Tustin PD annual dinner celebrates the agency’s dedicated volunteers


Kathy and Ray Leger are the longest-serving Tustin PD volunteers. The husband-and-wife duo have nearly 30 years of combined service. They help serve the needs of the agency and community in whatever ways they can.

“It has been like family to us and we’re family to them,” said Kathy at the agency’s annual volunteer dinner at JT Schmid’s Restaurant & Brewery at The District at Tustin Legacy on May 30.

With Kathy coming up on 16 years as a Tustin PD volunteer in August and Ray following closely behind at nearly 15 years, the couple has performed a wide range of duties for the agency – from records filing, working at open houses and high school graduations to DUI checkpoints and crowd control during the Fourth of July.

Tustin PD Chief Charles Celano honors Kathy Leger for her 15 years of volunteer service at the Tustin PD.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

“I’ve worked for every unit,” said Ray, including helping in the gang unit, working in the records unit processing burglary alarm licensing and two years when he was a certified child safety seat inspector.

At the dinner, Kathy was awarded a plaque recognizing her as the longest-serving TPD volunteer. As a surprise bonus, the couple was given a 2007 Anaheim Ducks jersey signed by the Stanley Cup team by TPD Volunteer Coordinator George Vallevieni.

“I know you are super-duper Ducks fans,” Vallevieni told them. “So Ray and Kathy – enjoy.”

TPD Chief Charlie Celano expressed his great appreciation for the agency’s volunteers, adding that since the program began in 2000, the agency has saved $1.6 million through the thousands of volunteer hours.

Tustin PD Officer George Vallevieni gets a hug from Kathy Leger, who was recognized for her 15 years of volunteer service at the Tustin PD.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

“But you’re so much more than that,” he said, adding that they are all very much part of the TPD family.

Celano also pointed out volunteer Rich Ruedas and his more than 11,000 volunteer hours.

“Eleven-thousand hours, Rich – don’t you have anything else?” he joked and was greeted with laughter.

Indeed, the volunteers are a dedicated group of 14, including Michael Bahr (794 total hours as of May 20), Andie Ervin (3,621.5), Jean Gayer (3,106), Marilyn Hogan (9,436), Tupua Ioane (471.5), Salli Kelly (1,182), Mandy Krisman (4.5), Ray Leger (6,310.6), Kathy Leger (2,832), Howard Lemberg (297), Wendy Meyers (1,379.5), Rich Ruedas (11,246.5), Karen Scola (48) and Rick Yurosko (924.5).

During Kathy’s recognition, Celano spoke of her commitment despite recent health problems, which put her in a hospital bed – but didn’t stop her from continuing putting in volunteer hours.

“We love you Kathy,” said the chief.

Tustin PD Volunteer Ray Leger, left, stands with his wife, Kathy, with a 2007 Anaheim Ducks jersey that was given to her by the Tustin PD for her 15 years of volunteer service to the Tustin PD.
Photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC