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Michael Pritchard Receives 2023 Camarena Award at the Elks in San Rafael



Michael Pritchard. Photo by Godfrey Lee.

By Godfrey Lee

The Elks 1108 Lodge in San Rafael awarded Dr. Michael Pritchard the 2023 Camarena Award on April 28, 2023.

Pritchard served as a probation officer early in his career in San Francisco and was a core member of Marin County Schools Law Enforcement Partnership for 20 years.

He gave hundreds of speeches on drug awareness, prevention, and anti-bullying education, and continued to do so three days a week.

He received the California Probation Officer of the Year award in 1980, and the 2022 Marin Recognition Award for work with drug addicts and parolees in recovery.

When he was working in the San Francisco Youth Guidance Center, Pritchard also became a comedian. In 1980, he won first place in the San Francisco International Stand-Up Comedy Competition, according to his website.

Billed alongside Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey, Whoopi Goldberg, and the late Robin Williams, Pritchard played at venues such as Caesar’s, the Comedy Store, and Universal Amphitheater. He has opened for Diana Ross, the Grateful Dead, Kenny Rogers, and Boz Scaggs.

Pritchard has been featured on CNN, NBC’s The Today Show, The Tonight Show, CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt, Time and People magazine.

Pritchard began using humor to inspire, teach communication skills, anger management, diversity, conflict resolution and overcoming burnout and stress.

Forming Heartland Media, he continued with “Red Ribbon Week” and “PeaceTalks” teaching students to make positive choices.

“SOS: Saving Our Schools from Hate and Violence,” was filmed after 1999’s tragic Columbine High School massacre and was featured in both Time magazine and on CNN. His series “Lifesteps” builds the social and emotional intelligence in youth and has received the Parents Choice Award.

For his work in promoting nonviolence with youth, Dr. Michael Pritchard was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Hartwick University and won the 2001 Lewis Hine’s Award for Service to Children & Youth Certificate of Appreciation, and the 2002 Marin Community Foundation’s Beryl Buck Fund Award for achievement in Promoting Nonviolence.

When Pritchard accepted the Camarena award at the Elks, he said “This room is filled with people I love, I love living here and the people here.”

He thinks the most important part of his life is to make his life and energy a prayer. “I don’t know why I am so happy. It does not make any sense. There have been so many deaths. I just keep thinking of the things that are unfolding.

“And I am with people that I love very dearly and will never stop calling them. This is family in the center of the heart of Marin, where we care deeply for each other and community unity with love and respect. We take care of each other’s hearts and lives and raise kids to know how to be kind to others.

“A lot of us were raised in the Norman Rockwell community, with cub scouts and loving families that took care of each other. That is what we must protect, that innocence, kindness, and love that I had growing up in my family” Pritchard said.

The post Michael Pritchard Receives 2023 Camarena Award at the Elks in San Rafael first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.

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