BRAWLEY – Eric Reyes, President of the Institute for Socio-Economic Justice, announced that retiring Superior Court Judge, Donal B. Donnelly, was the 2014 Si Se Puede Service to Others recipient. The award was named in honor of Cesar Chavez whose motto was, Si Se Puede.
Reyes and Rusty Garcia, Hidalgo President and founder of the Anthony Garcia Foundation, both spoke highly of Donnelly for the years of service he has given the Valley on the bench and in the community.
Reyes said his group looks for community members that give unselfishly to the community and that Donnelly exemplifies the individual characteristics that personify the award.
Humorously, Donnelly recalled his first time in the Valley arriving July 5, 1983. “It was 121 degrees when I pulled into the Valley Plaza parking lot. I got out of my car and realized my tires had sunk into the molten asphalt.”
However, the Valley soon won him over as he watched a school performance on September 16, Mexican Independence Day. “The school children were dressed in beautiful folkloric costumes, Mariachi music was playing, everyone was clapping. It was an incredible scene.”
Donnelly will be given the award at the 9th Annual Cesar Chavez Community Celebration that will take place on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at the Brawley Cattle Call Arena in Brawley.
The Celebration will begin with the Scholarship 5K Fundraiser benefitting the Anthony Garcia Foundation. The event will include a 5k, a 10K and a two mile walk.
Rusty Garcia, whose son Anthony lost his battle to cancer his senior year of high school, spoke on the work of the foundation.
“We help families whose children are battling cancer, we do what is needed. Sometimes it is lodging in San Diego, sometimes they need a ride, or maybe just gas. We are here to help. We know what it is like going over the hill to try and save a loved one.”
Besides, aiding families, AG Foundation gives out scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Rusty Garcia once said, “My Anthony won’t be going on to college, but this way he can contribute to those who are.”
The third area the funds are used are for youth activities, both academic and athletic. Garcia said, “Anthony was involved in both pursuits when he was younger. We understand the value of helping youth activities.”
After the run, family entertainment will take place throughout the day in the Rotary Park area ending with a concert featuring recording artist, Los Tiranos Del Norte.
The day is called a Mega Event, because up on Brawley Main Street a Farmer’s Market from noon until 4:00 p.m. will lead off, followed by Take Back Main Street’s Lucha Libre Wrestling from 3:00 -5:00 p.m.