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Napolitano Honors 2019 Volunteers of the Year

June 7, 2019
Press Release

(EL MONTE, CA)  On Saturday, June 1, 2019, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32) honored the 2019 Volunteers of the Year for exemplary service at an awards ceremony at the Grace T. Black Auditorium in El Monte.

“Our unsung heroes and heroines are nominated by non-profit organizations, service centers, cities, and churches throughout the San Gabriel Valley, all who greatly benefit from their unselfish time and energy,” Napolitano said. “Together, these 21 individuals have provided over 270 years of volunteer work in their respective communities, saving cities and organizations countless dollars and time. This public tribute is one way to show our appreciation for all they do and to thank those whose efforts might otherwise go unrecognized. We congratulate all of these wonderful volunteers for their dedication to helping others.”

Many of the honorees’ supportive family members, friends, and colleagues also attended the ceremony, which featured a keynote speech by La Verne Police Department Chaplain, Pastor Kevin Yriarte.

“Your love for others forces you to look beyond the comfortable and the convenient to see the needs others may choose to ignore,” said Pastor Yriarte. “You say ‘I have to' when other people say 'I can’t.’ If anyone ever asks you how to spell volunteer, tell them it is simple – volunteer is spelled ‘L O V E.’ Thank you for bringing life to the lifeless, hope to the hopeless, and joy to those that can’t find joy on their own.”

The volunteers’ names were submitted by their organization or community group which felt their contributions deserved special recognition. Napolitano gave out the awards and thanked them personally.

The 2019 Volunteers of the Year:

Mark Anthony – Julia McNeill Senior Center

Robert “Big Bob” Berdin – Councilmember Dan Holloway, City of La Puente

Aranzasu Caballero – City of Duarte Public Safety, Duarte Area Resource Team

Jennifer Cazares – California Mental Health Connection

Medardo Del Rosario – Father Michael Gutierrez, St. John the Baptist Church

Dena Florez – Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Gabriel Valley

Larry R. Hartmann – Public Affairs Manager Sam Pedroza, City of Industry

Victor Hernandez – Principal Kim Lee, California Elementary School

Hank Jacobs – Foothill Unity Center, Inc.

James “Jim” Kesterson – Senior Advisory Committee, City of La Verne

Jennifer “Jen” Kesterson – La Verne Fire Department

Hal Leavens – Monrovia Chamber of Commerce

Cecilia Roxana Lopez – Baldwin Park United Methodist Church

Gregory M. Oberon – Glendora Police Department

Joe A. Orosco – Baldwin Park Unified School District, Adult & Community Education

Natalie Ortiz – Recreation Coordinator Yvonne Duran, City of La Verne

Phillip Ramirez – Covina Police Department

Lynette Rausch – El Monte/South El Monte Chamber of Commerce

Rudy Sanchez – Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Velasco, City of El Monte

John Watson – Monrovia Coordinating Council

Daniel Yrigoyen – City of Duarte Public Safety, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)


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