What: The honorees will be publicly recognized at the Davis Chamber of Commerce’s installation dinner
When: Friday, Jan. 20
Where: ARC Ballroom, UC Davis
Tickets: Cost is $80 until Dec. 29; $90 thereafter; call (530) 756-5160
Perhaps the only thing as abundant as bicycles in the city of Davis is volunteers.
The community is teeming with individuals who are willing to step up and help out, often for nothing more than a “thank you.”
Which is part of why this year’s recipients of the top community awards were both surprised and humbled to learn of receiving their honors. Adam and Janice Bridge have been named the C.A. Covell Citizens of the Year, and Joe DeUlloa is receiving the A.G. Brinley Plaque for Outstanding Service.
“I was stunned,” Janice Bridge said. “It was a ruse. (The selection committee representatives) told us they were coming over to talk about working on a campaign. So (the award) was the furthest thing from my mind when they showed up.
“It’s a combination of things. There is a pride in the work we have done and a real feeling of being humble because this is a community that lends itself beautifully to volunteers.”
The Covell Award is presented to those who dedicate their service to the city over time in a number of areas. During their 32 years in Davis, the Bridges have devoted themselves to plenty of causes, from coaching teams to chairing committees, even serving in elective office.
“There are a lot of can-do people in this town,” Adam said. “To be counted in the ranks of those people, it’s very humbling.”
The couple raised three children in Davis, and their early volunteer work revolved around the children’s schedules. Adam was a volunteer at North Davis and Valley Oak elementary schools and Emerson Junior High, while Janice joined the Parent Teachers Association and served on the Davis Board of Education from 1993 to 1997. She currently serves on the Sutter Davis Hospital Foundation board of directors.
“The opportunity to be involved in your community really enhances your experience,” Janice said.
Adam added: “And in Davis, it’s particularly fun.”
Adam coached Little League, sat on the Davis Aquadarts board and became an official for Sierra Nevada Swimming. He worked hard and became a stroke and turn judge for the U.S. Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, Ind.
“That was a pretty terrific experience,” he said.
The Bridges picked up cycling in 2006 as part of a major weight-loss regimen. Adam discovered he really liked cycling and started looking for a group of like-minded people to join. He found the Davis Bike Club and learned about the Amgen Tour of California professional race.
“Before I didn’t know anything, then I started listening to road races, and now I’m an avid Tour de France watcher on TV,” Adam said.
Since 2008, they have both helped make the Tour a success in Davis. They added cyclist Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Challenge to their résumé in 2011.
“Adam understands the cycling portion and he has competition expertise,” Janice said. “And I handle the volunteers who don’t touch the course.”
In 2008, Adam served as a course marshal for Amgen as the riders pedaled through Davis. The following year, he and Janice were tagged as the volunteer coordinators for the stage start in Davis. In 2010, they organized more than 200 volunteers and coordinated help for the Breakaway Ride for Cancer, which raised $500,000 for research.
“It turned out to be a great experience,” Adam said.
While the Bridges were volunteering in their many areas of interest, DeUlloa found himself helping in an area that was new to him. Originally, he planned to help the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center of Yolo County renovate a former elementary school into its headquarters.
But during the early stages of the construction project, SADVC found itself looking for an executive director. The board asked DeUlloa if he’d be willing to work “a few hours a week” — just answer phones and such — while it conducted an in-depth search to find a permanent leader.
His part-time gig turned into six months of full-time work, which helped keep SADVC afloat during uncertain times of government funding cuts. That commitment earned him the A.G. Brinley Award for Outstanding Service.
“I would hope that most of the people would have done the same,” said DeUlloa, who now works in investment property sales. “I think you should give as much as you can. I’m honored because in Davis so many people are giving.”
Thankfully, some government funding was restored for SADVC, but there was still some belt-tightening to be done. DeUlloa developed plans that prevented the organization from losing ground and was actually able to help the women and children served by the agency by securing better training and support for their therapists.
“We were in crisis mode,” he said. “The main mission I had was to continue to provide services to the women.
“Cutting back or closing the shelter was on the line,” he added. “I said, ‘That’s not going to happen. That’s our main purpose.’ Thankfully, the government restored the funding.”
A little more than six months after DeUlloa finished his stint, the renovation was completed. In addition, SADVC hired Lynnette Irlmeier as its executive director.
“It’s very gratifying because they had small, cramped quarters in a little Victorian (house),” DeUlloa said. “They are a wonderful group of people.
“I like a challenge,” he added. “I like making a difference. What was really rewarding was knowing I left a place a little better than when I started.”
— Reach Kim Orendor at email@example.com