Fred Manna’s charm and passion can light up a room instantly. The enthusiasm he shows toward his volunteer work is catching and it’s easy to see that he loves doing it.
Born and raised in Chicago, Fred first came to Orange County in 1982 when the company he worked for, Aircraft Fasteners Inc., relocated him. Though Fred is currently retired, he spent forty-two years in the distribution of aircraft and specialty fasteners. And when he met his current wife, Kathleen Terry-Manna, who leads some of the Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) purpose workshops, he relocated to the Beach Cities in Manhattan Beach.
Throughout their marriage of more than 15 years, Fred and Kathleen have been very active within their community. It was his wife who led him to the Errand Volunteer program at BCHD, which helps homebound residents in the Beach Cities with daily errands such as grocery shopping, or pharmacy visits. Once Fred looked into it, he committed a year to the program and has since been doing it for over 11 years. Weekly, Fred completes errands for those unable to and he does it with warmth and enthusiasm. He also does other volunteer work, which has included six years on the Parks & Rec Commission and over a year on the Cultural Arts Commission in Manhattan Beach.
It was three years ago that Fred joined BCHD’s Livability Committee and then was asked to be a member of the Community Health Committee. This is all the while Fred continued to be an errand volunteer. When asked about BCHD, Fred explained, “I really like what they do. They do a great job of recognizing their volunteers. And you feel good about yourself. It’s a great thing for volunteers, not just the people you help.”
Jacqueline Sun, Community Policy Analyst for BCHD, said this of Fred: “Fred is such a valuable resource to the District in his many roles. He has been one of our strongest ambassadors for creating a healthy community through the built environment and city policy. He literally walks the talk as he is often seen walking to events and meetings instead of driving.” And Tara Guden, Community Programs Coordinator for BCHD, shared the same sentiments when describing Fred. “Fred leads by example – both advocating for the community services and taking an active part in delivering them. Not to mention, he’s very easy and fun to work with.”
Fred had some advice to those thinking of volunteering at BCHD: “You’ll feel a lot of rewards from doing it and you will be greatly appreciated. The people you serve, you become part of their life.” And though Fred keeps his days filled with volunteer work, he also enjoys traveling with his wife and seeing live theater. He’s a bit of a sports nut and enjoys photography and collecting coins as well. With a smile, Fred described himself as “a Jack of all trades, master of none.”
Written by Christina Parisi