Long Beach: Mayor Robert Garcia will honor 28 community leaders for their outstanding contributions to the City at the Go Long Beach Awards, tonight in Downtown Long Beach. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Mayor.
“These amazing members of our community have demonstrated a love for Long Beach, a passion for service, and a commitment to improving our community with creativity, hard work, and dedication,” said the Mayor. “I’m extremely proud and grateful to be able to recognize them and pay tribute to their contributions.”
The event is open to winners and their friends and family. This is the fourth Go Long Beach award ceremony presented by Mr. Garcia; the first three were during his tenure as First District Councilmember and Vice Mayor.
The Go Long Beach awardees for 2015 are:
Nayiri, a senior at Cal State majoring in political science, volunteers as a Cub Scout troop leader, and has interned for Senators Ed Hernandez and Bob Huff. She also serves on the Armenian National Committee of America.
Mary was a longtime classroom educator in grades 4 and 5, teaching art and music. She served as PTA president at Hughes Middle School, and was a LBUSD Board Member for nearly 25 years, from 1990-2014.
Lois, coordinating teacher at LBUSD’s Child Development Center, volunteers with the African-American Health Project and has participated in organizing the Martin Luther King, Jr. parade and Unity Fest for 22 years.
Dr. Douglas is Professor Emeritus and Associate Degree Nursing Program Instructor and Director at LBCC, as well as the Affirmative Action Coordinator and Coordinator of Health Services. She also serves as CCEJ Chair, a member of the International City Theater Executive Committee, and is on the Leadership Long Beach Honorary Board.
Jo Rae, a native of Long Beach, is the recipient of the Gene Pimental Award from LA Harbor College and the National Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Texas. She competed in the US Volleyball Association for 5 years and the National Open Women’s Volleyball Championship team for 3 years. She also raised funds for the City’s only year-round shelter for homeless people.
This volunteer program was the first of its kind in the region, and provides support to victims of crime, performs vacation checks and files graffiti reports. In 2014, volunteers gave more than five thousand hours of time, valued at more than one hundred thousand dollars.
Appointed Director in 2013, Kelly produced a surplus for the Symphony for the first time in 10 years, and negotiated a new agreement with the musicians union providing a modest increase in their pay. A former teacher and arts mentor in Downey, she also serves on the Board and is a past President of the Association of California Symphonies.
Al is the creator of the Long Beach Jazz Festival, a local institution since 1987, bringing more than 15 thousands attendees to Rainbow Harbor every year. He also owned and operated Jazz Safari, later known as Birdland West, two of the first jazz clubs in Long Beach.
A Long Beach native and graduate of Millikan High School, Jan is president of the West East Side Community Association (WESCA), and a board member of the East Anaheim Street Business Alliance, the Public Safety Advisory Commission, the Long Beach Community Investment Company, and Rebuilding Together LB.
In addition to being Founder and President of ESSBA, Joan has provided support to Su Casa, a domestic violence prevention and response agency, for 25 years, and engaged in philanthropy through the Assistance League of Long Beach since 2007.
A survivor of the Khmer Rouge Genocide, Monorom has served the Cambodian community since 2003, including work with the Cambodian American Chamber of Commerce and the Long Beach-Phnom Penh Sister Cities program. He also helped revive the Cambodian New Year Parade.
Alice has served people in need with homecooked meals for 11 years in Central Long Beach.
Karen, owner of Karen Highberger Interior Design, Inc., has been active in the California Heights Neighborhood Association for more than 22 years, and helped found the Home and Garden Tour. She has been Chair of the Lampost Restoration Project for 12 years, and is a member of the Cultural Heritage Commission. She serves as Neighborhood Outreach Liaison with the Board for Long Beach Heritage.
Martha, a North Long Beach resident for 54 years, is a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Future Generations Youth Center, a Board Member at the Guidance Center, and was North Long Beach Project Area Committee Chair from 1998 to 2010. She has been the Veterans Day Committee Chair and Coordinator since 1999.
Laverne is the Founder and Executive Director of the Andy St. Community Association, and has served as Ombudsman for the Long Beach Housing Authority. She raises approximately one hundred thousand dollars annually to be used for security measures, infrastructure improvements, youth programs and community outreach, and as President of the Black Managers Association, raises funds for scholarships for African American youth.
Daniel is a U.S Navy Veteran (1978-1987). He built and maintains the Bunny Barn at Long Beach Shelter, and is the Long Beach Animal Care Services Volunteer of the Year.
Angela is a U.S Marine Corps Veteran and a life member of both the Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans of America. In 2007 she became the 1st paraplegic woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean. She also rowed from Long Beach to Hawaii in 60 days. She holds multiple records, has competed on the US Rowing Team, and was the Press-Telegram Amazing Woman of the Year for 2011 in the Sports category.
Grace and Vickie helped plant 60 trees in and around their neighborhood, assisted the police in the opening of the East Police Substation, and aided in training and academy candidate screening. They jointly won the Neighborhood USA contest for Social Revitalization in 2003, and have been instrumental in organizing the Elm Street Band Concerts for 13 years.
Shirley is a Social Columnist for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and a former Editor for the Long Beach Review. She is the founder of the Steel Magnolias, a support group of the Stramski Children’s Development Center in Miller Children’s Hospital. Shirley is a Registered Nurse.
Annette has been Director of Development for the Assistance League of Long Beach, the largest chapter in the United States, since 2009. She volunteered for the last 3 years with the LBPD as a community interviewer, and is also a current member of Long Beach Cares and the Long Beach Community Foundation.
Stella is actively involved with Building Healthy Communities, Neighborhood Workgroup Center Long Beach, and the Green Prize Festival. As President of Green Education, Inc. she works to educate underserved communities about sustainability, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Stella is a member of the Sustainable Cities Commission and sits on the Citizens’ Oversight Committee at Long Beach City College.
Pete has worked has provided exemplary service in the City of Long Beach Development Services department for 32 years, going above and beyond to meet the needs of residents quickly and efficiently. He engages actively in community events throughout the City.
Rabbi Abba Perelmuter of the Shul by the Shore provides wit, humor and his own brand of insight to all manner of worshippers, due to his policy and desire to include Jews of diverse religious backgrounds. Rabbi Perelmuter also officiates the annual Belmont Shore Chanukah Menorah Lighting.
Jeff teaches Government and Economics at Long Beach Polytechnic High School. He is also the advisor for Poly students entering the annual C-Span StudentCam Competition. Under Jeff’s mentoring, Poly students marked their fourth consecutive year earning distinction in the national contest, with students placing second this year and winning the Grand Prize in 2014.
The City of Long Beach’s cable channel, LBTV, a division of the Technology Services Department, received eight government programming STAR awards at the States of California and Nevada National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors eighteenth annual conference. LBTV provides exceptional coverage of important local events and keeps our community well-informed.
These individuals have spent countless hours ensuring that Long Beach youth have opportunities for healthy recreation that builds character, improves health and encourages teamwork and community involvement.