Nine locals saluted for volunteer efforts

Photo Diego Abeloos/Town Crier

The Joint Community Service Awards honored, clockwise from top left, Bob Simon, Claudia Coleman, Sam Harding, Darwin Poulos, Diane Claypool, Dr. Paul Auerbach, Matt Cuson, Dru Anderson and Ruth Buneman.

Keynote speaker Richard Henning evoked the philosophies of Buddha, Thomas Jefferson and Ghandi: “Volunteering changes you more than it changes the person you’re helping.”

Another full house at Fremont Hills Golf & Country Club nodded in agreement Friday during the 29th annual Los Altos-Los Altos Hills Joint Community Service Awards luncheon.

“The cities of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills probably wouldn’t be worth living in without our community volunteers,” said Henning, founder of the Foothill College Celebrity Forum Speakers Series. “Volunteers are essential to Los Altos and Los Altos Hills for the quality of life we enjoy.”

Nominated by non-profit groups and selected by a 12-member committee, honorees represent involvement in a variety of areas, from schools to libraries and youth sports. The nine honorees selected this year include:

• Ruth Buneman, a Los Altos Hills resident since 1960, who volunteers regularly at the Terraces at Los Altos retirement community (formerly Pilgrim Haven) and Hidden Villa nature preserve.

• Dru Anderson, a Los Altos Hills resident and ham-radio enthusiast, emergency preparedness volunteer and recent graduate of the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program.

• Dr. Paul Auerbach, who volunteers as a team physician for the Los Altos High School football team and coaches Little League and wrestling at Egan Junior High School.

• Bob Simon, who fundraises on behalf of the Los Altos libraries. Simon was instrumental in founding the Los Altos Library Endowment.

• Diane Claypool, a longtime volunteer at the Los Altos History Museum who has prepared food for numerous museum events. Supporters presented her with an honorary apron.

• Sam Harding, a longtime Los Altos Rotary Club member who has been involved in a wide range of activities, from coaching baseball to involvement in the YMCA, the Community Health Awareness Council and the Palo Alto veterans’ hospital.

• Darwin Poulos, president of Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community and member of the Library Commission. Poulos participated in parcel-tax campaigns for the local libraries.

• Claudia Coleman, who has volunteered with the local Red Cross and the Los Altos Community Foundation, where she oversaw LEAD, a community leadership program. She will head the El Camino Hospital Foundation board next year.

• Matt Cuson, who is heavily involved in local schools, including serving on the Los Altos School District’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee for Finance. He also has coached AYSO soccer and Little League.

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