<i>Charles E. Young was for 30 years the chancellor of UCLA. He continues to be a leading voice in educational reform, and since 2009, he and his wife, Judy, have lived full-time in Sonoma.</i>
[caption id="attachment_2067" align="alignleft" width="150"]<a href="http://www.sonomanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/young.a1.2x.0830.jpg"><img class="size-thumbnail wp-image-2067" alt="Chuck Young" src="http://www.sonomanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/young.a1.2x.0830-150x150.jpg" width="150" height="150" /></a> Chuck Young[/caption]
In a recent profile of me in this newspaper, I reflected on what I love about Sonoma but I didn’t get a chance to discuss how impressed I have been by many residents, in Sonoma proper and the surrounding communities, who are so fully committed to contributing time and money to making this a better place for all, and who I have come to refer to as “Special Citizens of Sonoma.”
The number of community organizations whose mission is to contribute to the betterment of Sonoma is legion. They include (though are not limited to) such organizations as the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Plein Air, the Boys & Girls Club, the Mentoring Alliance, La Luz, the Sonoma Community Center, and the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. They all have supporting entities (foundations, boards, etc.) who assist in raising funds and, in other ways, making their missions achievable. There are also organizations which raise money for general support, such as Impact 100, the Sonoma Valley Fund, Rotary Club of Sonoma and other service organizations, and then contribute the funds raised to those organizations that make the greatest case for support.
The people I am referring to as special citizens of Sonoma Valley are those who sit on these boards, plan and attend fundraising events, contribute their time to vital activities such as mentoring students, and their money through a variety of activities. A real surprise to me, as a relative newcomer, is that they are very likely to be people who do not directly benefit from the services provided by the organizations they support. However, they understand that the community in which they live, Sonoma Valley, needs to be the best it can be, and they need to do all they can do to make that possible.