Because of the coronavirus pandemic, two well-known San Fernando Valley fall events – the Arabian and Fernando awards – will not be held in person this year. It is possible the Fernando Award will become a virtual ceremony.
The Armand Arabian Leaders in Public Service Awards, usually held in October, will not be presented this year, said Rickey Gelb, one of the producers of the event. He said the awards, which normally honor six Valley-area leaders in various categories, is expected to resume next year.
Meanwhile, the Fernando Award, given to honor the spirit of volunteerism, will not hold its usual gala dinner in late September, said Randy Witt, who is chair of the Fernando Award Foundation. But it could become a virtual event. “If we do it, it probably would be held toward the end of the year,” he said.
He said directors of the Fernando Foundation never voted to cancel the event, but they have not decided whether to proceed as a virtual event. They continue to monitor the pandemic to figure the best path forward.
Fernando typically announces five finalists for the award months in advance. That has not been done this year.