The Edward Boss Prado Foundation is this year’s Legacy Award winner

Click HERE to find more stories in the April 10 – 23, 2019 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Michelle McKay gives Cecelia Ponzini a hug at the CARAS Awards Breakfast March 30, 2019.

Many members of the South Valley community were honored by CARAS (Community Agency for Resources, Advocacy, and Services) at Gilroy’s Old City Hall Restaurant, March 30 as part of the annual Cesar Chavez  Celebration and Community Champions Program.

CARAS Community Champions for 2019 are:

  • Government Award: State Senator Bill Monning (presented by Rebeca Armendariz)
  • Educator Award: Rachel Mendoza (presented by Rebeca Armendariz)
  • Legacy Award: Cecelia Ponzini for the Edward Boss Prado Foundation (presented by Christina Turner and Michelle McKay)
  • Youth Award: Gilroy High Wrestling (presented by Art Barron)
  • Youth Award: GECA student Lizeth Villarreal (presented by Ernesto Olivares)
  • Community Award: Lori Ramos Ehrlich (presented by Reymundo Armendariz)
  • Business Award: Raj Nayyar (presented by Fred Tovar)
  • Volunteer Award: Dolores Vasquez (presented by Sally Armendariz)
  • Tamal Festival Sponsor: Mark Sigala (presented by Art Barron)

Christina Turner is the city manager for Morgan Hill. She praised Ponzini’s work with the many volunteers who help families and people in need through the Cecelia’s Closet and other programs the Prado Foundation runs.

“We are so blessed in South County to know her, and that includes Gilroy, San Martin, Morgan Hill and she is reaching San Jose as well,” Turner said. “Cecelia is a friend to so many. And so many of us in life want to make a difference in other people’s lives. I think we can all agree that Cecelia is someone who has touched so many different people. She does it because that’s what she does.”

Michele McKay, a board member on the Prado Foundation, told those attending the event that Ponzini is lovingly called “the queen bee” for her leadership.

“She is one of the most passionate women I have ever met,” McKay said. “At the root core when you’re finished experiencing Cecelia and walk away, you will see that she’s one of the most giving and caring people you may ever meet. We’re so lucky to have her here serving South County. And I’m so lucky to have her as a mentor and a friend.”

Marty Cheek