The Sunday Read: Heroes Among Us

The Sunday Read: Heroes Among Us

Published on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 | 12:25 pm

In real life, heroes wearing capes and red boots don’t swoop in and save the day when trouble comes to call.

Heroes are usually already there, ready to help, whether they’re dressed in hospital garb or grocery store aprons; driving police cars or fire trucks or ambulances or buses; making deliveries or writing on chalkboards.

Some keep power plant generators working and others take out small business loans to provide jobs.

In most cases, they are not strangers — they’re our family members, neighbors and friends.

Heroes are ordinary, everyday people who step up and do extraordinary things during times of crisis.

It’s strange to think about now, but through all the fear, all the death, the worry and confusion of the pandemic, there were people who did their jobs, even when faced with all the tragedies and unknowns of 2020. These people showed up and took care of their communities, their neighbors and people they didn’t even know.

They deserve our respect and gratitude. They are global heroes who faced a harsh local reality that few have ever faced.

As someone who actually contracted COVID-19 and was one day away from death, I want to thank the doctors and nurses who didn’t give up on me, and to my friends and relatives who showed up and helped me and my family regardless of the risks. You are my heroes, and I thank you.

My personal experience motivated me, on behalf of Pasadena Now, to ask community leaders to recognize the individuals, employees, friends, companies, groups and organizations that stood out to them as heroes during the global crisis of 2020-21.

How do you thank a few when hundreds deserve our gratitude, was what most asked us, and that’s a fair question. We all want to thank the hundreds who helped society, but this list is a bit more personal. It includes those who either touched someone’s life directly or stood out in the crowd, and there are many.

Before we begin, let me say that the staff at Pasadena Now covered the 2020-21 pandemic every day, so we saw firsthand those who cared, those who soldiered on and showed their true colors. One of those standouts is Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian.

As a media outlet, we depend on communication from the city and Derderian seemed superhuman at times. We want to thank her for her tireless efforts to keep residents informed while dealing with all the curveballs that come with crises.

Additionally, we want to express our utmost gratitude to the people who wore masks, followed the rules, listened to the guidelines and did their part to help stop the spread of this deadly virus. Of course, we know it’s not over yet, nobody knows better than us. We hear it and write about it daily, but we’ve all come this far during incredibly trying times.

We also express our deepest condolences to every family that lost a loved one, and everyone who is fighting to recover from the virus and its lingering effects.


ArtCenter College of Design

From Teri Bond and Jered Gold of ArtCenter College of Design

 Cynthia Quentin, Director, Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management, has been key in keeping our campus community safe from the very moment the risk of a virus was detected in late 2019. She’s resolute with a smile, comprehensive and inclusive, the best kind of leader in a life and death crisis.  

  Rollin Homer, Vice President, Facilities and Campus Planning, continued to supervise a team of people who keep the campus clean of dangerous virus spreading germs and functioning during the pandemic while most everyone else worked remotely. At the same time, he’s overseen a multitude of construction projects across the two campus locations to improve ArtCenter’s infrastructure and learning spaces.  

 Jim Finch, Director, Campus Security, and his team have been guarding the premises, providing safe and controlled access to campus using a new app-based check-in service that also provides continually updated capacity information for each building. Additionally, Jim and his team have been integral in facilitating our students’ ability to pick-up materials, equipment and resources using the College’s “Service Bureau” model in which our shops, labs and other amenities help students fulfill their educational needs.

Leading with compassion, Karen Hofmann, Provost, pivoted into action the minute lockdown went into effect, working around the clock with a large team of experts to transform an in person art and design college into a robust remote learning environment in a matter of only six days. Typical of a designer, she and her colleagues have not stopped iterating ever since to discover the absolute best solution for our students.

