Volunteers’ spirit recognized by Orange County

Spirit Awards held at the Nixon Library.

by Jan Landstrom –

The Salvation Army Orange County Advisory Board recently welcomed 300 guests to its annual Spirit Awards, held at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, Calif.

Board Chairman David Melilli introduced Master of Ceremonies Warren Duffy, radio broadcaster and public relations representative for the Beach Boys. Duffy testified to how The Salvation Army rescued him from addiction and transformed him into the Christian “voice” of the daily three-hour “Duffy and Company” talk show.

Volunteers recognized
Jacquelyn Terrell was honored as a Volunteer of the Year. Terrell has served on the advisory and Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) boards since 1992. A founding member of the local women’s auxiliary and a participant on the Anaheim Red Shield Advisory Council, she has also worked on the annual Christmas “Caroling for Cans” program and Mervyns shopping sprees.

Chaplain Jim Trebilcox also received the Volunteer of the Year award. He volunteers 40 hours each week to the men and women in the Anaheim ARC program and those incarcerated in local jails—so far impacting more than 2,500 people with God’s love. He has officiated at the graduation of over 100 adherents who attend Salvation Army corps, many of whom have since become Salvation Army soldiers.

Trebilcox commented, “My real award is the men and women whose lives have been changed.”

Heroes of the Faith
“Heroes of the Faith” awards went to Herman Dinaberg and Larry Harris. Dinaberg is a graduate of the ARC and now works at an Army thrift store. Harris met the Army through the Hospitality House in Santa Ana and is now the assistant manager.

Advisory board member and Orange County Fire Authority’s Chief Chip Prather presented three more “heroes” with this award, recognizing their work in Texas after Hurricane Rita: team leader Margaret Arnold and canteen operators Bruce Branstine and Judy Fitch.

Spirit of the Army
BP America, Inc., one of the world’s largest energy companies, received the “Spirit of the Army” award for service to the community during the firestorm of October 2007.

William Booth Award
Orange County Coordinator Major Lee Lescano presented Warren Johnson with the “William Booth Award.” Johnson has served the Army for 33 years, first as business administrator and currently as the assistant Orange County coordinator. Johnson announced his forthcoming retirement in September.

Others Award
The evening concluded with event chairman Robert Alvarado, VP of Marketing for the Los Angeles Angels and advisory board member, introducing this year’s recipient of the “Others” awardTed Smith, Chairman and CEO of the non-profit MIND Research Institute at the University of California Irvine. The institute has transferred more than 30 years of brain and learning research into applied education programs for K-12 students, addressing poor math performance.

Alvarado thanked Smith for the “magnificent contributions he is making to the lives of young people in educating them and preparing them for life.”

Since becoming an advisory board member in 1991, I’ve started calling this event a “friendraiser”—we intentionally bring guests who are not well acquainted with The Salvation Army and its mission. As the evening progressed with the stories of the award recipients, everyone gained insight into the work of the Army here in our own backyard.

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