(Oxnard, Ca) Heroes are people that stand out for doing something good. They can rescue someone in danger or volunteer to help people they may not even know. Heroes can even do small things for a neighbor who needs help. Heroes make a difference.
Oxnard Heroes is the opportunity to publicly recognize those people in the community that are doing things to make Oxnard a better place for everyone.
Manuel Herrera was born and raised in Oxnard. He loves the city and shares, “Oxnard is perfect. I wish people would stop giving it a bad wrap.” Herrera goes on to share that he believes, “We the people, we can create the city that we all deserve.”
Herrera has been involved in many organizations and charities in the city, including La Colonia Youth boxing Association in the 1990’s and with the Make A Wish Foundation beginning in 2000. He recalls, “We went around town and just begged for money to renovate that gym.” Ultimately, some of the world’s most exciting talent came from that gym, including light middleweight world champion, Fernando Vargas, and featherweight and super featherweight champion, Robert Garcia. Vargas retired with a 31-5 record with 22 wins by knockout. Garcia retired with a 37-3 record, 25 wins by knockout.
When asked what drove him to volunteer, Manual Herrera shared a personal memory. “I remember this family picture in our home growing up. It is a picture of my mom sitting on the bed with 3 or 4 of my sisters. In front of her is a Navy SeaBee, giving her a turkey. Our family would register through church and these organizations would ask families what they need. During the holidays, strangers would just show up at our house and bring presents. I would ask my mom ‘Why did they give it to us free?’ and my mom would say ‘Because we are poor and have no money and so there are people that come here and bring us stuff.’ ”
Manuel thought “Wow, who does that? Why would they give us stuff for free? I remember what it was like to receive. Now I am paying it forward. That’s how a community should be. You do it for no other reason than you want to help people.”
Today, Herrera has helped organize Oxnard Cruise Nights and hopes to expand to more festivities to invite people to Oxnard that share in the interest of classic cars, motorcycles and more. “Santa Paula has a really successful event that has been going on for 20 years and they don’t even advertise. It’s a peaceful event and a lot of fun. There’s no reason why we can’t have something like that here in Oxnard.”
Manuel Herrera is an Oxnard hero.
If you would like to nominate someone for Oxnard Heroes, visit our website at www.thevoicecalifornia.com/OxnardHero
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