 Katie Perkins, Director, Exchange and Study Away, bolted into action to establish three global Community Hubs—in Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul—launched by ArtCenter during the Fall term (and a fourth location in Shenzhen this past spring) to address the challenge of classes being taught entirely online and enrolled students being located around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


County Supervisor Kathryn Barger

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the individuals behind the scenes who were truly instrumental in supporting the County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes:

  • Kevin McGowan, Director of the LA County Office of Emergency Management
  • Dr. Clayton Kazan, Testing Czar and Medical Director for LA County Fire Department 
  • Sachi Hamai, LA County CEO
  • Mary Wickham, LA County Counsel
  • Cathy Chidester, LA County Emergency Medical Services Agency 

These individuals all worked tirelessly, with commitment and dedication, to ensure that the County was able to effectively respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency and meet the needs of our 10 million residents. Their hard work ranged from a variety of critically important services such as setting up the new infrastructure to test millions of residents throughout the LA County region; distributing vitally important PPE equipment; managing the services necessitated by the civil unrest and major wildfires in the midst of the pandemic; setting up mobile hospital supports (such as the one established at Huntington Hospital); ensuring that essential resources and funding are distributed to partners in real time; and supporting the implementation of the various health officer orders and emergency orders necessitated by COVID-19.

 Industry Recognition 

I would like to recognize everyone in the Healthcare industry across the board. Regardless of their role, our healthcare workers were on the frontlines and selflessly provided care and service to those who were most in need, without turning their backs when our hospitals were hit the hardest. 



From Shayna Chabner-McKinney, Chief Communications Officer

We are immensely grateful and proud of the commitment from all of our Caltech members who worked diligently throughout the pandemic to keep not only Caltech, but also the broader community, safe and healthy through these uncertain COVID-19 times.

Caltech’s Dr. Pamela Björkman 
Caltech Professor of Biology and Bioengineering Pamela Björkman and her laboratory have been working tirelessly through the pandemic to try and identify a vaccine that could work against all strains and variants of the general family of coronaviruses. Björkman’s advanced research on nanoparticle immunization technology has been widely acknowledged throughout this pandemic as a possible key to developing this type of universal vaccine. She hopes that this technology will elicit neutralizing responses against SARS-CoV-2 and protect against all coronaviruses with pandemic potential. Considered a trusted source, her research has been covered extensively by the New York Times, CNN, Forbes, Bloomberg, and numerous science journals.

Caltech Researchers Who Partnered with Pasadena Public Health on COVID-19 Study
Because so many COVID-19 infections occur when an asymptomatic person exposes others to the virus, public health experts have sought to better understand a timeline of these infections, such as when a person is exposed to the virus, when their infection can be detected, when they become able to infect others, and when they might start to show symptoms.

To contribute to that effort, a group of Caltech researchers has teamed up with the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) to study how the amount of the virus changes in a person’s body after they are infected. The researchers are in the laboratory of Rustem Ismagilov, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and director of the Jacobs Institute for Molecular Engineering for Medicine. The Caltech team is still consulting with PPHD to analyze results and to try and mitigate viral transmission in the future. 

For more click here 

Mauro Hernandez, Who Helped Staff Get Vaccinated 
Mauro Hernandez has worked with Caltech Facilities for 31 years. His current position is lead custodian. At the beginning of March 2021, when education workers became eligible for the vaccine, Hernandez worked with Get Out the Shot: Los Angeles (GOTSLA), a volunteer organization, to make sure his staff got vaccinated by getting the word out, connecting employees to volunteers, and checking in to make sure they had appointments. When Caltech announced that eligible family members of its employees were invited to a March 19 clinic, he told his crew immediately, and as a result, many at-risk spouses received a vaccination.  

For more click here

Caltech Researchers and Institute’s Facilities Team 
It is a fact that a well-ventilated space decreases risk of COVID transmission in a room, but what is the best way to measure ventilation? To help to ensure the safety of the students and staff, a cross-disciplinary group of Caltech researchers as well as members of the Institute’s facilities team have adapted technology used by geochemists and atmospheric scientists to survey ventilation rates in buildings across the campus. Using a novel approach, the team has measured over 100 rooms and labs on the Caltech campus to help provide a safe return for students and employees. An additional goal is to make this ventilation model and instrumentation available for use by the general public, thereby reducing the risk of viral transmission.  

