Several hundred guests attended the Hall of Fame Annual Awards on Saturday evening, September 14, 2019, at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District. They came to honor the outstanding people who make Clovis the special place it is.
Sponsored by the Exchange Club of Clovis, the event was hosted by Lynne Ashbeck. CenterStage Clovis provided the evening’s entertainment while guests enjoyed dinner.
Founders – Gage Family
Residents of Clovis since 1940, George and Margaret Gage lived their lives quietly.
In 1945, George Gage bought the Chapman Drug Store and renamed it Gage Drug Store. George worked as the pharmacist and responded quickly to his customer’s needs, regardless of the time of day and whether or not they were able to pay.
He also personally took home-cooked meals to those in need, something very few people knew about at the time.
Following George’s passing, Margaret did volunteer work and received the Benemerenti Award from Pope Paul II for a lifetime of service to the church.
“George and Margaret’s purpose in life was to be of service to God, family and their fellow man,” said Tom, their youngest son. “They were unassuming, humble people.
Service To Veterans – Jim Anderson
Originally from Oklahoma, Jim Anderson is proud of his Choctaw and Chickasaw heritage. He was drafted into the US Army and served in Vietnam.
Anderson is a member of several veterans’ organizations, including the Choctaw Code Talkers Association, the Choctaw Veterans Association.
“You never do anything alone, you always need help,” he says. “Service from a young age is important.”
Spirit of Clovis: Franco & Carmela Liberta
Franco and Carmela immigrated to the United States separately in 1947, married and started their family in New York.
The family moved to Clovis and opened their Italian eatery, Luna Pizzeria. Today the business is a community favorite.
The Libertas helped fundraise for many school and community activities.
Today, the legacy of Franco and Carmela Liberta lives on in those they helped and the community they served.
Citizen of the Year – Clovis 9-11 Memorial Foundation
The site of the memorial was a gift from the Cook Family to The California 9-11 Memorial.
“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 Memorial is unlike anything else on the West Coast, and it’s certainly special to the community of Clovis, CA.
Friend of Youth – Ken Dias
Ken Dias served as an Agricultural teacher and FFA Advisor for Clovis Unified School District for 37 years. He influenced, taught, or inspired over 5,000 students. Dias was honored with several prestigious awards, including California Ag Teachers Association “Outstanding Teacher of the Year”, and CATA “Teacher of Excellence”.
“What about the kid that doesn’t have anything?” asked Dias. “Let’s help those kids.”
Clovis Police Officer – Brent Drum
Originally from the Fresno/Clovis area, Officer Drum has been on the police force for 20 years; 10 years in Clovis. Jax, a Belgian Malinois, is his partner.
“Good things come to those who work hard,” said Officer Drum. “The community here is unbelievable. People are very friendly, kids come up to say hello.”
Organization – Soroptimist International of Clovis
Soroptimist means “best for women” – women at their best helping other women to be their best. This is a volunteer organization for professional women who are committed to improving the lives of women and girls through financial scholarships and educational programs.
Each chapter determines where to focus their efforts. In Clovis, the local club awards scholarships and works alongside the Marjoree Mason Center and Evangel Home, among others.