This year’s Annual Awards Dinner hosted by the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce will be presented in a different format, but there will still be honors presented for those who have made Oakdale a special place to live and work this year.
Normally held at the Gene Bianchi Community Center in January, the event has been rescheduled for Friday, Feb. 19 and will be a drive-thru dinner with a virtual viewing ceremony.
From 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., those that planned to attend the ceremony can pick up their ‘To-Go Dinner’ prepared by House of Beef and dessert provided by Astoria Senior Living. The pick-up will be at the Chamber office at 590 N. Yosemite Ave., Oakdale. Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased at the Chamber office or on their website at oakdalechamber.com. Tickets “at the door” are $50 each. There will be multiple options of viewing the Annual Awards Show, which begins at 7 p.m.; contact the Chamber for viewing information, 209-847-2244.
This week, we preview those nominated for the Citizen of the Year and the Business of the Year awards. Next week, a look at the Junior Achievement nominees and a special feature on the Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.
Citizen Of The Year Nominees
2020 was a tough year for the ASTRO Foundation. Mary gave countless hours of her time to fill in whenever and wherever needed to keep the thrift shop open and making money to save lives. The ASTRO Foundation normally does one major fundraiser each year, St. Catty’s Day, which is typically held on a Saturday near St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the event had to be cancelled which put ASTRO in a tough predicament. Their financial outlook was now severely impacted, but this did not discourage Mary. She immediately went to work online to sell items on various platforms. With this, Mary was able to keep the Foundation running with doors closed. She tirelessly tried to continue to take donations and because of Mary’s efforts, the Foundation was able to stay afloat and continued to save lives in our area.
Lisa is the secretary of a local non-profit called OES, Oakdale Enrichment Society. Lisa has worked tirelessly to continue to support our community in any way possible. Need volunteers? Lisa is the first to join and find additional volunteers to benefit our community. If there is anything going on in our community, you can bet to see Lisa volunteering or supporting.
Pastor Henry Raven
Pastor Henry Raven is an active member of “Youth for Christ.” He contributes to hundreds of hours visiting inmates at the county jail, and youth offenders at the juvenile hall. By providing spiritual advice as well as “common sense” he hopes to get them back on track with life and wants to return them to society being better citizens. He has also been awarded the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Performance Award for his dedication to the department.
Zachary Fisher, also known as The Food Dude, is a 30-year-old restaurateur who has been in Oakdale for 11 years.
He is the owner of the new restaurant in Oakdale; the old Café Bliss now called Bistro 120.
He has been cooking for 13 years and has been doing charitable work for about six of those years encompassing street clean up, homeless feedings or helping with any type of disaster. This past year he served 466 free Thanksgiving meals and when the Camp fires were happening he donated seven days of breakfast, lunch and dinner along with countless others to make sure those affected had all they needed. Fisher does monthly street clean ups and homeless feeding on either donations from people or out of his own pocket and said he wants to be known for empathy and giving back like a “modern day Robin Hood” and also said he was “grateful for even being nominated.”
Jason has taken this year to really give back to the Oakdale Community. From joining forces with the Oakdale Chamber and Mayor Cher Bairos to put on safe and family friendly events to doing events through his family business to give back. Jason and his family have been feeding the homeless for the past 10 years in our area. Over the pandemic, Jason and his daughter Ashley did marketing flyers for all the small businesses in Oakdale to ensure that they were receiving the help they needed during the tough times.
Business Of The Year Nominees
Get Fit Oakdale
In their own words, At Get Fit we believe in moving people towards whole health through Community, Fitness & Nutrition. Get Fit Oakdale was born out of a desire to give back and community is at the heart of who we are and all we do. Now more than ever we believe in taking care of the whole person and doing life together. Get Fit is not just a place to work out, it’s a place to work together and be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Jackie Wilson has always had big dreams. On June 2, 2020, after 10 years in the salon industry, one of her dreams became a reality and Revive Salon opened its doors.
Jackie’s brother, Charlie, always said “don’t talk about it, be about it”. Since losing him in 2018, she has really taken her brother’s advice to heart and has pushed herself to work hard and reach her goals.
Revive Salon takes pride in helping others look and feel their best, so much so that the Salon was one of the few salons in the area to stay open for outdoor haircuts last summer.
Revive has four stylists, three who specialize in color and one who specializes in men’s haircuts. Their stylists are Oscar Padilla, Kait Coker, Paris Chriswell and Jackie Wilson.
Infinite Athletics is a family ran competitive cheerleading gym owned by sisters Ashley and Amy Dillon with the help of their amazing parents Jason and Mison Dillon. They opened the gym back in August 2016 in hopes to be a small training facility and quickly realized this was going to be bigger than they ever imagined. Almost five years in and they are now World Recognized and have taken some of the most prestigious competitions in the Competitive Cheerleading world. Not only are they running their gym, but they also make it a priority to help the community in any way that they can and do events. They have done Veteran’s Day BBQ’s, feeding the less fortunate, and so much more. They have also come together with local businesses to help with any additional equipment that has been needed due to the fires the region had. As much as they are a cheer gym and a home to many young athletes, they also love their community and do what they can to give back.
Oak Valley Community Bank
In their own words, established in 1991, Oak Valley Community Bank was founded on the principles of relationship banking. We are proud of our Oakdale roots and put our customers first, taking pride in connecting to the communities we serve. Our commitment continues with every customer relationship - like the oak tree, our roots run deep in the community, and our branches grow strong to support our clients.
As we approach our 30-year anniversary, we would like to thank the city of Oakdale, the chamber, and all its members for their overwhelming support and patronage through the years. We are your local bank, and we would not be where we are today, without great customers like you.
OVCB has grown to over $1.5 billion in assets and currently operates through 17 locations in Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Tuolumne, Sacramento, Inyo, and Mono counties. For more information, visit www.ovcb.com.