For more click here

Grounds, Custodial, and Facilities Staff Helped to Maintain Caltech as a “Good Neighbor” 
During the pandemic, as many indoor and outdoor public facilities and events were closed or canceled, Caltech’s outdoor campus remained open to visitors. With strict COVID-19 compliance protocols in place, visitors were allowed to take walks, walk their dogs, or have their children play safely around the grassy areas and ponds on the campus. A welcome haven for many weary “stay-at-homers,” the Caltech grounds, custodial, and facilities staffs made sure to maintain the campus in a safe, clean manner, and provided an impeccable, enjoyable environment for visitors and neighbors.


Mayor Gordo

Hundreds, hundreds. I mean whether they were engineers at the power plant, there’s six or seven engineers who can run the power plant and that’s it. And they have to, and they do it 24/7, whether it was the individuals ensuring that things weren’t worse from a health perspective, because the trash was being picked up, all the way up to department heads. In the health department and the police department, the fire department. Everyone deserves credit. It was an extraordinary time where we simply did not see an end in sight. And then when we were hit with the second stronger wave it seemed all the more daunting and the individuals who responded the first time around responded yet again. And, we should recognize the role that essential workers played in what I hope to be the most trying time of our generation. I hope we don’t experience anything like that again.

And I would add residents too, the important role that residents played caring for neighbors, caring for one another, the unsung stories of neighbors delivering groceries for neighbors who couldn’t go to the grocery store. I’ve heard many stories of neighbors looking out for one another. I’d like to thank all Pasadena residents for having done their part and nonprofits and those who support them and volunteer.


Assemblymember Chris Holden

“In a time of uncertainty, our brave healthcare workers, grocery store employees, police, firefighters and so many more – answered the call to action in responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In every sector and institution in Pasadena and throughout the State, they were our heroes. From PUSD and faith-based organizations to giving out meals,  to the post office continuing mail service, so many people adapted in order to serve the public.  While all of us experienced moments of pain and grief for loved ones lost,  we also experienced family, friends and neighbors coming together to help each other in ways they never had, and yes sometimes it happened while standing six feet apart.”


The Huntington Hospital 

From Dr. Lori J. Morgan, President and CEO, Huntington Hospital

“There are no words to convey the immense pride I have for the incredible work and dedication of our nurses, employees and affiliated physicians over the past year. They have been put in unparalleled situations – holding hands when no one else could and drying tears when our very best was not enough. They have also missed countless moments with their families and worried about the impact of the virus on their own loved ones. Their unwavering dedication to our patients and community is awe-inspiring.”


The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce

From Paul Little, Pasadena Chamber President and CEO

  • David Reyes City Planning Director and his staff
  • Laura Cornejo transportation director and her staff
  • Ara Maloyan and the Public Works Department staff
  • Dr. Goh and health department staff.

They all were creative, quick to respond and willing to expedite requests and processes to get businesses open or keep them open.

They and their staff are real heroes.

I would also say that the Health Department went out of its way to facilitate restaurant re-openings. They streamlined inspections and adopted interim rules to allow outdoor dining, etc. So I also want to recognize Rachel Janbek in the department.

I would acknowledge The Stand for donating food for healthcare workers early on. Domino’s Pizza did the same on numerous occasions donating to Exer Urgent Care, The Public Health Department, ChapCare and others. 

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation did the Food for First Responders early on and collected donations that bought $40,000 worth of take-out food for Huntington Hospital COVID care personnel from El Portal, Mijares, Bistro 45 and Parkway Grill. As well as had food delivered from Raffi’s Catering and Pasadena Sandwich Company to Exer Urgent Care who were taking all the non-critical emergency room patients to relieve Huntington’s emergency room. 


Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell

“There were many heroes during the COVID-19 crisis; doctors, nurses and staff at Huntington Hospital, front-line workers in grocery stores and restaurants and many other examples.  As it relates to City staff, certainly, top of the list is Dr. Ying-Ying Goh.  Her efforts to protect public health during the pandemic have been nothing short of heroic.  Also from the Health Department, Dr. Matt Feaster, whose contributions to understanding the COVID-19 pandemic were recognized by the California Association of Communicable Disease Controllers (CACDC).  Rachel Janbek, who leads our Environmental Health Division and her team of Inspectors who worked so closely with our local restauranteurs and through whose efforts we were able to keep our local restaurants open in November even after LA County decided to close those operating in its jurisdiction.  Many other City employees stand out for their contributions over and above during an extremely difficult period; however, rather than recognize some and not others, I would simply say that throughout the pandemic and to this day, Pasadena employees exemplify the true meaning of public service.”


Pasadena City College

From Alex Boekelheide, Special Assistant to the Superintendent/President of Pasadena City College

These folks were all nominees for the Above and Beyond Awards at PCC, which were presented in a Zoom ceremony on June 3.

 As for the group recognition, PCC’s heroes of the pandemic are our maintenance and operations staff and our campus police personnel. Our custodial staff worked straight through the pandemic, cleaning and sanitizing all of our classrooms and prepping the campus for our return. Campus Police kept our college safe and secure and continue to distinguish themselves in their flexibility and adaptability to new challenges. PCC would not be where it is today without the dedication of these individuals!

These are the nominees with their specific awards indicated in caps. The information for each is from their nomination packet and should be credited anonymously.

Desiree Zuniga, academic counselor


  • Desiree has done so much work to implement innovative strategies under the HSI Grant (such as creating the EQUIPO), being instrumental in implementing/designing the asynchronous College One culturally responsive curriculum, as well all of her work with First Year Experience student cohort.
  • Desiree has been dedicated to ensuring equitable outcomes for our campus’s historically marginalized student populations. She has been central in forming the Student Advisory Equipo, which has led to the BLACC Student Council. Through these efforts she is centering student voices and placing students at the table in order to empower them to inform our praxis as educators. Additionally, she has worked collaboratively with empowerment programs to create and Anti-Racism Guide for the campus and her work with the Abriendo Caminos HSI grant has assisted in creating a more equitable learning environment for not only Latino/a/x students, but other historically marginalized students as well. Lastly, she has worked as the counseling co-lead for our campus’s FYE program, which she has assisted in making a more equitable program for our campus’s DI student groups. 

Nairi Zograbyan, security administrator, information technology services


  • Nairi goes beyond what is required as the PCC Security Administrator, he has presented the work done at PCC in several tech conferences, as a presenter and panelist. PCC has been ahead of the curve during the COVID-19, and Nairi has been instrumental in contributing to making us a award winning community college in the area of technology.
  • Nairi has taken the lead several times this year with Professional Development Day, and Classified Day, in addition he volunteers for any student event he is asked to participate in. Nairi took a leadership role in support and preparation of Armenian Genocide Commemoration Week, which was an amazing educational experience. Nairi always has a positive outlook in support of making PCC a awarding winning community college.

  Akilah Brown, English faculty


  • AKILAH IS ZOOMERIFIC! She has absolutely increased morale TENFOLD through her almost-daily Zoom Teacher Accountability Sessions! She sends out Zoom links through email to a variety of faculty and whomever wants to join can join at any time, and we all grade together, plan together, and more.
  • Akilah not only works tirelessly on behalf of student in the Student Success committee and her other commitments, but she has also worked tirelessly to support her colleagues during this time of overwhelming adversity. Her service is outstanding, authentic, and transformative.

