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VCCF Seeks Nominations for Kesa Ryono Unsung Hero Award

The Ventura County Community Foundation seeks nominations for the Kesa Ryono Unsung Hero Award to honor a Ventura County resident who works diligently and without fanfare to better the quality of life in his or her neighborhood.

Named for the Port Hueneme community activist who died in March 2010 at age 47, the award will be presented at VCCF’s fourth Community Leadership Awards ceremony in April, when the foundation recognizes organizations and individuals who have shown exemplary philanthropic leadership.

The deadline to submit 200-word nominating statements is Feb. 10, and the winner will be chosen by the VCCF board.

Janet Bridgers, of Oxnard, won the inaugural Ryono award in 2011 for her campaign to preserve the environment. Michele Foster took the honor in 2012 for her work incorporating art as a healing tool for victims of abuse in Ventura.

At the time of her death Ryono worked at the community foundation as an associate for the Ventura County Civic Alliance, a VCCF initiative focused on the region’s environment, workforce and communities. The mother of two daughters, she became a leader in the campaign to shut down the toxic Halaco smelting plant adjacent to the Oxnard park and beach where her girls played.
To learn more, go to

Email nominating statements to or mail them to Kesa Ryono Award Nominations, c/o Ventura County Community Foundation, 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd., Suite A, Camarillo, CA 93012.

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