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10th Anniversary of the Cottonwood Awards Luncheon take place May 26, 2022

Marlene Temple. Courtesy photo.
Marlene Temple. Courtesy photo.

The Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation (RLAF) is pleased to announce its 10th anniversary of celebrating Long Beach leaders at the annual Cottonwood Awards Luncheon on May 26, 2022. This one-of-a-kind experience presented in part by the Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation, the Port of Long Beach, Signal Hill Petroleum, and Marlene Temple & the Don Temple Family Charitable Foundation honors individuals who have shown significant leadership in enhancing, promoting, and supporting the cultural communities of the Southern California region. The celebration will be live and in-person at Rancho Los Alamitos with a traditional California ranch-style barbecue lunch live music and other festivities on the barns area lawn.

Guests may also tour the Rancho Center, where they can enjoy the Visitor Orientation video, the History Room Exhibit, and the Rancho Room with its dramatic floor-to-ceiling murals and hand-painted floor map. The historic gardens will be in bloom, and docents will be available to provide tours of the adobe Ranch House. The Rancho Gift Shop will also be open for souvenir shopping.

The 2022 Cottonwood Award will be presented by Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Bonnie Lowenthal, to Marlene Temple and the Don Temple Family Charitable Foundation. Marlene’s love of people and joy in giving is evident to all who know her. She was married to Don Temple, founder of a large self-storage company and owner of The Grand. In 2006, Don and Marlene founded the “Don Temple Family Charitable Foundation,” where she serves as its President. Marlene’s giving comes from her heart and embraces the things she loves, including the arts, children, education, healthcare, and above all, the people of Long Beach. Marlene serves as a Rancho Los Alamitos board member among many other leadership positions in the Long Beach cultural community.

The Don Temple Family Charitable Foundation has made significant donations with Honorary Naming to the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center Heart Lab, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and Long Beach City College, where a campus building is dedicated as the “Don Temple Family Charitable Foundation Math Success Center.” Marlene says she feels privileged to make life better for the people reached by her foundation’s charitable donations. She says she and Don felt that Long Beach was good to them, and they wanted to give something back.

John W. Hancock will present the 2022 Special Recognition for Service and Commitment to TABC/Toyota, Jim Zehmer, President, as it marks its 50th anniversary in Long Beach. It opened in 1972 as Toyota’s first manufacturing plant in North America. Since then, TABC has established deep roots in Long Beach and is a respected community partner and employer, with more than 300 employees. The 30-acre facility was created as an assembly plant that produced truck beds attached to cabs shipped from Japan but has grown to become a primary supplier of parts for Toyota’s Tacoma trucks and a significant supplier of Past Model Service Parts for many Toyota vehicles.

TABC’s community involvement is broad and includes grantmaking, nonprofit board leadership for several organizations (including Boys & Girls Club, CCEJ, Children Today, American Red Cross, US Vets, LB Ronald McDonald House, and CSULB), employee volunteerism, and active participation in the business community, including the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Rancho Los Alamitos (RLA) is the fortunate beneficiary of TABC grants that support the site’s educational mission and employee volunteerism. In 2014, TABC selected RLA as its local partner for National Public Lands Day (NPLD), for which Toyota is the national sponsor. Each September, a small army of TABC & other local Toyota employees arrive at RLA, wearing red “Toyota 4Good” T-shirts. They grab rakes, pruners, and hoes and spend the day working on large-scale landscape maintenance projects laid out in advance by RLA staff. TABC volunteers have done everything from weeding and pruning to clearing drainage swales and irrigation drains. The massive one-day injection of gardening labor makes an enormous difference to this City-owned site. The Rancho’s public grounds are a safer, more beautiful, more sustainable, and more accessible public resource thanks to TABC.

The Cottonwood Awards Luncheon is a signature RLA event and its biggest fundraiser of the year, raising essential funds that support its educational mission. Funds raised through this event allow the Rancho to welcome visitors at no charge for admission and provide unique and enjoyable learning experiences. Nowhere is the story of Southern California revealed more richly than at Rancho Los Alamitos.

The Cottonwood Awards Luncheon will be held on Thursday, May 26, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Rancho Los Alamitos, 6400 E. Bixby Hill Road, Long Beach, California 90815. Parking for the event will be at California State University, Long Beach Lot G13, enter at “CSULB PRKG” on Palo Verde Avenue, between Atherton and University Drive. Parking and continuous shuttle service to and from the Rancho are free of charge.

Sponsorships and advertising opportunities are available. Individual tickets are also for sale at $200 each. (RLA members at the Dual level and above receive a 25% discount on up to two individual tickets). For information, visit RanchoLosAlamitos.org or contact Elena Arrojo, Director of Development at [email protected] or at (562) 480-9169.

This article was released by Rancho Los Alamitos.

Editor’s note (March 18, 2022): A detail in this article regarding Don Temple was corrected at the request of the submitter.