  James Bull, Pathways Center assistant


  • James stepped up dramatically to increase our responsiveness during shut down. His leadership was exemplary. Additionally, the communication coordination with multiple offices , management of schedules, and supportive feedback he offered have been priceless. I appreciate James willingness to stand in the gap and remain flexible.
  • James managed and coordinated the Virtual Support Center that allowed the FYE team along with others across the campus to provide assistance to students in their time of need. James created a training program, resources, and a structure for those that were assisting in the Virtual Support Center so that students were able to be helped efficiently and effectively. In addition to his work with the VSC, he created videos and guides for students needing additional assistance in finding important information on their LancerPoint or simply being able to register.

 Cathy Wei, Chinese faculty


  • Cathy Wei has been a champion for PCC and the community college system, and she has done so through her extensive volunteer and community activism with local cultural groups, PTAs, non-profit organizations and even educational organizations abroad. In addition to that, she has been an ardent supporter of our international students and international exchange at PCC. 
  • During the height of the pandemic, many of PCC’s international students were not able to fly back home, were not able to work on-campus because of closures, and many of their parents’ reported job losses. Many of our PCC international students experienced high levels of mental and financial stress and because they are not eligible for federal financial aid opportunities, very little monetary help is available. Cathy immediately leveraged her network with local non-profit organizations to help some of our most affected international students. One of our international students received a grant through Cathy’s help, and it eventually helped the student pay for her housing expenses so she would not get evicted.
  • Cathy also serves on the board of the Pasadena Sister Cities Committee, a volunteer committee that strengthens international exchange with sister cities to Pasadena. Through her volunteer work with this committee, Cathy has furthered our college’s visibility and connection abroad. She has facilitated numerous foreign Ministry of Education, university, and high school visits to PCC in an effort to not only promote our college, but to also increase visibility to the city of Pasadena as a premier place of study.


The Pasadena Police Department

From Pasadena Chief of Police John Perez

I think there are so many individuals throughout the Pasadena Community that helped us make it through this pandemic.  The obvious choice would be the hard working staff at the Pasadena Health Department with the leadership of Dr. Goh and Dr. Feaster as well as our medical partners at the different hospitals and medical facilities who for months, faced dangerous conditions.

For the Police Department, the following individuals were instrumental in the success of our operations:

  •         Commander Art Chute – Commander in charge of our Patrol Division and was at the forefront of maintaining day to day operations of not only the public safety aspect but also managing the COVID crisis.  Commander Chute was responsible for interfacing with the different city entities for daily Emergency Operations Center (EOC) briefings and provided updates of the PD’s operations.  This required regular meetings with all of the different PD divisions so he could have updated information to determine the best course of operational actions.  This became increasingly more difficult as the social justice demonstrations began.
  •         Commander Mark Goodman – Became our resident expert on the course of action with employee exposures to COVID.  This required frequent coordination and communication with both the Health Department and PFD’s Paramedics.   Commander Goodman’s actions likely limited the number of PD employees who were infected with the COVID virus. Additionally, he coordinated both the testing of all PD employees  and vaccinations, once they became available.
  •         Administrator Alicia Patterson – As the pandemic began and PD leadership recognized the need for PPE, Alicia worked quickly to secure the necessary supplies to keep the PD functioning in their role of Public Safety.  Her efforts helped to maintain a sufficient supply of PPE for the department, in a very organized and very efficient manner.  
  •         Lola Fyles – As the pandemic became prolonged, it became abundantly clear the Health Department was severely understaffed in their efforts to adequately manage the contact tracing aspect of the virus.  Ms. Fyles, who is an administrative assistant to the PD’s Command Staff, immediately volunteered to help with this difficult task.  As more and more Pasadena residents became infected, Lola made phone calls in an attempt locate additional people who may have been exposed/infected and provided direction on how to minimize further risk.    
  •         The Fire Department’s Battalion Chief Tim Sell – Chief Sell was a wealth of knowledge and the main person the PD turned to for expert medical advice.  His understand of the virus and the best course of action to take for exposed employees was exceptional.  We could call Chief Sell at any time of the day and he would always answer.  After explaining the potential exposure to Chief Sell, he would assess the situation and provide us with exceptional advice on how the PD’s management should move forward with the impacted employee.  Tim’s advice had a significantly positive impact on the minimal COVID cases we encountered at the PD.


