El Cajon resident honored as Volunteer of the Year by the California Park & Recreation Society
When others step back, Rob Tade steps forward and volunteers. Tade, a longtime El Cajon resident, was recently acknowledged for his dedication to community service. The California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) District 12 held the organization’s Awards & Installation Breakfast on March 25 at the Encinitas Community Center in North County, and at this event Tade was honored as Volunteer of the Year for CPRS District 12, which covers San Diego and Imperial Counties.
El Cajon’s Recreation Services Manager Frank Carson has served as CPRS District 12 president 2014/2015. In announcing the award, Carson congratulated Tade, then said, “Your exceptional volunteer efforts in El Cajon have not gone unnoticed and you were nominated by the city staff for this competitive regional award.”
Carson said that were it not for Tade’s attendance at the awards breakfast, Tade would otherwise have been volunteering with the El Cajon Police Department, as Tade does on most Wednesdays.
Tade’s volunteering has followed multiple paths of community service. He is a long-standing active and exemplary member of The American Legion and named California Legionnaire of the Year for 2010. He served as commander of El Cajon American Legion Post 303 until this year, when he stepped into the Post’s adjutant role.
In accepting the award, Tade was humble and humorous.
“I was very happy that they did not ask the awardees to give an acceptance speech,” he said. “I am so fortunate to be able to belong to and support such wonderful organizations in a small but meaningful way. CPRS parallels many of the things that we as Legionnaires do for our veterans, their families and the community. Our Post played a large part in the first two KaBoom Playground projects and now the city of El Cajon has been awarded an unprecedented third KaBoom Playground grant. The awards are due to the hard work and perseverance of Frank Carson, the President of the 12th CPRS District.”
Other organizations Tade is involved with are the El Cajon Police Department RSVPs and the El Cajon Collaborative.
“After working for the DOD for almost 40 years, it feels great to be able to give some time back to the community, even if it is just a few hours per week patrolling the streets and helping the nonprofit organizations in the ECC,” he said. “My next challenge is becoming a Big Brother to a dependent of one of our service members that is on active duty. I hope to encourage other Legionnaires to follow this path of community service.”
Tade praised the support of family for allowing his volunteer work. He was accompanied to the breakfast ceremony by his daughter Lisa, her son, and Tade’s youngest grandson, born on Christmas Eve. The two fellow El Cajon Post Legionnaires who were there to see Tade honored were Jim McKay and Wes Schermann. Schermann, stepping into his other role as representative for Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, presented Tade with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition acknowledging the CPRS District 12 Volunteer of the Year award.
East County awardees received other recognitions at the event as well. Frank Carson was given the CPRS Service Award. St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center was named for a Citation Award as Community Partner. And Andrea Gonzalez of the City of La Mesa received a Citation Award for Full-Time Staff.