SALINAS VALLEY — Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez hosted his third annual District 3 Open House last Thursday, celebrating this year’s South County Young Leaders and the 2023 winners of the “We Are Southern Monterey County” art competition.
“What an incredible evening and open house in Greenfield tonight,” said Lopez, a Greenfield resident who represents South Monterey County in the Third District.
Nearly 100 guests attended the Aug. 10 celebration, which was held at Lopez’s main office located at the Greenfield Civic Center.
During the event, the second annual South County Young Leaders Program participants were recognized for their work this summer. The program, which ran from June 6 through July 27, provides an opportunity for college students to learn about local government while developing leadership skills.
This year’s students were: Jaime Garcia of Greenfield, California State University Monterey Bay; Jesus Gomez of Gonzales, Hartnell College; Laura Rivera of Soledad, Hartnell College and co-founder of Soledad Youth Council; Luis Cruz of Greenfield, Hartnell College; and Tyler Garcia of Greenfield, Greenfield High School and member of Link Crew.
The Grower-Shipper Association of Central California (GSA) underwrote this year’s South County Young Leaders Program by surprising each of the students with an educational stipend.
“I want to thank the (GSA) for their incredible generosity in underwriting this year’s program by surprising each of our program participants with education stipends,” Lopez said. “Your investment in these young men and women is already paying dividends. They made heartfelt speeches tonight about their development and I could not be prouder to know each and every one of them. They truly are our next generation of leaders.”
Also honored that evening were the 2023 winners of Lopez’s annual painting and photography competition, “We Are Southern Monterey County.”
Grand prize winners were Linda Elling, for the paintings “Soledad Mission” and “Harvest Heroes 1 & 2,” and Javier Lopez, for the painting “Sunset from Fort Romie.” They each received a selection of prizes that included olive oils, jams, wines and food, as well as wreaths made by Creekside Farms.
Other winners included: Jaime Ayala, Stephanie Baptista, Dexter Farm, Jaime Garcia, Leon Infante, Carol Kenyon, JoAnne Moline, Kellie Morgantini, Tesa Rava, Daniela Rivas and Liz Silva.
The winning artwork will be displayed for the next year in the District 3 office at the Greenfield Civic Center, 599 El Camino Real, in Greenfield.
“Thank you to the nearly 100 attendees who came out tonight to participate and share time with community, and all of the artists who submitted artwork,” Lopez said. “My heart is full thanks to each of you.”