Community honors Alcaldes Les and Judy Vadasz
A couple known for quietly making a difference to countless people in countless ways will be honored at a reception recognizing their years of tireless community service in Sonoma Valley.
Les and Judy Vadasz, Sonoma’s 2013 honorary alcaldes, will be honored at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, at Vintage House, 264 First St. E.
The Sonoma City Council selected the couple as alcaldes after receiving dozens of nominations detailing their generosity within the community.
The honorary title has been presented annually since 1975 to citizens who make “unselfish contributions to the welfare of Sonoma,” according to city criteria for the award.
The Vadaszs have been involved with numerous nonprofit organizations in the valley for more than a dozen years, many focused on education.
“Judy and Les are absolutely selfless in their actions, never asking nor wanting attention for all they do in our community,” Sonoma Valley Unified School District Superintendent Louann Carlomagno wrote in her nomination.
The Vadaszs have assisted public education in numerous ways, including funding technology and teacher support programs, innovative science and arts programs and a pilot preschool program.
“Education is the great equalizer,” said Les Vadasz. “We must do a better job for our kids.”
He left his native Hungary during the country’s uprising in 1956 and was part of the start-up team of Intel Corp. in 1968. He remained with the semiconductor company until his retirement in 2003.
Judy Vadasz worked in the travel business before joining the counseling department at their local high school in Los Altos. The couple also raised two sons, Jeff and Dave.
At the Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley, the “highly sought after and well-used” Intel Computer Clubhouse “would not exist without them,” CEO Dave Pier wrote in his nomination.
The couple, married almost 49 years, built a house in Sonoma in 1997 and run a vineyard of almost 70 acres while still making time for their philanthropic pursuits.
“There are many needs around the world, but you don’t have to go further than your own neighborhood to invest and create some needed change,” said Judy Vadasz.
The couple assist a wide range of community programs, including Meals on Wheels, the Sonoma Community Center, Sonoma Valley Hospital, La Luz Center and Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance. They are known as much for giving their time and talents as for their financial contributions.
“Their active participation in our valley’s nonprofits is an immeasurable gift,” noted Richard Dale, executive director of the Sonoma Ecology Center.
There is no charge to attend the reception honoring Les and Judy Vadasz. Donations of $10 are suggested and can be made at the door. For more information, call Sonoma City Clerk Gay Johann at 933-2216.
– Dianne Reber Hart