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June 24, 2017
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Local volunteers receive awards at gala event

  • Volunteer Award receipient, Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District: Brian Sweet, City of Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety: Officer Jerrod Marshall, City of Cotati Police Department: Officer Bennett Knight, Volunteer of the Year: Debbie Bailey, Educator of the Year: Tiffany Roberts and Business of the Year: Loud & Clear Music: Neville Hormuz.

By: Irene Hilsendager
May 5, 2017

The Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati held a friendly gathering to socialize with friends and neighbors and give out awards for community volunteerism. Taking the time to recognize volunteers is important if you want to retain volunteers and recruit new ones. Each non-profit organization should recognize volunteers to say “thank you” for their work in the community.

Volunteers are an essential resource for  most nonprofits and membership organizations. There are many volunteers across North America working to improve their communities and help meet their missions. According to a source, nearly 63 million Americans volunteered in the last year, contributing eight billion hours each year.

It is a long and tiresome job to recognize volunteers publicly. It is tough to measure all of the ways volunteers help in the community; whether it is the police or fire departments or educators whom we trust with our children. April 28 was the 4th Annual Rotary of Rohnert Park-Cotati’s salute to the community and celebrated 40 years of doing good in the areas of of Rohnert Park and Cotati. Appreciation goes out to all of the volunteers for their hard work and the purpose of the gala event was to reward and validate the accomplishments of businesses, community leaders, educators and public safety professionals in the local community.

Many long hours were put into finding volunteers that would fit the rotary’s criteria. A special committee was selected to choose the deserving person. Volunteers are recognized because of their caring nature and those who make others feel appreciated and needed.

After a delicious dinner and speakers, the winners were announced. Tears were seen on many of the winners’ faces and shock was featured on several volunteers. The winners not only received a framed award but also were given money to the charity of their choice, and a chance to become an honorary Rotarian with a gift of a rotary jacket and a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

The Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati was chartered April 28, 1977 with 26 members. Many of the Rotarians present were reminiscing the evening away looking at photos from years ago.

The evening started with Rotarian President Peggy Wyman opening the ceremonies with a hearty hello to the people present and leading the  Pledge to the Flag. Paula Reinhold gave the thought of the evening with introductions of Senator Bill Dodd and State Assembly woman Cecilia Aguilar. District Governor Wulff Reinhold gave a small speech to welcome each and every one to an evening of fun. D.G. Reinhold mentioned the very first meeting of the Rotary Club was held at the Green Mill Restaurant. Senator Dodd said, “We are here to congratulate the volunteers but prepare yourself for the next generation of amazing volunteers.” Rotarians are a “People of Action.” Through Rotary, a worldwide network of inspired individuals translate their passions into relevant social causes to change lives in communities.