Each year we open the District 9 Star Application with the hopes of highlighting our community’s unsung heroes. We spread the opportunity to apply far and wide so we can hear stories of people doing great work throughout our community — stories that deserve to be uplifted.
After the application window closes, we review the submissions and assess their positive impact on our community. Many nominations were received this year, and we are honored to share these stories with you and take this opportunity to spread some positivity during these pessimistic times.
As we all know too well, this year is a bit different. We are wearing masks regularly, social distancing, zooming into everything from Easter to weddings, and most of us are working from home. That means our awards are a bit different too. Instead of honoring our District 9 Stars before City Council, we drove from house to house to socially distance ourselves and hand deliver commendations and chocolate stars. Below are the three individuals and organizations we selected to be the 2020 District 9 Stars —
Jane Selig Nominated By Jay Selig
- Jane created “Stepping Stones,“ a nonprofit that gives guidance, information, and help to patients and caregivers that are dealing with terminal illnesses in Santa Clara County.
- Jane has clients coming from Cancer CAREpoint who have end of life questions, as well as caregivers, or family members that are in need of helpful information and resources.
- Jane has generously volunteered her time with Hospice of the Valley, and continues to volunteer at Mission Hospice of San Mateo County where she uses her knowledge to compassionately help the community.
- Jane is a compassionate self-starter doing yeoman’s work.
Liz Warren Nominated By Alison Helmke
- Liz has spent years serving on Steindorf STEAM School’s Home and School Club, on Cambrian School District’s Budget Oversight Committee, and serves as an active participant in district board meetings.
- Liz facilitates school activities, such as the drama program’s productions and the Fall Festival, which is an event she ensures is affordable, is openly accessible to everyone, and is budgeted equitably.
- Liz managed two fundraisers during shelter-in-place to raise money for Steindorf STEAM School by hosting a virtual auction for families and a read-a-thon for all students in lieu of their annual walk-a-thon.
- Liz is a Steindorf STEAM School rock star.
Cambrian Park / Los Gatos Mask Makers Nominated By Laura Sanders
- The organization has made over 1,000 face masks and distributed them throughout the Cambrian Park and Los Gatos communities free of charge to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- The Personal Protective Equipment these neighbors produced were delivered to elementary, middle, and high schools, hospitals, hearing impaired, deaf and hard of hearing programs.
- Holly Spoto Child and Maki Hirata coordinated and managed 180 hard-working neighbors, all united in their belief that face masks save lives, should be free, and should be readily available to anyone.
- The Cambrian Park / Los Gatos Mask Makers have worked tirelessly to stop the spread of COVID-19, they have saved lives, and this is why they are a 2020 District 9 Star Recipient!
Thank you to everyone that has made a positive impact on our community. Congratulations to each and every one of you for receiving this award. The City of San José is grateful to have you call this city your home. May your positive work continue for many years to come.