Senator Anthony J. Portantino

I am proud to recognize women heroes of pandemic from the Altadena, Pasadena, and South Pasadena areas for their dedication and commitment to the health and safety of our communities during this unprecedented pandemic; and participate with the following names:

  • Jacqueline Williams, Ed. D, Pasadena, Assistant Superintendent of the West San Gabriel Valley Special Education Local Plan Area
  • Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, City of Pasadena – Director of Public Health and Health Officer
  • Carole Gallegos, South Pasadena
  • Manager of South Pasadena Farmers Market
  • Merri Jill Finstrom, South Pasadena
  • Owner, HUTdogs
  • Rebecca Schmitt, Altadena
  • The Altadena Mask Project
  • South Pasadena Woman’s Club Mask Distribution Project, South Pasadena
  • Anne Bagasao, Liz Calvert, Sharon Garcia, Patricia Loverme, Pat Payne, Sherry Plotkin, Ellen Daigle 


Pasadena Unified School District

From Board of Education President Scott Phelps and Superintendent Brian McDonald, Ed.D.

We would like to take this time to thank the many heroes who supported our students, families, and community during the pandemic.

PUSD employees acted with passion and imagination to serve our students, offering our instruction and programs in an online format. Our students, with their indomitable spirit, inspired every decision we made and every action we took.

Teachers, administrators, and employees demonstrated with their expertise and dedication that Pasadena Unified schools are cornerstones of this community. That our schools — whether we’re learning at a distance or in brick and mortar buildings — are not only centers of learning, but anchors for the whole community.

We would like to recognize the dedication and commitment of all PUSD employees and our labor partners CSEA, UTP, Teamsters, and APSA in responding to the pandemic and in planning for the future.  

Parents and guardians kept children learning at home, stepping in to support their children’s learning. Balancing work, life, and school during the pandemic challenged all of us. 

We are fortunate to have so many organizations that partnered with us to serve students and their families. From volunteering at curbside Grab & Go meals to providing funding to support district students and teachers, PUSD’s partners stepped up in a big way.  

PUSD is fortunate to have highly engaged parent and community committees and advisory councils whose members work hard every day to support our schools. A big thank you to:

The African American Parent Council (AAPC), Collaborate PASadena, the Community Advisory Committee (CAC), the District Advisory Council (DAC), the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC), the DLIP Task Force, the Foster Youth Parent Advisory Committee, the LCAP Task Force,  the PTA Council and all of the PTAs and PTSAs at our schools, the Pasadena Educational Foundation, and the Pasadena Education Network.  


The Rose Bowl

From the Rose Bowl Stadium Management

The Rose Bowl Stadium staff have continued to raise the bar and truly step up in the moments that matter, throughout one of the most difficult years for not only our business but for the world. Throughout this global pandemic, we have watched our staff work harder than ever before to keep the Rose Bowl Stadium viable. We are touched that Pasadena Now is taking the time to honor some of the men and women who have truly risen to the occasion and gone beyond their everyday roles and responsibilities, over the last year and a half. The Rose Bowl Stadium would like to honor the following staff members, for their involvement in planning, executing, as well as spending countless hours both on and off the clock, volunteering their time to ensure that families in PUSD had meals for the weekend, while many of the families were out of work during the height of the pandemic. We would like to honor:  

  • Rose Bowl Stadium Event Manager Lauren Corona
  • Rose Bowl Stadium Maintenance Chris Campbell
  • Rose Bowl Stadium Operations Coordinator Brian Gomez
  • Rose Bowl Stadium Maintenance Gerald Choyce

