Benny Holt, 70, an Imperial Beach Lifeguard since 1965, retired after more than 47 years of service to Imperial Beach.
"If Imperial Beach had its own currency, Benny would be on it," said longtime IB Lifeguard Jim Sullivan.
Holt, who has worked as a cross country and track coach at Mar Vista High School for decades, has mentored generations of IB Lifeguards.
"I actually started lifeguarding in Turkey in 1964 when I was in the Air Force," said Holt.
Holt who was born in Imperial Beach was trained as a lifeguard by legendary IB waterman and Public Safety Director Dempsey Holder.
On February 22, dozens of former and current IB Lifeguards and members of the surfing community gathered at the Holder Public Safety Center to honor Benny.
Young and old, everyone had nothing but good things to say about Benny, who has dedicated his life to public and community service.
I lifeguarded with Benny for five years in the 1980s and was lucky enough to have been coached by him as a cross country runner at Mar Vista High School. He inspired me then and still inspires me with his positive demeanor and ability to bring out the best in everyone.
Thanks Benny for all you have done for Imperial Beach and all the lives you have saved.