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Volunteer Of The Year

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2023 Volunteer Nancy Munson

At its annual 2024 gala attended by more than 200 members and their guests, Pickleball Club President Carol Cerioni announced that Nancy Munson was named as our club’s  2023 Volunteer of the Year Award.  Nancy was honored for her ground-breaking work on last June’s debut of the Pickleball 4 Parkinson’s (P4P) fundraiser.

 

Thanks to modern technology, Nancy, who was ill at home and unable to attend the gala, recorded an emotionally sincere video message which was shown to gala attendees. Nancy felt greatly honored to have received the award and thanked our Pickleball Club members and sponsors for the success of P4P.

 

Since Nancy’s husband Larry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s more than nine and a half years ago, Nancy was committed to focusing her energy on advancing Parkinson’s research, which resulted in Nancy’s brainchild, Pickleball 4 Parkinson’s, here in Rossmoor.  She headed a P4P steering committee that started meeting in February 2023.  Club members were recruited to plan a tournament for more than 90 players with booths for sponsors, food, and a raffle with a 120 gifts from residents and local businesses.  Our Rossmoor community showed incredible support with 400 attendees for the two-day event last June.  Throughout this fast-paced planning phase, Nancy displayed her boundless energy, creative ideas, artistic talents (she designed the logo), and positive attitude.

 

The P4P fundraiser was able to donate nearly $57,000 to The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease.  Nancy was heartened to learn that just prior to the event, the Foundation announced a major breakthrough in the identification of a Parkinson’s biomarker, which will ultimately result in better identification and treatment of the disease.

 

Nancy also lobbied for several years for the Fitness Center to re-start an exercise class for residents with Parkinson’s which had terminated during Covid.  The Fitness Center now sponsors a class twice a week attended by a dozen residents.

 

Nancy spent her early years in Orinda and attended Miramonte High School where she was once a cheerleader—totally befitting her personality. She attended Arizona State University and soon after met Larry.  She and Larry were fated to meet at a San Francisco restaurant when Nancy’s dinner date was late, and Larry picked up not only his dinner but Nancy’s phone number that night.

 

Nancy’s career, as a regional manager for corporate office furniture, and Larry’s career, as an executive in marketing, involved living in the Bay Area but also in St. Louis and Chicago.

 

Although Nancy brings her energy and positive attitude to the pickleball courts 3-4 times a week, she has other interests.  While on hiatus from the next P4P planning session this past year, Nancy took a flower pressing class at the UC Botanical Gardens.  Since then, she has created amazing notecards and bookmarks with pressed flowers and leaves.  She has been known to make a U-turn (legal, of course) while driving to pursue a particular bush, tree, or flower.  Nancy’s latest caper occurred in the local Starbuck’s drive-up lane (she’s hooked on their iced tea).  After spotting a beautiful blue flower, she lowered her car window and snatched a branch.  She later returned with floral cutters for more.  Some of her close friends are contemplating an intervention to enroll her in a 12-step leaf and flower gathering program.

 

Besides her passion for amassing leaves, flowers, and pinecones (Pinecones 4 Parkinson’s?) on her dining room table, she and Larry enjoy many concerts in Rossmoor. Nancy’s a member of Sustainable Rossmoor and her mutual project’s Tree Planting and Preservation Committee.  Look for her Rossmoor News articles on various trees growing in Rossmoor.

 

Their daughter Marjorie lives with their son-in-law Garland (both volunteers at the P4P event) and dog Elle in Florida. 

 

Those of us who have the good fortune of knowing Nancy, cherish her friendship and warmth.  Congratulations to Nancy on a well-deserved award!

Previous Volunteers Of The Year

Every year the Rossmoor Pickleball Club honors an individual who generously dedicated time and effort to the club. Below are the past recipients of the RPC Volunteer of the Year award.

  • 2022  Suzanne Wong

  • 2020   Corky Scott

  • 2019   Marc Hamaji

  • 2018   Ted Bentley

  • 2017   Frank Reynolds

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