-Aug. 2 that will showcase 6,500 athletes from 165 countries competing in 25 different events broadcast by ESPN.
Host Town Arcadia Schedule of Activities July 21-24 (more detailed schedule here):
Tuesday, July 21:
- Arrivals afternon/evening at Hilton Garden Inn; Santa Anita Inn; Embassy Suites Arcadia. Girl Scouts and adults greet at hotels with goodie bags.
Wednesday, July 22
- 9:30 a.m. Arcadia High School athletic field warm-ups, workouts. AHS Pep Band.
- 12 noon – 1:30 p.m.: Wilderness Park tour and lunch coordinated by Former Mayor George Fasching of Fasching’s Car Wash and paid for by the Arcadia Rotary Club.
- 2 p.m.: Arcadia Police Station welcome by Arcadia Police Chief Robert Guthrie, and a guided tour of the police station, including jail, evidence room, shooting range, etc.
- 3 p.m.: City Hall lawn for the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg – athletes and hundreds of law enforcement personnel champion acceptance and inclusion via Flame of Hope.
- 5:30 p.m.: Gala Dinner provided courtesy of Matt Denny’s Ale House, including Mayor, Council Members, Board of Education, and other dignitaries to meet and greet the delegation in 15-20-minute program.
Thursday, July 23
- 9:30 a.m.: AHA field for warm-ups and workouts.
- 11 a.m.: Lunch donated by In ‘N Out food truck.
- 1 p.m.: Westfield Santa Anita mall greeting by General Manager Ramon Oseguera and message by Bob Harbicht. Gift bags, commemorative pin, shopping.
- 3 p.m.: L.A. County Arboretum visit and tour.
- 6 p.m.: “Concert in the Park” and special buffet dinner served in police station provided by Arcadia Chinese Association on City Hall lawn with support of Arcadia Woman’s Club, Girl Scouts. Greetings by Mayor Gary Kovacic, comments by Bob Harbicht.
Friday, July 24
- 8 a.m. – 9 a.m.: Breakfast, then departure.