The finalists for the first annual Jere Melo Volunteer of the Year Award have been selected.   The Volunteer of the year will be announced at a dinner on Saturday Oct 24 at Pentecost Hall.

The 5 finalists for this year’s award are: Michael Beck, nominated by Rick Sacks; Kathy Orsi, nominated by Rev Dan Fowler; Ginabelle Smith, nominated by Rev Dan Fowler; Joe Sutphin, nominated by Mike & Myles Anderson and Lin Taylor, nominated by Rev Tanya Wyldflower. The award, aptly named in honor of Jere Melo, is a celebration of the volunteerism in our community.

The dinner is a fundraiser for the Jere Melo Foundation and tickets are $50 per person which includes wine with dinner. Tickets can be purchased at Pyorre Insurance Agency 310 S Main Street.

In the event you are not familiar with the nominees here is a very brief reason they are finalists.

Michael Beck has taken it upon himself to clean up the highways and roads of our community and has been seen as early as 4:00AM and well after dark on week days and weekends. He is also a member of the Fort Bragg Grange and helps out at their monthly breakfasts.

Kathy Orsi has been her church community Easter dinner coordinator for the last five years, she is an elder on her church board and on the budget committee. She is also involved in organizing charity dinners for families in need.

Ginabelle Smith has been the Thanksgiving dinner coordinator for her church for the last five years and sees to it that meals are delivered to shut ins from Cleone to Mendocino. She also helps older folks find places to live.

Joe Sutphin coached more than ten baseball and softball teams and was head umpire for several years. He was involved in the building of the little league snack shack and has been the treasurer and construction chairman for the Mendocino Coast Sports Foundation for the last 25 years, building Timberwolf Stadium.

Lin Taylor is the volunteer chaplain for the Mendocino Coast Hospital, an EMT and chaplain for the Westport Fire Department, coordinator and volunteer chaplain for the coastal division of law enforcement and she volunteers to be the spiritual support for the high school every 15 minutes alcohol awareness event.

You now can understand why these people are finalists and such an asset to our community. If you would like to attend the dinner and show your support for the efforts of these very worthy volunteers please reserve your tickets soon, as the numbers are limited.    

Jere Melo Foundation