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Hillsboro Mediation Volunteer Receives National Honor, Named Outstanding Volunteer of 2017
Hillsboro Police Volunteer Diane Cadonau recognized for her devotion to the Hillsboro community.
Hillsboro resident Diane Cadonau volunteered at a rape crisis center for 12 years, assisting rape victims at a hospital, interacting with police officers and hoping to help victims find justice. Eventually, she became tired and drained, and decided to give it up. Not long afterward, realizing she wasn’t happy unless she was giving something to the community, she saw an advertisement in the Hillsboro Argus about a new volunteer program opening at the Hillsboro Police Department. In 1994, she became one of the first volunteer mediators in the Hillsboro Mediation Program.
23 years later, in September of 2017, she retired from volunteering with Hillsboro Police and was honored at a reception where gratitude and congratulations were the high point of the evening. Diane was the most active volunteer in the history of the Mediation program. She not only mediated disputes, she answered phones, returned calls, and did case management. There were times when the program was between directors and Diane kept the program running and moving forward.
Diane was the consummate mediator with a demeanor well suited to providing a forum for people to air their differences and come up with options for solutions. Diane was always calm, steady and imperturbable. But, there was one mediation where she was really angry with one of the disputants. She never said a word though during the whole mediation. Her wisdom and self-control were legendary…as exemplified in this mediation.
In 2005, Diane also became a Domestic Violence Response Team volunteer at Hillsboro Police. DVRT advocates take on-call shifts where they respond to the scene of domestic violence incidents and provide support and resources to the victims. They assist officers at the scene of some of the most emotionally gut wrenching situations which often also involve children. Diane was instrumental in getting the program up and running. She provided support until a full time director was hired. She covered many long shifts until more volunteers came on board.
Over the years, Diane volunteered so much at Hillsboro Police that some full time employees thought she was a full time employee. Much of the time she volunteered, she was also holding down a full time, paying job. And when she was laid off from that job, she said that volunteering is what kept her going. Several years ago, Diane had some health issues. Despite these issues though, she continued to provide valuable assistance to both the Mediation and DVRT programs thru phone calls and computer work.
Volunteer Diane Cadonau will never be replaced. Her legacy of giving will continue to live on in the lives of those she touched with her kind words and the time she gave to her community. "Thank you, Diane" seems so insignificant for what you’ve given, but we will be forever grateful. On Thursday, January 11, 2018, Diane was recognized by the National Association for Community Mediation and awarded Outstanding Volunteer of 2017.