Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - May 2, 2014

Beyond the call

Six seniors to be celebrated for 'Lifetimes of Achievement'

There is only so much time in a day. For many people, the clock hands spin away while they're on the job, doing chores and putting food on the kitchen table, leaving only a moment or two to relax before bed.

Yet six local individuals — the recipients of this year's Avenidas Lifetimes of Achievement honors — have regularly found minutes, even hours, to think beyond themselves and use their knowledge and skills to make others' lives healthier, happier and more fulfilling.

Each year the Palo Alto nonprofit Avenidas selects a handful of adults age 65 and older who have remained deeply engaged in the community throughout their lives. This year's honorees are Jean Dawes, Greg Gallo, Isaac and Maddy Stein, Jay Thorwaldson and Carolyn Tucher. Collectively, their professional and volunteer work has provided key support to students, nonprofits, the environment and those in need in Palo Alto and surrounding communities. Read on for each of their stories and their inspiration to do more than the expected.

In their honor, a garden party at a local home will be held on May 18, sponsored by Avenidas, the Palo Alto Weekly and PaloAltoOnline.com. Tickets to this public event cost $75 each, with proceeds to benefit a number of programs offered by Avenidas for older adults throughout the area.

Tickets and information are available by calling Avenidas at 650-289-5445 or visiting its website, www.avenidas.org.

— Sam Sciolla

Comments

Posted by Tony Carrasco, a resident of Green Acres
on May 2, 2014 at 2:58 pm

What a great group.
Congratulations you guys deserve this award.


Posted by Bob Wenzlau, a resident of Crescent Park
on May 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I agree with Tony, our community is all the greater and more fun for their service. Thank you!


Posted by Russian Mom, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 2, 2014 at 4:59 pm

We are greatful beneficiaries of your hard work. Respect.


Posted by Palo Alto Mom, a resident of Midtown
on May 2, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Wonderful! Congratulations and thank you for your service!


Posted by William Byron Webster, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 2, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Any community to have such stellar individuals as the six seniors being honored on 18 May by Avenidas is blessed. I especially would like to single out Carolyn Tucher, whom I have known for many years, for her invaluable contributions to East Palo Alto. Without her willingness to serve on the board of directors of Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, Inc., (CLSEPA) between 2002 to the end of 2013, the organization would not have survived its uncertain infancy following the decision of the board of directors of the East Palo Alto Community Law Project to disband at a meeting on 13 May 2002. CLSEPA has not merely survived, but thrived and has over the past 12 years served more than 10,000 low-income clients from around the Bay Area, including San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Alameda Counties. This extraordinary organization has literally saved lives with respect to domestic violence cases thanks to the relentless determination of Carolyn Tucher to sometimes lead the board to make very painful, certainly stressful decisions, now financially very sound with a staff of currently 22 and the ability to aid the poor and disenfranchised in a growing climate inhospitable to the poor and powerless. Her legacy through this one organization promises to bless humanity hopefully for decades and possibly generations to come.


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