CSA leaders salute 'heroes' of their own at annual breakfast

Hartono Sutanto/Special to the Town Crier
Community Services Agency last week honored employees Estela Salgado, left, and Maureen Wadiak, center, for their service, along with volunteer Mary Hayes, right. Los Altos United Methodist Church was also honored.

After 60 years of service, and 30 years of recognizing local “heroes,” Community Services Agency waived its rule of not honoring staff at this year’s “Hometown Heroes” fundraiser – and for a good reason, too, according to Executive Director Tom Myers.

The two staff members honored this year tallied a combined 70 years of service at CSA – retiring Associate Director Maureen Wadiak with 20 years, and operations assistant Estela Salgado with 50 years.

The Mountain View-based nonprofit organization, which provides social services to residents of its own city along with Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, hosts the annual “Hometown Heroes” breakfast to honor individuals and groups who have made a significant impact on their community and on CSA.

After words from Wadiak and Salgado – along with the other two “heroes,” volunteer Mary Hayes and Los Altos United Methodist Church – it was clear they had made an impact.

“I’ve seen the work that Estela and Maureen and volunteers like Mary do. (And they) are the heart and soul of the agency,” said Tom Smith, former CSA Board of Directors president.

In Salgado’s acceptance speech, she gave examples of the “heart and soul” she has devoted over the past five decades through the programs she helped established.

She shared how she worked with a dentist to provide free dental care for children whose parents couldn’t afford it. She spoke of a young boy who came into CSA and couldn’t close his mouth because his gums were so swollen – that boy was able to receive access to dental care because CSA was there to provide it.

“I cannot underscore (enough) that all of our programs are vital for people to go on with their lives,” Wadiak said.

For more information on CSA, call 968-0836 or visit

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