U.S. Air Force

Ortega

military

Local Airman Graduates with Honor: Air Force Airman Izaiah Ortega graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. Ortega earned distinction as an honor graduate. He is the son of Vanessa L. May-Fanene and Neil Fanene of San Ramon, and a 2012 graduate of California High School in San Ramon.

accomplishments

Heroes: At the recent Red, Blue and Gold Banquet organized by the Tri Valley Knights of Columbus, the Knights recognized the outstanding performance of heroes from Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore who keep our homes and communities safe. The recipients of outstanding service awards were:

Engineer David Nguyen, Alameda County Fire Department

Deputy Brandon Dennington, Alameda County Sheriff's Department

Officer Sam Radovich, California Highway Patrol

Cpl. Shawn Welch, Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office

Detective Anthony Perry, Danville Police Department

Officer Eric Chaloner, Dublin Police Services

Fire Capt. Daniel Moyles, Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department

Officer Matt Williams, Livermore Police Department

Officer Matt Lengel, Pleasanton Police Department

Officer Jim Mahoney, San Ramon Police Department

Capt. Eric Falkenstrom, San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District


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As an added benefit, the Knights donated $2,000 to the 100 Clubs of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. These nonprofit organizations provide immediate financial relief to the families of officers who die in the line of duty. They also provide college scholarships to the children of these officers.

Tri-Valley Students Win High School Writing Contest: The California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Branch, held its "My Story, My Vision" high school writing contest for Tri-Valley high school students in grades nine through 11. Students expressed themselves in essay, poetry and/or short story fiction. The runners-up are awarded cash prizes, and the first-place winners also receive a free one-year membership to the CWC Tri-Valley Branch. Winners are:

Essay

1st -- "Star by Star" by Annie Chen, Dougherty High, Grade 11

2nd -- "The Little Theatre" by Hannah Keihi, Dublin High, Grade 11

Poetry

1st -- "Skeleton" by Megan Chin, Livermore Valley Charter, Grade 10

2nd -- "Brew" by Maya Lyubomirsky, Foothill High, Grade 11

3rd -- "The Meaning of Life" by Maya Lyubomirsky, Foothill High, Grade 11

Honorable Mention

"I Walked On" by Jessica Heimann, Monte Vista, Grade 10

"Paper Paved Streets" by Sophia Elkihel, Livermore Valley Charter, Grade 10

"The Red Fruit of Summer" by Christina Ge, Foothill High, Grade 10

"So Falls the Rain" by Nabeel Mamoon, California High, Grade 10

Short Story Fiction

1st -- "Life is a Paradigm" by Jhinuk Barman, Monte Vista, Grade 10

2nd -- "Burning Film" by Tomi Tunrarebi, Monte Vista, Grade 10

3rd -- "The Grocery List" by Jacob Smith, Monte Vista, Grade 10

Longtime Community Organizers Welcomed to Board: The ValleyCare Health System Charitable Foundation board of trustees recently welcomed Pleasanton residents Joyce and Bob Shapiro to serve on the foundation board as board members and co-chairs.

Both have served numerous community organizations over the year. Joyce owned and operated the Gingham Corner gift shop for 10 years in downtown Pleasanton and was the first woman planning commissioner. She helped to organize the Pleasanton Downtown Association, was president of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, has been the Leadership Pleasanton Program Director and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Firehouse Arts Center. Joyce has won numerous awards including the Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen's Award, Mayor's Award, Community of Character Award and the state of California Local Hero Award.

Bob has served as director for the Chamber of Commerce, served as chair of the Chamber's foundation board and served on the board of directors for the YMCA, the Las Positas College Foundation and Uncle Credit Union. He has also received these awards for his community involvement: the city of Pleasanton Mayor's Award, Community of Character Foundation Award, Martin Luther King Jr. Business Legacy Award and the state of California Local Hero Award.

Valley Stars is written by Louise Hartman. Contact her at 925-847-2111, by email at vtletters@bayareanewsgroup.com or send a fax to 925-847-2189.