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City to Honor Community Members Who 'Make a Difference'

The second annual Make a Difference in the Community Awards will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

From the City of Union City:

The Union City Human Relations Commission (HRC) is pleased to present its 2nd Annual Make a Difference in the Community Awards. The awards program recognizes those in the community who, through their volunteer and/or vocational efforts, make a positive difference in the lives of others, thereby making Union City a better place in which to live, work, and play.

The awards will be presented at tomorrow’s regularly scheduled meeting on October 24, 2012 in the City Council Chambers (34009 Alvarado-Niles Road, Union City).

Each awardee is nominated by an individual Human Relation Commissioner, and is presented an engraved plaque to commemorate their contributions to our community. Family members, work associates, and community members are invited to attend and express their appreciation for the many contributions of this year’s awardees:

Paddy Iyer

  • Paddy is being recognized for his unbiased and unwavering commitment to the American democratic process. Paddy, through his business, has supported numerous voter registration drives, bringing voices to many people previously not engaged in the political process. He has supported many campaign launches and other opportunities for the public to meet and get to know their local candidates. 

Tommie Lindsey

  • Tommie is being recognized for his commitment to the nationally recognized James Logan High School Forensics team.  His dedication to the Forensics team is demonstrated by numerous awards including 14 years of School Excellence that is unmatched by any other national Forensics program, National Forensics Coach of the Year, Use Your Life Award (Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network), and 22-time National Champions for the National Forensics League.

Michele Wms-Smith

  • Michele is being recognized as a volunteer, community activist, and a Family Advocate with the Family Education and Resource Center (FERC) – a program of the Mental Health Association of Alameda County, that provides advocacy and support services for families who have loved ones with mental health challenges. As a Family Advocate, she serves the Tri-City region and she has truly supported Union City in multiple capacities.

Thomas Sims

  • Thomas is being recognized for his many years of dedication to school site councils in Union City, his leadership with the Cub Scouts. Mr. Sims has held community volunteer roles on school site councils from 1995 to 2011 at Decoto and Pioneer Elementary Schools, and also at Cesar Chavez Middle School and James Logan High School. He has played key roles in the New Haven School-Community Program Council as co-chair as well as on the financial advisory committee.

Tracie Noreiga

  • Tracie is being recognized for her commitment to the youth. She is the Athletic Director for the Christian Youth Organization and Principal of Alvarado Elementary School. Her accomplishments include Girls Basketball Coordinator for St. Anne CYO since 1997, Southern Alameda County CYO Girls Sports League Secretary since 2009, plus teacher and administrator for the New Haven Unified School District since 1996.

Dianaliza Ponco

  • Dianaliza is being recognized for her commitment to community/public health, mental health and psychiatric care, and women’s health/obstetrics and gynecology. One of her accomplishments include an HIV Testing Day at the Urban School of San Francisco, where she educated students about HIV/AIDS transmission, prevention, and testing. The project was successful and featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Susana Peinado

  • Susana is being recognized for her dedication to prevention and early intervention services for the Cultura y Bienestar program. In her work, she focuses on services for children and youth, parent education and involvement groups. She also serves as the Religious Education Secretary at Our Lady of Rosary Church for the last nine years and coordinates the Spanish Youth Group that provide community service to the region. She is also a community leader with Congregations Organizing for Renewal where she works on issues such as education, housing, health care, youth violence prevention and immigration work.

The public is invited to join the Human Relations Commission in recognizing these individuals who Make a Difference in our Community, at 7pm on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 34009 Alvarado-Nile Road, Union City. Light refreshments will be served after the award ceremony.

For more information, please contact Tony Acosta, Secretary to the Human Relations Commission, at 510.675.5394 or at Tonya@unioncity.org .

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