Pauline Pavao, Executive Director
Family Intervention Services, Hilo, Hawaii
Pauline Pavao is the Executive Director of the Family Intervention Services (FIS) that provides prevention, residential outreach and transitional living services to children and adolescents throughout the Big Island of Hawaii. Under her leadership, the program has expanded its services to the Island of Maui at the request of the State of Hawaii.
Over 31 years ago, she started as bookkeeper at the former Hilo Interim Home. As director, over the years her vision, advocacy and leadership developed Hilo Interim into the major provider of youth services on the Big Island.
Pavao is unselfish in her commitment to the Army’s mission. She is a strong advocate for youth, and the government and private sectors value her expertise in the field of social services to young people. The County of Hawaii has honored her for her work. As a model employee, Pauline continues to provide high visibility for The Salvation Army and is respected by her peers.
For her commitment to the Army, community leadership, and her passion to reach out to young people who need the love and compassion of Christ, Pauline Pavao is recognized as a true Trailblazer.
Lothar Vasholz, Advisory Board Chairman
Cathedral City, Sierra del Mar Division
Immediately on becoming an Advisory Board member in Cathedral City, Calif., Lothar Vasholz assumed a leadership role and has served as chairman since 2006. He has enthusiasm and vision for The Salvation Army in Cathedral City. The board is growing under his leadership, and he personally supports many local programs. Among these are:
An Army program for graduates of transitional living called Home at Last
Serves as the Army’s designated representative to the Coachella Valley Association of Governments. This organizations looks to The Salvation Army as a positive leader in the valley
His work at Christmas includes an all-volunteer Christmas kettle effort, Angel Tree, Operation Smile and Toys for Tots.
He is dedicated to developing a program to meet the needs of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families and networks with other organizations to pinpoint the needs of veterans
Vasholz has given lectures at The Wharton School of Finance as well as many local and international conferences; he is a leader in his church and member of Rotary.
For his pioneer spirit and unselfish sharing of his skills with the community, Mr. Lothar Vasholz is recognized as a true Trailblazer.
Dick Davenport & Alaska Construction Team
Tustin Ranch, Southern California
For 20 years the Construction Team members of Tustin Ranch have taken personal vacation time as well as their own efforts and money, along with the support of the Tustin Ranch Corps family, to go to Southeast Alaska. There they spend at least a week at various corps engaged in property upkeep and repairs to Army facilities and local community needs as identified by the local corps officer.
Merle Davenport (now deceased) and his son, Dick Davenport, had the dream of this work while supervising a corps cadet team on vacation Bible school and music camp duty in 1988. At the invitation of then Alaska Divisional Commander, Major Al Van Cleef, the first team went in 1989. Dick has headed up this project over the 20-year lifetime of the effort.
The team has made an impact in each of the Southeast Alaska corps and the villages and small towns as well. They have also impacted the Army camps outside of Juneau, as well as the new Army camp in the South Central area of Alaska.
For their contribution to the Alaska Division and tireless efforts to improve and maintain properties, Dick Davenport and the members of the Alaska Construction Team are recognized as Trailblazers indeed.
Major Grace Tse, Oakland Chinatown
Del Oro Division
Major Tse is recognized for her outstanding service and leadership to her community and culture. She has served as the Oakland Chinatown corps officer for 13 years. During this time she has developed a vibrant ministry to seniors and youth, providing a sense of community and sharing. The Major sees the uniqueness of all persons and utilizes their skills and talents to move the Oakland Chinatown Corps forward.
She loves her people and imparts to them God’s love, compassion and mercy through an after-school program where she has implemented a two-year leadership class for youth. She also touches the lives of seniors with many activities that address both their spiritual and physical health—worship, Bible studies and daily nutritional needs.
Major Tse’s accomplishments include inspiring and leading hundreds of volunteers to implement and conduct Salvation Army programming to reach the local Chinese community. One such program is a summer day camp that reaches 200+ youth daily, keeping young people off the streets and deterring their involvement in gang activity.
In downtown Oakland, Major Tse and The Salvation Army are known in vitually every shop and business within several blocks of the Chinatown Corps.
The Major enables people to “catch the vision” and carry it out. For 20 years the corps was squeezed into a 7.500-foot-square modular. She dreamed of a new facility to increase ministry in the community. The goal was achieved with a new 24,000-square-foot building. On the first Sunday in the new building she enrolled nine new soldiers who joined the current 132 soldiers to continue the vision of God’s kingdom in Oakland.
For her outstanding leadership in the Oakland Chinatown community, Major Grace Tse is recognized as a true Trailblazer.
Major Londa (Loni) Upshaw
Major Loni Upshaw is following in the footsteps of early Salvation Army pioneers, with a heart for the mission field, having spent all 17 years of her officer career in the Alaska Division, serving in Ketchikan, Haines, Klawock and Hoonah.
She has been the corps officer in Hoonah for nine years, ministering with a unique understanding of and sensitivity to the Alaskan culture. The community of Hoonah is on an island with links to the outside world only by ferry or small plane. In this small town Major Loni’s ministry extends beyond the walls of The Salvation Army. As the only year round minister, she has become the community’s pastor, counselor, confidante and even parent, and has endeared herself to the people. The locals joke that if she ran for mayor, she would win the election hands down.
Under her leadership, a thriving Community Care program involves many corps members in practical ministries in caring for the elderly, including helping with chores around the house, shoveling snow from rooftops and driveways, and chopping and delivering fire wood. The Major also does grocery shopping for several of the fragile elders.
Major Loni has contributed significantly to building projects in both Klawock and Hoonah. Commissioner Philip Swyers recently dedicated a new building in Hoonah that replaced a building salvaged from an abandoned military camp in Juneau over 60 years ago. In addition to shepherding her flock, the Major supports her ministry as a substitute teacher, working in the school cafeteria and working with at-risk youth.
Major Londa Upshaw is a true Trailblazer as she joyfully serves and shares God’s love in the Last Frontier.