Rotary Club of Cathedral City to honor 2022 Community Heroes

CATHEDRAL CITY — The Rotary Club of Cathedral City encourages the entire community to join in honoring local Community Heroes at the Oct. 28 dinner at 5:30 p.m. at the Mountain View Grille in the Desert Princess Country Club, 28-555 Landau Blvd. Cathedral City.

Proceeds from the evening will fund scholarships for Cathedral City High School graduating seniors.

“Again, this year, our Rotary club is pleased to recognize and honor the outstanding 2022 Community Heroes, who have done so much for our students, our neighborhoods, our nonprofits and our community during these challenging times. Community businesses are generously donating to the evening’s Silent Auction, including a Weekend Cruise to Mexico. Hope to see you there!” said Melita Martin Radtke, president of The Rotary Club of Cathedral City.

Heroes Dinner Chair, Laura Ahmed said in a statement, “Rotary has five areas of service: Club, Community, International, Youth and Vocational. Our club selected individual heroes from these categories to honor at our Community Heroes scholarship fundraising dinner. We welcome their friends and families to join us in the celebrating their accomplishments and helping us provide well-earned scholarships for our local students. Tickets are available today.”

Community Service:

  • Terry Applegate for COVID relief efforts, including delivering food for the Great Plates Program among many other contributions to Cathedral City residents
  • Bonny Birch for her adoption specialist skills matching furry creatures with new homes for the Palm Springs Animal Shelter
  • Ralph Thompson Cantua for his passion in serving the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City as Treasurer on the Board of Directors and directing fundraising events to support the children’s needs
  • Bob Clifford FOR BEING THE “CAN MAN” for using the recycling money to purchase bicycles and helmets for needy children for Salvation Army’s Angel Tree.
  • Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD)Board: John Gerardi, Timothy S. Wood, Karen Cornett, Madonna Gerrell & Sergio Espericueta for working as a team to establish WiFi hot spots so that each student had access to educational technology and nutritious food during the COVID shutdowns; and special recognition to
  • Sergio Espericueta for his encouragement of the Latino community urging young adults to be active in their neighborhoods and setting a great example of civic engagement and community service
  • Adam C. Reed for his pursuit of justice for the underserved in our community, as a lawyer and leader at Riverside Legal Aid

International Service

  • Bob McKechnie for his work in the Rotary E-Club of World Peace and working to get Cathedral City designated as a City of Peace
  • Karen Reilly for her work with Bob McKechnie in getting Cathedral City designated as a City of Peace
  • Sue Townsley for her work with Bob McKechnie in getting Cathedral City designated as a City of Peace, for working with Terry Applegate on the Great Plates Program, and for volunteering during the COVID shutdown at City Hall to help with clearing backlog for businesses and residents’ applications

Vocational Service

  • Matt Cauthron for co-founding, teaching and coordinating the Digital Arts Technology Academy at Cathedral City High School and inspiring students to gain the knowledge and skills needed to follow their chosen career path
  • Bryce Johnson for his teaching in the Digital Arts Technology Academy; his encouragement assisting students in choosing a career path consistent with their individual talents and the skills they learn in the DATA academy
  • Dr. Rebecca Diaz, Veterinarian and owner of The Cat Clinic in Cathedral City, is a compassionate provider and international trainer of humane treatment of animals
  • Dr. Mark Frietag, and Sonya Rodriquez, RN for offering a kind, caring and compassionate Family Medicine practice in Cathedral City for over 35 years
  • Sammy Pace (IN MEMORIAM) for all his work FOR 15 years as cooking teacher, mentor and businessman working with the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral CITY.
  • Marta Jara-Rueda VTR for her empathy and compassion as a veterinarian assistant and Assistant Director Animal Care at the Palm Springs Animal Shelter
  • Officer Garin Smith for his quick response recognition and immediate actions taken, including effective CPR in saving the life a woman and her two young children from drowning

Youth Service

  • Myra Acosta Director of Early Childhood Education at PSUSD, for her passion and leadership in providing positive change in the Head Start classrooms and educational opportunities for our future generation of students by working with educators and parents
  • William Carr for his leadership of the Educational Technology and Information Services group at PSUSD during the pandemic. Their extraordinary support via tech depots set up at all high schools and the helpdesk fostering success for students during distance learning.
  • Pam Horton Horton as Principal of Sunny Sands Elementary School leading the Reading Inspires Student Excellence (RISE) tutoring program with 25 volunteers, who spend about three hours per week reading one-on-one with students
  • Aaron Tarzian as Rio Vista Elementary School Vice Principal and Angelica Rodas, Administrative Assistant, working as a team to form community partnerships to assist their students with the school supply drive and gaining additional needed materials from community businesses
  • Dr. Mike Swize as Superintendent, for his guidance and solid decision making over the past few years of pandemic challenges in following safety protocols to make certain that every student and employee of PSUSD had access to medical and emotional support, testing and vaccinations

Tickets for the Dinner, No Host Bar and Silent Auction are available:

  • To order tickets and/or to make a donation
  • Or Make checks for $75 per person payable to The Rotary Club of Cathedral City and Mail to PO Box 654, Cathedral City 92235

Questions? Call/text/email: Laura Ahmed 760 413-7812

Image Sources

  • Award: Shutterstock