On Friday, April 14, State Assemblymember Alex Lee’s office hosted the 2023 Unsung Hero Awards.
Milpitas resident Rahim Jaffer (nominated by Shaheena Daredia) — an active volunteer with Ismaili CIVIC and the Aga Khan Development Network, which carries out food drives, teachings, and finding ways to assist seniors in the community — was among the evening’s honorees. Rahim also does remote work training professionals for the School of Professional and Continuing Education in Afghanistan.
Also honored was Milpitas’ Nonie McDonald (nominated by Vice Mayor Evelyn Chua). McDonald functions as a major fundraiser and volunteer for the Milpitas Library, having raised thousands of dollars for it.
Patricia Montoya was also nominated for the award by Chua. Montoya founded “The Peaceful Poets of Milpitas” 16 years ago; the club brings together writers and lovers of poetry from all age groups.
Notably, among the night’s honorees was also Milpitas City Manager Steve McHarris, who was nominated by Milpitas Councilmember Anthony Phan. The event literature said of Steve McHarris, “Under his leadership, the City of Milpitas has encouraged, promoted, and led on Transit-Oriented-Developments, pedestrian and bicycle trail connections, historic preservation, and affordable housing.”
McHarris expressed gratitude over being recognized for his contribution to Milpitas in a positive way. In an email exchange with The Beat, he wrote, “It’s been an honor to serve the City of Milpitas with the enthusiastic support of the residents, business community, and our incredible city staff all along the way. I am also extremely proud of the Milpitas brand and reputation we have built over the past 5 years. People say, ‘I love New York.’ I say, ‘I love Milpitas.’”
Watch the whole awards ceremony here.