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Shirley Lavorato Shirley HONOREE 2012

Shirley Lavorato was born and raised in the Metz area of South Monterey County, one of eleven children. The dynamics of her family centered on love, affection and an emphasis on religion, honesty and integrity. Her mother and father immigrated to the United State from Portugal and embraced America and were extremely proud that all six of their sons served in either World War II or the Korean War.

Shirley loved participating in student government, theater and band where she played the French horn in the orchestra.

Shirley married the love of her life Sam Lavorato in 1960. She immediately learned the wonderful Italian family she married into was no different from the loving Portuguese family she was born into. They have three sons Sam, John and Chris, all of whom became lawyers like their father. Sam Jr. is a Superior Court Judge.

In Monterey County, John is Executive Director of Dell Computer's Global Contracts and Proposals, and Chris is a Senior Associate with the nationally known law firm of Cotchett, Petri and McCarthy. Shirley considers her sons her greatest achievement and adores her daughters-in-laws, Waleska, Tina and Tricia and her six grandchildren, Michael. Alexandra, Samuel, Louis, Matthew and Max.

Shirley and Sam have traveled extensively and have enjoyed many cruises. She also manages various properties they have acquired over the years. She doesn't have much time for hobbies but loves all that she does. She is very passionate about family and volunteerism.

Shirley has volunteered in numerous non-profit organizations including:

  • Campaign Committee to bring Catholic Radio to the Diocese of Monterey

  • Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital as President of Board of Governors Chairman of "Berries & Branches" Home Tours for seven years raising over $600,000

  • Member of Salinas Development Committee for Kinship-agency for hard-to-place children

  • Salinas Valley Children's Miracle Network Telethon

  • Palma High School: Board of Directors, President 2 years, Committee member for 14 years, daily volunteer in office for 8 years for Palma Development Foundation, plus several other committees and fundraisers for the school.

  • Monterey Park School: aide for 14 years helping teach math and reading, PTA President, PTA Historian, Room Mother Chairman, and on the Park School SITE Committee

  • Model for various non-profit fund raisers

  • Women's Crisis Center

  • Dorothy's Kitchen

  • Rodeo Association

  • Salinas City School District Textbook Review Committee Little League Concession Manager

  • Catechism Teacher

  • Cub Scout Leader

She received many awards and honors including:

  • Named the 2007 National Cancer Society Honoree

  • Salinas Chamber of Commerce "Citizen of the Year" in 2006 The Benemerenti Medal by Pope Benedict XV1 in 2006

  • The Christian Brothers Foundation Centenary Partner award in 2006

  • Alliance on Aging Lifetime Achievement in 2008

  • Palm High Nation Philanthropy Award in 2002

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