Redwood City – Al Adreveno, who served in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II, then came home to serve his community for seven decades, is being honored for his contributions to the San Mateo County community.
Adreveno is being honored alongside his son-in-law, John Muller, as “Veterans of the Year” by the San Mateo County Veterans Commission.
Muller served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Born and raised in Half Moon Bay, Muller is known as “Farmer John” for his Highway 1 pumpkin patch and deep involvement in local agriculture and community service.
The two – both former Half Moon Bay mayors – will be honored at the 8th Annual Veterans Recognition Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Westin San Francisco Airport hotel in Millbrae. Learn more and purchase tickets.
The commission will also recognize Peggy Toye, a longtime volunteer with the American Legion Auxiliary District 26, as Patriot of the Year. PGA Hope Northern California will be recognized as Enterprise of the Year.
“We see again and again that our military veterans may take off the uniform but never stop serving their community when they come home – an unwavering commitment to service,” said Warren Slocum, a San Mateo County supervisor and Army veteran of the Vietnam War. “And we see the promise our nation makes to support our veterans fulfilled with the tireless energy that Peggy Toye and PGA Hope brings to our community.”
The Veterans Recognition Luncheon brings together past award recipients, veterans, current members of the military and many others to recognize outstanding contributions to the San Mateo County community.
Vice Admiral Andrew J. Tiongson, Pacific Area Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard, will give the keynote address.
The Board of Supervisors established the Veterans Commission in June 2015 with a mission to promote programs and policies that address the unmet needs of veterans in the county. The annual Veterans Recognition Event is a way both to highlight the contributions made by veterans, volunteers and local enterprises to the community while raising awareness about the availability of services for veterans.
Veterans of the Year
Nominees must be San Mateo County residents honorably discharged from one of the U.S. armed services branches and “have gone above and beyond the scope of their daily work in service to the community.”
Al Adreveno, who this year celebrated his 100th birthday, is a World War II veteran who served in the Army Corps of Engineers. During his service, he was part of an elite team in the Philippines and the invasion of Okinawa. Upon his return home, Al became involved in the flower-growing business and the owner of Daylight Farms, and a stalwart member of the Half Moon Bay community for over 70 years, serving on the City Council and as mayor, the Coastside County Water District, the County Farm Bureau, the Half Moon Bay Chamber of Commerce and more. In short, Al provided countless contributions to his beloved community.
John Muller, who is Al Adreveno’s son-in-law, is a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Navy. In fact, John was also trained for emergency pickup of the 1965 Gemini Capsule. Known as “Farmer John” in the coastside community and beyond, and owner of Daylight Farms including the Highway 1 pumpkin patch. Farmer John served on many boards and commissions, including the USDA Farm Service Agency, working to keep the diversity of California agriculture ever-present to those in Washington D.C. Farmer John also served on the Half Moon Bay City Council and was a two-term mayor. He has been involved in many community activities, including the K9 Companions Service Dog program, the July 4th parades, the Pumpkin Festival, Farmers Sharing Program providing donations of vegetables and flower seeds to library cardholders. And Farmer John always gives back time and energy to veteran causes.
Patriot of the Year
Nominees must be San Mateo County residents and a non-veteran who volunteer “serving veterans.”
Peggy Toye embodies the patriot spirit as a long-time volunteer for veterans and their families, and veteran causes. Currently serving as president of the American Legion Auxiliary District 26, she has been instrumental in organizing annual events for local veterans, including gift bag donations to VA Hospital patients, coordinating the shipment of over 1,500 Girl Scout cookie boxes to troops overseas, “Adopt-a-Vet” Holiday Wish List fulfillment for VA patients, and holiday gifts and toy drives for veterans and their families. What inspired Peggy’s service to veterans over the past 20 years was her pride in her grandfather’s service in World War I and her father’s service in the Army during the Korean War. In short, when there is a need, Peggy finds a way to support and advocate for veterans for the past 20 years.
Enterprise of the Year
Nominees can be any for-profit or non-profit organization with significant operations in San Mateo County that serves the veteran community.
PGA HOPE Norcal: With a chapter that meets at Mariners Island in Foster City, this national organization believes in impacting lives through golf and helping veterans everywhere. The mission of PGA HOPE is to serve veterans’ health and their families while growing the game of golf. They fulfill this mission by providing free 7-week introductory golf programs for military veterans taught by PGA Professionals – thus enabling veterans to improve their physical, mental, emotional and social well-being through the game of golf.
Chief of Staff, Supervisor Warren Slocum