The Citizens of the Year for Los Osos/Baywood Park’s Chamber of Commerce have dedicated themselves not only to serving their local community but to helping people around the world.
The chamber is honoring 33-year Los Osos residents Bob and Beth Crizer for their many charitable undertakings over several decades. The dinner celebration will take place Jan. 24 at the South Bay Community Center.
Joe Laurenzi, of the San Luis Obispo County public library system, also will be recognized as volunteer of the year. Leon Van Beurden’s Bay Osos Brokers will be named business of the year.
The Crizers have taken on several charitable causes, including raising $20,000 for a Los Angeles woman scammed out of her small home.
They also took their sons, Jake and Sam, to help with the New Orleans’ Hurricane Katrina relief effort. And the Crizers sent hundreds of pounds of goods to help impoverished Nigerians.
As a young contractor in the 1980s, Bob Crizer built the South Bay Community Center, where they’ll receive their award.
Locally, the Crizers were among the founders of the Los Osos Christmas Parade and helped organize Baywood Park’s Oktoberfest, now in its 15th year.
“We want to be good community stewards,” the Crizers said in a statement released by the chamber. “It’s what you do for other people in life that’s important.”
Laurenzi was recognized for his work as the Los Osos head librarian (before a recent promotion to the North County).
As a chamber board member, Laurenzi helped organize the successful Business Showcase fundraiser and the sold-out Food Showcase featuring local restaurant and food vendors.
He also helped redecorate and repaint the chamber’s office to make it more appealing to visitors.
“I really enjoyed taking on those projects for the chamber,” Laurenzi said. “I think combining the business showcase with good barbecue food gave it a neighborly feel and really attracted people to come.”
Van Beurden is known for his commitment to chamber activities and sponsorships of events such as Oktoberfest and the business and food showcases. He also has encouraged others to join the chamber; his son, Simon, will serve on the board of directors.