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The original item was published from 9/13/2023 2:41:29 PM to 10/5/2023 8:16:01 AM.

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Recreation & Parks

Posted on: September 13, 2023

[ARCHIVED] City of Santa Rosa Announces 2023 Merit Awards Winners

2023 Merit Awards Logo

The City of Santa Rosa has selected 13 extraordinary individuals and organizations to receive the 2023 Merit Awards, acknowledging their outstanding volunteerism in serving the community and improving the quality of life in Santa Rosa. This year marks the 41st Merit Awards presentation, to be held on Monday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at Finley Community Center (2060 W. College Ave.).

Recipients of the City's Merit Awards are nominated by the community and selected by the Merit Awards Committee. The Mayor and City Council members will join the Committee in presenting the awards on Monday evening. Those to be recognized in five categories include:

Serving Others

  • Elise Curtis for her extraordinary service to the community through her volunteer work with Bergin University, Ceres Community Project, Tzedek Cohort, Pepperwood Preserve’s TeenNat Program, and American Red Cross.  
  • Allison Baker & Tyler Moore for their dedication to feeding those in need through their volunteer service with the Redwood Empire Food Bank.
  • Donna Prak for her outstanding service to our youth through the Caesar Chavez Language Academy Foundation and Westside Little League. 
  • Steve Rose for his years of service as a volunteer culinary arts teacher at Chops, helping teens become job ready.    

Strengthening Neighborhoods

  • Coffey Park Holiday Parade Group for creating holiday cheer in the Coffey Park neighborhood with the organization of the annual holiday car parade.  
  • Save Bennett Valley Golf Course for their commitment to improving and maintaining the Bennett Valley Golf Course – a community treasure and valuable city-owned parklands and facility.

Environmental Sustainability

  • Reka Molnar for her ongoing commitment to cleaning up Santa Rosa’s creeks.

Community Heroes

  • Rita Kagan for her years of commitment as a volunteer registered nurse at the Jewish Community Free Clinic.
  • Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Service in Sonoma County for providing chaplains to serve public safety personnel, people with emergency medical needs, crime victims, and their families.
  • Ruth Norman for her tireless efforts in cleaning and maintaining the Prince Memorial Greenway and the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery.
  • Steve Rabinowitsh for his commitment and dedication to protecting our waterways, green spaces, and parks. 
  • Dustin Zuckerman for his continued commitment to the operation of the Tools to Lend program.  

The 2023 Merit Awards presentation will be an in-person ceremony for the awardees, their invited guests, and all members of the community. Visit following the ceremony to view photographs and a video recording of the awards ceremony, and for more information about each of this year’s award recipients.

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