Golden Acorn Awards

Local teen Shay Patel (pictured above), whose organization Alley Oop Kids has been featured on InMenlo a number of times, is among the recipients of the 2017 Golden Acorn Awards presented by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce. Most recently Shay ran an after-school camp for summer school kids in the Ravenswood School District in East Palo Alto.

“It’s really cool! I didn’t expect to be recognized!” he told InMenlo.

Now in its forty-first year, the Chamber awards recognize community achievement through the volunteer efforts and contributions of organizations and individuals. There will be a reception for this year’s winners on Sept. 28 at the Stanford Park Hotel from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Registration is available online.

Stanford women’s basketball coach and Menlo Park resident Tara VanDerveer will give the keynote address starting at 5:15 pm.

Other winners are:

• The Rotary Club of Menlo Park, whose Foundation Menlo Park Rotary Foundation each year awards $70,000 to $130,000 in scholarships to deserving local high school seniors who are accepted to four year colleges

• Rebuilding Together Peninsula, which brings volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners through repairs and clean up days

• Juanita Croft, a founding member and leader of the Belle Haven Community Development Fund, whose mini-grant program offers small grants for local projects and events that benefit the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park

• Rex Ianson, who as a fire fighter and then board member, devoted 48 years of service to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District

• Arlinda Heineck, who as director of community development for the city of Menlo Park, worked on the El Camino Real/downtown specific plan, the city’s housing element in the general plan, and an update to the city’s general plan.

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