E-Central CU Hosts Reception for 2019 Tournament of Roses President

ECentral CU Tournament of Roses
L-R: At a recent community reception for 2019 Tournament of Roses President Gerald Freeny—VP of Operations Evan Hitchcock of E-Central CU (which hosted the reception); E-Central CU Board Chairman Mark Garmus, Congresswoman Judy Chu; Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Danny Bakewell, owner of The Bakewell Company, which includes among its holdings the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper; and E-Central CU Advisor to the CEO Ken Kasamatsu.

On Sunday, Sept. 9, E-Central CU—in association with Community Women Vital Voices—hosted a community reception for the 2019 Tournament of Roses President Gerald Freeny that attracted more than 300 community leaders and local, state, and federal elected officials such as Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Judy Chu. The event was chaired by Ron Carter and Lena L. Kennedy, and co-hosted by AT&T, City of Hope, Occidental College and Boy Scouts of America.

“Through our advocacy work within the local community and with non-profit organizations, we developed a relationship with Community Women Vital Voices which were looking to co-host a community reception for Mr. Freeny to recognize this historic event and honor his many years of service and volunteerism”, said E-Central CU VP of Operations Evan Hitchcock. “It was our honor to be part of something very special.”

Both Congresswomen Waters and Chu made special presentations at the event, honoring Freeny, who unfortunately couldn’t attend due to an illness. He was represented by his wife, Trina.

Waters—who in 2016 was elected to her 14th term of the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently the ranking member of the House Committee of Financial Services—said she was honored to take in this event honoring Freeny, who is the first African-American president in the 123-year history of the Tournament of Roses.

“This did not come about easily,” Waters said. “There were a number of people who worked very hard to diversify the Tournament of Roses… Let us enjoy that Pasadena has moved forward; progress has been made.”

Chu—who represents the 27th Congressional district, which includes Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley and serves on the House Ways and Means Committee—said she what was so impressive to her was to hear of all his accomplishments and community involvement despite dealing with two liver transplants and a kidney transplant as well as being a survivor of lung cancer.

“I am so proud he is my constituent and I am so proud that he is presiding over the 130th Rose Parade,” she said.

She then presented Trina Freeny with a certificate of congressional recognition for her husband’s accomplishments, which includes serving as a volunteer member of the Tournament of Roses Association for 30 years, as president of the San Gabriel Chapter of NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives), the Pasadena Police Foundation, Pasadena YMCA, and the Pasadena NAACP.

Others making special remarks at the event included Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and Vice Mayor John Kennedy as well as state Senator Steve Bradford and state Assemblyman Chris Holden.

E-Central CU
E-Central CU Board Chairman Mark Garmus presents a special award to Trina Freeny recognizing her husband Gerald Freeny’s accomplishments, including being named the 2019 Tournament of Roses President. The Pasadena credit union hosted a community reception for Freeny that was attended by various community leaders and elected officials.

E-Central CU Board Chairman Mark Garmus said the credit union—which received a California Assembly certificate of recognition for its efforts with the reception—has served the Pasadena community for 75 years.

“We share Gerald Freeny’s passion for ‘People Helping People’, and his love and support for this community, Garmus said.

He presented Trina with a special award to commemorate the special occasion.

“I want to thank you all for coming out and supporting Gerald,” Trina told the crowd.
“He rose through the ranks with the help of other tournament members, sponsors, and friends and family. I thank everybody who helped us on this road to here.”

She said the tournament is in her husband of 23 years’ blood and is very committed to the Rose Parade. The 2019 edition will be the 31st he will be involved in.

Although Gerald couldn’t attend on Sunday, “he’d like me to tell you to be there on Jan. 1,” she said.

In earlier written remarks, Gerald Freeny said he is humbled and honored to serve the Tournament of Roses. “My 30 years of service, I hope, will be measured by my love for my community—volunteerism is a life-changing experience and is worth more than gold. This year’s theme, the Melody of Music, transcends any barriers and connects us all together, and that connection creates our community.”

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