Community Recognition Ball

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Award Winner Tom Phillips of Recology  Award Winners - Gateway - Powell Helems and Mary Tabbert   Award Winners - Youth of the Year - ParentsAward Winner - Firefighter of the Year - Kent Barnes (1)

Photos from the event are available for download HERE.




AMERICAN CANYON, Calif. –  American Canyon’s 19th Annual Community Recognition Ball, sponsored by the Napa Valley Vintners, honored Powell Helems and Mary Tabbert as the winners of the prestigious Gateway Award.

The Community Recognition Ball also presented Recology-American Canyon’s General Manager Tom Phillips with the Business of the Year award, Kent Barnes with Firefighter of the Year, and Michael DeBorja and Amber Monteleone with Youths of the Year. Several Organizational Awards and Certificates of Appreciation were also presented.  

Gateway Award
The Gateway Award is the community’s top honor acknowledging long lasting and impactful community service in American Canyon. Mayor Lean Garcia described Gateway Award Winners Powell Helems and Mary Tabbert as dedicated members of the American Canyon Community Emergency Response Team (AC-CERT) whose “expertise, leadership and dedication proved valuable during the October fires.” They have taken on leadership roles in organizing and training community members in skills essential to volunteers responding to disasters. 

American Canyon High School was designated as the evacuation shelter for residents of Calistoga. Powell and Mary were on site as the shelter was being set up to register volunteers and coordinate their assignments. They worked closely with the shelter manager to assist with operations on site as well to establish ham radio communication with shelters at Napa Valley College and Cross Walk Church in Napa. This was a critical need when other modes of communication were lost due to power outages. 

Their leadership and organization skills were evident in the daily debriefings with the shelter manager and volunteers that focused on improving operations, anticipating needs and necessary resources to assist the evacuees. Powell and Mary’s interactions with volunteers and evacuees during this emergency were sensitive and compassionate, contributing to a shelter environment that provided reassurance and stability to individuals and families being served.

Business of the Year
For the fourth year, a local business was honored because of its significant community service contributions.  The 2017 Business of the Year was presented to Recology-American Canyon’s General Manager, Tom Phillips. Councilmember Aboudamous described The Business of the Year as representing “everything that we wish our businesses to be”. Tom and Recology have been extremely generous with their time and resources for our community, with no fanfare for themselves. American Canyon is very lucky to have them in our community.

Firefighter of the Year
Firefighter of the Year was presented to Kent Barnes. Councilmember Oro described Kent as “a passionate advocate for patients in their time of need.”

During his 12 years with the district, Kent has led the Fire District’s Relay for Life team for nine years straight. He helped revive the CERT program three years and continues to teach the CERT program throughout the entire county.

Firefighter Barnes helped establish the ALS program within the district. He has taught the Fire component for the California Police/Fire Cadet Academy for the past three years here in American Canyon. Most recently Kent has taken on his newest project of stepping up to help revitalize the Explorer Program, which provides teaching of skills to young future firefighters. 

Youth of the Year
Council Member Leary introduced the Youth of the Year winners, Michael DeBorja and Amber Monteleone. The awards were accepted by Michael’s and Amber’s parents, on their behalf.

Both Michael and Amber are extraordinary students, on track to be valedictorians, and are active members in the school. In addition to their personal and academic accomplishments, Amber and Michael have given countless hours to the American Canyon community in their respective roles as the President and Vice President of Key Club. 

Councilmember Leary described Amber and Michael as having “displayed tremendous heart for this community and have modeled how to serve with compassion and kindness.”

Organizational Awards
Each service club and non-profit organization nominates their shining star of the year to receive an Organizational Award. The 2018 Organizational Award winners are as follows:

Marcie Harris (American Canyon High School)
Kristin Einberger (Kiwanis)
Clarence Mamaril (Kiwanis)
Victor Leach (Holy Family)
Nancy Nabrynski (KHOPE International Parish)
Ken Tiger (Friends of the American Canyon Library)
Heather Piazza (American Canyon Community & Parks Foundation)
Patti Krueger (Arts Foundation)
Karina Servente (Canyon Oaks)
Debbie Brace (American Canyon Middle School)
Chelle Castagnola (American Canyon Chamber of Commerce)
Clarence Mamaril (Parks and Community Services Commission)
Janelle Sellick (AHI Swim Team)
Javier Hernandez (AC Atletico FC)
Frank Lee (Holy Family Men's Club)

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