Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Volunteers Honored at Annual Award Dinner

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch congratulates Sue Foutz Ferguson, a member of the Perris Police Mounted Posse, at the awards ceremony
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch congratulates Sue Foutz Ferguson, a member of the Perris Police Mounted Posse, at the awards ceremony.

More than 40 individuals, groups and companies were honored for their spirit of volunteerism and for supporting City of Perris programs during the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on Friday.

Dave Stuart, who has assisted on renovating the Bank of Perris, the Perris Depot and other historically significant buildings, was honored as Volunteer of the Year. Other recipients included the Perris Citizens Patrol, the Perris Police Mounted Posse, churches, senior citizens and teen-agers who donate their time and talent to make Perris a better place.

“Volunteers work countless hours behind the scenes in too many programs to count,” said Perris Mayor Daryl Busch. “They are truly unsung heroes. We could not do all the things we do without their help. They are invaluable.”

Volunteer of the Year Dave Stuart received a plaque from the Perris City Council
Volunteer of the Year Dave Stuart received a plaque from the Perris City Council.

The Mayor was joined by the entire City Council, who presented plaques and handshakes to all the recipients.

The Beach Boys tribute band Surfin Safari turned the clock back to 1964, playing faithful renditions of the classic group, including “Help Me Rhonda,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “Kokamo.”

Perris City Councilman Al Landers said volunteers “make the City go around,” adding “their dedication year after year is commendable.”

“I really cannot thank our volunteers enough,” Landers said.
Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers said she considers the volunteer recognition ceremony her favorite event of the year.

“I look forward to expressing my gratitude at our volunteers, who are the heart and soul of our City,” Rogers said. “They are an incredibly committed group who think only about the City of Perris and give of their time and energy.”

Iral Evans and Perris City Councilwoman Joanne Evans took home an award for volunteering
Iral Evans and Perris City Councilwoman Joanne Evans took home an award for volunteering.

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans and her husband, Iral, were honored for their work on behalf of the City. The pair helps organize the City’s annual Memorial Day remembrance and take part in planning the Veterans Day and Christmas parades.

“This is a close-knit community and people recognize volunteerism,” Evans said. “I am very grateful and surprised to be honored.”

Perris Police Chief Jim McElvain said his department benefits from thousands of donated hours each year. Police volunteers serve at public safety checkpoints, assist in traffic control at major accidents, provide additional eyes and ears throughout the community, help provide security at Perris parades and other community events, perform clerical duties and drive law-enforcement vehicles to a department garage for service. Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff calls volunteering “selfless service,” a term the Perris chief echoes.

The Beach Boys tribute band, Surfin Safari, provided the night’s entertainment
The Beach Boys tribute band, Surfin Safari, provided the night’s entertainment.

“There is probably nothing you can do for your community than to volunteer,” McElvain said. “It’s nice that Perris volunteers receive the recognition they are due.”

Margarita Sanchez, 16, a Perris High School junior, was honored for volunteering at the Christmas Parade, Snow Day, the Movies in the Night program and the annual Halloween Fest.

“I am happy helping out,” she said. “I want to thank the City for allowing me to help.”

Perris Citizens Patrol member Mike McAleavey dedicated the plaque the group received to Robert Hayes, a longtime member who died New Year’s Eve. McEleavey said Mr. Hayes volunteered more than 5,000 hours during 13 years with the Citizens Partol.

“He is very sorely missed,” McEleavey said.

Perris City Councilman Al Landers and City Councilwoman Rita Rogers enjoy the show
Perris City Councilman Al Landers and City Councilwoman Rita Rogers enjoy the show.

Stuart, the 2010 Volunteer of the Year, said Perris, like lots of other cities, is scrutinizing every expenditure during this difficult economy. Volunteers “help fill the gaps” by donating their time, he said.

“I like doing things for the community,” Stuart said. “You can either give or receive, and I would rather give.”

Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough said the City of Perris can thrive because of the partnerships it forms with business leaders, other communities and its residents. The great numbers of enthusiastic volunteers speak to how successful the City’s outreach efforts have become, he said.

“Perris is the sort of City where people want to volunteer,” he said. “They are interested in making the City the best possible place to live, work and play. The spirit of Perris lives within our volunteers.”

The following is the list of Volunteers, Sponsors and Service Providers honored last week:

Garrison Hunter
Lilyana Hunter
Royce Yamaguchi
Germaine Freeman
Paul Martin
Rafael Gutierrez
Dave Stewart
Dave Stuart
Doug Brown
Tim Rodgers
Iral and Joanne Evans
Riverside County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse
California Military Institute
Cheryl Ziska
Thomas Ziska
Perris Citizens Patrol
James Isabel
Quinn Hawley
Margarita Sanchez

Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers
NPG Corporation
Rebel Racing
Wal-Mart
Orange Empire Railway Museum
Perris Valley Printing
The Brain Tickler
Vista Hospital of Riverside
CMH Manufacturing
Marion Ashley
TSG Enterprises
Pacific Development Partners, LLC.
Jerry Mullins Creative Printing
MDR Productions & Entertainment
Free Indeed Christian Motorcycle Ministry
Mary Rhodes
Pastor Mark Lewis/Free Indeed Christian Fellowship