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The Gilroy Elks NonProfit of the Year The almost 375-member organization has been in existence in South County for 87 years and lives by the motto “Elks Care and Elks Share.” The mission of the Gilroy Elks is to inculcate the principles of charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity; to recognize a belief in God; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; to cultivate good fellowship; and to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization, The Benevolent and Protective Order Of Elks of the United States of America will serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks Care and Elks Share. Pintello Comedy Theater Small Business of the Year Pintello Comedy Theater is family business in the truest sense. The entire family participates and all of them share in the rewards. The Pintellos have been involved in local theater for over 30 years. While they love community theater, they always treasure working on comedies. They decided to create a small production company offering comedy roles to local talent. In January of 2003 they opened Pintello Comedy Theater. Among the things they enjoy about Gilroy is the opportunity to meet and work with other local businesses, staying in touch through the Chamber of Commerce and through local charities. Debbi Sanchez Firmann B. Voorhies Volunteer of the Year Debbi Sanchez, the 2017 Firman B. Voorhies Volunteer of the Year believes life is precious and that we only have a short time to do what we can to help make our community a better place for everyone living and raising families. Debbi has a tremendous love for Gilroy and has been in this community her entire life. “I can’t imagine living here and not being involved in the community and help in making it a better place. It’s just a big part of who I am,” she said. Debbi knows there is a sense of pride and togetherness that comes when you volunteer. Volunteering is how you build a community. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MARCH/APRIL 2017 Rayleene Miranda Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award The 2017 Susan Valenta Youth Leadership Award recipient, Rayleene Miranda, is an inspiration to all who know her. She cares about others, works hard, volunteers, and goes above and beyond what is expected. Rayleene enjoys the social aspect of helping others and the feeling that radiates out of volunteering. She said, “My experiences in the past few years have strengthened my character, helping me become more patient and empathetic, and have showed me that even the smallest action can have an impact on a larger scale–that one act of service can create a ripple effect that can spread through- out the entire community.” We applaud this year’s award recipients. gmhtoday.com 37