February is the middle of awards season in Hollywood. The Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Golden Globes—they’re all just warm-up for the real deal, the Academy Awards on March 2. And here in Rancho Mirage, in the heart of the Palm Springs Valley, February is also awards season. I was lucky enough to be invited—on February 5 at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa—to the 2014 Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce Rammy Awards & Distinguished Citizens Dinner.
There were 15 categories of honors handed out this year. Some of my favorite people were singled out from amongst so many other notables in this wonderful community: Helene Galen for Philanthropist of the Year, Leonore and Walter Annenberg (posthumously) for Distinguished Citizens, Charles Townsend for Businessman of the Year, and Sunnylands’ very own Mary Perry for Businesswoman of the Year. Ambassador of the Year was Marion Michela.
Overall Business of the Year went to Eisenhower Medical Center, while Sunnylands took the Recycling Award, and The Braille Institute nabbed the Outstanding Non-Profit prize.
In the world of retail, Forever 21—which recently opened at The River—was named Rising Star, while Small Retailer of the Year went to Brandini Toffee (one of my all-time favorites). Large Retailer of the Year was awarded to Desert European Motors.
The hospitality awards were distributed thus: Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa was voted best Large Hotel, while Hilton Garden Inn was honored as best Small Hotel. The Casual Dining trophy went to Acqua Pazza—A California Bistro at The River, with Catalan sweeping the Fine Dining category.
Not only do the annual Rammys reward those among us who provide the utmost in excellence, they remind all of us that the real winners are we lucky ones who live in, or visit, Rancho Mirage! www.ranchomiragecctest.com