Press Release posted 10/12/14, all photos on this page courtesy of the City of Sierra Madre, for more pictures from the event, visit the City’s FB photo album
The 2014 Sierra Madre Honors… Dinner and Awards was held on Thursday, October 9th at the Villa del Sol d’Oro on the Alverno campus. Sierra Madre Honors… is the City’s opportunity to recognize and honor the true treasures of Sierra Madre, its volunteers, City Commissioners and employees. Sierra Madre Honors… recognizes all out-going City Commissioners, and awardees selected from nominations submitted to the Mayor’s Ad-Hoc Committee comprised of past recipients.
News Net coverage of Past Year’s Sierra Madre Honors…
2013 – http://www.sierramadrenews.net/?p=18887
2012 – http://www.sierramadrenews.net/?p=10464
2011 – http://www.sierramadrenews.net/?p=4950
2009 – www.sierramadrenews.net/2k9/sept/honorsawards.htm
2008 – http://www.sierramadrenews.net/2k8/september/honors.htm
2007 – http://www.sierramadrenews.net/?p=18843
The following are the awardees for 2014:
George Maurer Lifetime Service Award – Robert Young (presented posthumously) Bob’s entire life was spent in the Arcadia-Sierra Madre area. He was born in Pasadena on Friday the 13th, which he joked about often. He attended Arcadia schools, graduating from Arcadia High School, then attended the University of Southern California, where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and graduated from the School of Engineering with a BS degree in mechanical engineering. He formed his own company, Robert M. Young and Associates, in 1978 and specialized in air-conditioning design for big buildings, including more than 50 large multi-story buildings and some 30 acute care hospitals. He held engineering licenses in fifteen states as well as Spain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Singapore and Malaysia. It is quite the honor for Bob to receive the George Mauer Lifetime Achievement Award. He loved the Sierra Madre community and volunteering was his middle name. Bob’s spirit and passion for all things Sierra Madre, especially his beloved Rose Float Association (SMRFA), were hard to miss. It was his mother, Mary Young, who first nudged him to join and Bob quickly became an active member of the SMRFA family. Bob’s motto for SMRFA was always “HAVE FUN”, and he always did seem to be having fun. He was incredibly generous with his time and energy to make SMRFA what it is today, serving as President for many, many years. Although he was “larger than life” and never hesitated to put on the bingo card costume for Legendary Bingo, or the Christmas tree costume when accompanying the Princesses to a speaking engagement, many of his tasks were done quietly, behind the scenes – administrative tasks few knew he tackled. He was a friend to many in the same way, doing many quiet favors, helping others through tough times, a comforting presence and an amazingly supportive friend. The SMRFA family will be inspired this year and every year by Bob’s warmth, generosity and unrivaled sense of humor.
Editor’s note: In 2009, Residents Annie Oelschlager and Jonathan Hennesey shot video footage of the making of the 2010 SMRFA award winning float “California Girls”. When Bob Young died unexpectedly, they put together this tribute video from that footage. Annie and Jonathan were kind enough to allow me a copy of that video, and although this is not a part of the City’s press release, it seemed like an appropriate place to post it.
Wistaria Award – 4th of July Committee The Sierra Madre Fourth of July Festivities are an annual tradition that is an integral part of the Sierra Madre community! The hometown parade features community members, organizations, classic cars, a marching band, kids on their decorated bikes and so much more. It is said half the people in town are in the parade and the other half of the town is sitting on the curbs watching the parade! The Fourth of July in Sierra Madre is a very big deal. People come from all over the southland for the festivities. Concerts in the park, movies in the park, food and beverage booths (including the traditional beer garden) and so much more. But celebrations don’t come without a lot of hard work. And that work is being done by a group of people known as the 4th of July Committee. Planning starts July 5 for the next year’s parade. It’s not easy to put on a parade. There are hours and hours of work. Permits, releases, staffing, late entries, coordination! Coordination! Coordination! Bringing together other community groups. In addition to a little parade (this year they had 85 entries!)… The 4th of July Committee also promoted & coordinated:
Friends of SMLL Beer Garden
Groovy Lemon Pie Concert and a Kids Fun-zone in the park
July 4th brought:
The Annual Fire Cracker Fun Run
Woman’s Club Continental Breakfast
Community Picnic & Celebration at Sierra Vista Park …
Confetti eggs from the Civic Club …
Dunk Tank …
Food Trucks …
Dog Adoptions …
CERT Awareness …
Roses, Pins & T-Shirts from the Rose Float Association …
Lemonade from the Historical Preservation Society
Music concert from The Wabash Wailers
Civic Club Community Games
AND they arranged a FREE SHUTTLE service to get us there and back home. This town wouldn’t be the same without the hard work of this group for this annual favorite event.
Police Chief’s Special Award – Brian Ho & Kenneth Berry
Brian Ho – started with the Department in 2010 as a Police Cadet. With important but simple duties, Brian Ho immediately started to strive to make himself an important part of this organization. From doing the court runs and washing cars, Brian started assisting with traffic control details and writing police reports when officers were not available. Brian gradually worked his way into the role of a part-time dispatcher. With his technical skills he was a natural for the position. Brian also has extensive computer knowledge so he was tasked with taking on some I.T. roles within the Department. In two short years, Brian worked his way into a full time Dispatcher position and is now our Senior Dispatcher. Behind the scenes Brian not only dispatches and works the front desk, he takes care of all our in-car camera equipment, the officers belt recorders, prepares all audio\visual evidence for the courts and maintains the equipment in dispatch. Brian has also been working with the State to secure a group grant to upgrade our communications center and has been part of the team of cities working on the products for the new upgrade. Brian’s skills and dedication have saved the City thousands of dollars and kept the department operational as well.
