Town and Gown Awards
Five local volunteers were recognized for their commitment to the community during Town & Gown’s 2013 Awards of Distinction.
Carol Koelsch Appleton, Carol Ann Franklin, Jessie Powell, Tish Sandos and Jeffrey Waldron were all celebrated during a dinner on March 16. After several years of honoring just women, to mark the 30th anniversary of Town & Gown, nominations were open to men as well.
“When I saw the announcement that Town & Gown was opening up this award for men, I immediately thought of Jeff,” said Tracy Massimiano, an art teacher at Redlands East Valley High School.
Appleton, the former first lady of the University of Redlands, is a member of the Redlands Art Association, Redlands Camera Club, and April Morning Club. An artist, she taught “Experiencing the Arts” to University of Redlands students studying in Salzburg.
“I’m very grateful to receive this award, but to be perfectly honest I’d feel way more comfortable if I was sitting in the audience watching someone else win the award,” she said.
“She doesn’t seek recognition,” said her husband, University of Redlands president emeritus James Appleton. “She just simply and in a very effective and elegant way completes the things that are important in her life, including a myriad of responsibilities as first lady for over 20 years, her enormous love and support for me, and of course her dedication to our terrific family.”
Franklin is a professor emerita at the University of Redlands, having taught for 32 years in the School of Education. She is also a founding faculty member of the doctorate in leadership with an emphasis in educational justice. Franklin, a past president of the San Gorgonio Girl Scout Council and the Redlands YWCA, is currently director of Partnership for Youth in Foster Care, which provides tutoring and mentoring to at-risk youth.
“I’ve watched so many women win Awards of Distinction, and it’s a good group to be with,
Franklin said. “I was overwhelmed; you just do things in life and don’t expect somebody to recognize you.”
“Carol cannot say no,” said her friend, Catherine Walker, ITS manager at the University of Redlands. “Carol is that person that whatever the need is, and especially for the foster children, she’s there.”
Powell is a certified public accountant specializing in nonprofit groups and governmental entities. She has served on boards at the Redlands YWCA, Redlands Family Service Association, Soroptimist International of Redlands, the Redlands Community Music Association, Kimberly Shirk Association, and the YMCA of the East Valley.
“I really like to help organizations in particular with their missions and goals and ensuring they are on a sound financial footing,” she said. “As a result, I’ve gotten involved in a lot of different organizations in the community, helping them try to understand their financial situation. This is a beautiful town that has so many fabulous organizations in it.”
“She’s well respected by her peers in public accounting and finance, so any time Jessie’s on the board she adds credibility to the organization and brings a lot of competency to that board,” said friend Neal Waner.
Sandos, a retired wine executive, has co-authored books with her husband Jim on the Mission period of early California. A co-organizer of the Buena Vista Oak Tree Project, she also serves as a tour guide for the Heritage Auxiliary tours of Redlands.
“I was a Peace Corps volunteer, and it just seemed like when college was over the next thing I needed was to give back,” she said. “I had two incredible years; if I wasn’t wired for service before that I sure was after.”
“She has always had a great spirit of community and a very interesting career, but always with her career has believed she could make this a better community, and she has done that,” said friend Char Burgess, vice president and dean of student life at the University of Redlands.
Waldron, a retired naval officer and certified public accountant, is the president of the Redlands Community Music Association and board member of the Redlands Historical Museum Association. He served for 13 years as the volunteer project manager of the Mission Gables Bowl House Restoration and Adaptive Reuse project.
“I feel so fortunate to be a part of this community and would like to leave something of value behind, something of really lasting value,” he said.
“He doesn’t take the things that come to him for granted,” his wife, Trudy Waldron, said. “I think as a result of that appreciation, another thing I respect about Jeff is out of that appreciation grows a tremendous sense of generosity.”