This past Saturday, March 2nd, the Coronado Historical Association held its annual Gala in the Crown Room of the Hotel Del. It was a special evening as CHA celebrates its 50th Year serving Coronado. Highlights of the night included a walk down memory lane with a slideshow showcasing the history of the organization.
The night was an opportunity to thank all of the countless volunteers, staff and Board members who have made the community service of the Association possible. Hosted by local celebrity, John Weisbarth, the evening received great support during the fundraising portions, with proceeds going to the many programs and historical collections that CHA cares for. The big announcement of the night was when Executive Director Robin MacCartee let guests know that the Coronado Historical Association had reached the Bronze Level of accreditation setting them on the path to be nationally recognized as an institution whose adherence to best practices will give them the distinction of being able to exchange research, exhibits, and collections with museums like the Natural History Museum, the Getty and the Smithsonian. Furthermore, this recognition, only given to just over 1000 museums in the United States and less than 70 in California, will allow them to compete for nationally funded grants. This new designation also set forth the rebranding of the organization as the museum space on the first floor of their building at 1100 Orange Ave will now become the Coronado History Center.
These are exciting times for CHA and the celebration was just one part of the yearlong Grand Jubilee to acknowledge the 50 years of dedication by the community, including the work of the founder Bunny Mackenzie and the generosity of lifetime benefactor, Don Budinger. To end the night, all in attendance got a special treat as they witnessed a piece of the Hotel Del’s history with the San Diego Opera performing on the balcony of the Crown Room, which was something John D. Spreckels himself would have witnessed all those years ago. It was a wonderful evening and a great way to give recognition and thanks to the community, the city and the history that this island is so lucky to have.