It was "Rick Najera Day" on July 18 in Santa Ana, though folks might have missed the one-sentence motion on the City Council agenda to honor the local playwright and actor for his increasing the "awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity."
Visitors to Anaheim might have been unaware that they happened upon the city during International Cat Show Day this month. In Dana Point last week, the city declared a National Night Out, recognizing Neighborhood Watch groups, and commended the Ritz-Carlton for contributing to the city's Fourth of July fireworks show.
These feel-good accolades in the form of proclamations, resolutions and commendations are frosting for public officials across the county looking for groups or individuals worthy of recognition.
In some cases, the honors might be a bit obscure, as with several resolutions approved in recent months by county supervisors.
To start their weekly agendas, supervisors have unanimously commended the Park Ranger Reserve Program on its 10th anniversary and declared Bicycle Recognition Month and Eligibility Professionals Recognition Month.
Costa Mesa Mayor Peter Buffa said his favorite was last year's vote proclaiming National Mattress Month.
"Some of these are quite serious and some are, frankly, kind of silly," said Buffa, who admits to being a soft touch for giving city proclamations. "To the people in the organizations who ask for these things, it's very important to them. It doesn't really cost much time or money."
But Buffa has one rule for the actual commendation itself: Make it brief.
"I won't name cities or counties, but I've seen some outrageous instances where they've taken a half-hour to an hour to give out these proclamations," he said. "We'll give out two of them in four minutes."
Another frequent commender is Supervisor Todd Spitzer. Spitzer aide Stacy Leff said her boss keeps an eye out for newspaper stories about district residents involved in worthwhile endeavors.
"It doesn't matter how silly it may seem, people love it," Leff said. "Too often people don't get recognized for the good things they do."
Among those soon to be honored by Spitzer's office is Superior Court Judge Eileen C. Moore, chairwoman of the county's Domestic Violence Council. Last month, he recognized former Brea Mayor Clarice A. Blamer for her long years of public service.
Costs of preparing the 11-by-14-inch documents embossed with the county seal come from supervisors' office budgets. At the city level, the proclamations are processed by city clerks.
Many of the county proclamations recognize national "weeks" or "months" set by Congress. The notifications are handled through the chairman's office, which is why Chairman William G. Steiner stacked the agenda in May with Fire Service Recognition Day, Foster Family Month, Mental Health Month and Juror Appreciation Week.
Dana Point City Clerk Kathie M. Mendoza said the council doesn't make many resolutions, which are posted on the agenda but usually aren't publicized elsewhere. An exception is an upcoming commendation for Dana Point resident Russell Coble, who saved two elderly residents from a burning home.
Mendoza said Coble led Hank Marsh to safety and then entered the flame-engulfed house several more times to find Marsh's wife, Jenny.
Coble is tentatively scheduled to be honored by the City Council Aug. 4. But first he has to pick up his award from the Orange County Fire Authority.
Perspective is a weekly column highlighting trends and events that define Orange County or taking an in-depth look at an issue affecting the county. Readers are invited to call Los Angeles Times correspondent Jean O. Pasco at (714) 564-1052 or send an e-mail to Jean.Pasco@latimes.com