[KHTS] – Bill Lively was named the 2014 Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year and Cheryl Gray was named the 2014 Santa Clarita Valley Woman of the Year on Friday night at the Hyatt Regency Valencia. The 48th Annual Premier Volunteer Recognition Event was held to honor the 29 men and women nominated by Santa Clarita Valley nonprofits for the honor.
Lively, an attorney and founder of the Law Offices of William R. Lively & Associates, was nominated by Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center.
Gray, a property manager, was nominated by the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley.
Sarah Eaton sings in the winners
The naming of the 2014 SCV Man and Woman of the Year is a closely guarded secret by the SCV Man and Woman of the Year Committee. The committee is made up of past winners of the SCV Man and Woman of the Year honor.
Each of the winners was “sung” in by Sarah Eaton, who sang “It Had To Be You” to a surprised Gray and then sang “You Made Me Love You” to announce Lively’s win.
The tables were turned on Lively who has “sang in” in the winners in the past.
A stunned Gray said she was “shocked” at the honor.
“My flabber is gasted,” said Lively.
Honorees receive recognition
After dinner both honorees were seated onstage to receive their awards and tributes.
Videos, crafted by SCVTV and KHTS, were shown that told Gray’s and Lively’s life stories.
Diane Fiero, operating board president of the Boys & Girls Club of SCV, introduced a special video made by the Boys & Girls Club to celebrate Gray’s win.
The video showed Jim Ventress, chief professional officer of the Club, walking through the club’s Newhall Facility to the song “Happy” as students in the club danced and held up signs saying, “Congratulations Cher.”
Lively was lauded by Rachelle Dardeau, executive director of the SCV Senior Center, for his work supporting the Center.
“I am honored to be here to acknowledge Bill Lively’s commitment and contribution to public service.” said Dardeau.
After the tributes the honorees were able to address the audience.
“After five years of nominations I was beginning to feel a little like Susan Lucci,” said Gray. “There were so many great nominees this year.”
Gray thanked her family, the Boys & Girls Club of SCV and other nonprofits where she has volunteered.
“Volunteer work has given me great satisfaction,” she said. “I have also met many wonderful people and made true and lasting friends.”
Lively said he was “astonished” at the honor.
“One of the cool things about this is that I get to see my family all here in one room,” he said. “I will spend the rest of my life living up to this award. From the bottom of my heart I thank you for this, this means a lot to me.”
The duo was also presented with numerous certificates of recognition from state and local dignitaries.
The 2013 Man and Woman of the Year, Steve Sturgeon and Elizabeth Hopp, were the co-chairs of this year’s event.
More about the honorees
Lively has been involved with the Senior Center for 10 years, the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita for 25 years and a member of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce for more than 30 years. He’s also been on the SCV Food Pantry’s Board of Directors, a trustee for the College of the Canyons Foundation, on the board for Family Promise and involved with the Santa Clarita Valley Arts Council.
Gray has been involved with the SCV Boys & Girls Club for 26 years, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley for 16 years and a member of the SCV Chamber of Commerce for 26 years. She also supports Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, the American Heart Association and the Circle of Hope, in addition to the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, Carousel Ranch and the Santa Clarita Valley Child & Family Center.
Those nominated for 2014 SCV Man of the Year, along with their nominating organizations: Jim Backer, SCV Education Foundation; Donald Biggs, Samuel Dixon Family Health Center; Tim Davis, Bridge to Home; Bob Heinisch, American Legion-Newhall/Saugus; Carl Kanowsky, Boys & Girls Club of SCV; Taylor Kellstrom, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles; Jonathan Kraut, Domestic Violence Center; Bill Lively, SCV Senior Center; Frank McMahan, Sunrise Rotary; Randy Moberg, College of the Canyons Foundation; Chuck Morris, Friendly Valley Veterans Club; Cary Quashen, Action Family Foundation; Dave Reeves, Rotary Club of SCV; Eric Stroh, Carousel Ranch; and Steve Zimmer, Santa Clarita Child & Family Center.
Nominated for 2014 SCV Woman of the Year: Dorothy Bernier-DuVall, American Legion-Newhall/Saugus; Jill Bondy, Circle of Hope; Marianne Cederlind, Carousel Ranch; Sue Endress, Rotary Club of SCV; Cheryl Gray, Boys & Girls Club of SCV; Linda Hafizi, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation; Tracy Hauser, SCV Senior Center; Molly Hodson, Sunrise Rotary; Krissy McAfee, Action Family Foundation; Laina McFerren, Santa Clarita Child & Family Center; Susan Reynolds, Domestic Violence Center of SCV and Boy Scouts of America; Michele Stallings, California Youth Chess League and Sean’s Fund; Karen Maleck-Whiteley, Zonta Club of SCV; and Doris Marie Zimmer, College of the Canyons Foundation.
During the event each of the nominees was welcomed on stage to be introduced and receive recognition.
The SCV Man and Woman of the Year award was founded in 1964 when SCV resident A.B. Perkins was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year. The SCV Man and Woman of the Year awards honor men and women who have given outstanding volunteer service to the SCV. Volunteer service is defined by long-time community commitment (not work related) and includes years of volunteer service, the type of service, and the impact of the service provided to multiple local organizations.
For more information and complete list of previous winners visit www.scvmanandwomanoftheyear.com.