Community Champions

Created in 2008, The Big Fresno Fair’s Community Champion Awards formally recognize individuals who have demonstrated an extraordinary passion for the betterment of Fresno County. In short, they make Fresno County a better place to live! If you know someone that makes Fresno County better whether that’s through their work, volunteerism, leadership efforts or other, be sure to nominate them! 

The deadline to nominate is August 15. 

Rules and Selection Process
To be a contender for the Community Champion Awards, individuals must first be nominated by a community individual, Big Fresno Fair staff or by past Big Fresno Fair Board of Directors.

Nominations are then be reviewed and voted on by The Big Fresno Fair Board of Directors. Only two Community Champions will be recognized per year. Submissions that are not selected for awards will automatically be added to the slate for review the following year.

View the Community Champion criteria and nomination.

Here are the names of the recipients who have received this honor:  

2008
Taytum Rose Popp
Community Champion, Youth
Larry M. Fortune
Community Champion, Volunteer
Israel Lara
Community Champion, Humanitarian

Alfred Sanchez
Community Champion, Educator

2009
Caz Ashjian
Community Champion, Youth
Francine Vindiola
Community Champion, Volunteer
Ray Appleton & Paul Rodriguez
Community Champions, Humanitarian
Mike Jarman
Community Champion, Educator
“Reno” the Fresno County Sheriff K9 Officer
Community Champion, Special Award

2010
David Robinson
Community Champion, Youth
Eugene & Juanita Junette
Community Champion, Volunteer
Pauline Middleton
Community Champions, Humanitarian
Dr. Mark Wilson
Community Champion, Educator
De Young Properties
Community Champion, Special Award

2011
Sharon Ross
Community Champion, Youth
Eloise Pantages
Community Champion, Volunteer
Beth Caffrey
Community Champion, Humanitarian
Marcus P. Johnson
Community Champion, Educator

2012
Maria Gutierrez
Community Champion, Volunteer
Larry Powell
Community Champion, Humanitarian
Randy Perry
Community Champion, Educator
Mark Hudson
Community Champion, Special Award
 

2013
Teri and Ken Penfold
Community Champion, Volunteer
David Lopes
Community Champion, Educator
Sharon Johnson
Community Champion, Humanitarian
Al Smith
Community Champion, Special Award

2014
Mark Thompson
Community Champion, Volunteer
Phyliss Jensen Cregan
Community Champion, Humanitarian
Perry Huffman
Community Champion, Special Award
Jerry Turner
Community Champion, Special Award
 
2015
Captain Dwaine and Deborah Breazeale
Community Champion, Volunteer
George Milutinovich
Community Champion, Humanitarian
Jim and Jennifer Yovino
Community Champion, Educator
Captain Pete Dern
Community Champion, Special Award
 

2016 

Manuel Cunha
Community Champion, Humanitarian
Misty Her
Community Champion, Educator 
Daniel Hofer
Community Champion, Youth
Pat Ricchiuti
Community Champion, Volunteer 
 

2017

Ananya Vinay, Youth
Peter Belezzuoli & Ralph Loya, Volunteer
Mike McGarvin "Papa Mike," Humanitarian
Neil Dion, Educator

 

2018

Danay Ferguson, Youth
Jeff Tedford, Educator
Mary Borges Castro, Humanitarian
Lisa Benham-Lewis, Volunteer