BARSTOW • The "movers and shakers" of the Barstow community were honored at a ceremony held Saturday night at the Cora Harper Fitness Center that brought some members of the audience to tears — and at times — side-splitting laughter.
"It is you who makes it happen," said JoJo Cousino — a previous winner of the Woman of Continuous Service award — to the audience as a whole in a ceremony that honored all the volunteers who help the community: "You are the movers and shakers of the community."
The 30th annual Community Recognition Awards brought members of the community out in full force to celebrate those who selflessly give their time to help others in the community.
Awards were also given to outstanding students at each of the area high schools, as well as noteworthy members of the military. The ceremony also serves as the induction ceremony for the chamber members.
One area high school student was honored for her hard work and dedication that helped her earn more credits at Central High School than any other student, despite the fact that she has the enormous responsibility of being a new mother. January Manns recently graduated from Central High School with a 3.49 grade point average and is attending Barstow Community College after starting off behind in credits, said Central High School principal Jim Davis Saturday night.
"Over time, she began to trust not only in us, but in herself," said Davis.
Some members of the audience grew emotional as they heard Mark Sielski speak about his experience working with Holiday Meals — winner of Best Event for 2010. Sielski is the organizer for the event and it was his first time helping deliver food to residents in need. Sielski choked back tears when he said that an elderly couple told him that they would not have had any food on Christmas Day if he hadn't been able to help them.
Over 200 volunteers helped distribute 9,600 meals at three different holidays throughout 2010 for Holiday Meals.
John Rader, winner of the Man of the Year award, took a different approach when accepting his award. He joked that he has nominated himself for the past 13 years and would still nominate himself next year for the award.
"To the past winners, thank you," said Rader. "You've seen my 10-page application 13 times."
Hermie James summed up the feelings of many members of the community when she spoke about the giving nature that exists in the Barstow community. James won the award for Woman of Continuous Service as part of her work with the United Way and Kiwanis, along with other service organizations. She was also named Woman of the Year in 2007.
"If you're not giving, you're not living," said James.
2010 Barstow Community Recognition Awards Winners
Marine of the Year
Sgt. Alex Pintos
NTC Soldier of the Year
SFC Mark Genevich
NTC Airman of the Year
Tech Sgt. Craig Gaillardet
Barstow High School Student of the Year
Central High School Student of the Year
Silver Valley High School Student of the Year
Calico High School Student of the Year
Up and Coming Volunteer
Best Event of the Year
Small Business of the Year
Large Business of the Year
Hampton Inn & Suites
Organization of the Year
Barstow Community Hospital Auxiliary
Woman of the Year
Julie Mann Clemmer
Man of the Year
Woman of Continuous Service
Man of Continuous Service