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20111011_Miss_AwardsB_095The community turned out to honor four of its top citizens Tuesday night as the annual citizen awards were presented by the Progress Times at the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce banquet.

Long-time insurance agent Sylvia Wolf was named First Lady of Mission and retired pharmacist Ricardo Martinez was honored as Mr. Mission. These awards are for long-term service to the community.

Selected as Man of the Year was Dr. Noel O. Garza, DDS and Cuquis Cerda was honored as Woman of the Year. Man and Woman of the Year awards are for civic or church service for two or more years. All of the honorees were presented with plaques by the 2010 recipients of the same awards.

20111011_Miss_AwardsB_104Mr. Mission

Ricardo Martinez was honored for over 30 years of service on a variety of boards. Announcing the award at the banquet, Progress Times Publisher Jim Brunson said, “This is a man with a remarkable record of service to our hometown of Mission.” And he is not slowing down. “Like the Eveready Bunny, he just keeps on serving,” Brunson added.

Martinez served on the Mission school board for 14 years, from 1987-2001, serving two terms as president. He presently serves on the Hospital Foundation board, the Fountain of Mercies Ministries board, Mission Regional Medical Center (MRMC) board and Mission Economic Development board. He previously served on the hospital board from 1981-1989, filling all the board positions, including chairman of the board and was asked to serve again, in 2008.

He served 10 years on the San Juan Nursing board of directors, until 2010, serving eight years as president. He is a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, where he has served as a lector, and is a member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church Men’s ACTS Choir, where he plays keyboard. Martinez is also a past member of the Mission Planning and Zoning Commission.

20111011_Miss_AwardsB_099First Lady of Mission

Sylvia Wolf started her career at Mission Duncan Insurance Agency in 1981 and has been highly involved in the community for 30 years. She served on the board of directors for the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce from 1990-1996 and served as the organization’s first female chairperson during that time. She has been a supporter and participant in the Annual Poinsettia Show, the Mission Garden Club and the Texas Citrus Fiesta.

She is a is a long-time member and the treasurer for Damas Catolicas of Mission and Catholic Daughters of the America’s Court St. Rose of Lima #827, where she is a past regent, having served two terms as regent for the court. Both organizations are affiliated with the Catholic Church offering service opportunities and spiritual development for their membership. She has served as a CCD teacher for the church and is presently the lector coordinator at St. Paul’s Catholic Church where she has served in that position over 20 years. She now sits on the liturgy committee for the parish.

Amidst this very busy life, her family needs have been great. Her daughter, Penny Wolf, told the Progress Times, “Our family has been through a lot in recent years and my mother has been such an inspirational source of strength and faith through this time. Her father suffered a massive stroke about 30 years ago and she has been a constant through all the ups and downs…She is incredibly caring when working with him, and this is also evident in her interactions with others.”

20111011_Miss_AwardsB_090Man of the Year

Brunson said Dr. Noel Garza “embodies that spirit of service by a younger generation dedicated to making Mission a better place to live.”

Garza has taken a strong interest in serving the youth, having served on the board of the Mission Boys & Girls Club for the past three years and as a Sharyland school board member since 2007. He was president of the Sharyland school board last year and this year serves as president of the Boys & Girls Club board.

He also serves on the board of directors for the non-profit organization

Dentists Who Care.

Professionally, he served on the board of the Rio Grande Valley District Dental Society four years, from 2000 to 2004, serving as president in 2004.

Currently, he serves on the Texas Department of Health State Medicaid Committee, appointed by the Texas Dental Association.

20111011_Miss_AwardsB_094Woman of the Year

Cuquis Cerda, the wife of Mission City Manager Julio Cerda, comes from a small community in Mexico, and has quickly woven herself into the fabric of Mission. Growing up in the humble condition of her small hometown attuned her to being responsive to the needs of others, said Progress Times Community News Editor Mendi Brunson.

This busy mother of three currently serves on the board of The Foundation of Mission Regional Medical Center and has also participated in fundraising efforts with the North American Butterfly Association to make the Visitors Center at the park a reality. Additionally, she served on the planning committee to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the City of Mission.

She has been an effective volunteer in securing donations to keep the Rainbow Room at the Mission Police Department stocked with clothing, shoes and books for victims of violence.

She served as the chairperson of the fundraising committee for the San Cristobal de Magallanes Church to be constructed at the Plantation Subdivision in Mission.

In addition, she collects donations for Casa Amparo in Reynosa where she sends shoes for the orphans, and collects donations of medical supplies and equipment for her hometown’s clinic in San Fernando, Tamaulipas.

“Her children are sure to emulate her example as they often accompany her when she is volunteering at the food pantry, the hospital, at city hall events, the museum, her church and even other people’s churches when called upon,” said Mendi Brunson.

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