Liberty Bell Award goes to former councilwoman

Former Modesto City Councilwoman Kenni Friedman will receive the Liberty Bell Award from the Stanislaus County Bar Association during its annual Law Day Luncheon on Friday at the SOS Club. The award goes to someone who has promoted a better understanding of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and an appreciation for the rule of law. Friedman has remained active in community affairs since leaving the council in 2002. Also, the organization will present scholarships to Alejando R. Angarita of Beyer High and Nadine N. Kedry of Turlock.

Emanuel Medical Center handed out $15,000 in scholarships during its annual volunteer appreciation breakfast April 24. Fifteen students each received $1,000. The winners were:

• From California State University, Stanislaus: Raquel Mustaca, Emanuel employee, former volunteer; Sandra Zermeno, Emanuel employee; Christina Mudrick, volunteer; Julio Pimentel, volunteer; Sierra Bryhni, volunteer.

• From Merced College: Kristin Diliberto, Emanuel employee; Angelina Ortiz, Emanuel employee; Erika Kinsley, Emanuel employee.

• From Turlock High School: Manpreet Bassi, volunteer; Katie Zaccheo.

• From Pitman High School: Ashley Lair, volunteer; Kassandra Barragan.

• From Turlock Christian High School: Demsina Babazadeh, volunteer.

• From CSU, Dominguez Hills: Tamara Wallers, Emanuel employee.

• From University of Phoenix: Deborah Osbahr, Emanuel employee.

The hospital also announced its new slate of volunteer auxiliary officers: Shirley Flowers, president; Joanne Viss, vice president; Roxane Smith, vice president of finance; Harrison Gibbs, vice president of special projects; Shannon Runca, treasurer; Judy Brighella, assistant treasurer; Ida Silveira, recording secretary; and Marge Combs, corresponding secretary. The auxiliary generated $100,000 in pledges to Legacy Circle, the hospital's annual campaign that boasts a $4 million endowment to provide enhanced cancer services to the community and also to fund the scholarships.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently appointed California beef producer Willie Bylsma of Oakdale to a three-year term on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board, which oversees administration of the national Beef Checkoff Program.

Bylsma participated in new-member orientation in Denver earlier this month and will be seated for his first meeting of the full Beef Board at the Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver on July 31, becoming one of 106 producers and importers nationwide representing all cattlemen by making recommendations about how to invest national beef checkoff dollars.

Blysma and his wife, Jolene, have been involved in the dairy business for more than 40 years and are active with four dairies. He also feeds dairy steers in other areas of the country. Blysma is a former member of the Dairy Farmers of America Board and the Dairy Herd Information Association.

Katie Mendez is the Gallo Center for the Arts' new director of development. Mendez, a Modesto native who joined the center in 2005, more than two years before its opening, will assume responsibility for its overall fund-raising activities.

She graduated in 2003 with a degree in arts education from California State University, San Diego. She began her work at the center as an executive assistant. She later served as event coordinator, and prior to her promotion was senior development manager for corporate giving and sponsorships.

Brad de la Cruz will serve as the center's development manager for individual giving.

Mary Alice Onorato and Ann Bonfiglio were recently honored by the Modesto Junior College Nursing Alumni Association with outstanding nurse awards. The awards recognize local nurses for their service to the community and for demonstrating remarkable dedication, kindness and generosity. Onorato, a professor of nursing at MJC who will retire this month, was recognized as an outstanding nurse in education for her excellence in nursing instruction. Bonfiglio, a school nurse for the Sylvan Union School District, was honored as the outstanding clinical nurse.

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