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Press Release
County of Orange Seal COUNTY OF ORANGE

April 25, 2003
Contact: Diane Thomas
County Volunteers Provide Services Valued At $24 Million
(Santa Ana, CA) - As the County faces severe State budget cuts, the value of volunteers becomes truly priceless. More than 24,000 volunteers and 1,084,000 hours of service were valued at $24 million in avoided costs for County government in 2002. To celebrate these achievements, the Board of Supervisors will honor volunteers at the seventh annual Countywide volunteer recognition ceremony.

This year's honorees will be recognized at 8:30 a.m. on April 30. The ceremony will be held in the Board hearing room on the first floor of the Hall of Administration (HOA), 10 Civic Center Plaza in Santa Ana. The Board will greet the honorees at a 7:45 a.m. reception in the first floor lobby of the HOA. Certificates will be presented during the awards ceremony and photo opportunities will immediately follow the event.

The 40 honorees include 37 individuals (volunteers, student interns and reserves) and three volunteer groups representing 11 County agencies/departments. Each of the honorees has a poignant story including Irene Wirtz, Conrad Wilson and Trucly Pham.

Eighty-year-old Irene Wirtz, from Dana Point, is a charter member of the Dana Point Police Services Volunteers in Police Support (V.I.P.S.). For the past 11 years, she has volunteered more than 3,500 service hours. Wirtz has accepted a leadership position and currently coordinates the unit's van patrol and works closely with the program director and other V.I.P.S members to ensure patrol schedule coverage.

As a second grade teacher, Conrad Wilson, of Huntington Beach, dedicates countless hours to his students, helping them attain academic success. As a volunteer, Wilson is a mentor for at-risk youth with Children and Youth Services-Project Together.

"Conrad exemplifies the true meaning of an altruistic adult who is committed to helping children," said Sharon Modaff, Service Chief I, HCA/Project Together. "He educates and nurtures children while reinforcing the future of our community. For more than nine years, he's served as a positive role model and friend for children with severe emotional and behavioral problems including a child with Asperger's Syndrome, a developmental disability that impairs social interaction."

Fountain Valley resident and UCI graduate, Trucly Pham has been a volunteer with the District Attorney's Governmental and Community Relations Unit since 2001. Pham has contributed more than 300 volunteer hours to the program's Vietnamese outreach efforts. She has participated in weekend and evening community outreach events and has been involved in helping to create English/Vietnamese brochures.

More information on the County's volunteer recognition ceremony, directions to the HOA and parking instructions are available online at http://www.ocgov.com/volunteer/volunteer.asp. You can access County agencies and departments online at www.ocgov.com.