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John Arrillaga among Acorn Award winners

Golden Acorn banquet Thursday at Stanford Park Hotel

Palo Alto developer John Arrillaga, the major private donor to the city of Menlo Park's new gymnasium, is among the recipients of 2010 Golden Acorn Awards, given annually by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce to organizations and individuals for community service and business excellence.

The awards will be presented at the Chamber's annual Golden Acorn Awards banquet, set for 6 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 23) at the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park.

The evening will begin with a State of the City address by Menlo Park Mayor Rich Cline, followed by the banquet and award presentations.

Selected by a committee of Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce members, the recipients of Golden Acorn Awards will be honored in the fields of community service, business excellence, public service, innovation, and nonprofit work.

Arrillaga, who is also the major private donor to a new gymnastics center to be built later in the Civic Center, will receive the Gary T. and Elissa Williams Memorial Award for Community Service. Menlo Park's new gym in the Civic Center is due to open in October.

A basketball player at Stanford University in the 1950s, Arrillaga has been active as a player and a coach in Menlo Park's Burgess Gym basketball programs for 30 years.

Other recipients of 2010 Golden Acorn Awards are:

■ Tarlton Properties Inc., winner of the Albert J. Giannotti Award for Business Excellence. Tarlton is being recognized for its work molding the business area of Menlo Park east of U.S. 101 into a "major revenue component for Menlo Park," the Chamber said in a press release. "The Willow Business Park is positioned by the Tarltons to become Menlo's business technology center," the Chamber said.

■ JobTrain, the Menlo Park nonprofit that provides job-training, career-counseling and job-placement services. JobTrain will receive the Nonprofit Organization Award. Its programs combine vocational, academic and life-skills development. In the past year, 75 percent of graduates were placed in jobs, the Chamber said.

■ The Rotary Club of Menlo Park Foundation, winner of the Public Service Award. The foundation awards college scholarships to high school students who meet scholarship and needs criteria, and gives grants to local nonprofits. This year, the foundation gave $114,000 in scholarships to graduates of Menlo-Atherton High School, Sacred Heart Preparatory, Eastside College Preparatory, Menlo School, and East Palo Alto Academy.

■ Music@Menlo, the highly celebrated chamber music festival held for the past eight summers in the local community. Music@Menlo is receiving the Cultural Innovator Award. The festival includes concerts, lectures, and a chamber music institute for emerging artists. For the first time, Music@Menlo will present a winter program beginning with an Oct. 3 performance by the Emerson String Quartet.

INFORMATION: The 38th annual Golden Acorn Awards banquet, sponsored by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce, will be held Thursday, Sept. 23, at the Stanford Park Hotel, 100 El Camino Real in Menlo Park, from 6 to 9 p.m. Reservations are $100. For more information, call 650-325-2818.

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