The winners of Menlo Park's Golden Acorn Awards are a varied but accomplished group and include the people behind a community cafe, a cycling fundraiser, a free meal program, a program to cut fresh water use at a golf course, and nonprofit and for-profit developers.
The winners have been announced in advance of a ceremony next month to celebrate their achievements and contributions.
The Golden Acorn Awards are an annual tradition of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce to recognize significant contributions to the community.
This year's winners are:
● For Business Excellence, Cafe Zoe. The community-oriented Menalto Avenue cafe, run by mother-daughter duo Kathleen Daly and Zoe Sharkey, turned 10 last year.
● For Community Service, Tour de Menlo. Tour de Menlo is an annual fundraiser sponsored by the Rotary Club of Menlo Park Foundation and The Almanac. It raises funds for initiatives the Rotary Clubs supports and The Almanac's Holiday Fund, which distributes funds to local community-serving nonprofits. The tour invites participants on several bike loops from Menlo-Atherton High School up to 100 kilometers.
● For Professional Leadership, MidPen Housing. MidPen Housing is a nonprofit housing developer that built Sequoia Belle Haven, a senior affordable housing development, in 2017, and is working on a project to redevelop old affordable housing on Willow Road into 140 new affordable housing units for families.
● For being an "Unsung Hero", St. Anthony's Padua Dining Room. The volunteer-run program, which has been operating since 1974, provides up to 500 people hot meals six times a week.
● For Environmental Stewardship, two winners were named: Tarlton Properties and the public-private partnership between the West Bay Sanitary District and the Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club to bring recycled water to the golf course. Tarlton Properties is the owner and property management company of Menlo Park Labs and is a primary owner in the area, developing life science buildings with sustainable features in the Bayfront area. West Bay Sanitary District has partnered with the Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club to bring the city's first recycled water system to the golf course.
The winners will be recognized at a ceremony to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19, at Hotel Nia, 200 Independence Drive, in Menlo Park. Tickets are $125.
Register here to attend.