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Stan Sinclear named 'Citizen of the Year'
Stan Sinclear was named the 2010 "Citizen of the Year" at Friday's annual Ceres Chamber of Commerce Installation Banquet.

Sinclear, a former Ceres Unified School District board trustee, was singled out for his community involvement which has spanned over several decades. For 24 years - from 1979 to 2003 - Sinclear represented the Westport area on the School Board. Re-elected six times, Sinclear attended an estimated 450 regular School Board meetings during his long tenure.

Sinclear Elementary School in Ceres was named previously for the contributions of Sinclear and his father, the late Dale Sinclear.

Besides his School Board service, Sinclear was cited for a number of other volunteer efforts, including:

• Volunteering time for the Future Farmers of America (FFA);

• Cooking and serving food at the Stanislaus County Fair;

• Cooking and serving tri-tip sandwiches for the Ceres Lions Club booth at the Ceres Street Faire;

• Helping with the Ceres Lions Club's annual Crab Feed;

• Participating in the Lions Club's flag education program at the elementary school;

• Supporting high school fundraisers, such as playing Santa at a Central Valley High School Boosters Club, as well as contributing to the Soroptimist International of Ceres.

• Serving as secretary of the Ceres Educational Foundation (CEF) and supporting the organization's annual Ceres Western Art Show & Sale before it was cancelled.

The Chamber also bestowed its "Volunteer of the Year" honor to Shawna Nunes. The lifelong Ceres resident and girls basketball coach at Ceres High School helped develop an event that would allow the community to financially support the athletic programs at both her high school and Central Valley High School. With the help of Nicole Chapman, the Imperial Knights dinner and entertainment show has raised approximately $11,000 for the Ceres High and Central Valley High athletic programs. The September event was cosponsored by the city of Ceres and the Ceres Chamber of Commerce.

Nunes has also been a class adviser off and on for 20 years and has been the class of 2011 adviser since their freshman year.

"According to the activities director, Shawna has raised more money for this class than any other adviser," said Shane Parson, the 2009 Volunteer of the Year, in introducing Nunes.

Nunes is active in the Soroptimist International of Ceres and helped re-start up the S Club at Ceres High School.

"Shawna never hesitates to help students, staff and community members," said Parson. "CHS is part of her family and so is the Ceres community. When a student is in need, Shawna is the first to help. She is passionate about her education, students, her community, family and friends. She is a friend, a parent, a mentor. Shawna is most deserving of this award."

Nunes gave some remarks before a host of representatives of elected officials gave out honors.

"I'm very proud to tell my students and my kids that I was born here, I was raised here and I'm back here," said Nunes. "Ceres is a great place to be from and a great place to be. I've always said that. You know, kids always want to leave right away. I tell them, 'Go away, you're going to find out this is a great place to come back to.'"

Nunes accepted her award but noted her efforts have been aided by others.

"I got this award but everybody helped me get it."

The evening included installation of new Chamber officers.

Cary Pope, the new Chamber president, presented a ceremonial gavel to outgoing Chamber president Shane Parson. Pope commented that Parson "brought the Chamber back from the brink of disaster" in the past year of economic difficulty.

The new board of directors includes:

• Nancy Pope, secretary;

• Pam Agnew, events co-chair;

• Robert Yockey, treasurer;

• Cory Crawford, and Dustin Pack, co-vice president;

• Bertie Plante, Julia Fatheree, Mary Lopez, and Tracy Maciel, all board directors;

"It's been an interesting year and we're all still here so we've got some things to be proud of for that," commented Pope. "There's a lot of people who are not ... and it's been a challenge for the Chamber."

Pope said the Chamber will be focusing on programs to retain Chamber membership and "go after some of those that have, for whatever reason, have dropped out or feel like the Chamber doesn't bring anything to them. We are to educate them that it is a partnership. We all have to work together. And one of the things we have to do ... is emphasize to shop Ceres first. We really have to do that and that's how these businesses that are involved in our community are going to be able to survive."

Pope said those with shopping dollars need to look to spend in Ceres first before "jumping up to the mall or going somewhere else."

Pope and his wife, Nancy, own the Clinton Whitmore Mansion.

The Chamber event, held at the Ceres Community Center, attracted 112 attendants. The event was emceed by Eric Ingwerson, former Ceres mayor and current School Board trustee.