OAKLEY -- It was a scaled-back version of the traditional awards ceremony, but Oakley's chamber of commerce still has honored half a dozen residents for their contributions to the community.
During Tuesday's city council meeting, the nonprofit named Debbie Robertson as Citizen of Year for her work feeding seniors and the poor. Robertson is the site manager for Loaves and Fishes, which gives away hot meals and groceries, and she volunteers serving lunches at the meetings of Oakley seniors' organization. In addition, she's among those who serve a monthly breakfast at the Red Man/Pocahontas Hall.
Receiving recognition as Youth Volunteer of the Year is Ian Lasher, an honor roll student who donates his time to the local 4-H as well as at the Contra Costa County and state fairs, and Knightsen and Freedom High schools.
Lasher wasn't there to accept the award, however -- he was busy showing sheep at the Alameda County Fair.
The title Adult Volunteer of the Year went to two residents: Shirley Darling and Karen Harrington.
"It seems as though Shirley is on the board of every nonprofit organization in Oakley," said chamber President Sallie Goetsch of the woman who serves on the chamber's board of directors and played a key role in helping Oakley Senior Citizens find a larger meeting place.
Darling also helped establish Friends of Oakley, a nonprofit that encourages individuals and businesses to donate funds that it then distributes to meet communitywide needs.
Harrington made her mark by removing the unsightly ones that vandals have left in her Vintage Parkway neighborhood: Litter and graffiti. She rounded up neighbors willing to paint fences that vandals had defaced and enlisted the city's help providing the supplies. Harrington also volunteers for Loaves & Fishes.
Black Bear Diner's Brenda d'Amico received the title Business Person of the Year for her support of fundraisers, whether by donating money or offering in-kind help by organizing them. She also pressed for Caltrans to reinstall a sign it had removed during Highway 4 construction directing drivers to downtown Oakley.
Oakley Police Department's Tony Berkley was tapped as Officer of the Year for the dozens of offenders he's sidelined. The six-year employee, now a detective, arrested 116 people while he was still a patrol officer in 2010, 168 the following year, and 143 the year after that. Many of the arrests were for driving under the influence, which has earned Berkley a commendation from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.