Cinco de Mayo chairman passing on family legacy

By Jim Shilander

Volunteer of the Year Ed Molina with Mayor Tim Brown at the city’s volunteer appreciation event Friday. Photo by Jim Shilander

Ed Molina is passing on an already strong legacy of volunteerism to the next generation.

Molina, who was honored Friday as San Clemente’s Volunteer of the Year, took over as chairman of the city’s Cinco de Mayo Fiesta committee in 2005. His father, Ed Molina Sr., had been on the original board that created the event, which will be celebrating its 25th year in 2015. His son will join the committee this year to carry on the tradition.

Molina also volunteers with the Gang Reduction Intervention Program, as a club soccer coach among other organizations.

“The reason I’m involved is the community I’m a part of,” Molina said. “It’s people that you want to be with, people who are dedicated and who get the job done. I’m very blessed to be in a community that I love.”

Molina said he intends to stay involved in the Cinco de Mayo event for as long as he can. He said he did not expect to win the award.

“I didn’t even know my name was up for it,” Molina said. “I just knew there was a luncheon for volunteer appreciation. I didn’t know until someone pointed it out on the program.”

Molina said he intends on having the best event possible next year, including the potential for an expanded games area and local entertainment.

“That’s what we strive for every year, and to make sure the community has a lot of fun,” Molina said. “It’s kind of the kick-off for all the events in San Clemente (in the spring and summer months).”

Other volunteers honored included Jennifer Greener, president of the Pet Project Foundation, San Clemente Friends of the Library volunteer Cass Jones and Jill Martin of Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Special certificates of recognition were given to Pam Hill, Steve Kell and Alan Nowell of the San Clemente Art Association, for their assistance with the San Clemente Street Art program, and Suzanne Ansari and Allen Khorouszan, for restarting the Neighborhood Watch program in the Richmond Pointe area of Rancho San Clemente.

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