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April 16, 2013 > Historical Society honors local history heroes

Historical Society honors local history heroes

Submitted By Marcess Owings

The History Awards, the annual gala hosted by the Hayward Area Historical Society (HAHS) to recognize individuals and organizations whose efforts preserve and nurture the vibrant past of the Greater Hayward community, will be presented at Stonebrae Country Club on April 26. The celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and sweeping sunset views of the Bay. This year, five recipients were selected and will be honored at the event.

Historic Business Award: Eden Medical Center
Eden Hospital began providing health services in the Hayward area in 1954, when its Castro Valley location was populated by more chickens than people. Today, Castro Valley and the entire Hayward area are a metropolis, and the hospital is renewing its presence with the state of the art Eden Medical Center. A community hospital truly shapes one's identity and may even shape our living and dying.

Historic Organization Award: Rowell Ranch Rodeo
Western-style rodeos are part and parcel of California's agricultural heritage, and rancher Harry Rowell helped cement it as a sport right here in the East Bay. Rowell's first rodeo was held over 90 years ago on his own ranch in Dublin Canyon, the site of the present day rodeo, but for years it was held on the athletic fields of Hayward's Burbank School. After Harry's death in 1969, his wife Maggie worked with the community and the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District to create the Rowell Ranch Rodeo Park in Harry's memory.

Historic Preservation Award: Michael and Julie Sundita
The Sundita's home on Pinedale Court is a lovingly preserved example of the charming architectural style early 20th century developers created to attract buyers to new subdivision projects. Michael and Julie Sundita have been wonderful stewards of their historic gem, maintaining the character and charm of a house whose growing sewer and electrical lines in 1928 would have been a selling point to its original owners Homer and Adelaide Struble.

Educator of the Year: Cheryl Gerard
Cheryl Gerard teaches 3rd and 4th grade at Lea's Christian School in Hayward. HAHS's educational resources are designed to help teachers meet curriculum standards, and each year Ms. Gerard makes full use of what we have to offer: guided visits to McConaghy House, downtown walking tours, and discovery kits and online resources for the classroom. Her efforts make history come to life and that makes learning meaningful and fun!

John Sandoval Award: Betty Moose
The John Sandoval Award is given to a community member who, through outstanding volunteer service, has a profound impact on people's awareness of our history. As President of the San Lorenzo Heritage Society, Betty Moose and other dedicated San Lorenzans strive to preserve and document one of the East Bay's historic communities. She also served on the Hayward Shoreline Planning Agency, working tirelessly to preserve and make accessible the surviving open spaces around the Bay to educate visitors and residents on the importance of sustaining our natural shoreline for native wildlife. Betty's commitment ensures that future generations will continue to enjoy California's unique bayside legacy.

In addition to the awards ceremony, the evening's festivities will include live music by Christine Ferrari's Swing Society Band, buffet dinner, and the opportunity to bid on many exciting silent auction items. Raffle tickets are also available and feature a private tour and tasting at Byington Vineyard for up to 15 guests.

Proceeds from the History Awards support the Historical Society's historic preservation and educational endeavors. All who wish to support and honor those who are hard at work preserving the landscape that is home to some of our most cherished memories are invited to attend. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Alison Wenz at (510) 581-0223 or

History Awards
Friday, Apr 26
5:30 p.m.
Stonebrae Country Club
23 Country Club Dr., Hayward
(510) 581-0223
Tickets: $85 (member), $95 (non-member)

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