Join Us for the Citizen of the Year Awards at the June 25th City Council Meeting

We’d like to thank all the people and institutions that helped us get the word out about nominations for the Citizen of the Year Awards, including Mayor Kevin Romick, the Oakley Press, and the City of Oakley.

Last year’s Chamber Board made the decision to cancel the Citizen of the Year Awards dinner due to lack of community participation. The Chamber sent out more than 11,000 nomination forms and received fewer than 10 nominations. The demographics of Oakley have changed, and many people do not know their neighbors, or have energy to spare to consider who might merit such an award. It seemed unlikely that anyone outside the immediate families of the winners would attend an awards banquet.

This year’s Board of Directors felt strongly that even if participation was low and indications were that a banquet would not be financially viable, there are people in Oakley who deserve public recognition for the contributions they make to the community. We set up an online nomination form in addition to distributing paper forms at Councilmember Burgis’ new Nonprofit Roundtable meetings and at other Chamber events.

Participation remained low, but all of the nominees were extremely worthy people, so even though there were not many nominees to choose from, the choice was not easy.

We will be presenting the awards at the beginning of the June 25th City Council Meeting. We want the winners to get the maximum possible public recognition, and recent experience suggests that the winners would get less attention than they deserved if we required their friends and families to pay $40/per person to attend a banquet during a recession.

Please join us on June 25th to honor these members of our community who have given their time and energy to help their fellow residents and make Oakley a better place to live. As with all City Council Meetings, the event is free and open to the public.

Non-profit Roundtable Meets Feb 19th

Councilmember Diane Burgis convened a non-profit roundtable at City Hall on February 19th, and invited the Oakley Chamber. Directors Darci Bowen, Shirley Darling, Stefan Didak, and Wendy Lou Turner attended along with President Sallie Goetsch and Vice President Jimmy d’Amico. The other Oakley non-profits present were Loaves and Fishes, Oakley Seniors, East County Little League, St. Anthony’s, La Clinica, Relay for Life, New Lifeline Ministries, Animal Rescue Recon, Ebenezer Community Church, and Locally Oakley.

The meeting identified common purposes among several groups (e.g. offering meals and other services for the homeless) and a widespread interest in cooperation among groups. Besides possible opportunities for collaboration, the subject of interest to most people was fundraising, followed by volunteer/leader development.

The group will continue to meet once a month. Other non-profits are encouraged to participate, but for now the roundtable is restricted to groups based in or serving Oakley, to make the meetings manageable.

The Oakley Chamber is definitely interested in continuing to participate, both to because we need to explore fundraising and volunteer options for ourselves and because we want to support local non-profits. (Non-profits that need publicity and an online presence should definitely consider becoming chamber members.)

There should be some kind of mailing list or online community for roundtable participants soon.

The members of this group seem like a good source of nominations for Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year, since they are sure to have many members who have contributed greatly to the Oakley community.