By Terry Miller
The community motto for the City of Arcadia is “Community of Homes” but it really should be “Community of Volunteers.” Ask anyone in town and you’ll probably find them offering time for something, someone, and somewhere.
Volunteerism is a quality Arcadia residents take very seriously. Hundreds of volunteers spend thousands of hours contributing to the rich fabric of the community tapestry. Numerous commissions, classes, and city services all benefit from the time Arcadian’s devote to the city’s continued success. This year’s recipient, Lee Shimmin is no exception. In fact, his list of accomplishments is exceptional.
The annual “Salute to Seniors” luncheon is sponsored by the Arcadia Rotary Club and emceed by former Mayor and famous comedian, George Fasching. Fasching introduced City Council members and staff to the audience but as Mary Hansen pointed out, Fasching accidentally-on-purpose omitted introducing the new mayor, April Verlato. “But it’s May,” Fasching quipped. As the laughter quelled, Fasching finally introduced April Verlato as May Mayor, April Verlato.
After reading a proclamation declaring May 7 as Senior Citizen Day, Mayor Verlato introduced the man of the hour, Shimmin, who moments earlier was dancing the lunch away with his granddaughter, Zoe, to the delight of the hundreds who attended the event.
The standing-room-only event was held on Tuesday, May 7 at Arcadia Community Center. A veritable who’s who in Arcadia along with the Arcadia Rotary Club, City Council, and Senior Commissioners attended the lunch to honor Shimmin as the City of Arcadia 2019 Senior of the Year.
Over the past 39 years, Shimmin has volunteered in multiple capacities ranging from board member to president for many Arcadia organizations. One of Shimmin’s passions (aside from his wife, Jan) is horses, yes he rides. So it’s no surprise to see him at the racetrack during Breeders’ Cup when as the captain of the volunteers. Continuing his passion for equines, Shimmin has not only donated countless hours to The Arcadia Walk of Champions, but has also made generous contributions by speaking at various civic groups on the history of Arcadia. Shimmin’s history talks have become legendary in town, as Mayor Verlato pointed out. “Lee really brings Arcadia’s rich history alive … his talks are wonderful,” Verlato said.