James Morehead Premieres “When no one else will” at City of Dublin Volunteer Recognition Event

DUBLIN, CA–The City of Dublin filled the Shannon Community Center last night to celebrate volunteers who contributed to the Dublin community in 2022. Mayor Melissa Hernandez and other elected officials recognized Dublin’s Young Citizen of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Organization of the Year, and special Mayor’s awards. James Morehead, Poet Laureate – Dublin, CA (recently confirmed for a second two-year term) opened the celebration with an original poem “When no one else will”.

When no one else will

While I played in our local park
my father picked up candy wrappers, empty bottles—
forgotten things discarded among the slides
and swings and buried in sand. 
He tossed each into a garbage can
just footsteps away, shaking his head in dismay. 

Daddy, why are you cleaning up?
I asked in a tiny voice,
You didn't make the mess.

He stopped, stood tall, 
and said with a fatherly tone
saved for passing down teachings,

Do the right thing, James, 
when no one else will.

So I set aside my playing
and silently joined him
gingerly picking up dirt-caked trash
until the playground was pristine. 

Decades later we gather to celebrate
doing the right thing
when no one else will
in classrooms and shelters
churches and parks
hospitals and centers
for strangers and neighbors
guided simply by the call of service.

copyright 2023 james c. morehead

At the event the 2022 City of Dublin awarded the following volunteers:

  • Citizen of the Year: Kristin Speck
  • Young Citizen of the Year: Yashas Shashidhara
  • Organization of the Year: Above & Beyond Leadership & Education (ABLE)
  • Mayor’s Award: Katie Cheng
  • Mayor’s Legacy Award: Erik Bertelson

The winners were announced on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, during an evening ceremony held at Shannon Community Center in Dublin. 

Each year, the City of Dublin recognizes a Citizen and Young Citizen (in grades 1 – 12) who have each made significant contributions toward enhancing the quality of life for residents of Dublin during the previous calendar year. Additionally, a non-profit organization that has provided services, which have substantially benefitted the residents of Dublin, is also recognized.  

The Mayor’s Award is a special award that Mayor Hernandez presents to someone whom she believes has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Dublin community in the previous calendar year.  The Mayor’s Legacy Award is an award that the Mayor presents to a group or individual to recognize extraordinary, long-term dedication to the Dublin community.

Award recipients will be recognized at the March 21, 2023, City Council meeting.  The Organization of the Year will receive a $500 cash prize, and a $300 donation will be given to each of the Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year’s favorite non-profit organization.  Two other finalists in each of the categories will also receive a cash prize in the amount of $200 for their favorite non-profit organizations.  Information on all nominated individuals and groups can be found on the City’s website at www.dublin.ca.gov/volunteers

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