Seven local residents — three individuals and two couples — will be honored this spring by the senior services agency Avenidas with "Lifetimes of Achievement" awards.
They are Palo Alto residents LaDoris Hazzard Cordell, Gary and Jeff Dunker, Annette Glanckopt, Barbara Gross and Los Altos Hills residents Judy and George Marcus.
A garden party honoring the seven — and serving as Avenidas's major annual fundraiser — will be held Sunday, May 15, 3-5 p.m. in a Palo Alto backyard.
Since 1998, Avenidas has recognized residents who have dedicated their lives to improving the community through volunteer work and philanthropy.
Avenidas spokesperson Kari Martell said of this year's recipients: "We are thrilled to have such an amazing group of honorees, including the first African American woman judge in northern California, several of Palo Alto's behind-the-scenes movers and shakers, a couple dedicated to long-term volunteering and another couple deeply committed to giving back to their community."
Hazzard Cordell, a 1974 graduate of Stanford Law School, was the first lawyer to open a private law practice in East Palo Alto, and in 1982, she became the first African American female judge in northern California. She was later elected to the Superior Court of Santa Clara County. After serving 19 years, Hazard Cordell retired from the bench and joined Stanford University as vice provost and special counselor to the president for campus relations. She also has served on the Palo Alto City Council, was the independent police auditor for the city of San Jose and is an on-camera legal analyst for CBS-5 news on KPIX-TV.
Gary and Jeff Dunker have dedicated much time toward enriching the lives of those young and old. Gary, a longtime Palo Alto elementary school teacher, launched a food distribution program similar to Meals on Wheels for families at Duveneck Elementary School and, after retiring, volunteered for more than five years in after-school homework programs at schools in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto. She also has served as a hospice respite volunteer with Pathways, was a board member for the Peninsula Center for the Blind (now Vista Center), and is currently a board member at Gamble Garden, where she's been the head garden hostess for the nonprofit's annual spring tour for the past 11 years. She has volunteered with Avenidas for 35 years, raising money for the Senior Day Health program (now Avenidas Rose Kleiner Center) and has participated in cognitive activities with the center's participants two afternoons a week for 14 years.
Jeff, a lifelong athlete who was named All American Track and Field in shot put at Cal Poly in 1969, spent his early career teaching physical education to local children through the Palo Alto school district's Enrichment Team, which required him to visit every elementary school in Palo Alto. Over the past 37 years, Jeff has spent every October decorating the outside of his home for Halloween. It's an annual tradition that attracts about 1,500 or so trick-or-treaters, including many of his and Gary's former students who are now parents and sharing their childhood tradition with their own children.
Jeff also has served as a board member for the nonprofit La Comida, which provides hot meals to local seniors. Together, Jeff and Gary volunteer at Trinity Church in Menlo Park, where Gary serves as commission chair of the monthly luncheon series and Jeff assists with the event.
Glanckopf has left her mark on Palo Alto through tireless service to her neighborhood and community. As chairperson of the Midtown Residents Association, she was instrumental in restoring Scott Meadows in Greer Park, oversaw the installation of five public art projects in the neighborhood and helped revive the Midtown Shopping District by pushing for ground-floor retail. Glanckopf is the co-founder of Palo Alto Neighborhoods (PAN), a networking organization that connects neighbors and neighborhoods. She also co-founded the Emergency Services Volunteer (EVS) organization and the nonprofit support group Pacific Stroke Awareness.
She has served on more than 19 boards, including the Rotary Club of Palo Alto, The Woman's Club of Palo Alto, Palo Alto Players, Leadership Palo Alto, Emergency Service Volunteers, as well as on the city's Comprehensive Plan and the Future of Residential Housing task forces. She was a recipient of the Community Champion Award from the 13th Senate District and has been recognized by proclamation by the city of Palo Alto.
Gross reentered the working world as general manager of the Garden Court Hotel after raising three children. She has been an instrumental member of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, serving on the group's board of directors, government action council and downtown marketing committee. She helped form the Palo Alto Downtown Business and Professional Association and was among those who orchestrated the formation of a public-private partnership between the association and city to renovate Lytton Plaza.
She has also volunteered with the Stanford Health Library, the Community Breast Health Project, Palo Alto Partners in Education, Palo Altans for Government Effectiveness (PAGE), East Palo Alto elementary schools and the Peninsula Stroke Association. Gross was honored in 2005 with the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce Athena Award.
Judy and George Marcus, co-owners of Kokkari Restaurant in San Francisco and Evvia in Palo Alto, have volunteered at various organizations together and independently. Together, the duo established the International Center for the Arts at San Francisco State University in 2005. George is the founder of Marcus & Millichap, now one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the world. He sits on the board of directors of Millennium Challenge Corporation, UCSF Foundation, CSU Foundation and Georgetown School for Foreign Service and is an emeritus board member of the Library of Congress Trust Fund and Corporation of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He is the regent emeritus of the University of California and a former California State University Trustee.
Judy has dedicated many years to community service, contributing her time and talents to such organizations as Humane Society of Silicon Valley, Cristo Rey San Jose, the Montalvo Arts Center, Breast Cancer Connections, Community Services Agency in Mountain View and Avenidas. Their home has been the site of countless fundraising events for nonprofit organizations, as well as for presidential and other political candidates.
The May 15 garden party honoring all seven of this year's Lifetimes of Achievement honorees is open to the public. The $85-per-person ticket proceeds will support the nonprofit's programs for local seniors. Tickets include appetizers, wine and music. For tickets and more information, go to avenidas.org.