Visalia names Bethlehem Center Non-Profit of the Year
Executive Director expresses gratitude to community, volunteers and the Father
Article appeared in July 2016 Vox Populi
By Benny Rodriguez
Last month, the Bethlehem Center was invited to the Visalia Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet as a finalist for the Non-Profit of the Year Award. The center was nominated by members of the community and the winner was chosen by a committee of chamber members who reviewed the nominees and conducted interviews. The finalists included Bethlehem Center, Central Valley Recovery Services, Inc, Habitat for Humanity of Tulare/Kings Counties, Hands in the Community, ImagineU Interactive Children’s Museum and United Way of Tulare County. Below is Executive Director of the Bethlehem Center’s Benny Rodriguez’ reaction to the Visalia Awards.
I remember the day I received an email from the Chamber of Commerce advising us that the Bethlehem Center had been nominated for the non-profit of the year. It was the first time that I stuck my head out of the trenches, and said to myself is the Bethlehem Center making a difference in the community that they want to consider the Bethlehem Center Team for an award.
Several months later I found myself sitting at the awards ceremony representing the Bethlehem Center as a finalist. It was hard to believe that we would have a chance among so many deserving non-profits that were doing so much good in our community.
The video clips started playing for each non-profit, and I thought this is going to be a tough one. Finally, the videos came to a stop then it was time to open the envelope and announce the winner, “and the winner is the Bethlehem Center.”
Who would have thought that Monsignor Dreiling’s dream of taking on the challenge of what was then the “Good News Center” would one day be a awarded the non-profit of the year for 2016 now known as the Bethlehem Center.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, and this is for you Monsignor Dreiling I said to myself as I walked to the stage. It was also an award for all those people that support us throughout the year, for all of those that volunteer their long hours and efforts. Without them the Bethlehem Center would not be able to help so many of God’s children in our community.
Continue to stay up to date with the Bethlehem Center through our website at www.bethcenter.org and like us on facebook at www.facebook.com/bethlehemcentervisalia/. We will soon be sharing new information about the Bethlehem Center’s new “resale” store and the grand opening festivities.
Volunteers and merchandise donations are being sought now to help get the new store up and running. Contact the Bethlehem Center at 559-734-1572 to find out how you can help.