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Jan 13, 201011:28 AMBest Of Editor Picks

Meet the East Bay's Jefferson Award winners

Jan 13, 2010 - 11:28 AM
Meet the East Bay's Jefferson Award winners

Photo by Katrine Naleid

Clayton's Anna Chan picks lemons for the poor

Five East Bay Jefferson Award Recipients will be honored at Herbst Theater in San Francisco for outstanding service to their communities. The Jefferson Awards are given out each year locally and nationally to ordinary individuals who have gone above and beyond to serve the public and improve the lives of those around them. Congratulations to these five community heroes rom our backyard:

Clayton's Anna Chan
While driving through her Concord neighborhood, Anna Chan, also known as “The Lemon Lady”, noticed dozens upon dozens of lemon trees whose fruit was going to waste.  Anna started knocking on doors asking if she could take the extra lemons off their hands.  On that first day Anna collected 133 pounds of leftover fruit and donated it to local food banks in Contra Costa and Solano counties and her story of outstanding public service began.  Since then Anna has expanded from homeowners to farmers, netting over $2,000 worth of fresh produce every week which is loaded into the back of her car and distributed to families in need.

Read Diablo's interview with Anna Chan here 

Watch CBS-5's interview with Anna Chan here: http://cbs5.com/jeffersonawards/Jefferson.Awards.Chan.2.1360119.html

Danville's Colette Ankenman

Danville teenager Colette Ankenman hasn’t let her age hold her back.  At just 16 years old, Collette is a proud Jefferson Award recipient and founder of Baragwanath Blessings, a non-profit organization that provides hand-knitted hats and receiving blankets for children in need at the Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg South Africa.  What started as an eighth-grade community service project has blossomed into a full-fledged organization that to date has provided over 2,000 hats and blankets to and accumulated over 150 volunteers.  Colette is helping serve the needy internationally as well as locally donating anything not suitable for the Baragwanath Hospital to Bay Area children in need.

Watch CBS-5's interview with Colette Ankenman here: http://cbs5.com/video/?id=51278@kpix.dayport.com

Martinez's Sue Underwood
Sue Underwood will not rest until she finds a suitable home for an animal in need.  A Martinez resident, Sue began her mission to save stray animals after retiring as a Pac Bell training manager and taking a job at Contra Costa Animal Services in 1998.  After spending seven and half years at the shelter and starting several adoption programs, Sue left her paying job so she could focus on saving stray animals.  Sue volunteers seven days a week and thanks to her persistence, hundreds of stray animals find loving homes each year and has earned her the nickname the Mother Theresa of animals.

Watch CBS-5's interview with Sue Underwood here: http://cbs5.com/video/?id=50406@kpix.dayport.com

Pleasant Hill's Ian Bremner
RES Success founder Ian Bremner first developed his commitment to the developmentally disabled while volunteering with the Special Olympics in high school. Ian channeled this passion into the creation of RES Success, a non-profit organization that provides varying day-service programs to adults with developmental disabilities, allowing them the opportunity to live the full and enriching lives we all strive for. Over the last 14 years RES Success has grown, establishing five Bay Area locations that offer a meaningful alternative to hospitalization and promote independence, fulfillment, and community integration to each student that walks through the doors.

Watch CBS-5's interview with Ian Bremner here: http://cbs5.com/video/?id=49547@kpix.dayport.com

El Cerrito's Darrel Valentine
Darrel Valentine is the most popular staff member at Harding Elementary School in El Cerrito. Darrel, known to students as Mr. V, is the janitor at Harding Elementary but his service to the school goes far beyond cleaning the classrooms. Along with his friendly greetings to each individual student, Mr. V has raised money through a recycling program in order to purchase t-shirts and school supplies for hundreds of students who couldn’t afford them. He also helps with homework and lends an ear to students in need. He has been known to put down his broom to talk one on one with students, helping them with studies and guiding them towards positive decisions. Darrel sees hundreds of students each day but goes the extra mile to make each one know they are special.

 Watch CBS-5's interview with Darrel Valentine here:http://cbs5.com/video/?id=51566@kpix.dayport.com


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