Desire to help community started at a youthful age
Mary Jane Griego can't help it that she's known for her community service.
She has been helping her community one way or another for years - while she was in school, through the family restaurant and as a Yuba County supervisor.
Because of the Olivehurst resident's efforts in helping others, Monty Hecker of Yuba County nominated her for an Appeal-Democrat Spirit of Freedom award in the One Nation category.
Griego was the first person who popped into his head when thinking about the awards, he said. Hecker is impressed with her family's restaurant, the way she and her husband have raised their kids and her ability to get volunteers for the community projects.
Mary Jane Griego is a businesswoman who works full time managing her family business and still has the drive and commitment to volunteer on community projects and improvements, Hecker wrote in his letter of nomination.
She's always trying to help people and improve the quality of life around us, he continued.
"I've always been active in our community," Griego, 47, said. "The family business has given us an opportunity to share resources in the community," including spaghetti feeds, taking donations for burial for those who can't afford it and involvement with Little League and sports.
It was "a natural transition to help the community on policy issues by becoming a county supervisor."
Griego began helping in the community as student body president in junior high school. The position "helped me realize my leadership ability and ability to speak for people who can't speak for themselves," she said.
Constituents can find her working at the family business, Duke's Diner in Olivehurst. She was re-elected to her second term as a Yuba County supervisor representing the Olivehurst and Plumas-Arboga area this past March.
"It's easy to find me," she said. "I come to the restaurant, I always have a few minutes for people."
One of the many community projects she has directed is the free clean-ups in Olivehurst. First conducted in 2002, the latest one this year included more than 100 volunteers, she said, "people who gave up their Saturdays to help people get rid of their trash."
A graduate of Marysville High School, Griego is married to Jeff Schneider and has two sons, Stephen, 19, and Jeremiah, 21, and a stepdaughter, Sabrina, 21.
"I was doing this before I became supervisor and I'm sure I'll be doing this until I die," she said about her activity in the community. " I've always offered my help."
Appeal-Democrat reporter Leticia Gutierrez can be reached at 749-4722. You may e-mail her at leticia email@example.com.
Nominated by: Monty Hecker
"... she puts the community's best interest first..." in his letter nominating Mary Jane Griego for a Spirit of Freedom award in the One Nation category