31 star volunteers honored

DOWNEY - The Downey Coordinating Council honored 31 outstanding community service volunteers for 2009-10, each one representing the community service organizations that compose the council's membership. The honorees included a representative from the council itself. Thursday's awards dinner, like last year a well-attended event, was the council's 56th.The honorees, with their affiliations, included: Eunice Hammond, American Association of University Women (UAAW)-A member since 1987, she is currently chapter secretary/treasurer and its newsletter coordinator; Barbara Carlson, American Business Women's Association (ABWA)-A member for almost 36 years, she has served in various capacities as well as volunteers once a week at the Whittier Hospital; Charlene Roche, Assistance League of Downey-Retiring from Bell High School after 32 years of service, she became very active with the club and donates approximately 800 hours a year performing various functions; Jared Head, Columbia Memorial Space Center-Considered the center's "most dedicated volunteer," serves as lead instructor in the Robotics Lab, has already donated over 300 hours of his time to the center; Alex Saab, Downey Chamber of Commerce-Has a law office in Downey and has been very active in Chamber affairs; Freddie Hawkins, Downey City Library-An Adult Literacy program volunteer since January 1999, her "warm and welcoming approach makes new tutors feel comfortable" and gives her students "a taste of a wider world"; Carol Rowland, Downey Coordinating Council-A member and supporter of the council for 16 years, she is a past president and one that "truly values the resources the council provides for the community"; Brenda Shipley, Downey Family YMCA- A "big supporter of YMCA programs," known for her assistance in raising funds through peanut and Christmas tree lot sales and other events; Mario Trujillo, Downey Kiwanis-He is a LA County deputy district attorney active in several service areas, notably with Kiwanis, where he serves as current Lt. Governor for Kiwanis International; Willie Gutierrez, Downey Kiwanis/Los Amigos-A DUSD board member since 2001, he is currently club president; Ramona Espinoza, Downey Newcomers Club-Retired from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles (with 25 years of service), she is currently DNC's tour coordinator (bus trips everywhere, including the race track and casinos); Lois Rossi, Downey Regional Medical Center Auxiliary-Has volunteered in several hospital departments, and slated to serve as 2010-11 auxiliary president; Madelyn Barefoot, Downey Rose Float Association-Fond of travel, she has been DRFA member for many years and served on the board of directors for over 8 years; Maria Guerrero, Downey Sister Cities Association-Has been unselfish in various assignments and been instrumental in re-establishing relations with sister city, Costa Rica; Mark Artusio, Downey Symphonic Society-Current personnel and stage manager of the Downey Symphonic Society, he has performed as string bass in the Downey Symphony since 1989; Norma Swearingen, Downey Symphony Guild-A Rosie the Riveter during WWII, she was office supervisor for Sears for 26 years and has a wealth of volunteer experience with other service clubs, Rick Rodriguez, Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC)-Is past president of the Chamber of Commerce, has served as EPC chairman since January of 2009, and has been busy in many other club/community activities; Nora Szechy, Friends of the Downey City Library-A Friends volunteer for over eight years, she's been very involved with library special events, and is the author of a popular memoir, "Nora: An Ordinary Girl from Inchicore"; Pat Heineke, Gangs Out of Downey-Has served as GOOD president, member of Soroptimist International for over 20 years, member of Arc of Southeast Los Angeles County for more than 16 years (as well as president of Arc of California for two years), and otherwise left her imprint on the life of Downey; Alex Gaytan, Keep Downey Beautiful-A substitute teacher at Gauldin Elementary School, he has been very active in beautification efforts at the school; Diane Hunt, LivingHelp Center-A board member for 5 years, she has been invaluable with computerization of the entity's check entries; Vicki Carnevale, OLPH Women's Guild-She has served in many areas and capacities, including applying her calligraphic skills to various projects; Mark Shelton, Optimist Club of Downey-Manager of the Rio Hondo Event Center, he has supplied the annual 'Pumpkin Patch' on Halloween with over 4,500 hot dogs for many years and otherwise been active in many fundraising efforts to benefit the youth of Downey; Nicole Janelle Arevalo, Polio Survivor Association-A WHS junior who takes AP and honors courses, she's been very involved (like her mom) with the community (volunteer at Rancho Los Amigos Rehab Center, assisting teachers at Old River Elementary School); Tom Hutchinson, PTA HELPS-Has for many years been involved with PTA HELPS Room and showed Boy Scouts how to aid the community; Steve Clay, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center-A former active artist prior to suffering a major stroke, he was co-founder of the world-renowned Art of Rancho program and has served as an instructor in the Don Knabe Pediatric Arts Program; Bonnie Barler, Soroptimist International of Downey-Has been a "dedicated, hard-working, and passionate" member since 2006, and has enhanced the club with her organizational and fundraising gifts; Elizabeth Castillo, TLC Family Resource Center-Began as a Downey Adult School medical assistant intern for the medical clinics and has been invaluable to TLC ever since; Cindy Perkovich, Together for Hope-Cancer survivor, has served as chapter secretary-treasurer, while bringing in several new members to the organization; Valerie Fairman, Unity in the Community (UITC)-A Downey resident for 25 years, has been a very involved UITC member since its inception five years ago; Fran Smith, Woman's Club of Downey-A member for over 30 years, she has served as president two times and has been involved in many projects; and Yvonne Swain, YMCA-A retired DUSD teacher, she has been the Y's Men's Club secretary for over 20 years and among other things has coordinated its nut sales benefiting Downey's youth. Meanwhile, the Downey Lions Club was acknowledged as the council's newest member, increasing its membership to 32. Also, the same roster of officers last year was installed to serve for 2010-11: Leonard Zuniga, president; Barbara Emry; lst vice-president; Carol Rowland, 2nd vice-president; Crystal Torres, secretary; Brenda Warner, treasurer; and Jan Scott, auditor.

********** Published: May 21, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 5

FeaturesEric Pierce