Residents Honored at 29th Annual Service Awards
Danvillians lauded for community service
It's been said that you can tell a lot about a Town by the quality of the people who choose to live there. If the recent Danville Community Service Awards are any indication, this is a phenomenal Town indeed.
Held Dec. 7, 2010, the 29th Annual Awards Ceremony lauded the efforts of a number of Danville residents in volunteer work throughout the community and the world. The awards, held at the Danville Community Center, are a way of showing the myriad ways in which members of the community look beyond their homes and families to make a positive impact on the world around them.
The Danville Town Council presided over the event, in which nearly 40 residents were presented with plaques and awards commemorating their volunteerism and service. For a list of those being honored click here .
Some of those honored include Katie Wesselschmidt (pictured left), who was named Danville Volunteer of the Year. Wesselschmidt has served as lead docent at the Village Theatre Art Gallery and has worked tirelessly in helping provide quality art at the gallery. Another person honored for a lifetime of volunteerism was Herman Rellar (pictured below right). Rellar received an Award of Merit for his 24 years of volunteering with the Danville Police Department. In giving Rellar his award, outgoing Mayor Mike Doyle pointed out that the longtime volunteer had given over 10,000 hours of his time to the Town of Danville.
The two final awards given out at the event were the Shimansky Award and the Danville Award. The Shimansky Award, named for former councilman Mike Shimansky, is given out each year by the Shimansky Family to the Danville resident who best exemplifies Mike Shimansky's spirit of volunteerism and community service. This year the award, given out by Shimansky's son Greg and granddaughter Paige went to San Ramon Valley High School Senior Sarah Dittmore. Dittmore, after seeing the poor conditions in an African village during a vacation, returned to the U.S. and immediately began a fundraising effort to help improve the lives of the Town's residents.
The Danville Award is also given to those residents who put their community at the forefront of their lives, giving of their time in a number of ways. Given out only when merited, the decision was made this year to give the award to Jim and Christine Edlund. The owners of Christe James Jewelers are outspoken in their efforts on behalf of the business community in Danville, as well as numerous other causes they champion with vigor.
The final activity of the evening was the swearing in of the new Mayor. The Mayorship of Danville rotates among the five member Town Council each year. This year, the gavel was passed from Mike Doyle to new Mayor Karen Stepper. Councilwoman Candace Andersen will serve as Vice-Mayor.
In taking office Stepper spoke to the more than 200 people in attendance congratulating them on their efforts on behalf of their community and encouraging those who aren't already involved to look around and find the area where they too can serve.
"When you live in a place like this it's your responsibility to go out and improve the lives of others," she stated. "Go out and get to know what Danville means to you."
Click on the thumbnails to view larger versions of the above pictures as well as others taken at the event: