2022 Ruhkala Community Service Awards Honorees Recognized by City Council
The Rocklin City Council held a special presentation for the 2022 Ruhkala Community Service Award Winners at the April 26 meeting.
This year’s honorees are involved in volunteer work for equality and inclusion, helping businesses succeed, saving animals, promoting the arts, and honoring Rocklin’s history.
- Twiana Armstrong – Individual Honoree
- Rocklin Lost & Found Pets – Service Organization Honoree
- Luke Vellutini – Youth Honoree
- Jer Jerrett – Pioneer Honoree
- Henry “Hank” Lohse III – Pioneer Honoree
Read more about each honoree below and congratulate these deserving citizens, who make Rocklin the wonderful place to live that it is.
Twiana Armstrong – Individual Award Honoree
Twiana Armstrong serves as the current chairperson for the Parks, Recreation and Arts Commission for City of Rocklin, which is responsible for promoting and preserving park lands and open spaces among other items. She also volunteers her time towards organizations such as Professional Business Women of California, and serves as the co-chairperson at Leadership Rocklin, which helps participants to develop leadership skills and provides networking opportunities with members of the community.
Other volunteer services Armstrong is a part of include being a board member at Stand-Up Placer, serving as a chair-member for the Cultural Advisory Council and volunteering towards efforts for Rocklin High’s Black Student Union.
“Twiana gives every minute of every day in service to the city of Rocklin,” Armstrong’s nominator told Rocklin. “I have yet to meet someone who attends all the meetings, events, awards, organizations and info sessions as she does.”
Rocklin Lost and Found Pets – Service Organization Honoree
Losing pets is always a stressful moment in pet owners’ lives, and for the last ten years Kimberly Hall, founder of Rocklin Lost and Found Pets (RLFP), has worked tirelessly to find missing pets around the city. This service organization not only spreads awareness for pets that are lost but also towards animals that have been abandoned or are without a home. The service will set humane traps and gather search parties, night or day, to take care of Rocklin’s animals.
“Their unyielding dedication to the helpless lost fur babies in this community has reunited untold families with their beloved pets,” RFLP’s nominator said. “They do of this at their own expense. Their unyielding dedication to the helpless lost fur babies in this community has reunited untold families with their beloved pets. They are always there. Every single time.”
Luke Vellutini – Youth Award Honoree
Luke Vellutini, a junior at Rocklin High School, is an outstanding case on what it means to dedicate one’s time and service to the Rocklin community. Vellutini serves on the Executive Board of The Residential Hermès, a local nonprofit that offers marketing services to local businesses. He is also the founder of the Waste Management Association at Rocklin High School, and has organized several events to reduce trash in local parks.
Between these two organizations and going to school full time (where he offers tutoring services 2-3 times per week), Vellutini is also an active member in the Rocklin Boy Scout Troup 349, where they are beginning a project that will build benches and provide landscaping services to local teen group homes.
Jer Jarrett – Pioneer Award Honoree
Jer Jarrett moved to Rocklin in 2002 and after several years of living here, missed the art scene she had been a part of in Los Galtos. In 2007, Jarrett met several local residents who also shared her passion for art and led the charge in creating “Art Matters” a fine arts club. This would transition to the Rocklin Fine Arts Board, which is responsible for promoting artistic appreciation throughout the city. Jarrett served seven years as lead coordinator for art exhibits at the Rocklin Library.
Jarrett and Rocklin Fine Arts created exhibits for local business openings and annual City events and established several of Rocklin’s leading art shows, including the Open Juried Show and the Student Showcase.
“Jer Jarrett’s efforts have brought fine arts to Rocklin” states Jer’s nominator. “Participants in the art meetings, art shows, workshops, activities, and exhibits are able to participate in art in many ways [thanks to Jer’s involvement]”
Henry “Hank” Lohse III – Pioneer Award Honoree
For the past seventeen years, Henry “Hank” Lohse III has served in the Rocklin Historical Society, including time as the Historical Society’s president, where he worked to tirelessly and efficiently preserve the City’s heritage. He has been a volunteer for Run Rocklin, acting as the corner Moderator off Whitney Blvd and Argonaut Ave and for the past five years has volunteered for Rocklin’s “Big Day of Giving.”
Lohse works closely with City of Rocklin and the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce, drastically increasing Rocklin Historical Society membership during the Pandemic, and volunteers alongside the Friends of the Rocklin Library to prep for book sales.
In a statement from the nominator, they write that Lohse has been a shining example for others to follow. “People recognized Hank as a resource they could rely on to achieve consensus with ways forward. Hank has been an invaluable leader.”