Lastly, with all the changes that have taken place throughout this past year and guidelines that continue to change, the Rose Bowl Stadium has been able to operate successfully due to the strong leadership of the Rose Bowl Stadium’s Chief Operations Officer, George W. Cunningham. He has gone to great lengths to ensure that all guidelines and protocols have been followed and as soon as they changed, he was on the front lines ensuring the Rose Bowl Stadium was one of the first to reach the next step in hosting events. He, in coordination with the City of Pasadena, ensured that FEMA trailers were available for first responders at the beginning of the pandemic and stepped up by offering the Rose Bowl Stadium as a COVID testing site during the peak of the pandemic. Thank you, George, for your continued commitment to the Rose Bowl Stadium and the Pasadena community.


The Pasadena Center Operating Company

From Mike Ross, Chief Executive Officer

“We’re grateful for the hard work and dedication of our staff to support our community with meals during the pandemic. We are especially appreciative of Gianna Wilkins and James Glen for their efforts to oversee the PCOC meal distribution programs and Lanese Cotton, of food and beverage provider Centerplate, for her work with Union Station and Shower of Hope. With their leadership the PCOC was able to execute a successful program providing over 82,000 meals, 2,300 staff hours and $94,000 of in-kind service over the past year. It was an all-hands-on-deck undertaking with Gianna, James and Lanese leading the operations.”


The Pasadena Tournament of Roses

From the staff

More than 140 volunteers joined us to distribute meals to PUSD students early during the COVID-19 quarantine. While many of those volunteered their time for several days, three of our members volunteered for more than 30 days of food deliveries — Michael Crowley, Alan Dugan and Jessica Holloway.

In addition, Vanessa Schulz not only volunteered for the PUSD meal deliveries, but also stepped up and to coordinate and schedule our volunteers for meal deliveries throughout PUSD effort.  

Terry Madigan – In addition to participating in the meal deliveries, Terry also organized and led the distribution of 10,000 children’s book to area organizations and youth. Terry and his husband also constructed a replica of the Wrigley Mansion to serve as a Little Free Library on Tournament grounds.

Tina Lowenthal not only volunteered for meal deliveries, but also participated in our children’s book distribution and volunteered at the PCC vaccination site four full, 8-hour days.


Vroman’s Bookstore

From Julia Cowlishaw, Chief Executive Officer, Vroman’s and Book Soup

Vroman’s is very fortunate because many of our employees have worked with us for many years. We did our best to make the work environment as safe as possible under the circumstances of COVID-19, but it wasn’t always an easy decision to return to work and sometimes it wasn’t possible due to family circumstances or health issues. However, when we were able to reopen for curbside and eventually in store shopping last summer our employees showed up. We could not have made it through the incredible outpouring of community support in September and October and through the holidays without their hard work and dedication, including the temporary hires we made. It is impossible to overstate our gratitude, and we can’t wait to celebrate at the employee appreciation party we hope to have later this year.


Pasadena Playhouse Village 

From Brian Wallace, Executive Director

Our Ambassador Guide team who managed to maintain essential services for public benefit through pandemic concerns, protests and curfews, and weeks of persistent fire smoke.


Pasadena Now

Pasadena Now is also interested in hearing your story, who your heroes were and are. We’d love to see your comments in the comments section below.

Thank you to all of our readers and supporters who managed to hold on during such difficult times. Also remember, we are your supporters as much as you are our supporters. We will always strive to make sure you have free access to the information that shapes your life in Pasadena.

Thank you all for being a part of the Pasadena Now community.

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One thought on “The Sunday Read: Heroes Among Us

  • It’s great to thank all the people who were extremely helpful and detrimental in these difficult almost 18 months, but not a single mention that It was God that sustained us and our faith in Him kept many of us going