2018 Recipients

Sherri Leal 

Sherri Leal left a lucrative career to open a Kids Against Hunger (KAH) chapter in Pleasanton.  Working independently as a volunteer, she managed all that was needed for the operation, including paperwork and obtaining supplies and equipment.  She formed a team of volunteers and started marketing KAH to the community.  She successfully completed all tasks to open a branch in Pleasanton, including shipping overseas. 

Kids Against Hunger provides nutrition kits by mobilizing volunteers to package food for distribution world-wide and responds to disasters such as recent hurricanes.  Their packing events include volunteers in groups of 10 to hundreds, giving children and adults alike the opportunity to be of service to the hungry.  Since 2010 when KAH shipped 119,000 meals it expanded each year to over 2 million in 2016.

 

She continues to serve with genuine joy and tireless energy to feed starving children whether they be in local communities or throughout the world. 

As a volunteer herself, Sherri leads by example and encourages other to share their talents.  She willingly performs all tasks for greeting volunteers to sweeping the floors, working well with all age groups, always encouraging young volunteers to find positive ways of impacting our community and the world.

Ed Westmoreland 

Ed Westmoreland is an outstanding person in every aspect of his life.  He is a devoted dad, a loving husband, a great son, brother, uncle and friend.  He is also a small business owner in the community.  His commitment to building a culture of character is evident in every aspect of his business.  From the way he treats his employees to the hospitality and welcome he extends to everyone who enters.

He makes time to coach youth sports, serve on the PTA and serve on nonprofit boards.  He was a champion for the Tri-Valley Y during 8 years on the board.  One of Ed's priorities was making sure that there was funding so that families could receive critical mental health services.

He is a person who, through his actions, encourages others to demonstrate them as well.  He is honest in his business dealings, compassionate in his care for the underserved in our community, responsible in his care and compassion for all.

 Most important is the way he encourages everyone he meets to be their very best selves.  Ed is the definition of good character.  He is kind, compassionate and a person of deep integrity."  Good character isn't what Ed exhibits.  It's who Ed is.

John Houston 

John Houston is a thirteen-year Pleasanton resident. Originally from Scotland he relocated to California with his family in 2005. He is married to Charlotte Anne and they have two children; Joanne (16) and Euan (14) who attend Amador Valley High School.

 

He and his family attend Pleasanton's Graceway Church and he has marched throughout the State with the world famous Pleasanton Balloon Platoon since 2009.  

 

Cycling is a very big part of John's life and he is an active member of Christian Cycling's Norcal Spoke based in Pleasanton. John has represented the club for many years.  His passion for cycling extends to the local community where he has steadfastly promoted improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists within the city - he is a member of East Bay Cycling and helped garner community support in influencing the city to improve safety of the Stanley/Bernal intersection and an active participant in the City's Master Plan review process.

 

A proud Scot, John is Vice President of the St. Andrews Society of Oakland serving the East Bay, which is a benevolent non-profit organization established in the Bay Area in 1878. The society helps promote Scottish culture with various social events and fundraisers and supports local and international charities and scholarships. He is also a member of the Pleasanton Blairgowrie Fergus Sister City Organization and has become a regular speaker at various Scottish dinners and Burns Suppers where you might come across him exuberantly reciting the "Address to a Haggis"!  

 

John is a founding member and President of the Pleasanton Malt Whisky Circle. Founded in 2009, as well as sampling whiskies from around the world the club members help support local fundraisers and assist at the Pleasanton Scottish Games.

 

Photography and painting have been a passion throughout his life and he enjoys photographing landscapes, nature and sports and entering work into the annual Pleasanton County Fair.

Valley Humane Society (VHS) 

Valley Humane Society (VHS) is dedicated to creating a brighter future for cats and dogs by encouraging and strengthening the bond between people and pets. VHS rescues and rehabilitates companion animals, champions responsible caretaking, shares pets' soothing affections with people in need of comfort and supports and preserves existing pet-guardian relationships. VHS's vision is a world in which every animal is loved and every person knows the love of an animal.

In 2016 VHS delivered over 25,000 pounds of dog/cat food to Tri-Valley families who could no longer afford to feed their pets, allowing those families to keep their pet families intact. VHS acted as the lead Pet Assisted Therapy organization for the East Bay Stand Down and sent Therapy Dogs to the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire to comfort victims; families and to comfort first responders.

VHS Canine Comfort teams visited over 50 special needs adults in the Castro Valley Adult and Career Education School, the KARA Foundation camps and VHS Canine Teams continue to visit the VA Hospital in Livermore and local Pleasanton, San Ramon, Dublin and Livermore Schools during finals weeks.

VHS has expanded its Paws to Read program, adding Donlon Elementary school, as well as continuing this important reading program in the local libraries.

VHS impacted over 1000 children in 2016 through it's Paws to Read, Canine Comfort and Humane Education camps. VHS partners with Open Heart Kitchen(Animeals) and Hope Hospice to assist people with animal care needs, and it allowed over 500 pets to be safely adopted through it's no-kill shelter.

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