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Lively, Gray named 2014 Man and Woman of the Year

Posted: May 6, 2014 12:55 p.m.
Updated: May 6, 2014 12:55 p.m.

Bill Lively and Cheryl Gray, winners of the 2014 Santa Clarita Valley Man and Woman of the Year awards. Photo courtesy of Gary Choppe

The selection process for Santa Clarita Valley Man and Woman of the Year has a lot to do with faithfulness to community service.

This year’s winners, announced Friday during a recognition dinner at the Hyatt Regency Valenica, certainly embody that devotion: attorney Bill Lively and property manager Cheryl Gray.

“(These awards) are to recognize and honor people who have given community service for a long time and normally in more than one organization,” said Elizabeth Hopp, co-chairwoman of this year’s SCV Man and Woman of the Year Committee.

Since 1964, when the local chamber of commerce elected an “Outstanding Citizen,” the valley has honored those who “have given outstanding volunteer service to the SCV area,” according to the awards’ website.

Presently, nominations come from nonprofit 501(c)(3) community service organizations. Lively and Gray were nominated by the SCV Senior Center and Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley Boys, respectively, and then chosen from a record pool of 29 hopefuls by a committee of former award winners, including Hopp.

Lively has lived in Santa Clarita since 1979 and has served at the Senior Center for 10 years. He’s also been a member of Rotary Club of SCV for 25 years and been involved with College of the Canyons Foundation, SCV Arts Council, Plaza Community Center, and other groups.

Gray moved to Newhall in 1984, but as a single mother of two, didn’t have much time for community service right away. In 1988, however, she helped with the Boys’ and Girls’ Club annual auction, and has done so every year since.

She has also worked with Zonta Club, Chamber of Commerce, Senior Center Wine Auction, and Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital among other organizations.

“(These people) supplement the paid staff for nonprofits,” Hopp said. “If volunteers went away and nonprofits had to pay people, they wouldn’t be able to operate.”

Organizations that nominate stand to receive a monetary prize if their nominee wins. Last year each winner’s nonprofit received $1,000, Hopp said.

Hopp and other former winners judge nominees on volunteer effort, years of service and the number of nonprofits the individual has served, among other criteria.




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