DOWNEY - Guest speaker Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-34) last week lauded the Downey City Library for the "tremendous work" it is doing for "this wonderful city" and the vital contributions made by volunteers in many areas of its operation as well as the invaluable assistance provided by its major donors."You really are the foundation without which none of its programs and projects can accomplish what they're designed to do," she said, adding: "Usually I'm up in Washington, D. C., but I'm glad I had this chance to celebrate what you stand for with you." Doing a takeoff on the Academy Awards theme chosen to celebrate the library's 26thannual volunteer and major donor recognition program Saturday, city librarian Nancy Messineo surveyed the 85-odd volunteers and donors present and said: "You who are seated at the tables are our stars. You shine, you sparkle, you light our way in our efforts to serve the community." Among those receiving special recognition were DUSD board vice-president Martha Sodetani for running the Friends' Books-on-Wheels program, while longtime supporter Dr. Mary Stauffer was cited for her advocacy. Messineo at the same time paid tribute to her "hardworking" staff who comprised the event's planning and implementation team: Claudia Dailey, Andrew Despres, Cristina Anderson, Josephine de la Jingco and Christine Lee. The honorees were each given a certificate of appreciation as well as a copy of Stephen J. Cannell's latest crime story, "The Pallbearers," courtesy of the Friends of the Downey City Library. Entertainment was provided by Rancho Cucamonga's Michael Sinatra. He serenaded and interacted (and at times briefly danced) with members of the audience by crooning lively old standards, including: "It Had to Be You," "When You're Smiling," "All of Me," "I've Got the World on a String," and "Come Fly With Me." The honored 2009 major donors included: the Friends of the Downey City Library (who underwrote the program), Peter and Patricia Meursinge, Downey Association of Realtors, Sally Arguello Memorial, Peggy Hetzel Memorial Fund, Vicki Spearman and the Rotary Club of Downey. The city was well represented at the event, with Mayor Anne Bayer welcoming everybody and acting as emcee, and councilmember Mario Guerra doing the invocation while councilmember Dave Gafin led the flag salute. Also in attendance was Mayor Pro Tem Luis Marquez. Theresa Ford chairs this year's library advisory board, composed of chair pro tem Betty Monroy and members Susan Bouris, Irma Landesfeind, and Pat Smith. The affairs of the Friends of the Downey City Library are handled this year by: Cleo Latimer, perennial president; Nora Szechy, lst vice-president and program chair; Sharon Macias, 2nd vice-president and membership chair; Lucy Aguero, director of fundraising; Lee Cole, secretary; Eunice Hammond, treasurer; Colette Stallcup, book store director; Carol Woods, newsletter editor; and Kathy Callahan, publicity director.
********** Published: April 16, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 52