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Galt Herald

Local Couple, Nonprofit Exemplify Caring, Compassion

Mar 27, 2024 04:37PM ● By award compassion volunteer Galt

Gary Keisler (left) and Bonita Keisler (right) receive Galt Community of Character Coalition’s 2024 Caring and Compassion Award. They were nominated by Kent Pearce. Photos by Matthew Malone

GALT, CA (MPG) - The Galt Community of Character Coalition recognized a local couple and L’Chayim of Galt volunteers with its 2024 Caring and Compassion Award. It presented the award at the March 5 Galt City Council meeting.
The coalition spotlights individuals and groups throughout the year for exemplifying one of six character traits it considers vital to the Galt community.
In February, the coalition also gave the Caring and Compassion Award to Liberty Ranch High School Assistant Principal Tony Lara.
Galt residents Gary and Bonita Keisler were nominated for the award by their neighbor, Kent Pearce, for helping Pearce after he moved into the neighborhood.
Reading from the nomination narrative for the Keislers, Leesa Klotz of the character coalition said Pearce told the Keislers he is a stroke survivor and appreciates help. Gary Keisler lent a hand by mowing Pearce’s lawn.
“The Keislers have demonstrated kindness by regularly checking in with their neighbor and inquiring about his health and well-being,” Klotz read. “They have also been generous in loaning items to their neighbor, who needed to borrow them or do without. While these acts of kindness may seem like small things, they mean a great deal to the well-being and daily quality of life of their neighbor.”
The narrative said the Keislers show that even small acts can have a “tremendous beneficial impact on others.”
“Gary and Bonita Keisler represent the best of Galt, as true role models of Caring and Compassion,” Klotz concluded.
The other Caring and Compassion Award went to the L’Chayim of Galt volunteers. The nonprofit boutique sells handmade fabric crafts at its Fourth Street storefront to fund its giving to local causes. L’Chayim board President Gale Webber nominated the volunteers, who sew the merchandise, help customers and assist with day-to-day operations.
“These nonpaid volunteers are more committed than any paid staff I have ever worked with,” Webber said. “I am always surrounded by kindness every day I am here.”
Volunteer Ysaura Strootman spoke to the Herald a few days later about the honor, as she constructed an apron for holding chicken eggs.
“It was nice getting recognition, and it’s fun to work here and work with the ladies and use up my retirement time,” Strootman said with a laugh. “If I can’t be with my grandbaby all the time, it’s great being here because, either way, it’s fun and I do what … I enjoy best.”
The other volunteers recognized were Gail Parish, Linda Torelli, Vicki Catherwood, Debra Kunz, K.C. Boschee, Cynthia Heuvel, Ellen Henrikson, Carolyn Miller, Susan Lethbridge, Michelle Lincomfelt, Ely Rodriguez, Ramona Temple, Marie Sparks, Angie Bousquet, Kathy Hill, Adell Wyckoff, Mary Velasquez, Loretta Borgia, Marylou Lincomfelt, and Nicole Morgan.
Strootman said she values the nonprofit organization’s emphasis on caring and compassion.
“That’s what I really enjoy about volunteering here is because I know it’s going to go for a good cause. The ladies are very caring. We treat each other with respect, and we try to treat others with respect.”
Since May 2021, L’Chayim has donated $9,000 and items such as raffle baskets to local groups.
Reading the nomination narrative for L’Chayim, Klotz noted that the store is a social gathering place for regular customers, especially nearby older adults.
Calling L’Chayim another role model of caring and compassion, Klotz quoted Webber: “Helping one person might not change the whole world but it could change the world for one person.” H