The Army recognizes… A.C. Green honored with ‘Others’ Award

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Spirit awards follow theme “Building better and stronger.”

by Barry Frost – 

NBA champion and community leader A.C. Green was the featured guest speaker and recipient of the coveted Others Award at The Salvation Army Orange County Advisory Board’s Annual Spirit Awards Civic Dinner at the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace, Yorba Linda, California.

The evening’s theme was “Building Better and Stronger!” The four Spirit Awards are given to leading citizens or organizations that have contributed in an extraordinary manner of their time, talent and/or financial resources.

Green receives Others award

Green has shown tremendous commitment to the community. He founded the A.C. Green Youth Foundation, whose mission is to build self-esteem and character and to aid decision-making by teaching moral, ethical and Christian principles.

Often humorously, A.C. spoke of growing up in Oregon and moving from place to place. Wherever they moved there was a Salvation Army center right around the corner. He played in the gyms, honing his basketball skills. Of his playing he said, “We had a passion, a strong commitment; we had a team—like The Salvation Army.” He went on to say “I live for the next generation, like The Salvation Army does—I admire what you do.”

Catherine Booth Award

The Catherine Booth Award, named for the co-founder of The Salvation Army, is conferred upon an individual whose life and ministry parallels that of Catherine’s legacy. Advisory Board member Jan Landstrom presented this award to Amy Taylor. In her remarks Landstrom stated, “Amy is a fighter, especially when it came time to fight for her family. Physicians fought and saved her life, the smaller twin born to a drug-addicted mother. From earliest childhood, Amy took care of her young siblings. When the situation became desperate and her parents could no longer care for the family, the children were sent to foster homes. She fought to keep the family together, and at 18 she became their guardian, and finally their adoptive parent.” Now 25, Amy would like to go to college and pursue a career as an attorney. This is the first time the Catherine Booth Award has been presented at the Spirit Awards.

Volunteers of the Year

The Volunteer of the Year Award is given for exceptional volunteer service to enhance and improve the community. The award was presented by National Secretary for Program Major Gary Miller to Robert and Kathy Alvarado, who have dedicated many volunteer hours to the Army in Orange County. Robert serves on the advisory board and is the chairman of the Development and Public Relations committee. Each September he facilitates the annual Salvation Army Night at Angel Stadium.

Kathy was instrumental in creating a unique program in The Creator’s Corner preschool at The Salvation Army Tustin Ranch Corps. Called “Helping Hands,” the all-volunteer parent group of six committees includes an active prayer and support committee, “The Encouragers.” Even though the Alvarados no longer have children in the preschool, they have continued their support of the Army and are a Christian partnership that expresses commitment and dedication to the cause of others.

Spirit of the Army

The Spirit of the Army Award, presented by Robert Alvarado, is given for significant contributions to the Army’s programs and services in Orange County. The recipient was Mel Rogers, president of Huntington Beach-based KOCE-TV for his vision and direction to have a community station devoted to Orange County business, arts and politics. The station’s programming includes the Emmy-winning Real Orange and Inside OC, which feature discussions with government officials and business and community leaders. Ed Arnold, managing editor and news anchor of Real Orange, was master of ceremonies for the evening’s program.

Vocalist Jude Gotrich performed the National Anthem and two selections, the uplifting “Beautiful Feet” and an inspirational “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace,” accompanied by pianist David Dunford. She has had an outstanding vocal career, appearing abroad and on television, and has made several recordings. Currently she is the Southern territorial gospel arts director. Rousing applause followed the performances of brothers Tyler and Austin Lu, ages 14 and 10, who played “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Moonlight Sonata.”

Orange County Coordinator Major Lee Lescano welcomed the 300 guests and closed with words of appreciation to the participants and awardees. Southern California Divisional Commander Major Paul Seiler delivered the benediction.

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