The Volunteer of the Year for 1987 is Sandra Sparks (Archer). Sandy is the quintessential volunteer of early citizens in Mira Mesa. Sandy is a native Californian who relocated from Santa Monica to Mira Mesa in Feb 1974 with husband and infant daughter at the corner of Westonhill Dr. and Arcturus. As with most Mira Mesans at the time Sandy became very concerned about the lack of schools and parks in the area. During the first few months in the community, a neighbor (Nancy Parker) invited Sandy to join the Mira Mesa Jr. Women’s Club (MMJWC) and her community volunteer efforts began in October, 1974. She served on the MMJWC from 1974 to 1979 where she held the positions of Membership & Press Chairman (1975 and 1976), Press Chairman (1976 and 1977) and 3rd VP-Ways & Means (1975 and 1976), and 1st VP and President (1978 – 1979). In 1975 she was honored as “Rookie of the Year” and in 1979-1980 she was named MMJWC “Citizen of the Year”.
While in the MMJWC, the group addressed many community needs. For example Sandy canvased the community to ask neighbors to vote for school development bonds, to participate in water conservation programs and in get out the vote efforts.
Ms. Archer also served in variety of ways with the local school committees. She co-chaired the Mira Mesa-Scripps Ranch School Cluster committee, ran for School Board, and served on the Northern Area Parks & Recreation Committee for the City of San Diego from 1975 – 1981.
She joined the newly formed Mira Mesa Town Council in 1977 serving as its President in 1982. As the Town Council President, she championed setting up a Landscape Maintenance District (LMD) in Mira Mesa. At the time the community “rights of ways” and “center islands” had a terrible problem with litter and weeds. As President, she formed The Landscape Maintenance Committee to work with the City of San Diego and the community to form an LMD to address this issue. She was also very supportive of the “Mira Mesa Clean and Green Day” which allowed folks annually to remove trash from their property and clean up areas not covered by the LMD. Both of these programs made a big difference in the appearance of the entire community.
Sandy was very active in her children’s activities as well, among many other activities she was a Brownie Leader and cheered on the variety of youth sports. She did “Apples to the Teachers” when school started, baked goods to the Fire Fighters, glass recycling center adjacent to Mason Elementary School that was ahead of its time, and helped sponsor a Well Baby Clinic at her families church, Christ the Cornerstone Lutheran Church. She was active in her children’s school PTA, helped with a remedial reading program, served as a Library assistant, served on a School Improvement Committee, and a Race and a Human Relation Committee. She worked on several others issues as well working with the Police and elected officials to address the many concerns facing the community.
Sandy was also a very big child safety advocate helping with Safety Towns for the littlest pedestrians, along with Arts and Crafts Sales at the MM Mall. During these events she was introduced to Bill Whittaker who was developing an award winning Child Passenger Safety Program that served the entire State of California. She later would become a spokesperson for the program making several presentations at local community groups and schools.
It seemed that Sandy was everywhere as she helped the Friends of the Library lobby the city to get the first library built, as well as Fire Department 38, Schools, and parks, and she helped in the early stages of a Master plan for Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve.
Sandy Archer turned her concerns into active participation and working on behalf of the entire Community of Mira Mesa. Because of her many efforts the community today a better place to live and to raise a family. Because her herculean efforts and selfless devotion to Mira Mesa she was named the “1987 Volunteer of the Year”