Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize and pay tribute to a dear friend and constituent, Mr. Harold Matzner. On November 17 of this year, Mr. Matzner will be honored as the 2007 Good Samaritan of the Year by the Desert Samaritans of the Coachella Valley in our great State of California, and I am pleased to extend my sincere congratulations to Harold for this well-deserved recognition.
Mr. Matzner has been a resident of Palm Springs for over 25 years, and during this time he has established himself as one of the outstanding philanthropic and civic leaders in our community. Harold's generosity is legendary. His energy, passion, and tireless advocacy for numerous worthwhile causes benefit all those who live in and visit Palm Springs.
A close friend and neighbor, Harold was also an invaluable supporter of the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The festival was founded by my late husband, the Honorable Sonny Bono, when he served as mayor of the city of Palm Springs.
Harold is widely credited with revitalizing the festival and ensuring its continued success as a member of the festival board, board chairman, vice-chairman and, most recently, as chairman emeritus. Without his devotion to the festival and impressive business acumen, the festival would simply not have attained its current status as one of the premier celebrations of the art of cinema in the United States.
In addition to his efforts on behalf of the Film Festival, Harold serves as chairman of the McCallum Theater, is an executive committee member of the Palm Springs Art Museum, and chairman of the Palm Springs Tennis Club Members Association. But his contributions to the community are not limited to these leadership roles. Harold is also a driving force in support of the Stroke Recovery Center, Temple Isaiah, Desert Aids Project, and Animal Samaritans, along with many other charitable causes.
Harold has established a long and successful business career as CEO of a major branding, advertising, and marketing company, and as the owner of a local Palm Springs landmark restaurant, Spencer's at the Mountain. He brings the same commitment to success to both his business ventures and his philanthropic activities, and our community has been greatly enhanced by his generosity of spirit and hard work.
Countless community and civic leaders have benefitted from Harold's insightful guidance and counsel. He is truly one of our community's treasures, and I am greatly honored to pay tribute to him today for his achievements and contributions to the citizens of the desert.
I want to join with the rest of our community in extending my appreciation and congratulations to Harold for this most fitting honor. And I encourage my colleagues to join me in celebrating this remarkable man, my dear friend, Harold Matzner.
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