Around Town | June 4, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 4, 2021

Around Town

HOMETOWN HEROES ... The Midpeninsula Media Center recently recognized six locals who are making a difference in the community at its annual Local Hero Awards ceremony, which was held virtually on May 29. The event, which took a hiatus last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, not only featured a presentation of the awards, but also short documentaries about each recipient, highlighting their stories. This year's honorees were Holly Chenette, an Eastside Prep teacher who volunteers her time caring for stray cats in East Palo Alto; Sarahi Espinoza, a formerly undcoumented immigrant who created a nonprofit and an app to help undocumented students get college scholarships; Ruth Patrick, creator of WomenSV, an organization to help domestic abuse survivors; Jessica Radmilovic, a paraplegic athlete who is a recreational therapist at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System; Evelyne Keomian, founder of the Karat School Project, which tackles poverty both in the Bay Area and in Africa through iniatives such as distributing school supplies for low-income children; and Chris Richardson, chief program officer for the Downtown Streets Team, which employs unhoused people to help keep local streets clean. Each honoree was nominated by community members. "This year's awards — although they began well before we even had a glimmer of an impending pandemic — nevertheless have a similar theme that couldn't be more appropriate or more welcome than right now," production services manager Louise Pencavel said in her opening remarks for the virtual ceremony. "In every one of them, there's a message of rebirth, hope and new beginnings." For more information, visit

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