One would be hard pressed to find a more generous person giving back to the Ceres community as Shane Parson.
His philanthropic ways will continue Thursday evening when he presents a $2,500 donation to the Ceres Unified School District Foundation from his Fourth Street business, Embroidery Plus.
“I didn’t go to school here but I want to support education as much as I can,” said Parson. “I’m a big believer in education.”
The money will help CUSD Foundation support its mission of providing supplemental resources for students in grades K-12 and scholarships for graduating Ceres seniors.
Shane and his wife Kim started paying it forward 10 years ago by making donations to different organizations.
“We’ve been very blessed,” he said. “We’ve worked hard and have been able to help others.”
On Monday night, the Parsons donated the use of their arena (Diamond Bar) on South Central Avenue at Keyes Road to the Stanislaus State Athletics Program Fundraiser.
Imperial Knights, a touring company that recreates the thrill of a medieval joust and tournament, entertained the crowd at the venue. Dinner was also served.
The Medieval Nights fundraiser has also benefitted the athletic booster clubs of Ceres and Central Valley high schools. More than $50,000 has been raised for student activities.
Parson was named Ceres Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Agribusiness Man of the Year in 2010.
Born in Oakland, Parson graduated from Los Banos and attended Merced College.
He moved to the Ceres area in 2000. He is an almond broker and processor, and part owner in Rockstar Limosine Services, S&M Tack, California West Coast Horsemen newsletter and owns Diamond Bar Arena.
“I’ve had a lot of people that helped me build my businesses,” said Parson. “It’s a good feeling to be able to give back.”
Parson has given back to the community in a myriad of other ways. He made his 6,500-square-foot lot available for the Community Garden to grow produce like corn, green beans, carrots, turnips, okra and tomatoes under a community coalition of private and public groups.
In years past he has donated his antique San Francisco cable car for rides down Christmas Tree Lane during the Ceres Christmas Festival. He has also donated food for Thanksgiving meals for the community. He has given use of his Diamond Bar Arena for children with disabilities.
He has also purchased and rehabbed many commercial and residential properties in the downtown area.
The Los Banos native is also owner and publisher of West Coast Horsemen, a monthly magazine distributed through feed and tack stores and ranches in California and Nevada. He also is publisher of Horsemen News, the Paint Horse News and Pacific Quarter Horse Journal.