Kenneth Berry – Officer Berry is a fifteen year veteran of the Department and has worked every assignment available. Over the
past couple years he has been assigned to traffic safety with a focus to help reduce the increasing accident rate in our City and educate the public on traffic and bicycle safety. Most importantly, when there is a vacancy in our daily operations, Officer Berry steps in to help. No matter what shift or how many days he has to work, whether it is dispatching, working patrol, helping detectives, working the Avoid the 100 DUI Task Force, or filling in as a supervisor, Officer Berry never says no. Simply said, the Department could not have met our staffing needs in the recent years without Officer Berry’s dedication.
Public Safety Award – Community Emergency Response Team
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. The first Sierra Madre CERT Basic Training Class was conducted by the L.A. County Fire Department & graduated in October, 2009. A year later, another class of Sierra Madre Citizens were certified as CERT members. The Team came together under the direction of Melanie Shewmaker who scheduled meetings, kept records of members, and worked closely with the Police and Fire Departments to define its role in the Community. Melanie, unfortunately for the Team, had to move out of the area in 2011, and De Alcorn agreed to help guide the Team to further organization. With an enthusiastic core of volunteers, the Team became officially sponsored by the Sierra Madre Fire Department, elected a Board, wrote bylaws, became incorporated into a 501c3 group and began to have regular
monthly meetings. The basic mission of the Team is education. In the past year and a half, over 2500 pieces of literature have been handed out to citizens visiting the CERT booth during the Mt. Wilson Trail Race, Wistaria Festival, 4th of July festivities, Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast, Police Night Out, Earthquake Preparedness Night, & Police Neighborhood Watch Meetings. The Sierra Madre Team has organized and sponsored two CERT Basic Training Classes on their own. The first one in 2013, had 28 graduates and this year they have 27 new graduates ready to help the community in the event of a disaster. You may have remembered a call for victims for their Saturday all day field exercise. CERT is grateful for the donation from Gary Hood of a trailer which is equipped with first aid supplies, water, tables & chairs to set up a command post, radio equipment, several two man tents and many other emergency supplies for a major disaster. They also want to thank the many organizations who have contributed literature and money and equipment to equip the trailer: SM POA, SM Civic Club, SM Women’s Club, VFW, Athens, Exxon, FEMA, Area D, and the State of California Disaster preparedness office.
Public Service Award – Selena Yang & Kyle Schnurr
Selena Yang was born and raised in Taiwan, where she worked for 3 years for Taiwan Customs. Her parents & younger brother still live there. She came to the States, California in particular, in March 2003. After settling in, she registered at Cal Poly, Pomona to work on her Master’s in Public Administration. In the summer of 2004 she received a volunteer internship with the City of Sierra Madre. After about a year, the City hired her part time; 10 – 2; at the front counter. In 2005 she completed her Master’s and in May of 2006 she applied for and earned the full-time Accounts Payable positon. Selena’s customer service is above and beyond… this year she assisted both the
Senior Services Department and the Police Department with a possible elder abuse case. She used her first language along with her cultural knowledge & local resources to help the gentleman. She has also assisted the PD with a lost visiting grandmother from Arcadia and in Development Services, a young couple who had just bought a house and needed a better understanding of permits. On a daily basis she also takes the extra step to assist residents at the front counter, with water bills, metro passes, yard sale permits and so much more AND then she turns around to assist staff in the area of Accounts Payable. Selena, her husband Ray & 3 kids (Colon, 8; Nathan 6 & Alison 11 months), live in town (where Ray also has his law firm).
Kyle Schnurr grew up in Santa Clarita and also has a younger brother. Like Selena, she started at the City as a volunteer summer intern in 2009. When summer was over, she was hired on as a part-time Programs Specialist, then full time Recreation Supervisor in December 2012. She graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2009 with a degree in Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration. While there, she was a member of the Tri Delta Sorority. Kyle works tirelessly to ensure that community events are organized and run efficiently while maintaining a pleasant attitude and providing great customer service. Kyle has built a rapport with various community groups including the 4th of July Committee, Mount Wilson Trail Race Committee and the Coordinating Council. Kyle has established herself as an ambassador to the City of Sierra Madre and has become a valuable resource to a City
with limited resources. While organizing events, Kyle contributes to the planning including working with outside vendors, entertainers, Sierra Madre Public Works and Sierra Madre Police & Fire Departments. Some of the events that Kyle either organized or helps to organize, plan or supervise are:
Huck Finn Fishing Derby
Mount Wilson Trail Race
Concerts in the Park
Community Yard Sale
4th of July Parade & Community Event
Senior Health Screenings
Octoberfest Golf & Tennis Tournament
Recreation Softball Season
Older American Reception
Senior Programs & Activities
Summer Fun in the Park
Legal, Tax & Case Management advice for seniors
AND once upon a time, she has even coordinated the Honors Dinner. Kyle has gone above and beyond to serve the seniors of Sierra Madre, creating new and creative activities and events. Kyle has a great work ethic and always has a good, positive attitude.
Congratulations to ALL the awardees…