Clovis Gears up for Hall Of Fame Gala, Part I

Pictured, the 2018 Clovis Hall of Fame inductees, from left to right: Janet Young, Fran Kilgore, Mark Gardner, Guy and Carey Adams, Peggy and Dan Dunklee, Elaine Bell, and Stevan Ponce. PHOTO BY RON SUNDQUIST/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

The 2019 Hall of Fame dinner and celebration is gearing up for another special evening. 

Save the date. On Saturday, September 14, 2019, the Clovis Veterans Memorial District, located at 808 4th Street, will welcome the 2019 Clovis Hall of Fame Awards. That’s when we will celebrate and say “Thank You!” to the special folks who make Clovis the outstanding city it is and appreciate the richness of our heritage.

Organized by the Clovis Exchange Club, the Hall of Fame Awards welcomes members of the community to the event. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. for cocktails and socializing. A delicious dinner and lively program will begin at 6:00 p.m. To purchase tickets visit

Four of the inductees are introduced in this edition of the Roundup. The remainder will appear in the next issue.

Citizen of the Year – 9-11 Steering Committee

Establishing the California 9-11 Memorial was for three purposes: To Honor. To Remember. To Educate.

On December 8, 2001, Pelco held the first 9-11 Memorial at their Clovis, CA, headquarters.  To honor the victims and their bravery, a group of first responders, military personnel, and private citizens, continue to take part in a commemoration ceremony that is among the largest of its kind outside of New York City.

The site of the Memorial was a gift from the Cook Family to The California 9-11 Memorial. In 2019, The California 9-11 Memorial was formally established, a board was formed, and a 501(c) 3 application filed.

Plans are currently being made to expand the site to include miniature replicas of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, along with a limited edition bronze statue of first responders and storyboards.

Both Twin Towers and the Pentagon will have the names inscribed in stone of all the first responders and military personnel who died in the attacks. Incorporated into the design is the position of the sun to cast light on the bronze statue at the exact time of the first attack (8:45 am) and a shadow on the Pentagon at the precise site of impact. A water feature will be included to represent design elements from the National 9-11 Memorial in New York City.

Private donations pay for the expansion costs.

“We recognized an exceptional opportunity to educate the youth in our community about the tragic events that took place,” said Jerry Cook, Board President, The California 9-11 Memorial. “The Memorial is unlike anything else on the West Coast, and it’s certainly special to the community of Clovis, CA.  The Memorial events bring to life the significance of that day in our history.  To hear the fire bell ring, the dispatch calls, our National Anthem, 21-gun salute and, perhaps most profound, the moments of silence – it’s something you feel at your core.  It’s a feeling our community needs to be reminded of each year so that we can truly honor and appreciate our freedom.” 

Friend of Youth – Ken Dias

Ken served as an Ag teacher and FFA Advisor for Clovis Unified School District for 37 years, from 1982 – 2019.  Throughout his career, he influenced, taught, or inspired over 5,000 students and several received scholarships to major Ag Universities.  Twenty of his students become Ag teachers, and hundreds have Agriculture related careers.

That’s not all. Dias mentored 58 student-teachers from CSUF.  He also coached Clovis Babe Ruth for seven years, and his All-star Team won a State Championship.

“He’s a great guy,” said Steve Pitts, a former Ag student.”I was in his class for about a year…such a great guy.”

Originally from Hanford, CA, Dias discovered his love for agriculture and passion for teaching on the family farm, where he learned the value of hard work and responsibility.

Dias graduated from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ag Education and was the catalyst of developing the Clovis Agriculture program. The program, a superior model in agriculture education, was recently awarded the #1 Ag Program in California and the Western Region of the U.S.

When budgetary cuts threatened, Dias helped save the Ag program. He went on to help create the McFarlane-Coffman Ag Center, a 22-acre, State-of-the-Art Ag education facility and started the first Discovery Ag Program in California for junior high students.

