gmhTODAY 14 gmhToday May June 2017 - Page 72

Denise Melroy: Put in This World to Serve Written By Jordan Rosenfeld D enise Melroy of Morgan Hill is the kind of volunteer who would prefer that people didn’t put her in the spotlight. Despite that, the spotlight finds her for all the good work she has done in this community, from her work with Community Solutions to feeding the homeless through her church, and even her job as Recreation Program Coordinator for the Morgan Hill Senior Center. While most people might loudly proclaim their award of Woman of the Year, which she received in 2009 for her volunteer work, Melroy spoke almost in a whisper when mentioning it. “I don’t like to brag. That was an honor for me,” she told TODAY. The honor came almost a year to the day her father passed away, which felt appropriate, since she credits her father for instilling the value of service to others in her. “My dad owned his own business, and he’d come home exhausted but yet I’d see him out there volunteering for some- thing,” Melroy said. “I guess it was in my blood,” she offered with a laugh. gmh 72 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN The Tennessee native came to Morgan Hill with her husband Owen in 1983, applying her math degree to her work at the Stanford Research Institute. The Melroys raised two daughters here, and today they are pursuing their own careers in genetics and molecular biology. As a stay-at-home mom in the years her girls were little, Melroy still made time for volunteering, getting her start on the Ways and Means Committee for Jackson Elementary School’s Home and School Club. Over the years she has also put her classical piano skills to use playing for her church. She eventually worked her way up to the volunteer school event she calls “the granddaddy of them all,” Live Oak High School’s grad night, which she co-chaired for two years. She credits another active Morgan Hill volunteer, Jennifer Tate, wife of mayor Steve Tate, for pulling her into the annual Community Solutions fundraising event, “Helping Hands, Healing Hearts,” where she is part of the raffle committee. “We just have the best time,” she said. “You wouldn’t think that getting and coordinating donations is so much fun, but it is.” MAY/JUNE 2017