The Jere Melo Foundation hosted their First Annual Jere Melo Volunteer of the Year Award dinner on Saturday 24 October 2015. Five local people - Joe Sutphin, Kathy Orsi, Ginabelle Smith, Mike Beck, and Lin Taylor — were nominated for their services to the community, and honored with the Pentecost Hall event, which also included a silent auction to raise funds for the foundation’s work educating the public and pushing for legislation to prevent trespass marijuana grows and the environmental damage that comes with the grows.
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.
And the winner is...............Joe Sutphin was chosen as the winner of the first award for his work over the years coaching, umpiring and organizing youth athletics and donating his time and skills to the Mendocino Sports Foundation and the building of Timberwolf Stadium. Congratulations Joe!