Public service can take many forms. Sometimes it means getting out into the community, knocking on doors and raising awareness of the day's pressing issues. Sometimes it means hours of head-scratching and note-taking while groups hash out the best strategy for going forward. And sometimes it means teaching others -- to communicate, to lead, to give back.
These roles are abundantly familiar to the six local individuals who have received this year's Avenidas Lifetimes of Achievement award, an annual honor for adults ages 65 and older who have distinguished themselves as deeply committed to public service. Each has poured time and energy into projects designed to help the less fortunate and better their communities.
Those recognized this year are Barbara Carlitz, Ann DeBusk, Bob Harrington, Gib Myers, and Allan and Mary Seid. The following stories attempt to capture their experiences and motivations for leading purposeful lives.
To honor them, the nonprofit Avenidas and the Palo Alto Weekly will host a garden party at a local home on Sunday, May 17, from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets for this public event are $75, with proceeds benefiting Avenidas' programs for older adults throughout the area.
Tickets can be purchased by contacting Avenidas at 650-289-5445 or visiting avenidas.org, where additional information about the awards can also be found.