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2009 Community of Character Awards



Long time Pleasanton Community Advocates Recognized


(Pleasanton, June 15, 2009) The Pleasanton Community of Character Collaborative announced today that three awards were handed out at its annual luncheon. The Juanita Haugen Community of Character Award was given to Jerri Pantages Long, a long-time ambassador for the Pleasanton city and schools, Ken Mano for his special dedication to helping young people, and Sue Evans for 30 years of volunteering in Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley, including the East Bay Regional Parks.


The Juanita Haugen Community of Character Award was established in 2008 to recognize Pleasanton citizens who consistently model high ethical and moral standards of behavior chosen by the people of Pleasanton which the Collaborative advocates: Responsibility, Compassion, Self -Discipline, Honesty, Respect and Integrity.


The award is named in honor of longtime Pleasanton Unified School District Board Member, Juanita Haugen. Haugen, co-founder of the Pleasanton Community of Character program, believed that Pleasanton should be a community of compassionate people.

Jeri Pantages-Long along with Juanita Haugen, was involved with the Community of Character from its beginning. She also served on the PUSD History Committee where she dedicated three years interviewing former students and writing the book, Echoes of School Bells, was involved in the original PPIE Board and Museum Board where she served as secretary. Today, she serves on the Adult Education Board and is the creator of the Make a Difference Days. She is also on the Ed Kinney Patriotic Awards committee.


One of Long’s best-known efforts is forming the 4th of July community celebration after Alameda County cancelled its celebration. This event is now in its 11th year. Jerri is often described as Pleasanton’s statue of liberty, Mark Twain, and Miss Congeniality all rolled into one.



Sue Evans has been an active volunteer for dozens school, community and governmental events in Pleasanton, including serving for 15 years in the East Bay Regional parks, raising money for the Ryan Comer Library fund and the Olsen Family Fund. For many years, she was an organizer for Dance for Heart, an aerobic dance-a-thon that raises money for the American Heart Association. A professional photographer, Evans donates her talents to many local causes. Sue believes in trying to create a healthier community and lifestyle for everyone in it.

Ken Mano served the Boy Scouts of America for 35 years in various capacities. He was a major contributor to Club Volley Ball for 20 years, and led them to a regional championship. He also served the Booster Club for 13 years, establishing their e-scrip program, which has earned over $1,000,000 for Amador High, and went on to help other local schools set up e-scrip. In doing so, he was instrumental in saving Emeryville High Schools athletic program. Mano also served the Special Olympics by hosting the games by Amador Valley's Athletic Boosters and providing volunteers to run the games. Mano’s children now give back with the same spirit he has exemplified, and his daughter has recruited him to help with the Southern Cross Orphanage program in Peru and South America.

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