Monday, March 19 , 2018, 6:27 am | Fair 39º


Financial Advisor Jon Vanderhoof Nominated for Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize

Jon Vanderhoof, a Kingsway Financial advisor, is the second nominee for the Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize.

Jon Vanderhoof

During an interview, Vanderhoof stated that he avoids drawing attention to himself, but he welcomes this opportunity to “shine light on other people and on organizations” that do so much to make a difference in the community. In so stating, he deftly summarized the goals of the Peace Prize.

Vanderhoof volunteers much time and effort monitoring youngsters who need personal attention from a caring adult. He started volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club by assisting with a golf tournament, monitoring the action at a Par 3 hole. Now he spends an hour at the club every Wednesday, helping kids with their homework during “Power Hour.” Usually, however, one hour gets to be two or three hours, for he gets involved with other activities.

“Kids there welcome interaction with adults," Vanderhoof said. "Sometimes when I finish a basketball game with a group, other kids will say, ‘Jon, hey, come play with us!’ There is a ton of kids at the Boys and Girls Club who want time with an adult, and the program needs more volunteers.”

Another organization that Vanderhoof and his wife, Elen, support is Cultural Home Stay. They have welcomed five young people from China, eight from Japan and one from Barcelona, Spain, to stay in their home for a time.

Vanderhoof’s energy is directed not only to young people in need of caring. He also volunteers for Community Partners in Caring, which provides services for people over sixty who need assistance. Sometimes the help they need is critical, sometimes it is with small things. He told about recently going to the home of a lady who just needed a light bulb changed.

Somehow, this dedicated citizen also devotes time to the Kiwanis Club, which focuses on serving children, one child at a time, and Young Life, a Christian organization that seeks to build relationships with kids who are products of foster care.

The first nominee for the 2014 Peace Prize was Sid Haro. Nominees in 2013 were Gaila Anderson, Rev. Doug Conley, Mary Harvey, Dena Kern, Gloria Montague, Lauren Pressman, Marie Schlueter, Rev. Ruben Tamayo, Albert Thompson and Jason Villalobos.

The Peace Prize ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25 at Valley of the Flowers Church, 3346 Constellation Road in Vandenberg Village. There is no admission charge.

— Allie Kay Spaulding represents Valley of the Flowers Church.

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