Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach to honor Citizens of the Year

clambert@thetribunenews.comJanuary 15, 2013 

Two dedicated South County residents — a longtime Arroyo Grande volunteer and the founder of a Grover Beach outreach program for women — will be honored later this month as Citizens of the Year by the Arroyo Grande & Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Bob Lund, longtime president and executive director of the Arroyo Grande Village Improvement Association, has been named Arroyo Grande’s 2012 Citizen of the Year.

Lund also volunteers as community coordinator for Arroyo Grande in Bloom, coordinates the annual Strawberry Festival, serves as treasurer of the annual Arroyo Grande Valley Harvest Festival and served as event coordinator for the city’s centennial celebration.

“He cares more about the Village than anyone,” said Verena Maier, owner of Verena’s Go Gourmet, who nominated Lund for the award.

Lund spends about 35 to 40 hours a week in his volunteer roles. He became involved in community groups soon after moving to the area in 1993.

“First of all, I love the people,” he replied when asked why he continues to volunteer. “Their sense of pride and ownership in this community is so great that it makes you want to become a greater part of that.”

The Grover Beach 2012 Citizen of the Year is Judy Boen, founder and chief executive officer of Captive Hearts, which provides counseling and other assistance to women who have been subject to domestic violence, have been incarcerated, or directed to a recovery program for drug or alcohol addiction.

“Judy’s efforts have changed the lives of many recovery clients, reversed the destructive cycle of addition, and healed families. She is truly an outstanding person,” said Paul Robertus, a member of the nonprofit’s board of directors, who nominated Boen.

Boen founded Captive Hearts in 2000, and it includes two recovery homes and a transitional housing program for women. Boen also serves as a chaplain at San Luis Obispo County Jail. Each year, her team bakes and delivers more than 5,000 cookies to jail inmates.

“I don’t think about what I do; it is just a way of life for me and always has been,” said Boen, who said she was shocked by the award.

“If one person’s life changes, I will feel at the end of mine that I will accomplish what I was put here to do — to love unconditionally and give them hope that someone can change,” she added.

In addition, Lisa Hensley will be honored with the Ken Talley Award, which is given annually to an organization or person who has contributed to youth character-building programs on the Central Coast.

Hensley “wholeheartedly volunteers and offers her time to improve the quality of life for children and youth in the community,” according to a news release from the chamber.

She has served as a Camp Fire leader, a volunteer with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and served as a board member for the Arroyo Grande High School Band and Eagle Boosters.

The chamber will also honor past Grover Beach chamber board members and others who “went above and beyond” to help the Grover Beach chamber, said Judith Bean, president and CEO of the Arroyo Grande & Grover Beach chamber. The two chambers merged last year.

The chamber’s 52nd annual dinner will start at 5 p.m. on Jan. 31 at the South County Regional Center, 800 W. Branch St. in Arroyo Grande. Tickets are $55. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 489-1488.

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