More than 200 guests packed the new Sonoma Valley Community Health Center on Sunday to support the top volunteers in the Valley as they were named “Star Volunteers.” The event is organized and sponsored by Sonoma Valley Fund, an affiliate of Community Foundation Sonoma County, to honor service in the Valley.
This year’s audience was treated to stories of contributions by a total of 26 Star Volunteers. These are the unsung heroes who show up and work everyday to support the Valley’s myriad nonprofit organizations. One of the Star Volunteers, Faye Eraldi, got a standing ovation for her 37 years as an emergency dispatcher for FISH. When Faye started, shifts were 24 hours long and there were no 9-1-1 services, so the demands on drivers were even greater.
Tim Boeve and Ruth Bennett, both mentors with the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, were praised by their mentees for supporting them from early childhood through high school, and beyond. Their stories drew tears from the audience.
Every Star Award recipient’s story was “unique and powerful,” said Joshua Rhymer, President of Sonoma Valley Fund’s Board. “These volunteers represent the heart and soul of Sonoma Valley,” he said. “They make the very existence of our nonprofit community possible and we owe them a great deal of thanks.”
This is the sixth year that Sonoma Valley Fund has recognized volunteers in the Valley, and all 26 Star Volunteer recipients received a star statue engraved with their names and the organizations each serves. The complete list of this year’s Star Volunteer recipients (pictured) includes: Molly Fedorchak (Becoming Independent); Lynne Joiner (Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley); Ann Strom (Community Foundation Sonoma County); Faye Eraldi (FISH); Leyla Carreon (Friends of Sonoma Valley Library); Marcia and Jim Mickelson (Hanna Boys Center); Andy Radolf (La Luz Center); Al and Judy Bayless (Pets Lifeline); Thora Graves (Quarryhill Botanical); Laurie Dinwiddie (Seeds of Learning); Cathy Williamson (Sonoma Community Center); Steve Carara (Sonoma Ecology Center); Barbara White Perry (Sonoma League for Historic Preservation); Maribelle Leavitt (Sonoma Valley Community Health Center); Holly & Steve Kyle (Sonoma Valley Education Foundation); Madolyn Agrimonti (Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation); Ruth Bennett and Tim Boeve (Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance); Karin Skooglund (Sonoma Valley Museum of Art); Jenah Smith (Sonoma Valley Teen Services); Debbie Levy (Sweetwater Spectrum); Manfred Theilig-Speer (Vintage House); and Judy McCracken (WillMar Family Grief & Healing Center).
An affiliate of Community Foundation Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley Fund was created and is managed by a group of community leaders to help sustain and improve the Valley’s unique socioeconomic, environmental and cultural qualities. For more information visit sonomavalleyfund.org.