By Highland Community News
Arrowhead United Way’s 2019 annual Awards & Community Breakfast on Thursday, June 27, helped remind the San Bernardino Valley that part of serving the community is recognizing those who serve it alongside yourself.
As members of the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) Board of Education met with United Way leaders and community representatives, an air of celebration filled the SBCUSD Professional Development Center.
Among the organizations present were Bank of America, Cal State San Bernardino, Community Action Partnership, Inland Counties Regional Center’s Another Way, Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino, The Salvation Army, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and Social Science Service Center, Inc.
Arrowhead United Way President Doug Rowand described this annual breakfast as a way of giving thanks: “We recognize people in the community who have assisted both United Way and the community all during the year,” said Rowand.
The awards featured a guest speaker; Dolores Rodriguez, Women United former participant and soon-to-be high school senior. Rodriguez successfully completed Women United’s Interview for Success program, which helped her prepare for job interviews.
“I had heard about this program from a friend of mine at school who was showing me a flyer. I was immediately all over the program,” she said. “Leading up to it, though, I was not expecting much. I was thinking, ‘Oh this is gonna be another one of those programs where you just sit around and socialize.’ But little did I know that statement was quickly proven to be false.”
Through the program, Rodriguez was accepted into the Young Legislators program, in the 47th district.
United Way presented awards to these and other organizations in the community:
• Community Champion Award: Target
• Community Partner Award: BNSF Railway
• Community Spirit Award: Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
• Community Builder Award: Costco Wholesale
• Community Builder Award: UPS
• Community Supporter Awards: McLane Southern California and Southern California Edison
Live United awards went to the following:
• Volunteer Impact Award: Rialto High School
• Women of Distinction Award: Women United
• Loaned Executive Recognition Award: Deputy Sheriff Michelle Stewart
• Outstanding Campaign Coordinator Award: Maria Garcia, SBCUSD.
Perhaps the biggest announcement at the event was the announcement of Rowand’s retirement as President of Arrowhead United Way after 23 years of service with the organization.
Rowand has been a resident of Highland since joining United Way and has served on the Highland Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Rowand mentioned that he started the tradition of posting pairs of American flags on the lampposts along Base Line for the Fourth of July over 20 years ago.
When asked what his retirement plans were, Rowand drew a blank.
“I have been so busy at the office and out in the community, I haven’t even given it much thought.” Rowand thanked SBCUSD for the use of its facilities, as well as BNSF Railway and Loma Linda University Health for sponsoring this year’s meeting.
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