From advocating for art in the classroom, to providing nonprofits with financial expertise, to caring for 20 foster children, to supporting Palo Alto's Sister City Organization for half a century and bringing Jewish and Muslim communities together, the honorees of the Avenidas Lifetime of Achievement Award have accomplished a wide and inspiring range of initiatives.
This year's seven honorees two couples and three individuals are Ruth and George Chippendale, Dexter Dawes, Marion Mandell, Judy Sleeth and Carol and Terry Winograd.
The 2017 roster was unveiled at a reception on Feb. 2 at the Garden Court Hotel in downtown Palo Alto. Additionally, a garden party honoring the community leaders will take place in May; the event is the main fundraiser for Avenidas, a nonprofit organization that offers tools for positive aging to people and their families on the Midpeninsula.
"Avenidas is so pleased that we can bring this distinguished group together and honor them, as they have dedicated not only their time, but also their talents and their dollars to helping others in need," Avenidas President and CEO Amy Andonian stated in a press release. "Our honorees epitomize the spirit of generosity and caring for their community."
Dexter Dawes has experience as an investment banker, managing general partner of a growth fund and cofounder of a software firm. In his various professional positions, he became known as a successful businessman experience he has applied to help nonprofits make sound financial decisions. Some of his endeavors have included developing the financial guidelines for Channing House and serving as a volunteer appointed to the Audit and Finance Committee and as a member of the Bond Oversight Committee for the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. He has also served on Palo Alto's Utilities Advisory Commission and boards of the Palo Alto-Los Altos AYSO, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale and the Palo Alto High School Sports Boosters.
The Chippendales have a 60-year history of helping people in need. They have welcomed 20 foster children into their home, adopting one of them. They have prepared meals for the hungry at St. Francis of Assisi Church, and Ruth also helps at the Downtown Streets Team Food Closet and serves as the main organizer for the food at the Hotel de Zink homeless shelter. Through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, George coordinates emergency response to those in need in East Palo Alto. He was also a pilot for Interplast, an organization that performs reconstructive surgery for those with cleft palates and burns.
Marion Mandell has been a Girl Scout member since 1939, when she became a Brownie. Since then, she has been a Girl Scout camp counselor, troop leader, camp director, trainer and organizer. For 37 years, she directed three "Camporees," a gathering of Scouting units for camping and activities, each year for the Girl Scouts of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County. She has also served as vice president for the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, for Palo Alto's Sister City organization, Neighbors Abroad. Her involvement has spanned 50 years, during which time she has become fluent in Spanish and led upwards of 15 trips to Oaxaca.
In 1982, Judy Sleeth, art and history teacher at Castilleja School and a longtime docent at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Museum for Visual Arts, created a nonprofit called Art in Action, which enabled those who weren't professional teachers to help children learn to love art. Sleeth, who developed an appreciation of art early in life, started the nonprofit after funding cuts eliminated arts education in local schools. Today the program operates in 200 schools in 22 states, serves roughly 50,000 students and is offered online as well. Sleeth was the executive director of Art in Action until her retirement in 2013, upon which her family endowed a scholarship to bring art to the underserved schools in the community.
The Winograds have mentored and taught students at Stanford University, engaging in social responsibility within their academic and professional disciplines and facilitating dialogue and community across ethnic and religious groups.
Carol Winograd, emerita professor of medicine and human biology at Stanford and a geriatrician, has served on numerous boards including J Street, the Advisory Board of the Jewish Chaplaincy at Stanford Medical Center, Abraham's Vision, New Israel Fund and the Women Donors Network's Middle East Peace Circle. She is also a longtime member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and she brought the Jewish and Muslim communities in Palo Alto and the south bay together as cofounder of JAMAA, Jewish and Muslim American Association.
Terry Winograd is an emeritus professor of computer science at Stanford and founded Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and the Liberation Technology Project. He is an active member of Bend the Arc, a Jewish social justice organization.
Together, they participate in Sunday Friends, a nonprofit organization that empowers families to break the generational cycle of poverty; Kol Emeth and Beth David synagogues; and the Palestinian Jewish Dialogue Group. They have also travelled to Kenya with Stanford students to help local people apply technology to solve problems of daily living.
Tickets for the May 21 Garden Party are $75 and available online at avenidas.org or by calling 650-289-5445.