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Ruhkala Community Service awards presented

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Winners of the annual Roy and Peggy Ruhkala Community Service Awards were honored at a reception held April 19 at the Rocklin Event Center on Sunset Boulevard. The 2012 Ruhkala Community Service Awards were presented in several categories.

 Individual Award:   

 Greg Fairrington, pastor of Destiny Christian Church, was presented with the Individual Award   for his work on the Celebrate America Event held each year at the end of June.

In 2009 Sunset Christian Center (now Destiny Christian Church) hosted the first Celebrate America event to replace Rocklin’s longstanding Jubilee festival.

Celebrate America is a free event that honors America and her history.  It honors soldiers, local first responders and local politicians in attendance.

The production includes a patriotic musical featuring a cast and choir of more than 175 people, re-enactments of the memorable moments in our nation's history, a full aerial fireworks display, local food vendors and children’s play area.

Now in its fourth year, the event requires more than 350 volunteers. A second performance will be given this year. 

Group/Business Award

 Whitney High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) was recognized for serving more than 1,320 hours of community service this school year.

During the annual Cool Cars, Hot Chili event, 52 cadets served a combined 494 hours of community service, including set up, tear down, policing and clean up. 

The unit also provided Color Guard teams to a number of Rocklin community events, including the State of the City, Rocklin Unified School District board meetings, Rocklin youth sports opening day ceremonies and Veteran’s Day events.

The Air Force Junior ROTC Aerospace Science Program is designed to build better citizens, strengthen character and acquaint cadets with the aerospace age and careers in the military and civilian aviation.

Instructors are retired U.S. Air Force members whose qualifications are approved by the Air Force to teach the Aerospace Science courses and conduct the AFJROTC activities.  

 Youth Award

 Victory High School Interact Club, a service club for students ages 12 to 18, was honored for their community service projects.

Club members participate in community service projects including a record-setting blood donor drive, monthly barbecues for families at the Home Start Homeless Shelter, hosting two annual canned food drives to fill the food pantry at Home Start Shelter; filling Christmas stockings for children in area hospitals; and participating in the annual Hooked on Fishing event for students from Rocklin Elementary School.

Interact clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary clubs, which provide support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting.

Pioneer Award

 Longtime Rocklin resident Jerry Mitchell was honored for his ongoing contributions to Rocklin.

Mitchell has dedicated more than 18 years of service to the city, including serving on the Recreation Commission from 1986 to 1987. During that time, the commission collaborated with the community on the design and development of five neighborhood parks. 

He was elected to the City Council in 1987 and served as Mayor in 1991, helping guide Rocklin’s development during a period of high growth. 

From 2000 until 2012, Mitchell served on the Redevelopment Advisory Committee, which advised the council on the Redevelopment Agency’s project priorities.

He has also served on the committee organizing the Rocklin Tree Lighting Event.