COUNTYWIDE : Panel Gives Awards for Charitable Acts

A Camarillo dental insurance company that donated money to provide care for the needy and a women’s group that helped a homeless woman buy clothes for her daughter were among several businesses and organizations honored this week by the Ventura County Commission on Human Concerns.

The commission, a nonprofit agency established in 1965, gave Golden West Health Plan, a dental insurance company, its annual Community Service Award for contributing $70,000 to the commission to help low-income people, said Lee Riggan, executive director of the county panel.

The money was used to buy portable dental equipment to provide care for elderly patients in four county nursing homes. More than 200 senior citizens have been treated under the program since it was established in 1987, Riggan said.

The donation also helped establish a fund to provide grants of up to $300 for dental care to children in the Head Start Program and for a volunteer program to provide dental care to the homeless, Riggan said.


“Frankly, I was surprised at all the things the commission was able to do with that money,” said Troy Becker, operational manager for Golden West. “We’re really delighted.”

Buena Center Business and Professional Women, a 26-member organization based in Ventura, received the annual Angel Award for its assistance to a homeless woman and her daughter, Riggan said. The family is no longer homeless, she added.

The women’s group bought shoes for the 8-year-old child, paid the family’s utility bills and donated food over a one-year period, said Evelyn Rowden, the group’s membership and fund-raising chairwoman.