Awards Dinner 2020

2020 Awards Program

Contact: Jim Lianides, Chair, Board of Directors


Due to growing concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus and advisories from public health professionals, the 2020 Sequoia Awards scholarship dinner scheduled for Thursday, March 12, has been canceled.

The annual event is the culmination of a year’s work to honor two dozen outstanding Redwood City high school seniors for their work in service to their community and recognize a longtime adult community volunteer who embodies the principals of the organization.

An emergency meeting of the Sequoia Awards Board of Directors has been scheduled for next week to determine how best to proceed in the wake of this decision.

All students due to be recognized next week will receive their scholarships as scheduled.

The Sequoia Awards, a nonprofit, charitable organization, was established in 1990 by a small group of civic activists, led by Pete and Paula Uccelli. The first scholarship awarded was for $500. Since then, Sequoia Awards has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships, based solely on the volunteerism of each student. The funds are raised through the generosity of local businesses, other nonprofit organizations and individuals.

At this year’s event, the Sequoia Awards was due to announce the distribution of more than $175,000 in scholarships. Awards are based solely on the volunteer activities of the students. Academics, school-sponsored activities and athletics are not part of the criteria for awards.

The 2020 Outstanding Student Award goes to Maria Casique, who will receive a $25,000 scholarship in recognition of her work overcoming personal obstacles to found the Connect Tutoring Center, which provides one-on-one STEM tutoring to younger students. Also scheduled to be recognized as the 2020 Outstanding Individual was Annette Soby, whose three decades of community volunteerism includes extensive activities at the Kainos Home and Training Center and the Peninsula Covenant Church.

“This is a decision none of us wanted to make and we kept holding out hope we can hold our dinner,” said Sequoia Awards Board Chair Jim Lianides. “These students and our outstanding individual work so hard to help their community and this is the night we get to honor them, their mentors and their families. It is a highlight for everyone involved, a deeply moving night, and it is a disappointment that health concerns have forced us to cancel.

“I hope, even without the dinner, that these wonderful young people – our future leaders – know how proud we are of them and all they have done.”

Ticket price: $155 (includes credit card fee)
Includes Hors d’oeuvres, dinner and dessert. Beer and wine sold separately.