Norwalk Coordinating Council honors scholarship winners, volunteers

Photo by Raul Samaniego

Photo by Raul Samaniego

NORWALK – A sold out Arts and Sports Complex facility was the site for the 79th Annual Norwalk Community Coordinating Council (NCCC) Awards Banquet this past Sunday.

A 50’s-theme greeted the attendees and presenters. Members were attired in their favorite era TV show or movie attire.

There were poodle skirts, white T-shirts with black leather jackets and rolled up denim pants.
In their Mission Statement, “The NCCC acts as an umbrella organization and communication tool for all non-profits in the city of Norwalk and also supports the community by assisting with a variety of social service projects.” 

Master of Ceremony, Bob Arthur, Cerritos College Board of Trustee, reminded the audience in his opening remarks, “This is an annual milestone for citizens.”

The US flag was presented by the Norwalk Public Safety Cadets after an invocation by Pastor Arthur McKibben of the Norwalk Church of the Nazarene.

After recognition of the past board, a new panel of board members was introduced and installed.

Gordon Stefenhagen was recognized for his service to the community by being named “Member of the Year.”

The Eighth Annual Keystone Service Awards for hard-work and dedication to improve the well-being of the City of Norwalk went to:

Cindy Kovach, Downey Lions Club
Robert Rivera, Knights of Columbus #3678
Lori Altman, American Legion Auxiliary Unit #359
Linda Fisher, Chamber of Commerce
Christine Roberto, NCCC
Amy Garcia, Lions Club
Jer Evans. Sons of the American Legion Squadron #359
Alfaf El-Annan, Soroptimist International.

Recipient of the Lucille Colin Award went to a team, Kurt Anderson and wife Mellissa.

Accepting the $500 Helen Brown Memorial Scholarship was John Glenn High School’s Yasmin Reyes.

Representing their high schools as nominees for “Youth of the Year Award” were:

Briant Aquino, Jenny Limon, Southeast Academy
Steven Castro, Rosa Rodriguez, La Mirada H.S.
Steven Hall, St. John Bosco H.S.
Zsanielle Moncayo, Santa Fe H.S.
Alice Pham, Norwalk H.S.

The honor went to 18-year-old Alice Pham from Norwalk High School.

Pham, with a 4.1 GPA, has been admitted to the University of California at Irvine as a Political Science major and hopes to be admitted to the School of Business eventually.

Her choices for colleges were UC Berkley and UC Irvine.

“This year has been absolutely insane, in a good way,” expressed Pham of her involvement in her senior year at Norwalk High School.

In addition to working at her first job “to help get ready for senior expenses,” Pham said, “I was still involved in the business club, which I started on campus.”

She had difficulty pinpointing her main inspiration at school but mentioned English teacher Mrs. Wong, whom she felt “bonded with her” and “is a really good role model.”

“I just want to thank the NCCC for giving me the opportunity to further my education.”

Final recognition for their community commitment and service were nominees for Citizen of the year, Maria Banales and Arturo and Ofelia Sanchez.

The Sanchez couple received the award for their continuation of their support for the annual Halloween Parade named for their father’s legacy and their ongoing community service.

A raffle was held to conclude the afternoon of good food and recognition of Norwalk’s finest.