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Brovellis honored for their community service

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Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 7:29 am, Thu Sep 20, 2012.

Barbara Brovelli has always asked children what they want to do when they grow up. She stresses to them the importance of thinking about their education and future occupations. That urgency of getting an education was passed down to her from her father, who felt educating children was important.

"I got that from my dad. It's inbred," she said.

Barbara Brovelli and her father Angelo Brovelli have dedicated their lives to helping children. For their contributions to community service, the Brovellis, Angelo posthumously, were inducted into the Lodi Community Hall of Fame.

After a brief run as a professional football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers, formerly the Pittsburgh Pirates, Angelo Brovelli moved to Lodi, where he and his wife owned and operated a ranch. He also became a member of the Lodi Boys and Girls Club board and helped raise the funds needed to operate the club.

Glenn West, a friend who nominated him, says that without the help of Angelo Brovelli and his wife, there wouldn't be a Lodi Boys and Girls Club today.

"To him, that was a big thing. He was a guy who loved kids and enjoyed working with them," he said.

Through the years, Angelo Brovelli employed youths on his ranch. There always seemed to be a trail of them coming in, recalled Barbara Brovelli.

"They just kept coming. When they would go away to the service, there would be a new crop," she said.

Angelo Brovelli served on a youth board in Galt, where he sponsored baseball and football teams. He also coached the city league flag football team at St. Anne's School.

Sports were important to him because they were his way of getting an education, said Barbara Brovelli. He often told children that education was the most important thing you could get, she said.

"He would tell them, 'If you put as much into education as breakdancing, you would be an A student,'" she said.

Other organizations Angelo Brovelli served on included the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District and the Valley Men's Club. In 1930, he received the All-American Football Award from the New York Sun; and in 1977, he received the Man and Boy Award of the Year from the Lodi Boys and Girls Club, formerly the Lodi Boys Club.

For more than 20 years, Barbara Brovelli has provided service to the Lodi Boys and Girls Club. She became involved as a volunteer with the establishment of the Boys and Girls Club Sunrise Program, a program that provides children a place to learn and have fun during the morning hours in the summer.

She has also served on the board of the club. Over the years, she has organized auctions as well as golf tournaments to raise funds for the club. For 10 years, she has helped in the choosing of the Lodi Community Hall of Fame candidates as well as putting together the annual dinner honoring them.

She says the club is important because it provides a place for children to be educated, play sports and do other activities.

"Children need a safe environment, especially in this day and age. It offers a place for kids to go at a reasonable cost," she said.

For seven years, Barbara Brovelli helped in the reading program at Fairsite Elementary School. She also helped in Vacation Bible School for five years each at St. Christopher's Catholic Church in Galt and St. Anne's Catholic Church in Lodi, where she also taught religious education. Since 1993, she has been a member of the Young Ladies Industrial Religious group, a women's group that raises funds for several nonprofits such as the Salvation Army, Hanot and the Women's Center.

Sharon Stokes, a friend who nominated her, says Barbara Brovelli is very passionate about what she believes in. She credits the success of the Lodi Boys and Girls Club to Barbara Brovelli's dedication and countless volunteer hours.

"She's one of the most unselfish people that I know. She works very hard and gives 150 percent," she said.

Angelo Brovelli graduated from Porterville High School in 1929 and then attended St. Mary's College at Moraga. He married Caroline in 1933 and the two moved to the Lodi area in 1940.

Barbara Brovelli, Angelo Brovelli's only daughter, graduated from Dominican Upper School in San Rafael in 1956. She then attended Dominican College, San Joaquin Delta College, California State University, Sacramento and University of the Pacific. She has one daughter, one granddaughter, two grandsons and a great-granddaughter.

Other inductees this year include David Lucas, the owner of Lucas Winery who was instrumental in the formation of the original Lodi Vintners group, for his contributions to agriculture; Dr. Jack Leary, the first orthopedic surgeon in Lodi who pioneered total hip and knee replacements, who was chosen posthumously for his contributions to health care; Jack Fiori, who helped save the Grape Bowl and a founding member of the Booster of Boys/Girls Sports, for his contributions to government; and Daryl Geweke, who established many automotive franchises and supported many local non profits, for his contributions to business.

The Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Lodi Boys and Girls Club. Inductees will be honored at a dinner and program scheduled for Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club headquarters, 275 Poplar St., near the corner of Stockton Street. Tickets are $45 each. To make a reservation or for other inquiries, call Eddie Cotton at 209-334-2697.

Contact Features Editor Pam Bauserman at pamelab@lodinews.com. Find the best bargains in Lodi on Pam's blog, Saving with Pam.

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