Members of the military have great friends in Darlene and Malcolm Brown and their Groveland-area neighbors.
The Browns have collected and sent more than 600 boxes of goods to military personnel overseas over the past four years.
"We get donations from the community," Dar Brown said. "Or I become their personal shopper. They'll give me $15 or $20, and the people at the dollar store run when they see me coming."
The packages include basics such as shavers, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes, socks. But the Browns also have sent laundry soap to medical units that need it to clean their sheets. They've sent new sheets, towels, pajamas, even cream and sugar to a chaplain for his coffee.
Whenever they fill a box, she said, they ship the goods to area residents' relatives or friends serving overseas. They also use Anysoldier.com and Herobox.org to find other military personnel in need. Contact Dar Brown at (209) 962-5930.
Leonard Jalli of Modesto is the United Way of Stanislaus County's Common Good Award recipient for 2013. Jalli, a financial planner with Merrill Lynch, was the organization's board chairman three times and also led its finance, marketing and campaign committees. He's been a generous donor toward numerous charities, including the United Way and the Children's Crisis Center.
Modesto's Memorial Medical Center was honored by the American Heart Association, receiving its Mission: Lifeline Bronze Quality Achievement Award for heart attack care.
Each year in the United States, nearly 300,000 people endure the most severe form of heart attack, which occurs when a blood clot completely blocks an artery to the heart. To prevent death, it's critical to immediately restore blood flow by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.
Hospitals involved in Mission: Lifeline are part of a system that makes sure patients get the right care they need, as quickly as possible. Mission: Lifeline focuses on improving the system of care for these patients and at the same time improving care for all heart attack patients.
Two local educators gained recognition for their efforts on behalf of their peers, while a husband-and-wife team accepted awards for successes of the CalRetire Teachers Association's Stanislaus unit.
Kathleen Hackett of Modesto received the Marty P. Mathiesen Award in recognition of her outstanding services to the Stanislaus unit. Hackett is a past president of Division 38, legislative chairman, and has served in a range of other duties as a member of the board of directors.
Cathy Wooley, also of Modesto, received the Ed Ely Outstanding Communications Award for her work in developing the Division 38 website and for expanding electronic communication for members over the past two years.
Russell and Charlotte Peck, Modesto residents and co-leaders of the division's membership activities, accepted the award for the group's top recruiting efforts, with a gain of more than 100 members during the past year. This was the most in the state and was the second year running that the Stanislaus Division has claimed the award from among 86 divisions statewide.
Modesto City Schools announced April's heroes. They are:
Patti Beauchesne, the administrative assistant to the associate superintendent, educational services. She has worked for the district for 41 years, hired as a secretary right after high school, and has great institutional knowledge about the district.
Suzanne Guzzi, a preschool teacher at Shackelford Elementary, providing excellent, consistent, quality education to her students.
Brenda Patton, attendance liaison at Franklin School, for her gift of reaching anyone regardless of race, gender, age or socio-economics. She has such an abundance of love that people flock to her just to receive one of her feel-good hugs.
Rod Johnson and John Buckel of Plato's Closet in Modesto received sales excellence awards at the company's recent annual conference in Austin, Texas, where the company focused on ways to help franchisees maintain the momentum that resulted in another record sales year in 2012. Plato's Closet resale stores focus on a customer base of teens and twentysomethings.
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