2018 Senior Inspiration Awards honors 11 outstanding volunteers, senior citizens 65 years and older, who inspire others through their volunteerism and contributions to the community. Mayor Stan Henry and the Cathedral City City Council has chosen Cathedral City Resident Bill Kelly as one of the 11 honorees.
More than 600 people annually attend this luncheon, which will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 20 at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, 74-855 Country Club Dr.
Tickets are on sale online at seniorinspirationawards.org. Tickets are also available to purchase by calling Victoria Llort at 760-863-2556 and sending a check payable to “Regional Access Project Foundation” to Victoria Llort, 73-710 Fred Waring Dr., Suite 222, Palm Desert, CA 92260.
Tickets are $30 per person and include salad, choice of rosemary garlic chicken breast or seared salmon or gluten-free vegetarian entrée, and apple tartin dessert.
The 2018 honorees are: Joe Fleischman and Juanita Linares (Riverside County), Bill Kelly (Cathedral City), Grace Vega (Coachella), Rosemary Stonick (Desert Hot Springs), Margaret “Peggy” Bernthal (Indian Wells), Nellie Ortega (Indio), Patricia “Pat” Clapp (La Quinta), Jacqueline “ Jackie” Wagner (Palm Desert), Kenneth “Ken” Behrens (Palm Springs) and Patsy “Pat” Manhart (Rancho Mirage).
Brooke Beare and Patrick Evans of CBS Local 2 will serve as the masters of ceremonies.
History of Mr. Kelly
Bill, 72, was born in San Diego and grew up in Los Angeles. His parents owned a travel trailer in the Coachella Valley, where he frequently spent his weekends during the winter.
After graduating from George Washington High School, he attended Los Angeles Harbor Junior College. Bill moved to Riverside in 1965 and transferred to Riverside City College where he continued taking classes in law enforcement.
In 1967, Bill started a part-time job with Pacific Telephone while waiting to begin a law enforcement career. He reconsidered his path and continued to work for Pacific Bell/AT&T for 30 years. As a manager, he traveled and worked between San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County and Riverside County. Bill managed more than 100 employees and implemented a self-management program for non-management employees.
During that time, Bill joined the Free Masons to honor and follow in his father’s footsteps.
Bill retired in 1997, and moved to Lake Arrowhead. He moved to Cathedral City in 2010.
Bill greatly enjoys volunteering and giving back when he is able. During his working career, he volunteered with little leagues and at the YMCA, coaching baseball, softball and basketball at Notre Dame High School in Riverside and Rim of the World High School in Lake Arrowhead.
Passionate for public safety, Bill began volunteering with the Citizens on Patrol in his community, Date Palm Country Club. He composed the community newsletters until recently.
In 2014, Bill joined the Cathedral City Citizens on Patrol and began volunteering at S.O.S. (Soldiers Organized Services). With S.O.S., he gives back to the military by picking up Marines from the Palm Springs International Airport and driving them to the Twentynine Palms Marine Base and other local destinations.
When Bill is not volunteering, he enjoys fishing, playing golf, and traveling with his family.
Bill’s wife, Mary, had the biggest impact on his life. Mary keeps Bill focused and is understanding.
His advice to younger generations is to be caring to others and your elders. He also stresses the importance of not being afraid to ask questions. He wishes he had asked more questions of his parents about family history.
Bill has two daughters, a son, four grandchildren and a rescue German Shepherd named Gunner.