Pleasanton Weekly

News - May 14, 2010

Recognizing character

Pleasanton Community of Character Collaborative gives out annual awards

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Small things make a difference in our community. That was the theme at the city of Pleasanton's Community of Character Luncheon on May 6 that presented this year's Juanita Haugen Civic Engagement Winners.

Ellen Pensky McGraw, president of the Pleasanton Community of Character Collaborative, encouraged the crowd assembled at the Senior Center to perform Random Acts of Character. Some suggestions were to be on time for a meeting; to let someone with fewer items go ahead of you in a grocery store line; or to have your family volunteer its time.

"Little things were important to Juanita," noted Pensky, who said no one was better at these random acts than Haugen.

It was Haugen, a 28-year school board member, who realized that we could not teach our children about character unless the community's adults, too, were demonstrating these traits. Pleasanton adopted six behavior characteristics to aspire to: responsibility, compassion, self-discipline, honesty, respect and integrity.

Keynote speaker DeRionne P. Pollard, president of Las Positas College, spoke more about Random Acts of Character.

"I have come to the opinion that acts of character shouldn't be random at all - but have intentionality and deliberateness," she said. "Acts of character are manifestations of who we are."

She added, "Character is a consciousness to a positive way of living."

This year's recipients were:

* Chris Miller, founding chairman of the Pleasanton Military Families Support Group, which raises funds, collects supplies and sends hundreds of care packages to those in the military from Pleasanton who are serving in the Gulf and Afghanistan.

* Dr. Pushpa P. Dalal for her support of cancer patients and their families as the Vigil Volunteer Coordinator for Hope Hospice and as a volunteer for Axis Community Health. Besides providing pre-natal support to low income patients at Axis, she teaches volunteers hands on skills in helping families cope with a loved one who is dying.

* Bob Athenour, a founder and board member of the Pleasanton/Tulancingo Sister City Association and chairman of the Wheelchair Committee of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton, where he has been a member for 27 years. His group has provided more than 3,500 wheelchairs to those in need in Mexico and South America.

* George A. Spiliotopoulos Invitational Tournament (GASIT) was established 40 years ago to honor G.A. Spiliotopoulos and his dedication to the community. Since 1986, 190 Pleasanton students have been awarded scholarships totaling $742,950. With another $267,560 currently banked for pending scholarship commitments, the organization's Committee of Friends has raised more than $1,000,000.

Past winners of the awards are Sue Evans, Ken Mano, Diana and Howard Mendenhalll, Lori Rice and Jerri Pantages Long. For more information, to go www.communityofcharacter.org.

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields