This month Project Understanding will serve 1,300-1,500 neighbors in need. Because most of them will be served by a volunteer, at the Shining Star Awards last week, we honored outstanding Volunteers and Community Partners! Award recipients are pictured to the left.
The “secret” awards announced on Thursday evening were: Shining Star Volunteer of the Year – Lynn Geller; Shalom Award – Karol Schulkin; Donors of the Year – Larry and Carol Dawes; Board Member of the Year – Kellie Meehan and Charleen Morla; and Employee of the Year – Janine Dykstra.
The pre-announced awards included program volunteers of the year: Food Pantry – Joanna Norstedt; First Step Center – Nita Perkins; Tutoring – David Ensminger; Tender Life – Karen Collier and Carolyn Tabor; Administrative – Gina Norstedt and Meg Perry.
Other pre-announced awards were for: Collaborating Partner – CAPS Media; Community Partner – Bejune Foundation; Business – MortgageCouch; House of Worship – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Ventura Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Ventura Councilmember Cheryl Heitmann served as Master of Ceremonies. Many community leaders presented awards, including several government officials: Michael Powers, Chief Executive Officer, Ventura County; Matt LeVere, Ventura Councilmember; Patti Quiroz, representing Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson; and Jeannette Sanchez-Palacio, representing Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. County School Superintendent Dr. Stan Mantooth presented on behalf of the educational community.
Other presenters included Betsy Chess, Limoneira; Dave Schulze, Ventura Church of Christ; Sheldon Brown, Ventura Breeze; Lisa Anglin, Fidelity National Title; Rick Pearson, North Oxnard United Methodist Church (former E.D. of Project); Kevin Clerici, Downtown Ventura Partners; Aaron Shiah, ServiceMaster Restoration & Cleaning by Integrity; Suki Sir, Turning Point Foundation; and Dan Stevens, namesake of the Dan Stevens Shalom Award (former pastor of Orchard Community Church).