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COMMUNITY DIGEST TIDBITS FOR AND ABOUT GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN GILROY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Jack Sturla (RIP) was a farmer prior to joining the Air Force and fl ew 52 combat missions during the war in an A-20. Over the years, Jack was a farmer, worked in the employment offi ce, worked at the John Sherrer's "Pieter-Wheeler” Seed Company and served as manager of the Gavilan Water District. HALL OF FAME AWARDS The Gilroy Hall of Fame started with an idea back in 1982. Bob Dyer, who was the Chair of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce at the time, thought it would be good to recognize those individuals who had contributed to making Gilroy a better place to live, work and raise families. At the time, numerous individuals stood out for their contributions in the area of industry, philanthropy, volunteerism and community service. The Gilroy Hall of Fame would provide a venue for these individuals to recognized and acknowledged for their lead- ership, courage and pioneering spirit. Since the initial ceremony in 1982 until its last event in 1996, the Gilroy Hall of Fame has honored 123 individuals in the categories of Agriculture, Business, Community Service, Cultural Professional, Education, Public Service, Political, Military and Other (an open category). With Bob Dyer’s efforts and a dedicated group of volunteers, the Gilroy Hall of Fame was re-launched in 2015 and another 16 individuals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Al Gagliardi grew up in Gilroy, gradu- ated from Gilroy High School in 1942; served in World War II, winning a medal for good conduct and a bronze star; and served to protect the com- munity of Gilroy as a Deputy Sheriff from 1948 to 1977. He has also been active in the Gilroy Historical Society. Susan Valenta provided leader- ship to the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, serving at it's CEO for over 20 years. In addition to her many accomplishment with the Chamber, she also served as President of the Gilroy Rotary Club and as District Governor. She has been recognized by a number of organizations for her work. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN december 2018-january 2019 Lawson Sakai, a resident of Morgan Hill, served in 442nd Regimental Combat Team from May 1944 until November 1945, participating in cam- paigns in Italy and France, including the liberation of Bruyeres, France and the rescue of the Lost Battalion where he was seriously injured. After the war he operated a travel agency in San Jose. gmhtoday.com 39