Trashy Lady Sandra Hoke received a standing ovation Thursday when she was handed the 2019 Athena Award for her community contributions.
She attributed her work to her late husband, Michael Hoke. Michael Hoke, a longtime science teacher and founder of the Nature Classroom, died suddenly in January 2016. Sandra Hoke said she could have sat around feeling sad, but instead, she said ‘yes’ to every project that came along.
Sandra Hoke, though, had a long record of volunteering and community service throughout her decades of living in Orange. The Trashy Lady designation comes from her group that picks up litter and encourages recycling.
She is a longtime Master Gardener and served as president of the group. In addition, she is a retired teacher who has spent hundreds of hours volunteering at Shangri La. She developed a youth curriculum for Shangri La to use in helping students learn about the environment and having sympathy with nature.
She is the co-founder of the Field of Plenty at Orange Christian Services. The field is a sprawling garden with planting beds and fruit trees. The garden supplies fresh fruit and vegetables to clients who need food from the charity.
Hoke was nominated by the Keep Orange County Beautiful group, another civic service organization where she has served.
Stephen Lee presented Hoke with the Athena Award trophy, a scultured piece. The award is an international honor for people supporting community service and mentoring women. Lee is president and CEO of First Financial Bank, which sponsors the award.
L-R: Back row Jane Whitfield, Vivian Kelly DeJohn, Becky Rutledge, Beverly Perry, Pauline Colburn Hargrove, Nancy Vincent, Gisela Houseman, Theresa Beauchamp, Pam Scales Honeycutt, front row 2019 Athena recepient Sandra Hoke, seated Cecil Broom, Katherine Frey, Marcelle Adams, Betty Harmon…Other past Athena recipients include Anna Jean Caffey 1995, Louise Mayberry 1997, Alexine Adams 1998, Cecily Varner 2000, Eula Hoffpauir 2001, Mary McKenna 2002, Debbie Hughes 2005, Beth Rach 2007, Ruby Wimberley 2009, Mary Behnke 2012, Courtney Burch-Arkeen 2015, Elaine Meyers 2016, Loretta Hughes 2017.