There are many heroes among us, but the San Ramon Rotary Club has selected four special individuals as recipients of its 2013 Unsung Heroes Award.

Kim Tarman, Judi Caruthers, Elaine Maier and Yaeko Kennelly will be honored at the Thursday club meeting, and their organizations will be presented with a $250 grant from the San Ramon Rotary Foundation.

Recognized for their volunteer service, these San Ramon residents or residents of other cities who serve the citizens of San Ramon have all given many hours to their organizations, have made positive contributions, may be in leadership positions at their organizations and are "unsung" in that they are busy behind the scenes and not well known by the community at large.

This year's four were selected from a pool of more than two dozen nominees from various nonprofits. "It was no easy task," says Hermann Welm, Rotarian and coordinator of this award program. "It's a major plus for this community to have so many great volunteers and organizations that employ their skills. These four individuals all represent what is good about our community. They truly take Rotary's motto of 'Service Above Self' and incorporate it into their everyday lives," he adds.

Tarman, of San Ramon, a volunteer with the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) since 2002 and volunteer coordinator of the FoodShare program, screens and meets with clients who will receive cat or dog food donated by Safeway. She supervises, recruits, trains, schedules and manages volunteers who distribute pet food to low-income pet owners in Contra Costa and coordinates with the Salvation Army and Safeway.


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Caruthers, of San Ramon, and a longtime member of the Assistance League of Diablo Valley, has generated revenue for the League through her work at the Way Side Inn Thrift Shop located in Lafayette. The shop generates more than $500,000 a year that is used to support the League's community programs. Caruthers supervises donations, which includes pricing, merchandising, displaying, repairing and researching.

Maier, of San Ramon, has been volunteering at The Thrift Station in Danville for more than 25 years in many capacities from baby clothes department chief and vice president of the board to membership chair, store manager and window dresser. The Thrift Station is run by the Friends of Discovery and benefits the Discovery Counseling Center, which offers affordable mental health services and counseling.

Kennelly, of San Ramon, has accumulated more than 3,000 volunteer hours with the City of San Ramon since 2001. A member of the San Ramon Senior Center Foundation, she is a familiar face at the center, where she works at the front desk, on special events and provides assistance to the staff and seniors.

The San Ramon Rotary Foundation is accepting grant applications for individuals and groups through Monday. Applicants must be or represent a community nonprofit organization. Awards will be based on achieving the highest reasonable level of impact during a 12-month period. Download a grant application and guidelines at http://sanramonrotary.org/foundation.

Contact Monica Lander at landerfamily@comcast.net.