DOWNEY - Katie Piazza, a recreation leader with the Downey YMCA, was honored with the Mayor's Diakonia Award at the Sept. 22 City Council meeting.Piazza is site director for the licensed child care center at Furman Park. According to Mayor Mario Guerra, Piazza "genuinely cares about the children at the center and does anything to help brighten their day. Piazza also rescues dogs, buys clothes and toys for kids and volunteers with the Rio Hondo Elementary PTA (she has no children). "She is an extraordinary person who goes above and beyond the highest expectations," Guerra said. "I‚Äàhave received many letters about her special gifts with others and her humble responses when praised." Guerra said Piazza took interest in a young boy who lost his mother in a car accident last year. Piazza "was always there to greet him with a smile" and made sure he was able to attend a field trip to the zoo recently. She even packed him a special lunch. "The little boy's heart was touched as well as ours," said Guerra, who started awarding Diakonia (Service) Awards earlier this year. "He felt special, loved and safe, and it meant so much to him and to us all." "Katie is certainly one of the reasons this award was created," Guerra continued. "She is the spirit of what it means to serve others: small things with great love and she has gone far beyond and I‚Äàam honored to be able to recognize her and encourage others to follow her example of serving each other in our fine city." To nominate a person for the Diakonia Award, call the City Council office at (562) 904-7274 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
********** Published: October 30, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 28