Here is something to ponder:
If we didn't have birthdays, you wouldn't be you
If you'd never been born, well then what would you do?
If you'd never been born, well then what would you be?
You might be a fish, or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be bag full of hard green tomatoes.
Or worse than all that... Why, you might be a wasn't
A wasn't has no fun at all. No he doesn't
A wasn't just isn't. He just isn't present.
But you... you are YOU! And now isn't that pleasant!
We are talking, of course, about the Rancho Cordovan of the Year, the wonderful Amy Hiramoto.
Amy was born in the tiny town of Orosi, the youngest daughter of Japanese American farmers. She spent her earliest days living in a Japanese internment camp which is why there are no baby pictures of Amy. She was the ripe old age of three when her first photo was snapped as her family returned to their farm.
It feels like there was never a time when Amy Hiramoto was not here in Rancho Cordova. But when husband Ed was offered a job by General Motors in 1971, the family moved to Cordova Meadows, and there they stayed. How fortunate for us.
Like other great parents, they were active in the education of their children nurturing three accomplished daughters through school including busy years at Cordova High. Like a lot of mothers, Amy began her community service supporting her children's schools. All three went on to college and careers, which for some would be accomplishment enough, but not Amy.
Amy spent a long career of her own, working for the Family Support Services division of the Folsom Cordova Unified School District, where the mission is closing the gaps that stand between families and educational success for children.
In that role, Amy came into contact with countless families whose needs are sometimes overwhelming. She became famous for a depth of knowledge of the challenges faced by those often forgotten in the community, and worked diligently and creatively to find ways to meet them.
She served on teams and committees working to resolve unmet health needs, bridge cultural and language divides and more. She turned heads as the volunteer recruiter and manager of a volunteer effort which built a playground at Cordova Meadows School in a single day.
When at long last it was time for Amy to retire, her remarkable career was celebrated by the entire community, who turned out in large numbers wearing buttons that said simply "Ask Amy" -- testament to the broad network of needs and resources she developed during her years at the school district.
For some, retirement is a winding down of activity. But not Amy.
As retirement allowed for more free hours, Amy quickly filled them with energetic volunteer activity.
- She joined the Cordova Community Council Board of Directors and serves on the Finance Committee, putting her many years of school district accounting chores to good use.
- She is a voice for the sometimes forgotten populations in the community.
- She was appointed by the school board to the school district oversight committees for Measure M, N and P.
- She was selected to be a part of the All America City teams in 2009 and 2010, helping bring home to Rancho Cordova that prestigious award.
- She is the smiling face at the door of the Rancho Cordova Luncheon, behind the bar at Artist Receptions, and can be found at the information booth at community events ranging from iFest and the Fourth of July to the Christmas Tree Lighting.
- For fun, she heads for the mountains each year to volunteer for the Lake Tahoe Marathon.
- But if there is one thing for which Amy will be most remembered it will be Kids Day in the Park.
Amy's tireless dedication to families in the community is best demonstrated by her unbroken dedication to this wonderful community event, where children come to have fun and parents come to get resources.
Begun a quarter century ago in White Rock Park to help residents there "take back their park," Amy has been there every step of the way since, helping it grow and evolve into the exceptional event it is today.
She saw it through the early years at White Rock, stuck with it during lean years, helped it make the move to Hagan Park and today remains at the helm as chairwoman, 26 amazing years later, never losing sight of the original goal: to have a great, free day for young families where they can play, laugh and learn together.
Amy remains a force of nature in Rancho Cordova, busy with her family, which has grown to include a new generation of grandchildren. She remains involved in her Cordova Meadows neighborhood, which is working hard to support their neighborhood school, address difficult crime issues and more.
Her vision stretches across the entire community of Rancho Cordova, in her unselfish dedication to the Cordova Community Council, Kids Day families and so much more. She has traveled widely and is an outstanding example of a "citizen of the world" who certainly qualifies as "Rancho Cordovan of the Year."
There is only one Amy Hiramoto. She gives of herself freely to her community in countless ways, treats one and all with kindness and respect, and receives the same in return as a result. She was nominated by many in the community who believed this recognition as a local treasure is long past due.
In other words,
Today you are you,
That is truer than true
There is no one alive
That is youer than you
How lucky for us.
Congratulations Amy Hiramoto, Rancho Cordovan of the Year.