(Santa Ana, CA) - An 80-year-old dubbed "Bicycle Bill," a newlywed from Thailand, and an intern who helped prove a young man's innocence are some of the 50 individuals and three groups the Board of Supervisors will honor for their volunteer efforts. The fifth annual County of Orange volunteer recognition ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m., April 18 in the Hall of Administration Board Hearing Room, 10 Civic Center Plaza, Santa Ana.
The honorees represent 21,750 volunteers from 13 County agencies/departments and three external groups.
Volunteers contributed 625,000 hours of service that is valued at $13 million in avoided costs for County government.
Eighty-year-old Bill Sauter has refurbished hundreds of bicycles over the last six years and donated them to young clients of Children and Youth Services.
Thanks to his hard work, many children and teens from disadvantaged families now have transportation to school, part-time jobs, community events and counseling appointments.
Despite claims that he is retired, on any given day you will find Sauter either scouring alleys looking for discarded bikes, asking community residents to donate used bikes or working in his garage transforming the hodge-podge collection into freshly painted, usable transportation.
Somruedee Evans, "Ying," came to the United States just over a year ago. Coming from Thailand, Evans arrived in this country a newlywed. Motivated by her desire to be useful in the community and learn the language, she decided to volunteer.
Evans' background in sociology and anthropology led her to work with Project Together, a program that benefits at-risk children and their families. With Project Together she assists with recreational events, fundraising activities and the Project Together Resource Center.
While helping others, Evans discovered her own artistic talent, which she put to use preparing for last year's Project Together Holiday Boutique.
Law student Randall (Randy) Longwith says the movie "To Kill A Mocking Bird" inspired him to help those who are truly in need.
Four years ago, Longwith began volunteering by interviewing potential clients of the Public Defender. It was up to him to help the clients feel at ease and record their statements.
In 1998, Longwith was assigned to work on a long-term ongoing homicide case. After a lot of hard work by Longwith, Public Defenders and other staff, the young man accused of the crime was determined innocent and released to his family and friends.
In addition to his work inside the Public Defender's office, Longwith assists attorneys in preparing Los Pinos students prepare for the Mock Trial Program. This program gives teens a pride in themselves which quickly transfers to other parts of their lives.
The Board will greet the honorees at a 7:45 a.m. reception in the first floor lobby of the Hall of Administration. Certificates of appreciation will be presented during the awards ceremony and photo opportunities will immediately follow the event.