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Mike Hughes Gives It His All

SLAC carpenter Mike Hughes loves lending a helping hand. But for his volunteer work with the Gilroy Police Department, he's supposed to provide "eyes and ears" to protect his city.

Hughes is a VIP, a Volunteer in Policing, which means he can be alerted any time, day or night (when he's not at SLAC), to help the P.D., most often with directing traffic and manning barricades at an accident scene. VIPs commit to helping at least eight hours a month.

In addition to his policing work, Hughes and his wife Marlene, who celebrate their 40th anniversary next month, have been active volunteers in their community, coaching Little League and staffing the garlic bread booth at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival to raise money for a local basketball team. Their two grown daughters are now volunteers, as well.

The couple both underwent cancer treatment in 2001. That's when they signed on to be volunteers and walkers for Relay for Life, which raises money for research and support programs.

Ever modest about his volunteering efforts, Hughes simply says, "I just like getting together and helping on different projects."

At SLAC, Hughes' help outside of the carpentry shop is especially appreciated at the lab's Family Day and the annual DOE Regional Science Bowl. "Mike's willingness to assist beyond all expectation and his kindness make him not only a great volunteer but a great friend,” said Melinda Lee, SLAC Science Bowl Coordinator. "He gives 110 percent, all the time. It's very impressive!"

Hughes is looking forward to his next assignment, spending about 40 hours at a Garlic Festival booth from July 27 to 30. He'll set up and help run the hospitality booth that provides refreshments to the festival's sponsors. His favorite garlic treats? Garlic scampi and garlic pepper steak sandwiches.

—Heather Rock Woods
    SLAC Today, July 19, 2006