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Press release

June 4, 2004

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June, 2004 | Supporting Education | Northern California

Estelle Harris Presents "Heroes in Education" Award to San Jose Volunteer


SACRAMENTO – On June 5, 2004, Estelle Harris presented Marty Engh, a school volunteer, with the California Lottery's “Heroes in Education” award on “The Big Spin®” show.

For over 11 years, Engh has been volunteering at Washington Elementary School in San Jose.  He has served as a teacher’s aid, correcting papers three to four hours a day and escorting the children on class field trips.  However, after two bouts with Leukemia and fading vision, Engh was forced to come up with new ways to help the students, who affectionately call him “Grandpa Engh.”

Now, he arrives at school everyday as early as 5:30 AM, to begin preparing the school for another day of learning.  He sets up the reading lab in the library.  He distributes newspapers to the classrooms.  He even helps out in the cafeteria by removing food from the freezer in the morning so that it’s ready by lunchtime.  All of these duties that Engh performs benefit the students of Washington Elementary in many ways.  Most importantly, students know that “Grandpa Engh” is always there to lend a helping hand.

On hand to honor Engh was Estelle Harris who has starred in such films as Stand and Deliver, My Giant and Addams Family Reunion.  She is best known for playing George’s mother, Estelle Costanza, on the hit television sit-com Seinfeld.

The California Lottery’s “Heroes in Education” award has been presented monthly on “The Big Spin®” television show, since 1999.  The Lottery partners with celebrities to present these awards which recognize special individuals who volunteer time and resources to their schools and communities.  

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See More Press Releases: June, 2004 | Supporting Education | Northern California