Children’s court advocate, volunteer Alengi wins Community Reach honors

Posted 4/24/19

Her efforts to help a group that helps give abused children support in the courts as well as her work with local schools and government helped make Westminster resident Donna Alengi the Community …

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Children’s court advocate, volunteer Alengi wins Community Reach honors

Posted

Her efforts to help a group that helps give abused children support in the courts as well as her work with local schools and government helped make Westminster resident Donna Alengi the Community Reach Center’s latest Ciancio Distinguished Service award winner.

Alengi was among a host of local volunteers and community groups honored at the center’s annual award dinner April 15 at Thornton’s Stonebrook Manor.

“My message for everyone in the room is that they can make a difference,” Alengi said during a biographical video shown after she was announced as the winner. “Every effort makes a change in the universe.”

Alengi worked as the manager for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s information center, before taking the Vice President and Program Manager’s position at the Arvada/Westminster Chamber of Commerce. Then spent 18 years working for Special Districts Association of Colorado as deputy executive director.

But it was her volunteer work that made her eligible for the award. She served as the Mesa Elementary’s PTA chair for five years before serving as an advisory board member for District 50. She’s also served as a board member at the Arvada Center for the Arts and the Westminster Artist Series, a Westminster Planning Commission and was one of the founding members of Westminster’s Inclusivity Board.

Alengi has been a member of the Court Appointed Special Advocates group, or CASA, since 2015. That’s the group that helps supports and acts as advocates for children in the court system. She joined the group’s Board of Directors in 2016 and was invited to the Executive Committee in 2017. She currently serves as vice chair.

She also helped found Westminster’s Start By Believing campaign, which is aimed at improving awareness of sexual abuse.

Accepting her award, Alengi turned the praise back on the Community Reach Center and on other community volunteers.

“Being nominated among so many outstanding individuals really pleases me. It’s nice to be part of a community that really gives back, “ Alengi said. “So many of you do that, and it’s nice to be part of this group and I appreciate all that you do. People that give their time and talent to make this place better inspire all of us, so I appreciate them. My life has been enriched by volunteering and I hope all of you have a chance to experience what I have. I really cannot say enough about all that I have received during my time volunteering in this community.”

The Community Reach Center is a mental health and counseling agency that serves Adams County and part of northern Denver.

The award ceremony is named in honor of former Community Reach board member Mary Ciancio and has been given annually since 1980. It is named in memory of the late Mary Ciancio for her nearly 70 years of advocacy and volunteer service on behalf of persons with disabilities and health challenges.

Alengi was among six nominees for the 2019 Ciancio award.

Other nominees were Alma Garza, coordinator of Comunidad, Unidad, y Apoyo, a group that supports families; Maria Prochazka, a volunteer at North Suburban Medical Center; Carol and Gary Hastings, who work with the Adams County Aging Network; Community Reach Board member Deb Haviland; St. Anthony North Health Campus volunteer greeter Anthony Janezic; and charity donor Sara Hoffman.

The Adams County Youth Initiative CEO Becky Hoffman was given the Marjory Ball Mental Health Advocacy Award for their mental health awareness initiative.

Five Adams County high schoolers were also honored for their community efforts. Lester Arnold High School students Ramiro Figueroa-Ramirez and Guadalupe Rocha, Mapleton Public Schools students Angel Sosa-Adame and Michael Vidal and Northglenn High School senior Sidney Yang.

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