Locals help turn lives around, and more

This "Forward View" op-ed piece by Jeanne Sparks was published in the Lompoc Record on March 30, 2016: http://lompocrecord.com/news/opinion/editorial/commentary/forward-view/locals-help-turn-lives-around-and-more/article_ac723127-bd4d-53e6-a556-7eb2153701a8.html

and in the Santa Maria Times on March 30, 2016:


Chuck Madson moved to Lompoc after being released from the California Department of Corrections. Struggling with addiction and effects of incarceration, Chuck connected with Coast Valley Substance Abuse Treatment Center and then was hired as an adolescent counselor.

With the support of Pastor Craig Hamlin and his son, Matt, Madson’s dream of giving back to the community was realized through projects such as Miracle House Men's Home, Feed Lompoc Food Distributions, Pay It Forward Thrifts and Gifts Store, Recovery Day in the Park, and Lompoc Community Meeting. Most of Madson’s work has been with thousands of clients in CVSATC.

Santa Barbara County Action Network will present Madson with the Looking Forward Award during the 2016 North County Looking Forward Awards Dinner on Sunday, May 22, at 5 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, 3455 Skyway Dr. in Santa Maria. SBCAN is honoring five individuals to thank them for their hard work.

The dinner this year is dedicated to the memory of Joann Marmolejo for her lifelong commitment to improving the lives of working people in the community, including her 13 years of service to SBCAN.

Rosemary Holmes will receive the Giving Back to the Community Award. Born in England, Holmes has had a varied life, evolving from counter-culture years to a career with the University of California. In 1996 she started a still-active weekly film club to share progressive films. Passions include arts and crafts, writing newspaper articles and working with a horticultural group in Lompoc, fighting to preserve their drought-tolerant garden. She worked in 2009 to fund and organize Citizens Against Walmart Expansion. She is involved with the Lompoc Valley Democratic Club and is on the board of the local Sierra Club.

Franca Bongi Lockard will receive the Social Justice Award. Born in Italy, Bongi met and married an American soldier during WWII. Moving to Washington, D.C., she helped manage the Army’s ceremonial unit, The Old Guard. In Santa Maria, she volunteers as a tutor for the Literacy Council and at care homes and convents. For 12 years she was a mainstay at Marian Hospice. She is a member of the League of Women Voters, Friends of the Library, the local Democratic Club, Buena Vista Beautifiers and supports the Santa Maria Philharmonic and PCPA. She is a strong advocate for LGBT rights.

Doug Jenzen will receive the Environmental Protection & Sustainability Award. Jenzen is executive director of the Dunes Center and an author. He has received several awards, including California State University Alumnus of the Year, Historic Preservationist of the Year, and Best Nonprofit Management and Governance Practices. He also serves on the SLO County Archaeological Society’s board and the California Association of Museums’ Programs Committee and serves on the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission. The Dunes Center promotes the conservation of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes, operates a natural history museum in Guadalupe and offers a variety of educational opportunities for 8,000 children per year.

Patricia Solorio will receive the Working Families Award. A native of Santa Maria, Solorio is executive director for Central Coast Future Leaders in North County. She is bilingual and bicultural. The Association of California County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators recognized her for her work in drug and alcohol prevention. Solorio is dedicated to helping youth and the Latino community develop the skills to be successful in education, parenting and giving back to their community. She is involved in several community events including Day of the Farm Worker, Dia de Los Muertos, and Take the Lead Youth Leadership Conference.

If you would like to help celebrate these leaders in our communities, visit www.sbcan.org.