Each year the City of Cupertino presents its CREST Awards, “Cupertino Recognizes Extra Steps Taken,” to honor the outstanding contributions of Cupertino community members. The public is invited to the annual awards ceremony and reception on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in Cupertino Community Hall, 10350 Torre Avenue. The event is free to the public and heavy appetizers will be served.
2019 CREST Award Winners
Lifetime Achievement: Steve Hill
A 41-year resident of Cupertino, Steve Hill has been volunteering for his community for many years. He first joined the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in 2004, and has since gotten involved with several other emergency preparedness programs throughout the City, including the Cupertino Amateur Radio Emergency Service (CARES), the Block Leader program, and Neighborhood Watch. He is extremely passionate about emergency preparedness and crime prevention, and has dedicated countless volunteer hours to ensure that the City’s emergency response is as efficient and organized as possible.
Audrey has been drawing ever since she can remember, using her talent to make her community a better place. She started taking lessons at Hongyun Art Academy in Cupertino at six years old, and has since then become a Teacher’s Assistant, as well as their Volunteer Outreach Director. She manages art workshops at various senior retirement centers around the Bay Area, providing a fun program for the seniors she works with in addition to volunteer opportunities for her fellow art students. She has a great love of cats, and created 12 illustrations of cats from around the world, which she made into a calendar. She is currently a junior at Monta Vista High School.
The Knights of Columbus, St. Francis of Assisi Council #4981 was formed in Cupertino almost 50 years ago on the principles of charity and unity. They host a weekly bingo night held at the St. Joseph of Cupertino parish, and donate the funds raised to support a wide array of local organizations, including food kitchens, disability outreach, children’s programs, and many more. The volunteer members of the Knights of Columbus also participate in regular food drives, where they donate food to local kitchens and shelters several times per week.
Fabrizio Vitagliano first came to the community in 2017 as the co-founder of Enzo’s Italian Restaurant, and has been an active volunteer since. He became a member of the Rotary Club of Cupertino, and he joined the board of directors for both the Cupertino Historical Society and the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce. In addition to volunteering, he has donated food from his restaurant as a co-sponsor for several community events across the City. He is also a volunteer with the Cupertino-Copertino Sister Cities Association, and served as an interpreter and cultural liaison for a delegation trip to Copertino, Italy in 2018 and for the Italian student delegation when they visited Cupertino in 2019. He is currently working to bring a computer history exhibit from Italy to display at the Cupertino Historical Society’s museum.
What started as an interest in ham radio quickly turned into an avenue for volunteering for Sidharth. He received his radio operating license at the age of 12 and joined the Cupertino Amateur Radio Emergency Response (CARES), a volunteer-based program responsible for providing essential communication services for the City in the event of an emergency or disaster. As a member of CARES, Sidharth assists with drills and emergency simulations, provides outreach to the community through events like the Emergency Preparedness Fair, and runs communications for celebrations like the July 4th fireworks show. He was also the chair of the Teen Commission for two years, and even helped draft a city ordinance to combat binge drinking among teens. He is currently a junior at Monta Vista High School.
De Anza College: De Anza College is well known for its excellence in academics and consistent high rankings among community colleges, and has been a champion of sustainability and environmental protection. Not only is the campus dedicated to ensuring that its classrooms and facilities are greener and more eco-friendly, but it actively promotes sustainability practices across campus life. Some of the many campus-wide initiatives that have been implemented include using biodegradable products in the Campus Center, replacing chemical fertilizers with composted material for athletic fields, saving water with low-flow showers and irrigation, installing water bottle filling stations, saving energy with LED lights and sensors, generating power from a fleet of solar panels, planting drought-tolerant plants, and so much more. In 2016, De Anza College earned the Bay Area Green Business certification for all its sustainability initiatives.
Grassroots Ecology: Grassroots Ecology became an independent organization in 2016, but has served areas along the Peninsula and throughout the Bay Area through other organizations for many years. With the help of thousands of volunteers, their goal is to restore local ecosystems while working with and educating the community about sustainability and the environment. Not only do they work in the field by stewarding the land, removing weeds, planting native plants, and analyzing water conditions, but they also provide after school programs and host events at the McClellan Ranch Preserve that teach youth how to care for their local ecosystems, empowering and educating the next generation of environmental leaders. In Cupertino, over 500 volunteers worked to restore the riparian habitat and the floodplain of Stevens Creek by controlling invasive plants and establishing “islands” of native vegetation.