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Community service award winners named

Four will be recognized for their outstanding community service.

April 20, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • This year six individuals will be accepting a Les Tupper award. They are, from left to right, Nick Berkuta, Joyce Ruygrok, Archie D'Arezzo (representing the Volunteers on Patrol Unit), Joel Smith, Megan Nordvedt (representing the Community Center of La Canada Flintridge) and Kelly Gregg.
This year six individuals will be accepting a Les Tupper…

Four La Cañada residents and two local organizations will receive Les Tupper awards at a ceremony in the von Karman Auditorium at Jet Propulsion Laboratory on May 9.

Each year people and organizations are nominated for the annual award, sponsored by the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council and selected from nominations made by community members.

The Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge, the Volunteers on Patrol Unit with the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station, La Cañada High student Kelly Gregg, and residents Nick Berkuta, Joel Smith and Joyce Ruygrok are each 2011 Les Tupper Award recipients.

The Volunteers on Patrol Unit is being recognized for helping make La Cañada a safer, better place to live. Last year, the group logged 2,493 volunteer hours while patrolling neighborhoods and residences, assisting patrol units with traffic control 51 times and making 931 patrol checks of shopping centers, homes and parking lots.

“We are the watchdog, a high-tech community watch dog for the department,” said Archie D’Arezzo, an eight-year member and one of three instructors with the unit. D’Arezzo will be accepting the award on behalf of the department at the awards ceremony. “We go around looking for any problems that are occurring or have occurred and we notify the station.”

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The Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge is being honored for 60 years of service to the city and its residents. The Community Center provides unique resources and arranges enrichment programs and positive social activities for people of all ages, whether or not they live in La Cañada. Each week the Center serves 2,000 community members.

“I was so excited when I heard we’d won the award,” said Megan Nordvedt, the Community Center’s executive director who will be accepted the award on the Center’s behalf. “It’s an award that’s been around so long, is so prestigious in this community and recognizes volunteering — it’s what the community center was founded on and what’s still so important to us.”

When the awards are officially presented to the winners on May 9, it will be the second straight year Berkuta has attended the event to accept the award.

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