A city of Murrieta firefighter, police officer and Murrieta Valley Unified School District teacher were honored Monday during the second annual Rotary Club of Murrieta Vocational Service Awards luncheon.
The three individuals—Engineer/Paramedic Sean DeGrave of the Murrieta Fire Department, Detective Andy Spagnolo of the Murrieta Police Department and Youngchul “Terry” Kim from Murrieta Mesa High School—were chosen by their respective agencies for their distinguished vocational and community service. The awards luncheon was held at Rancho Springs Medical Center’s Conference Center in Murrieta and was attended by Murrieta elected officials as well as community business leaders.
“The Rotary Club of Murrieta is honored to recognize these upstanding citizens who through their work are making real differences in our community,” said Frank Donahoe, 2012-2013 Rotary Club of Murrieta president. “We asked their employers to nominate individuals who exemplify the standards of Rotary, including ‘Service Above Self’ and the Four Way Test which stresses integrity, fairness of all, building good will and better friendships as well as being beneficial to all.”
The Fire Department’s Sean DeGrave, a seven-year employee, is a paramedic and engineer who drives and operates a ladder truck in Historic Downtown Murrieta. He spearheads the Murrieta Fire Department’s “Think First,” a youth- and teen-oriented program which helps children make positive choices in life. A cancer survivor, DeGrave coordinates the Fire Department’s Murrieta Relay for Life for cancer fundraising and he was a member of the Fire Department’s Ironman Team whose 12 members raised over $10,000 for the Firefighter Cancer Support Network in March. He was credited with saving the life of a distraught Murrieta teen runaway recently. He also recently received a “Heroes With A Heart” award from the Trauma Intervention Programs, Southwest Riverside County Chapter. DeGrave was also awarded the Phil Armentrout “Distinguished Service Firefighters” award. Armentrout was a Murrieta fire chief who died after a long battle with cancer.
Detective Andy Spagnolo has been in law enforcement for 18 years and the past six years with the Murrieta Police Department. He is a member of the Special Enforcement Team and has authored search warrants resulting in seizure of substantial amounts of money and illegal drugs. He is the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) officer for Murrieta, a mentor in the Police Activity League working with at-risk youth and was instrumental in bringing the “Shop with a Cop” program to the Murrieta Police Department. Spagnolo is a volunteer with the Special Olympics program and a member of the Police Officers Association Board for Directors which maintains a widows and orphans fund.
The Murrieta Valley Unified School District’s honoree—Youngchul “Terry” Kim— teaches in Culinary, Baking and Hospitality in Murrieta Mesa’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) department. Kim and his students prepare and serve food for staff and school activities as well as community events. They served meals for Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta's grand opening, a University of California Riverside Chancellor reception, the State of the City, and the annual Murrieta Mesa “Share the Harvest” dinner. Kim is providing opportunities for students to learn the culinary and hospitality business and to serve others in the community.
The Rotary Club of Murrieta was chartered on April 28, 1992. The club is involved in many international and community projects, in cooperation with Rotary International, which has as its theme "Service Above Self." Club meetings are held Mondays (excepting holidays) at noon at Richie's Diner in Murrieta.
—Submitted by the Rotary Club of Murrieta