• Community Service Awards Honor Volunteers Announced

    The 39th Annual Community Service Awards were presented on Thursday, April 23.

     Sponsored by United Way Monterey County Volunteer Center, this free community event honored more than 90 individual volunteers. Selected for Outstanding Volunteer Awards are:

    • Rusty Stratton Award: Dr. John Castagna The Volunteer Center periodically bestows The Rusty Stratton Award to a member within its organizational family who demonstrates the heart and soul of volunteerism. This year, the United Way Monterey County Volunteer Center honors Dr. John Castagna. For many years, Dr. Castagna has used his graphic design talents provide a memorable keepsake for hundreds of volunteers over the years. He volunteers these talents and many more to other organizations within our community, including the City of Monterey Library, the Carmel Bach Festival, and I Cantori, in addition to United Way.
    • Outstanding Youth Volunteer: Estephanie Sosa Hernandez who volunteers with Community Partnership for Youth (CPY). She began by joining the middle school leadership program and volunteered over 500 hours in the course of two summers, spending 8 hours a day reading, writing, and playing with elementary students. Estephanie has continued to devote her time to CPY and always comes in with a smile and enthusiasm. Her positive attitude encourages not only the students she serves but also her peer mentors and tutors to do the best they can.
    • Outstanding Partner Volunteers: SVMHSL Lifeline The Lifeline volunteers of the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Service League help the League to provide 24-hour personal emergency-response services for seniors who wish to live independently. At the push of a button, these clients can summon help in the case of a fall or other injury. A team of dedicated volunteers goes to the seniors’ homes to install and service the Lifeline equipment. Back at the hospital other volunteers complete essential clerical work and keep the Lifeline equipment in proper working order. Without the help of this team of volunteers, the Service League would not be able to provide this critical service that gives independence and peace of mind to seniors throughout the community.
    • Outstanding Adult Volunteer: Raymond Guerra has been working at La Primera Iglesia Food Pantry in East Salinas for over seven years. In 2012, the Food Bank for Monterey County asked to become an Emergency Food Assistance Program site. Raymond accepted the challenge and now serves about 400 families per month, opening the pantry in the evening hours so that families are able to pick up food after work. He goes above and beyond what is expected of him and, thanks to his example of dedication and compassion for his community, has inspired others to volunteer.
    • Outstanding Senior Volunteer: Leslie Geyer There are nearly 500 homeless women on the Monterey Peninsula alone and each woman has her own story to tell. Leslie Geyer began listening to these stories two years ago and became an advocate for these women who are so often overlooked and judged by the public. Leslie has been instrumental in starting the Fund for Homeless Women and other support groups. She also collaborates with Legal Services for Seniors and RotaCare Free Clinic to provide women access to free legal help and medical services.
    • Skills-based Star: Monterey Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) During emergencies or disasters, Monterey’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be there to help. CERT provides community members with the disaster-related know-how they need to be self-sufficient and support others until professional help arrives. Rather than let the CERT training program end when the Monterey Fire Department could no longer afford to fund CERT personnel, the CERT training staff continued to run the program voluntarily in order make the community safer and better prepared for whatever lies ahead.
    • Agency Star: The volunteers of Paradigm Adult Services, Inc. like to give back to their community. They volunteer to beautify Ford Ord Parks and “Tatum’s Garden” several times a week and strive to provide local non-profits assistance with their clerical skills. Together, they have completed hundreds of hours of community service in the past year. This group of volunteers truly goes above and beyond to help.


    For more information about the event, please contact Fatima Dias at Fatima.dias@unitedwaymcca.org or at 917-4693.  

    posted to Cedar Street Times on April 24, 2015

    Topics: Front PG News


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