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Photo: Sonoma Valley Fund honors star volunteers

Posted on October 2, 2016 by Sonoma Valley Sun
unnamed-1Sonoma Valley Fund honored outstanding volunteers from the fund’s partner organizations on Sunday with its annual Star Awards.
Pictured, front row: Windee Smith, Jan Erickson, Nancy King, Carol Morphy, Patsy Wallace, Julia Wilkinson, Ina Welker, Kymm Falls, Jenah Smith.
Back row: Supervisor Susan Gorin, Hank Martinson, Rosie Palacio, Tony Ghisla, David Morell, Philip Wilkinson, Marc Schwager, Jorge Antonio Guillermo Aquino.
 Here at all the winners, with comments from the nominating organizations:
Seeds of Learning - Mike Turgeon
Mike has been a dedicated volunteer and donor for over twenty years and participated in four work groups to Central America. Mike has served three terms on the Board of Directors, where he is instrumental in leading fundraising efforts. He is currently volunteering in Nicaragua. 
Sonoma Ecology Center – David Morell PhD
David joined the board of the Sonoma Ecology Center, taking on the role of Chief Operations Officer. David’s work on Biochar, a specialized form of charcoal is an inspiration to the SEC since it can help save water, improve soil health, and reduce greenhouse gases. In addition to his volunteer work at the SEC, David helped create key programs at EPA and has been a state and national leader helping reduce air and hazardous waste pollution. David has also been a professor at Princeton, Stanford, UCSC, UCB, and in Thailand. He’s also a founding board member of an NGO working on health and nutrition in Rwanda. 
Teen Services Sonoma – Jenah Smith
Jenah has: rallied coworkers for cleanup days at the Teen Center, called business connections for donations to our fundraisers, driven supplies and equipment back and forth for us, and for four years, skillfully managed the logistics of our Cowboy Cab annual fundraiser. Jenah’s position at Sonoma Raceway gives her access to human resources as well as: supplies, tools, vehicles, and equipment all of which she is quick to pull together on behalf of Teen Services.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley – Windee Smith
As a board member since 2013, Windee has served as Teen Programs Committee Chair
and been invaluable in her role as advocate for our Club Maxwell Village. Windee has demonstrated true passion for fundraising and providing first class resources for Sonoma Valley teens to access college and career support. 
Pets Lifeline – Judy Black & Dale Miller
Judy Black and Dale Miller are two fantastic examples of dedicated volunteers who have helped us keep up with our cat care for many years helping in large jobs as well as small including clean litter boxes! These outstanding women do not hesitate to jump in where needed and Pets Lifeline would not operate as smoothly without their help.
Sonoma Community Center – Hank Martinson
For the past two years, Hank has been instrumental in helping develop SCC’s branding, marketing and two new events: the Jack London Film Festival in cooperation with the JLSP and the Garage Sale that is taking place October 8th-9th at the Center.  
Sweetwater Spectrum – Jan Erickson
Since March of 2015, Jan served on two Committees before joining the Board of Directors. Jan currently serves the Fund Development and Community Committees, as well as being Board Secretary. Beyond these roles with Sweetwater, perhaps Jan’s greatest contribution relates to inroads she has made to the wider Sonoma community. Jan also serves at a mentor to eight girls at SVHS through the Mentoring Alliance and is a member of Impact100.
Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance – Nancy King and Roland Gangloff
Nancy King’s mentee is named Rosy Palacio and Nancy saw Rosy’s potential, teased it out, and made it visible to Rosy herself. A no-nonsense mentor, Nancy doesn’t buy into the notion that Rosy is incapable of great achievement. At the same time, she underscores the importance of: education, hard work, patience and perseverance, while also finding: activities, tutors and teachers to support Rosy. Rosy has become a successful scholar and dancer. Nancy and Rosy’s affection for one another is obvious and their relationship is a great example of marvelous mentoring. For over eight years, Roland Gangloff and his mentee Juan Pablo have built an amazing relationship based on: respect, mutual interests, adventurous education trips and outings. Their bond has enhanced both of their lives, as well as the lives of their two families. Roland is always there to listen and support Juan in: school, sports and life. Without Roland, Juan says that he would not have been able to succeed in school or have college in his future.
Quarryhill Botanical Garden – Philip Wilkinson, Julia Wilkinson, and Ina Welker.
All three lead docent tours, assist with events, and train new volunteers. In their words:
Ina Welker: “As a recent transplant from Arizona, becoming involved at the garden has brought me friendships, purpose, and the magic of nature, all with the added bonus of experiencing it through the eyes of a child.” Julia Wilkinson: “Quarryhill botanical garden is a peaceful and nurturing garden where I can share my love of nature and plants with school children and adults as well as increase my own knowledge of plants and their importance in our lives.” Philip Wilkinson: “Quarryhill lets me help in a small way in its mission to propagate and preserve some of the threatened flora of the world, threatened through no fault of their own.”
Sonoma Valley Community Health Center – Marc Schwager
Marc Schwager has been a member of the SVCHC Board for over four years. His calming, patient demeanor, razor-sharp intellect, ability to see the big picture, wicked sense of humor, fearlessness and ability to engage others, makes Marc the perfect go-to person. No matter what we asked (including being co-chair of a capital campaign for our facility), he said “Yes”. But it was the small things that Marc did on his own, like checking in or sending over one of his handcrafted bottles of wine that kept us sane, invested and focused.
Hanna Boys Center – Tony Ghisla
Since its inception in 2013, Tony has been on the Ag Advisory Committee. He has: written the committees bylaws, advised our Ag leadership team on becoming an official chapter of the Future Farmers of America and helped us raise over $200,000 earmarked for our agriculture and vocational programs. Tony’s leadership has provided Hanna invaluable experience and support.
La Luz Center – Jorge Antonio Guillermo Aquino
Jorge Guillermo always volunteers with such willingness and optimism whether it is in the office or at events. Jorge demonstrates: a high level of professionalism, customer service, and camaraderie with fellow clients and staff. Jorge truly embodies the characteristics of an ideal office volunteer: commitment, dedication, flexibility, integrity and energy. 
Vintage House – Phyllis Carter
Phyllis has been a long-time and multi-talented supporter of Vintage House. While she has been a Board Member and an Advisory Board Member, she has also been a Vintage House Singer. Volunteering her voice, Phyllis has entertained on numerous occasions. She has also been a LIMO driver since the program’s inception, even driving seniors to and from our Holiday dinners when the LIMO program is not in service. Phyllis exemplifies the caring and sharing spirit that is Vintage House.
Sonoma League for Historic Preservation – 
‘Zanne Clark
‘Zanne is selected for this honor because of her untiring dedication to the League, her work on a number of League civic projects, as well as spearheading an impressive fundraising campaign this year. Throughout the year, ‘Zanne has represented the Sonoma League in negotiations regarding the operations of the League as well as with a major project to save and restore the now derelict Maysonnave Cottage.
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art – Kymm Falls
Kymm has been a volunteer at SVMA since 2009 and has always been eager and capable. Her people skills have been invaluable, whether she is: working an event, assisting children with art projects at the Make-ins, greeting visitors, or promoting SVMA in the community. From 2014 to 2015, Kymm worked as an intern in the Museum’s education department, assisting with the Museum’s Art Rewards and The Student program. SVMA wishes her the greatest success as she continues her education in the Museum Studies Master’s program at John F. Kennedy University. 
Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation – Rose Mary Schmidt
Rose Mary is an amazing volunteer and philanthropist who has been incredibly dedicated to the hospital for many years. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious, and Rose Mary’s love for the hospital shows, particularly in support of fundraising events. She is a remarkable volunteer and we are grateful for her staunch commitment to the hospital.

