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February 19, 2013 > Hayward Area Recreation and Park District awards

Hayward Area Recreation and Park District awards

Submitted By H.A.R.D.

In 1962, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD) Board of Directors established an Annual Board of Directors Awards policy to recognize individuals and organizations that, on a voluntary basis, assist the District in its mission to provide high quality leisure facilities and programs to its residents.

On December 21, 2012, the Board of Directors' Awards Committee composed of Directors Paul Hodges and Minane Jameson and staff members Dan Giammona and Kerrilyn Ely reviewed the nominations received for 2012. As always, the group of nominees was strong; the Committee selected the following recipients for this year's awards:

Harry Francis (Individual Award Winner)
Harry Francis is honored posthumously for his outstanding community involvement that has made our District a better place to live and work. Harry dedicated his life to his family and our community.

During his life he served as a Board Member for the District from 1995-1996. In 1996, after leaving the District Board, he began a 17-year tenure on the Castro Valley Sanitary District Board, where he served on committees and as a Commissioner of the East Bay Dischargers Authority Board. He also was an active representative for the Alameda County Special Districts' Association.

In addition to his Board responsibilities, he volunteered on various committees, commissions and advisory committees that have been instrumental in the provision of fundraising, preservation and improvement to community services throughout the Greater Hayward area.

Harry was nominated by Director Dennis Waespi and Parks Superintendent Larry Lepore. His wife, MaryAnn Francis, accepted the award.

South Hayward Parish (Organization Award Winner)
The Organization Award for 2012 is presented to the South Hayward Parish. For more than 40 years, this organization has engaged people in an endeavor and partnership of building a better community.

In 2011, the Parish launched a very unique recreation therapy program called "Homeless Angels" that focused on building individual capacity, skills and security to avoid homelessness. The program's central purpose is building individual self-sufficiency through the creation of art, design and jewelry-making. This program invites individuals who are at risk of homelessness, or who are homeless, to join Community Action Network (CAN) members in job-creation activities. The program has been a success, moving six once at-risk individuals to stable housing and jobs.

The South Hayward Parish, which was nominated by Sara Lamnin, has encouraged community involvement, advocacy and individual assistance to those most in need in our community.

Dr. Russell Hackler, D.V.M. (Special Recognition)
A special award is being presented to the late Dr. Russell Hackler, who was killed in a plane accident in November 2012.

Since 1986, Dr. Hackler donated more than 2,400 hours of veterinary care and services to Sulphur Creek Nature Center animals. He saved hundreds of animals and provided countless services at no cost to the District. This selfless donation of time and skills were his contribution and shared vision for the mission of Sulphur Creek Nature Center. Despite a very busy paid veterinary practice, Dr. Hackler always made time for injured or in-need animals from Sulphur Creek, including foxes, gophers, skunks, bobcats, bats and opossums which received treatment, X-rays, pathology, exams, neutering and emergency surgery.

Dr. Hackler is a very deserving recipient of special recognition for his donation of professional skills and services to the Sulphur Creek Nature Center over the past 26 years. Dr. Russell Hackler, DVM was nominated by Wendy Winsted. His wife, Kathie Hackler, and granddaughter, Amanda Dilger, accepted the award.

Award winners were recognized at the HARD's Annual Board of Directors' Awards luncheon, provided by Elite Catering, at the Mt. Eden Mansion, Hayward, on Friday, January 25, 2013. For more about the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, visit

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