Superior student achievements include: 11 National Champion and 9 Reserve teams in Meats Evaluation/Technology, National FFA President, a National FFA Beef Production winner, 105 American Farmer Degrees, 27 State Championship teams, 23 in Meats Evaluation and 4  in Leadership, a State FFA President, a State Agriculture Science winner, 3 State Beef Production winners, a State Farmer finalist, 360 State Farmer Degrees, State Gold teams in Cotton, Dairy Cattle, Farm Records and Vine Pruning, 450 livestock awards, 16 San Joaquin Regional officers, and 40 Fresno Section Leadership winners.

Dias was honored with several prestigious awards, including: California Ag Teachers Association “Outstanding Teacher of the Year”, CATA “Teacher of Excellence”, CUSD Crystal Award,  CUSD Teacher of The Year, Fresno County Educator of the Year finalist, CUSD Making a Difference, Clovis Community Exceptional Person, Honorary American Farmer and San Joaquin Star FFA Advisor.

“I love teaching,” said Dias. “I care about every kid. I always wanted to be a friend and help kids. That’s golden.”

Asked what advice he would give students, Dias said, “Have a dream, set goals, you can change them as you go. Be excited about something.”

Clovis Police Officer – Brent Drum

If you’ve gone to a Clovis event where police dogs are present, perhaps you saw K-9 officer, Brent Drum and his partner, Jax, a Belgian Malinois.

“Jax is obnoxious about attention,” says Officer Drum. “He’s very sociable. People come up all the time; you can’t go wrong with a police dog.”

Originally from the Fresno/Clovis area, Officer Drum has been on the police force for 20 years; 10 years in Kingsburg and ten years in Clovis. In both police departments, he had K-9 partners.

“I always wanted to be a police officer, but didn’t think I was smart enough,” he said.”My wife pushed me to do it, and you know, you really need a lot of support at home because of the holidays, shift work and events that you miss.”

Married for 25 years, Officer Drum has two adult children and one grandchild.

“I was excited to come to Clovis; this is the best of the best… better than Disneyland. I truly mean that. I tell new hires, take care of citizens, handle crime, take it seriously, and take care of the City of Clovis. Clovis is supportive of law enforcement, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Officer Drum is delaying his retirement until Jax’s retirement date so that they can retire together.

“When we spend so much time together, we’re family,” he said. “I can’t see retiring and handing him off to another officer.”

The Clovis Police Officer’s Association (CPOA) handles the Officer of the year ballots annually. Officers are nominated by their peers and several shared why they voted for Officer Drum:

“Always first to volunteer and help other officers.”Gives 100%!” “Great leader and teacher.””Always there to back officers up and has a great sense of humor.”

Organization – Soroptimist International of Clovis

Soroptimist (pronounced suh-rop-tuh-mist) means “best for women” – women at their best helping other women to be their best. Soroptimist International is a volunteer organization for business and professional women who are committed to improving the lives of women and girls through financial scholarships and educational programs. Thousands of dollars are granted yearly to women and girls in the form of academic awards.

Through the global efforts of over 120,000 members in 130 countries and territories, programs are established that lead to women’s social and economic empowerment by way of education. The main program, Live Your Dream Awards, distributes over 2 million dollars annually to 1500 women and girls throughout the world. Eligible applicants must be women who provide the primary financial support for their families, and who are enrolled in or have been accepted to a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program. Applications will be accepted through November 15, 2019.

Each chapter determines where to focus their specific efforts. In Clovis, the local club awards scholarships and works alongside the Marjaree Mason Center, Evangel Home, Family Healing Center, CUSD Kids in Transition, San Joaquin College of Law Scholarship, and S Club at San Joaquin Memorial High School, among others.

The newest program, “Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls,” provides tangible strategies enabling girls to accomplish their career goals by giving them the tools they need to achieve their educational career goals. The program empowers them to break the cycles of violence, poverty, and abuse.

The first scholarships went to four recipients in August 2019. They may use the awards to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education

The Dream Programs of Soroptimist ensure women and girls have access to the education and training they need to reach their full potential and live their dreams. Soroptimist is committed to investing in programs that have a sustainable, measurable change for women and girls.

Look out in the next issue for Part II of the Clovis Hall of Fame Gala featuring the rest of the honorees.