F.I.S.H. – Jerri Sheehan

Motivated by FISH’s nearly 200 monthly dialysis rides requests, Jerri established an information meeting with Sonoma Valley Hospital, Sonoma Valley Community Health Center, DaVita Dialysis and F.I.S.H. for the purpose of offering dialysis in Sonoma Valley. Jerri then helped set up focus groups of F.I.S.H. riders and drivers in English and Spanish – providing valuable input to both Sonoma Valley Hospital and Satellite Healthcare.  Jerri recently took on another project that has translated into a $6,000 grant from Sonoma County to provide taxi vouchers for medical appointments.
Sonoma Valley Education Foundation – Carol Morphy and Patsy Wallace
For six years, Carol and Patsy have worked to help: establish, expand, and sustain the annual Red & White Ball. The Ball is the single largest fundraising event for public education in all of Sonoma County.
Carol Morphy is an original Red & White Ball Committee Member. Through her restaurant, The Red Grape, Carol has partnered with SVEF to promote our raffle. She also lends her design skills, especially for signage and the more than one hundred A-frame signs around the plaza. She also provides non-stop enthusiasm, community influence and expertise. Patsy Wallace is everywhere, doing a bit of everything for the Red & White. She too was involved from the start, gathering wine donations throughout the valley, helping create and install the beautiful floral designs for the Ball, gathering a huge group of friends for the event, and helping secure substantial support from individuals and sponsors. If there is a need, an emergency or an extra task to do, Patsy is always the one who takes care of it.


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