News

Palo Alto Medical Foundation educator earns President's Award

Becky Beacom to be honored Sept. 13 for 30 years of volunteer service

Becky Beacom, a health educator with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, will receive the President's Volunteer Service Call to Action Lifetime Award on Sept. 13 in Palo Alto. The award is given to individuals who have given more than 4,000 hours to volunteering.

Beacom will receive an official letter from President Obama, a certificate and pin. She is a 30-year volunteer with Abilities United, a Palo Alto nonprofit organization that serves Santa Clara and San Mateo residents with disabilities. She volunteers as the instructor of the pre-natal fitness class at the Betty Wright Swim Center. Beacom oversees the medical foundation's prenatal education and numerous community-outreach programs. She is founder and leader of the SHARE Committee, a collaboration of home, school, and community groups to ensure a sense of well-being for the youth of Palo Alto.

Beacom lives with her husband in Palo Alto and is the mother of two. She began volunteering at Abilities United in 1981 when she was looking for a pool for expectant mothers to exercise in throughout the year. She has taught the weekly pre-natal fitness class since finding the warm-water pool at Betty Wright.

"I look forward to my Saturday mornings and am so grateful for the relationships that I've enjoyed over these years," she said.

Most students take her health education and movement class from the end of the first trimester until a week or two before their due date. The class also provides a social outlet for pregnant women. Sometimes the outcome is unanticipated, she said.

"Right after one of the mothers gave birth, her husband was diagnosed with cancer and she had to return to work. Her entire group stepped in and helped her out with her newborn baby," she said.

Beacom said the prenatal class has real long-term value.

"Women today are facing greater demands. They are stepping into careers and motherhood, often simultaneously. Women should develop healthy fitness habits during their pregnancy so that they will continue these changes into the new life they are creating."

The award ceremony will take place at Abilities United, 3864 Middlefield Road, on Tuesday (Sept. 13) at 1 p.m. The President's Volunteer Service Award is issued by Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service on behalf of the President of the United States to recognize the best in American spirit and to encourage all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service and civic participation.

Comments

Posted by Penny, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 12, 2011 at 11:36 am

Way to go Becky! I really enjoy volunteering with you. Your energy and enthusiasm are inspiring!!


Posted by Philippe Rey, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2011 at 11:48 am

Congratulations Becky! I know of no other individual who deserve this as much as you do. It is an honor to know you and experience the passion you have for our community. Thank you for all you do for our youths!

Philippe Rey, PsyD
Executive Director
Adolescent Counseling Services


Posted by Penny Ellson, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Becky does so much to promote the health and safety of children in our commnunity. I am thrilled to see her good work recognized in this way.

Congratulations, Becky! Thank you for all you do.


Posted by Mike Havern, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Becky, congrats from all the Addison families who benefitted from your many acts of kindness -- always the go-to person helping students be healthy and fit. Thanks.


Posted by Daryl Savage, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Well deserved! It is an honor to have you in this community!


Posted by Melinda Wedemeyer, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Congratulations Becky! I took your pre-natal class 20 years ago with my first born. I am happy to say that I am still friends with two of the women I met in your class. You have played an amazing role in helping new moms form deep, rewarding bonds that have been a great means of having community in a society that is lacking in community values!


Posted by Kelly Green, a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Congratulations Becky! Your recognition is definitly well deserved.


Posted by Kathleen Blanchard, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Congratulations, Becky! Our entire community is better because of you.


Posted by Annette, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Becky, My warmest Congratulations! You deserve it. I always look forward to working with you! Good to see you recognized in such an awesome way!


Posted by Pat Worthington, a resident of Addison School
on Sep 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Thanks so much for the warmth and caring you brought to the Addison, Jordan, and Paly communities. I hadn't heard about your work with the Betty Wright Swim Center, but it is so characteristic of the work I knew when I met you doing prenatal classes 20+ years ago, right through your work with high school students the last several years. Thank you so much! We've been very fortunate to have you as a member of our communities!


Posted by Beverly Thornberry, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Dear Ms. Beacom:
My name is Beverly and I am the Community Liaison/Advocate Serenity Maternal Infant Health Program. We are a program through the State of Michigan and Medicaid, we provide services and resoureces for low-income moms, babies and moms to be. I attended a conference and picked up a brochure entitled "New Mom Tips". I love this brochure and I believe it would very informative to these young girls that we see.
I would love to use this in our program but after calling the company that prints them discovered the cost is more than my budget allows. My question to you is "May we copy and use?".
Thank you,
bthornberry@serenityHH.com


Posted by Deanna Messinger, a resident of Gunn High School
on Jul 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Becky is still contributing greatly to health education in Palo Alto.

She continues to volunteer her time to valuable projects and has been an incredible support to the "Youth Speaks Out", Visual and Performing Arts, district exhibition and performances for teens to inform their community about how they are doing.

It's people like Becky that are the glue for the community, not only supporting projects, but holding onto to looking for the best in people and "taking the high road".

Thank You, Becky!


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