FEDERAL WORKERS RECOGNIZED FOR VOLUNTEER SPIRIT.
Mary Ann Cossentine of Oak Park, and Northridge resident Tony F. Asejo have been recognized in a federal study titled ``Volunteerland.''
Executed by the Greater Los Angeles Federal Executive Board, its purpose is to measure volunteerism among federal employees.
``My mother raised me to help other people. It just feels natural to me,'' said Cossentine, a 22-year volunteer.
``I discovered when I worked with the Boy Scouts when my children were little that there are some wonderful people who volunteer, people who have become friends,'' she said.
Working full time as a facilities manager, she also teaches Sunday school and sings in the choir at Christian Church of the Hills in Agoura Hills. ``I'm not the kind of person who sits and does nothing,'' she said.
Cossentine has raised five children, making dozens of friends along the way. ``My husband and I go on vacation to Big Sur every year for two weeks. Sometimes our kids are working and can't come, but there is usually a crowd of about 40 to 60 people, many are friends of the kids, who come during that time to visit,'' she said.
``Without volunteering, I would never have met such wonderful people; I live in a very warm environment,'' said Cossentine.
Income tax assistant Tony F. Asejo helps low-income taxpayers file Form 1040 at Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar as a volunteer. He also uses his free time to help at Northridge House, an adult residential facility for the developmentally disabled.
Born in Manila, Asejo says there is nothing in the Philippines like the kind of volunteer work he does here. ``I feel happy helping people. I especially enjoy helping my wife, Sony, teach developmentally disabled people learn how to live a normal life,'' he said.
Asejo has been a volunteer for 12 years. He and Cossentine average 575 hours each annually in service to the community.
Andrea Winkler is the Federal Executive Board project coordinator and also helps deliver books to shut-ins. ``As a volunteer myself, I find it heartwarming to know how many people in need are being helped by federal employees,'' she said.
The study included 258 federal employees in 20 agencies.
It examined the reasons for volunteering, agencies helped, time spent and location.
The Federal Executive Board was established in 1961 to bring the federal government closer to the people, respond to local issues and help disseminate information from the office of the president, its annual report says.
The Volunteerland Web site is at www.losangeles.feb.gov.
Fifteen Verdugo Hills Cub Scouts have bridged their way to becoming official Boy Scouts.
Cub Scout Pack 50 hosted an annual Blue and Gold Banquet at Village Christian School for friends and families.
``I was looking for something that would bring my son and I close,'' said Margaret A. Sberna, a five-year Webelos Scout leader. She is now an enthusiastic Scouting fan.
``I think that more children should be involved - it sets them up for wonderful things and they learn critical thinking skills,'' she said.
The boys received the Arrow of Light Award - the highest achievement a Cub Scout can earn. ``They worked very hard for five years to earn this honor. They cleaned beaches, helped feed the hungry and worked on church service projects. They also learned many other skills related to camping and other responsibilities,'' Sberna said.
The 10-year-olds have also memorized the words to the ``Star Spangled Banner'' and familiarized themselves with government officials and the work they do.
The Scouts who have earned advancement from Den 2 include Scott Bernal, Christopher Carnabatu, Kyle Hanson, Michael Johnson, Jay Li and Daniel Novak. Leaders are Sberna and Denice Bernal.
Boys advancing from Den 8 are Matthew Akin, Chris Besu, Brian Burbank, Joshua Davis, Vincent Ieraci, Danny Machuca, Keaton Meyer, Jason Shin and Trey Williams. Leaders are Win Ieraci and Linda Meyer.