2019 Volunteers of the Year named
City honors 2019 Volunteers of the Year
The City of Merced has honored six groups and individuals for the volunteer work they have done in the community as part of the 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award.
The criteria for the award include demonstrating exceptional commitment to volunteerism by helping with a special project or on-going activities; demonstrating exemplary leadership, creativity, cooperation and hard work in service to others and/or serving as a role model by inspiring others.
The honorees are:
Merced Walks, the City At-Large and District 5, nominated by Mayor Mike Murphy and Council member Matt Serratto. Organized by Lanie and Ralph Gladwin, Merced Walks arranges clean-up efforts along City bike paths and creeks and alleys. The grassroots group promotes exercise and keeping the City clean of litter and graffiti.
Alexandria Marquez, District 1, nominated by Council member Anthony Martinez. Ms. Marquez, a special education teacher, has been running the STEP Club at Weaver Middle School for 10 years, she has been involved with the Friends of Sober Grad Committee and is a volunteer with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee and at her church.
Fernando Aguilera, District 2, nominated by Council member Fernando Echeverria. Mr. Aguilera has been active with the Merced Soccer Academy, he maintains the McNamara turf soccer field, and organizes tournaments that bring in visitors from throughout the state. In addition, he organizes numerous community events for the public and those in need.
Martha Armas-Kelly, District 3, nominated by Council member Jill McLeod. Ms. Armas-Kelly is active in a number of organizations in the community including National Alliance on Mental Illness, the United Way and helping migrant families.
Merced Downtown Association, District 4, nominated by Council member Kevin Blake. The Merced Downtown Association worked to create an honorary historic neighborhood district for the Ragsdale Neighborhood. The neighborhood purchased honorary signs that were placed on street signs and at entry points.
Alpha Gamma Sigma, District 6, nominated by Council member Delray Shelton. Alpha Gamma Sigma is an academic honor society and service organization at Merced College. It operates a food pantry for students, a recycling program, a re-entry program for recently incarcerated students and organizes blood drives.
The volunteers were honored at a reception Monday afternoon and an awards ceremony was held Monday evening before the Council meeting.