Tanya Ludden, a longtime leader in the Parent Teachers Association who has also served as a board member for large community organizations including the Northern California Alzheimer Association and Valley Care Health Foundation, was presented with the Mayor's Award by Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne last Friday night.
Ludden has been directly involved in children advocacy at the community, state and national level. Her affiliations include the PTA, where she served as the local, county and then district president, overseeing 167 schools within Alameda County.
Her compassion for community involvement has led to successfully running nine political campaigns in the Tri-Valley. She is currently an elected delegate on the California State Democratic Committee.
“Tanya has been a Pleasanton resident for more than 22 years now, and I think she has been participating in some way to benefit the community ever since she and her family moved here from Florida,” Thorne told the 300 guests at the May’s Award dinner at the Pleasanton Senior Center. “Florida’s loss has certainly been our gain.”
Thorne said that when Tanya and her family moved to Pleasanton, she and her husband Tom made a deal: He would be the one to go out into the world and make a living and Tanya would be the one to go out into the world a make a difference.
With three young children of their own to raise, she immediately got involved in the local PTAs where her children attended school, quickly rising in the ranks to become president at both Harvest Park Middle School and Amador Valley High School.
“But her work wasn’t confined to just the local schools, and her work didn’t end the moment her children graduated from school either,” Thorne said. “She embraced making a difference with such zeal that she became involved in children’s advocacy issues at the county, state and national level.”
She worked with school representatives to create a new media center at Village High School, served as a board member on the Northern California Alzheimer’s Association, on the Valley Care Health Foundation and at Sunflower Hill.
“Tanya is driven by the underlying philosophy that ‘a life lived for others is a life worth living,’” Thorne said. “What Tanya has accomplished so far is so much more than many of us accomplish in a lifetime.”
“It would appear that a little bit of Tanya has rubbed off on her children,” Thorne said as Ludden’s three children and her husband Tom joined her on stage.
Their daughter Lisa is a teacher at Amador Valley High. She and her husband Ron recently welcomed twins three months ago. Son John serves with the Navy’s EOD Special Forces. Their other son Michael is a social worker in Alameda County, where he works to place foster children in good homes.
“Lisa, John and Michael, you would make any parent Proud,” Thorne said.
Thorne also welcomed members of the City Council and the city’s many commissions and committees to the 2016 Mayor’s Award Dinner.
“For 45 years, we have come together as a community to celebrate those who give of themselves by serving in our community and helping us create this place we all call home,” he said.