Community service awards honor advocates for exemplary service | SierraSun.com

Community service awards honor advocates for exemplary service

Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee (CCTT) is pleased to honor Stephanie Castleman Blume, Truckee director for Project MANA; Health Educator River Coyote, M.P.H. and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor John Pillsbury with the Department of Rehabilitation for their outstanding community service.

The Partner of the Year Award is given in recognition of regional collaboration and vision for the community. River Coyote has demonstrated initiative and leadership in the health education field regionally for more than a decade, most recently through her role at Placer County. River developed and was the principle author of a grant application submitted on behalf of the Tahoe Truckee Future Without Drug Dependency (TTFWDD) Drug Free Communities Coalition, which she co-founded and now directs. This grant is administered by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and is designed to facilitate and fund participation in local drug prevention efforts. Through Riverand#8217;s guidance, the Tahoe Truckee Future Without Drug Dependency coalition was one of 87 grantees selected from 452 applicants and was awarded $125,000 for fiscal year 2011-2012 and will receive $125,000 for four consecutive years for a total of $625,000. In addition, River has played a pivotal role in several community forums addressing drug and alcohol issues, prescription take-back events and revising the CCTT Community Report Card.

The Chris Ballin Award is given in recognition of those persons who advocate for cultural competency, equality and social justice in our community. Chris Ballin is remembered as the Founding and long-time director of La Comunidad Unida (The United Community) formed in response to growing racial tension on the North Shore. Chris was an enthusiastic collaborator who had creative ideas, experience, and knowledge for working with communities and those in need. John Pillsbury, with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, is a steward for social justice in the community through his work with disabled and rehabilitating populations to help integrate them into the workforce. Heand#8217;s formed alliances with local business owners and community leaders to ensure the success of the populations he serves.

A new addition to the CCTT awards is the Public Service Award of Excellence, awarded to Stephanie Castleman Blume of Project MANA. Blume dives into her work with such a personal drive to help Tahoe Truckee make positive change in the region, consistently going above and beyond for individuals who come to her attention. Blume is charting new waters in Truckee through her work in finding solutions for homeless populations. This year, she succeeded in supporting the opening of the Food and Resource Center, a day welcoming center offering food, showers and a warm space. She has been successful in building a network of community leaders from the non profit and faith based communities to support individuals experiencing homelessness.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com