A highlight in my life was serving as a trustee on the Pleasanton school board from 2006 to 2010, and one of the highlights of that service was working alongside Juanita Haugen, who sadly passed away in March 2007.

Haugen was first elected as a trustee in 1979, which made her Pleasanton's longest-serving school board member. These days, Haugen's spirit of dedication and giving is remembered each year through the aptly named "Juanita Haugen Community of Character Award" given to carefully selected Pleasanton citizens and volunteer groups who consistently model high ethical and moral standards of behavior. Nominations for potential award winners are being sought for 2013.

The award is sponsored each year by the Community of Character Collaborative, a nonprofit organization founded in 2008 to further Pleasanton's character traits of responsibility, compassion, self-discipline, honesty, respect and integrity. These traits have been adopted by the City of Pleasanton, the Pleasanton Unified School District, the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce and various businesses, individuals, nonprofits and service and faith-based organizations.

Anyone wishing to nominate an outstanding volunteer or volunteer group may download a form at www.communityofcharacter.org. The forms may then be mailed to Community of Character P.O. Box 21 Pleasanton, CA 94566.

Nominees must be Pleasanton residents, demonstrate a commitment to high quality volunteer work in the community, and exhibit volunteerism beyond their daily job responsibilities while exhibiting Pleasanton's character traits. The deadline for submission is April 19. Nomination forms are also available at the school district offices, 4665 Bernal Avenue; Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce office, 777 Peters Ave.; the library, 400 Old Bernal Ave.; or the civic center, 200 Old Bernal Ave.

Past award recipients are Janet Liang (2012), Debra Mitchell (2012), Dave Melander (2012), Pleasanton Military Families (2012), Chuck Deckert (2011), Ron Sutton (2011), Bob and Joyce Shapiro (2011), The Assistance League of Amador Valley (2011), Pushpa Dalal (2010), Chris Miller (2010), Bob Athenour (2010), The George A. Spiliotopoulos Invitational Tournament Volunteers (2010), Jerri Pantages Long (2009), Sue Evans (2009), Ken Mano (2009), Lori Rice (2008), and Diana and Howard Mendenhall (2008).

NEW ONLINE AUCTION: Now in its tenth year, the Las Positas College Foundation's "Best of the Best" evening gala will be held April 27.

New this year is an online auction that runs until April 18 in advance of the event. Visitors to the auction are not required to attend the gala. Curious readers may visit www.biddingforgood/lpcfoundtion to take a peek and bid on over 50 items. To attend the gala evening, the cost is $125 per person, with proceeds supporting the students and programs at Las Positas College.

The evening will begin with a sampling of Livermore Valley wines and hors d'oeuvres presented by 10 Tri-Valley restaurants in the lobby of the Mertes Center for the Arts on the Las Positas College campus. Guests will also be entertained with a performing arts showcase featuring student presentations of dance, vocal, music, and interpretive speaking. To buy tickets, visit http://www.lpcfoundation.org/news-events/foundation-events.

Hope to see you there!

Reach Jim Ott at jimott@sbcglobal.net.