Haven Tops List of Outstanding Volunteers

Rancho Cordova, CA  |  By Shelley Blanchard, CCC
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Curt Haven

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - founding father of the City of Rancho Cordova, a 25-year police department volunteer, a pair of brothers who ran into a burning building to save young children and an entire symphony orchestra were among the outstanding volunteers honored during the 20th Annual Community Volunteer Awards hosted by the Cordova Community Council on March 8.

Curt Haven, a longtime Rancho Cordova volunteer, Chamber of Commerce chief and first employee of the City of Rancho Cordova, was honored as the “Rancho Cordovan of the Year” – an award reserved for those whose lives have made unparalleled contributions to Rancho Cordova.
Haven’s early contributions to bring about incorporation of the city, his leadership of the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce following the challenging closure of Mather Air Force Base, and service to citizens as the first employee of the City of Rancho Cordova were all honored by this “lifetime achievement” award.

“Do what I have done,” said Haven, shaking a finger at the audience. “Surround yourself with wonderful people as I have, and you will be successful.”

Haven was among eight volunteers and organizations honored at “May the Volunteer Force be With You,” a Star Wars-inspired theme party and awards ceremony. Hosted by Vice Mayor David Sander, the theme was brought to life by some Jedi Knight training and a Star Wars Cantina which included Jabba the Hutt himself.

Other honorees included for the Distinguished Community Service: Karen Donovan, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and Rancho Cordova Police Department volunteer, who followed up a 32- year Mather Air Force Base career by serving local law enforcement for a quarter century, writing reports, tracking crime statistics and providing support which enables officers to spend less time behind a desk and more on the beat.

For Distinguished Community Business Partner: Paul Schubert of Golden State Water Company, whose generosity and dedication to the community through business and community leadership, Rancho Cordova Rotary and Chamber service, has enriched community events, brought resources to children in the community and ensured the Cordova Food Locker is well-stocked with Thanksgiving turkeys over the years.

For Outstanding Service to Youth: Soroptimists of Rancho Cordova and Gold River, an organization which quietly focuses on needs of girls and women, is filling in gaps which hold girls back. The club provides undergarments to homeless girls, comfort kits to domestic violence survivors and more, searching for life-changing assistance in areas which often go over-looked.

For Distinguished Community Service Organization: Symphony d’Oro, whose 60 volunteer musicians provide countless free musical experiences to citizens in Rancho Cordova, act as musical ambassadors for the city across the region, and lift the soul of the community as only beautiful music can.

For Outstanding Teen Service: Mentees at Cordova High School (MACH), a team of teens, who against all odds, engage in community service projects that bind them together, provide valuable services to the Rancho Cordova community and build a network of caring adult and peer friendships. The program is reducing problems at school, improving school attendance and providing loving support in an otherwise lonely, broken homelife.

For the We Couldn’t Do it Without You: Col. Robert Martinelli, USAF Ret., for tireless work in assembling the history of Mather -in honor of its 100-year anniversary- in an engaging storytelling fashion which can be used to educate future generations regarding the important role of Mather in Rancho Cordova and global history.

For Hometown Heroes: Moises and Ulices Buenrostro, who set aside personal safety to rush into a burning building and bring out safely young children who were inside, as well as chasing down perpetrators who were subsequently arrested and taken to jail.

“This is a time and place for us to honor and celebrate that which makes Rancho Cordova truly a great All-American City – volunteers,” said Larry Stafford, Cordova Community Council President. “It is inspiring to hear their stories of selflessness and commitment and a reminder that we all have something to offer to our great community.” To read more detail about the winners, visit www.CordovaCouncil.org, and follow the Volunteer Awards links.

Curt HavenFor Outstanding Teen Service: Mentees at Cordova High School (MACHPaul SchubertKaren Donovan