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Rotary Clubs honor ‘People of Action’ at ceremony in Nevada City

Submitted by Laura Petersen



Essential workers filled the Stone Hall at Nevada City's Miners Foundry on Sunday during a recognition ceremony for People of Action organized by local Rotary Clubs. Those honored included representatives from the community in food distribution, medical professions, law enforcement, fire protection and education.
Photo submitted by Laura Petersen.


Inspiring stories of heroism, caring service and community spirit were common themes during a ceremony honoring “People of Action in Western Nevada County,” held at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City on Sunday.

Five western Nevada County Rotary Clubs came together for the event paying homage to essential workers from local grocery stores, food banks, medical fields, schools, fire departments and law enforcement.

“Tonight, is about saying thank you to everyone,” said Carol Scofield, President Elect for Rotary Club of Grass Valley South.

The Miners Foundry’s Stone Hall was filled with people who stepped up during trying times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 River Fire and New Year’s winter storm event known as,“Snowmaggedon.”

“You exemplify serving others, solving real problems and taking real action,” said Anita Daniels, District Governor for Rotary District 5190. Rotary Clubs represented at the event included Nevada City 49ers Breakfast, Grass Valley, Grass Valley South, Nevada City and Penn Valley.

Keeping hospital patients, students and incarcerated people safe during the pandemic, going door to door to help evacuate people during a raging wildfire, feeding people in need and donating to community causes were some of the good deeds recognized.

“It’s about community and taking care of each other. It really is a big family in Nevada County and we’re honored to be a part of it,” said Phil Alonzo, Executive Director Interfaith Food Ministry who spoke of working with every county department and business represented in the room.

BriarPatch Food Co-op’s Merchandising Manager Michelle Peregoy-McHugh and Perishables Manager John Bivens were honored during the event. Both managers were chosen for the award because they exemplified servant leadership.

“What you can give your staff and community, instead of chasing the bottom line, makes all the difference,” said John Bivens.

Rotary Clubs also recognized Justin Painter (Manager of SPD), Chris Bullock (Manager Save Mart), Nicole McNeely (Executive Director Food Bank of Nevada County), Grass Valley Ladies Relief Society, Sue Urban (Director of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital), Josh Sher (RN Emergency Department, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital), Kirsten Casey (Nevada County Poet Laureate), George Steffenson (Retired Commander CHP), John Herrera (Community Relations Officer, Grass Valley Police), Zack Laferriere (School Resource Officer, Grass Valley Police), Sam Brown (Captain, Nevada County Sheriff), ZsaZsa Weid (Lieutenant, Nevada County Sheriff), Nicole Long (Administrative Service Manager, Nevada County Consolidated Fire), Sean Ryan (Captain, CalFire), Scott Eckman (Captain, CalFire), Chris Espedal (Director of School Safety, Nevada County), Dan Frisella (NJUHSD Assistant Superintendent) and Kelly Rhoden (NUHS, Principal).


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