Eight honorees for Avalon Kids Park

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In the spirit of National Volunteer week, the City of Avalon honored eight community members, past and present, who have given unselfishly to our youth of Avalon.

Either by their time given, organizing, or philanthropically supporting youth programs.

In the spirit of National Volunteer week, the City of Avalon honored eight community members, past and present, who have given unselfishly to our youth of Avalon.

Either by their time given, organizing, or philanthropically supporting youth programs.

Joining Frank Saldana, Fern Whelan, and Robert Rockwell on the wall are eight outstanding community members, five representing the longest running youth sports program in Avalon, and three who loved the Island and all its youth, that they raised and gave financially to allow multiple youth programs to come to fruition, continue, and thrive on the Island.

The people that were honored were Lolo Saldana, Joseph “Lipe” and Maui Hernandez, Brian Dawes, Arnie Gonzales, Bob and Carol Butte and Paxson “Packy” Offield.

Lolo Saldana along with Lipe Hernandez over 50 years ago were the founding fathers of Avalon Kids Baseball aka Little League.

Which they started to so kids can learn to love the game, respect others, create team work and good sportsmanship.

But what good are fathers without the mother to be there to add comfort and relevance to losses, scraped knees and to have a hot plate of food ready after the game? That little league mother was Maui Hernandez who was always there and still there as a representative and example for all moms of Avalon youth.

Brian Dawes the current president of Avalon Kids Baseball, continuing the tradition and building an endowment, so the youth in Avalon can play for as little as $10.

As someone who has grown up playing in the organization, he continues to share the passion and the love of game to the youth of Avalon now.

Arnie Gonzales, the glove doctor. Arnie for over 30 years as a coach has shared his passion of baseball/softball with the youth of Avalon. If there is a bat and glove involved, Arnie is there to teach. Arnie believes every kid should have the opportunity to play and the lack of equipment was not an excuse. If you didn’t have a glove or your glove was old, The Glove Doctor would either fix it or give you a refurbished one, for free.

The next members who were honored are three incredible philanthropists who have given time and donated resources to make sure our community youth programs are able to thrive on the Island.

Bob and Carol Butte are avid boaters who loved the Island and raised their children in the summer here.

They wanted to be able to give back to this community that they loved to be a part of. So they created the Church Mouse Marlin Tournament. For over 20 years through this tournament over a $1 million dollars has been raised, and 100 percent of proceeds went back into the community.

Paxson “Packy” Offield grew up here on the Island, was a teacher on the Island, married an Island girl, and ran the Island Company—you can say he was deeply connected.

He was quiet about his philanthropic endeavors on the Island. But if you were a recipient of his blessings it spoke louder than words.

He helped fund CHOICES to give alternate choices to drugs and alcohol.

He also was behind educational endeavors through the Conservancy to get our youth to understand and enjoy the recreational resources of our Island.

Catalina Performing Arts Foundation to provide the arts to our youth and community was another of Packy’s interests.

He also gave scholarships to our graduating seniors, and so many others but he would never tell you.

Packy wanted to make sure our youth were well-rounded, ready to experience the world and he wanted to give our youth an opportunity to better their lives.

As a tribute to National Volunteer Week the City of Avalon will be honoring more community members in the future.

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