American Canyon’s 20th Annual Community Recognition Ball, sponsored by the Napa Valley Vintners and Redwood Credit Union, honored Richard Peterson with the prestigious Gateway Award.
The City also presented awards to Mid-City Nursery for the Business of the Year, Josh Coleman for Police Officer of the Year, and Tammy Lam for Youth of the Year. Several Organizational Awards and Certificates of Appreciation were also presented during the “Roaring 20s” themed awards dinner hosted by the City on April 27.
The Gateway Award is the community’s top honor acknowledging long-lasting and impactful community service in American Canyon. Mayor Lean Garcia described Peterson as “a gravitational force that pulls people into the volunteer pool of American Canyon. With his patience, knowledge, and ability to think clearly and calmly in stressful situations, he is a person you can count on.”
Rich is a beloved member of the Lion’s Club and a devoted Cub Scout volunteer. He takes an active role in all major events in the city. Rich has played a big role in the Season of Giving, and as a part of the committee for the Annual Chili Cook-Off since the beginning. He has organized and supported the Special Education Student’s Picnic. During the Little League season, Rich can be spotted in a blue uniform umpiring or helping wherever needed. If all of this wasn’t enough, he was one of the founding members of the American Canyon Community and Parks Foundation. The work and care he has put into American Canyon have not gone unnoticed.
The City honored a local business, Mid-City Nursery, for significant community service contributions. Councilmember Joseph described the Business of the Year as “the heart of American Canyon, beating strong for over 70 years!” Mid-City Nursery, Inc. was founded in 1954 by John J. “Mickey” and Wilma “Dollie” Mikolajcik. Mickey is known officially as the “Father of American Canyon” because of his tireless service and commitment in helping make American Canyon into a city. Mickey and Dollie’s wonderful legacy of hard work, kindness, honesty, and a love for people and plants continues to grow. The award was accepted Jake Mikolajcik, Mickey and Dollie’s grandson, who owns the nursery with his father, John.
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The City presented Police Officer of the Year to Josh Coleman for his professionalism, duty, and commitment. Police Chief Oscar Ortiz described an incident in which Officer Coleman, who was off duty with his family at the time, was in the area of a large explosion near Santa Rosa.
He noticed a deputy sheriff patrol vehicle was damaged and witnessed a subject running from the scene. After making sure his family was safe, Officer Coleman gave chase (on foot), caught the suspect, and detained him until the uniformed Deputy, who was in the store at the time of the explosion, arrived to assist. While handcuffing the suspect, officers noticed a vibration coming from the backpack. Officer Coleman cut the backpack off of the suspect, and it was placed in an area away from civilians until the Sonoma Sheriff’s Office Bomb Team arrived and rendered the backpack safe.
Earlier in the year on May 25, 2018, while working patrol, Officer Coleman was the first officer on scene at a major injuries collision involving a vehicle versus a pedestrian. Officer Coleman recognized the need to control arterial bleeding in the victim’s leg and quickly applied a tourniquet above the injury, potentially saving the victim’s life. Police Chief Oscar Ortiz presented the award to Josh’s son Navek Coleman, on his behalf.
Vice Mayor Aboudamous and Council Member Leary introduced the Youth of the Year award winner, Tammy Lam. Tammy is a star student, a community volunteer, and an inspiration to those around her. She is the President of the Key Club at American Canyon High School and will be a valedictorian at American Canyon High School. She has given her time and talents to the Donaldson Way’s Spring Fling and Garden Volunteer Day, Canyon Oaks’ Harvest Festival, Spring Arts Festival, Reading Buddies Program, and Father/Daughter Dance. Outside of school-centered activities, Tammy has helped at the American Canyon Community and Parks Foundation Gala, the Season of Giving, and the American Canyon Emergency Food Pantry.
Each service club and non-profit organization nominates their shining star of the year to receive an Organizational Award and recognize their most dedicated volunteers with Certificates of Appreciation.