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Colusa grad named Woman of the Year
A 1964 Colusa High graduate was recently named 2011 Woman of the Year by the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce.
Lani Yoshimura, whose mother Hizi still lives in the area, was presented the honor at a February banquet at the San Juan Oaks Golf Club in Hollister.
It was part of the Spice of Life awards, which are handed out annually to individuals, businesses and nonprofits for their commitments to their home communities.
The honors have been given out for about 45 yerars, but only recently renamed as the Spice of Life awards.
Among the many accomplishments cited in honoring Yoshimura, is her work toward a new state-of-the-art, green library, published reports from the Gilroy area stated.
Yoshimura, who has been the Gilroy librarian for more than 30 years, was unavailable for an interview.
"She certainly deserves it. She does a lot for our community that is never lauded. But that's just how she operates," Carol Smith, who serves on Gilroy's Library Commission, told the Gilroy Dispatch. "She doesn't call attention to her deeds - she just does them."
Yoshimura also serves as a board member for the South County Collaborative and was one of the founding members of the South County Speak Out, a movement to promote tolerance in local communities, the newspaper stated.
She's a member of the American and California Library Associations, the Public Library Association and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
"It's an excellent choice for Woman of the Year," Yoshimura's husband, Hugh Smith, told the Disoatch. He also serves on the city's Library Commission.
"She's not only dedicated to running the library, but improving it. She's instituted programs that further education throughout the community."
Former Gilroy City Administrator Jay Baksa nominated her for the award.