By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– When Congressman Paul Cook hosts his third annual “Salute to Women” event this Saturday, Town of Apple Valley employees Alicia Dannelley and Charlene Engeron will be among the honorees.
This is the third year Congressman Cook has hosted an event to honor women from his district. This year’s theme focuses on young leaders who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their communities; and women who work with organizations that serve youth.
Dannelley, a recreation coordinator for the Town’s Parks and Recreation department, spearheads the Town’s Teen Zone program. Through her efforts, more than 50 local teens are encouraged to get involved with their community through positive and productive volunteer experiences. The teens learn valuable work skills while donating their time to organizations such as Squash 4 Friends, the Apple Valley Library, LifeStream blood bank and many more. They volunteer at numerous special events and recreation programs as well, providing services that would otherwise be done by paid staff.
“The work I do is very important to me,” said Dannelley. “I always hope I am making an impact in the lives of the teens I work with.”
Outside of her Town duties with the Teen Zone, Dannelley also volunteers with the Apple Valley Animal Shelter, Girl Scouts and the Phoenix Foundation. She is also a skilled artist, who instills her love of art into local youth by organizing an annual Teen Art Show in conjunction with the Apple Valley Library.
“Alicia has passion and energy for making a difference in people’s lives, especially young people,” said Recreation Supervisor Lena Quinonez. “Her enthusiasm excites others and is extremely motivating to teens.”
Town of Apple Valley Human Resources Director Nikki Salas said, “In addition to being exemplary Town employees, Saturday’s award represents hundreds of hours these women have donated outside of what they do for the town.”
Engeron, who has been the Town’s Public Relations Specialist for more than four years, has volunteered for the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council for six years. In addition to her duties as a troop leader, she is the Product Sales Manager for the Girl Scouts in the High Desert region.
“Charlene brings professionalism, dedication and a belief in our youth that inspires and lifts up those around her,” said Elizabeth Locke-Thomas, Executive Vice President of Girl Scouts San Gorgonio Council. “Our great country rests upon the shoulders of our volunteer work force and she is a shining example of what can be accomplished when a citizen raises their hand and says ‘I will help.'”
In her role as the entrepreneurial programming manager, Engeron works with thousands of girls who learn financial literacy, communication skills, marketing techniques, money management and other valuable job skills through their participation in the council’s annual candy sale each fall and cookie sale each winter. She was also instrumental in helping a dozen Girl Scouts earn the coveted Silver Award, which is the highest scouting award a middle school-aged scout can receive.
“In the last six years I’ve watched young girls grow into amazing, responsible women of confidence, courage and character. They’ve taught me as much as I’ve taught them,” said Engeron, whose daughter, Kayla, will also be recognized on Saturday as a young leader. “Helping girls gain new skills and preparing them to become the leaders of the future makes all of the volunteer hours worth it.”
The Town of Apple Valley employees are two of nine mentors who will be recognized at the ceremony on Saturday along with 15 youth leaders. The event will be held at 10 a.m. at the Apple Valley Town Conference Center, 14975 Dale Evans Parkway, and is open to the public.
“I’ve heard countless stories about young women in my district who are actively engaged in moving their communities forward,” Cook said. “These ladies are driven by a passion to serve others, and I think “Salute to Women” is a great opportunity to thank them for their efforts.”
For more information contact Congressman Cook’s Apple Valley District Office at (760) 247-1815.