For almost a dozen years, Wendy Wardwell has worked to make sure newcomers know they are welcome in Pescadero – even if they may be in town for just a season or two to work on the farms that thrive in the coastal community.
A volunteer for Puente de la Costa Sur since moving to town in 2001, Wardwell’s specialty is outreach for the nonprofit organization, which provides a broad array of programs – covering literacy to wellness – to about a third of the residents in Pescadero.
Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo/Santa Clara counties, presented a framed certificate recognizing Wardwell for her work as a Quiet Hero at a “Java with Jerry” community coffee meeting the senator held Saturday at the Country Store in Pescadero.
For eight years Wardwell led Puente’s efforts to distribute “welcome bags” filled with toiletries, socks, non-perishable food, long-distance calling cards and information in English and Spanish about community services. More recently, she has been tutoring adults who are preparing to take the U.S. citizenship exam. Wardwell has been “instrumental in the growth of Puente, but she’s too modest to admit this,” said Kerry Lobel, the executive director of the 15-year-old nonprofit.
“Wendy Wardwell may be too reticent to take credit for the success of her work, but her actions speak loudly of her deep commitment to Pescadero and the members of the community,” said Hill. “I’m proud to name her a Quiet Hero of the 13th Senate District.”
“I’m so proud and touched to receive this honor,” said Wardwell.
Wardwell, a retired mental health nurse who worked at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose and San Mateo County General Hospital, is a member of the Puente Board of Directors and the organization’s Development Committee. She also is a board member of the Pescadero Community Church and works part time for Harley Farms in its cheese shop and at the Half Moon Bay Farmers’ Market.