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National Charity League Juniors of San Marino 2017 President’s Award Honoree is Justene Pierce

first_img Community News More Cool Stuff Philanthropy and generosity are in her genes. Justene Pierce has been orchestrating charitable acts since the tender young age of five. And following decades of volunteering on behalf of dozens of causes and organizations, she will be honored with the prestigious President’s Award at the annual National Charity League Juniors (NCL Juniors) of San Marino gala benefiting Huntington Memorial Hospital’s Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units on Saturday March 11th at the Jonathan Club in Downtown Los Angeles. Justene served as the President of NCL Juniors of San Marino during 2012-13.She credits her philanthropic achievements to her roots including her paternal grandparents Shirley and Ted Pierce who have always encouraged her to explore and fulfill her passions in both her volunteerism and in her professional arenas. Justene describes her family as having been very active in religious, political and charitable groups. The family’s sense of enthusiasm certainly extended to Justene. “When life opens a door for us, you have to have the courage to walk through it,” explained Justene.The Northern California native reminisces about the time when she was a young child and rode with her father on the back of his bicycle fifty miles to raise funds for the Jerry Lewis Telethon supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She also helped coordinate home carnivals and lollipop sale fundraisers during those early childhood days. Justene continued her early philanthropic pursuits when she asked to serve as social chair for student council in middle school so she could help organize school dances. She realized at that time, she had found her life’s calling in helping others through charitable work.Justene moved to San Marino in 2006 to be closer to her husband Jason DuNah’s family. She’s the mother of two, Sierra DuNah, a 10th grade student at San Marino High School and Drew Pratt, a 2008 SMHS graduate.Shortly after moving into the San Marino community, she was asked by then SMHS Principal Loren Kleinrock to take on the very challenging role of chairing SMHS’s Grad Night. Since she had previous experience in event and wedding planning, this extraordinary volunteer responsibility did not faze her in the least. She continued to take on other large scale positions over the years.Justene was drawn to NCL Juniors of San Marino in 2010 because of their charitable work that reached outside the borders of San Marino. The group, which originated in 1975, focuses on fundraising through their annual gala to assist Pasadena’s Huntington Memorial Hospital’s Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units, The Parent Connection support network and the Helen Hancock Memorial Scholarship for Advanced Degrees in Nursing.Justene recalls being emotionally touched when touring the hospital’s NICU and PICU during her provisional year in the group. The cause strongly resonated with her as she reflected back to her childhood days when her baby brother Brett was born premature with complications and spent the first month of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.What Justene enjoyed most about her leadership days in NCL Juniors was the close knit nature of the small group of women which allowed her to get to know each and every member on a personal level. The group tends to consist of no more than 45 members at any time.Aside from her dedication to NCL Juniors of San Marino, Pierce serves as an active, former or sustaining member of multiple charity groups in the surrounding area including the San Marino Area Chapter of National Charity League, Friends of Foothill Family Services, Valentine Elementary, Huntington Middle School and San Marino High School PTA’s, San Marino PTA Council, Friends of the San Marino Schools Foundation, PTAffiliates, Partnership for Awareness, San Marino Public Library Foundation, Planned Parenthood of San Gabriel Valley, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles in both San Marino and Arcadia, San Marino National Little League, Young & Healthy, Pasadena Children’s Guild, and San Marino Junior Alliance among many others.Justene pointed out that her presidency and work with the San Marino Junior Alliance has also been a very rewarding experience for her because of the group’s mission to support those who are suffering from alcohol and drug addiction at Casa de Las Amigas, a recovery facility for women here in Pasadena, a cause near and dear to her.In addition to her many volunteer endeavors, Justene works full-time as an assistant to an elderly retired lawyer who is visually impaired. She finds this job equally as rewarding as any of her other roles since she particularly enjoys helping those “under the age of 5 and over the age of 70.”How does someone like Justene cope with all the rigors and demands of all these responsibilities? First and foremost, through her sense of humor and light-heartedness. “I do a lot of laughing at myself,” explained Justene. She also maintains a strong spiritual connection.After dedicating extensive time and energy to these multiple organizations, Justene is now investing more time in her own mental and physical well-being. After her mother recently suffered a fractured pelvis, Justene appreciates and recognizes the importance of self-care more than ever and has been focusing on her new passion, CrossFit workouts, at Team CrossFit Academy of Monrovia. She encourages her fellow volunteers to similarly search for ways to improve their own sense of wellness so they may continue to serve others.Justene will be recognized by hundreds this weekend at the benefit. Current NCL Juniors of San Marino President Nancy Ko said the choice to honor Justene was based on her genuine interest and concern for the organization. “She’s fun, outgoing, and she really cares. She’s such a positive role model and she’s always there for us,” reflected Ko. Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Business News Community News Giving Back National Charity League Juniors of San Marino 2017 President’s Award Honoree is Justene Pierce From STAFF REPORTS Published on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 | 4:52 pm Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. 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