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I Gavilan College Spirit Awards honor local heros n the closing months of each year, Gavilan College celebrates an annual tradition with the recognition of members of the community who make the Gavilan Joint Community College District a wonder- ful place to live, learn, and grow. In Morgan Hill, the 2017 awards went to Charles Weston, the Interfaith Clergy Alliance of South County, and Mama’s Mia’s Restaurant. Gilroy’s 2017 awards honored Gary Walton, Dreampower Horsemanship, and Young Signs. About the honorees: Young Signs – Young Signs has been in business since 1934. If you look across Gilroy’s landscape, you will see many signs that have been designed and installed by Young Signs. Owner/Operator Richard Young is also a member of the Gavilan College ‘family,’ having taught part-time in the art department for almost 25 years, from 1971 to 1995. Although he makes his living from Young Signs, he is an artist at heart who has had his work showcased at the Monterey Museum of Art and recently his works “Contemporary Art by Richard Young” was on display at the Gilroy Center for the Arts. He also served on the City of Gilroy’s Library and Cultural Arts Commission. Dreampower Horsemanship – DreamPower Horsemanship provides equine-assisted activities and therapies for children, teens and adults in the South Bay Area. The organization provides services to more than 700 participants each year, assisted by more than 500 volunteers. DreamPower now offers 20 unique programs serving a wide variety of South Bay Area residents from pre-schoolers through elders. Gary Walton – Gary Walton has been fixing up Downtown Gilroy for quite some time. He renovated Gilroy’s Old City Hall and built La Aldea at the corner of 4th and Eigleberry Streets. He has served on the Gilroy Downtown Business Association for over 10 years and currently serves as its president. He supported saving the Miller Red Barn and launched Porchfest (now in its fourth year). He tirelessly works to improve all of Gilroy, participating on many committees, and attending most community meetings, workshops, taskforces – you name it. Mama Mia’s – Majid Bahriny is the proud owner of the Mama Mia's restaurants in both Gilroy and Morgan Hill. He has earned a reputation for generosity, having donated food to countless fundraisers and community causes, for which numerous organizations are very grateful. Mama’s Mia’s has hosted Gavilan College class on hospitality and events, and also hosts the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce breakfasts. Interfaith Clergy Alliance of South County – In 2016, a group of local clergy from different faiths came together to serve their community, forming the Interfaith CommUNITY of South County (ICSC). This lay interfaith group held the Interfaith Community Walk for Peace & Prayer Vigil last August, lent its support to South County’s first “Safe Parking” program for homeless families, and is sponsoring an informative series called “The Faith of Our Neighbors.” ICSC is a nonprofit committed to creating compassionate communities through social, service and educational programs 76 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 Charles Weston – Morgan Hill architect Charles Weston has always been an avid runner. His passion for the sport led him to serve as Freedom Run Chair for Morgan Hill's Freedom Fest since 2002. The walk/run event raises money and sponsorships to support the annual Freedom Fest Celebration, including the Fourth of July Parade and fireworks, and the Patriotic Sing. Over the years, Charles has grown participation from 206 runners to 885. In 2007 he added a Children’s Run, and in 2015, a Veterans Run. The Freedom Fest is a nonprofit organization.