Get your reservations now for the upcoming Awards Dinner, sponsored by the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce.
Tickets are $40 pre-sale; make reservations by Monday, Jan. 13. Tickets, if available at the door, are $50.
The awards night is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 17 with dinner starting at 6 p.m. at the Bianchi Community Center, 110 S. Second Ave., Oakdale. The program is scheduled to run through 9 p.m.
This week, we offer a preview of the nominees for Junior Achievement, Large Business of the Year and Small Business of the Year. Nominees are presented in alphabetical order. Look for information on the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Jan. 15 issue of The Leader.
The 74th annual Awards Dinner will also include the naming of a Director of the Year, recognition for outgoing Chamber Directors, introduction of incoming Directors and a Leadership Class Graduation.
Information on the nominees was provided by the Chamber of Commerce. Call for more information about the dinner, 209-847-2244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT NOMINEES
Kendra Branch is an exceptional student at Oakdale High School with a 3.83 GPA along with a perfect attendance record and a four sport athlete. Kendra runs cross country in the fall while also playing tennis and is the Team Captain. Her winter sport is soccer and Kendra wraps up the school year with track. She is currently representing the Senior Class in the elected position of Senior Class President. She attends all of the school functions where Leadership students host an event. Kendra is all about Oakdale High School’s spirit and getting all students involved.
Kendra is a passionate and goal oriented person and when she does something she gives it her all. She has been volunteering for Oak Valley Hospital for two years and has been recognized by the hospital for most hours volunteered. She organized Senior Sunrise, Winter Formal and will take care of Senior Sunset. Volunteering comes naturally to Kendra and she has helped with many events like Valley Home Harvest Festival, Fair Oaks Family Fun Night, Freshman Orientation, Link Crew, and served at the football team banquet and helped at the Quarterback Club Dinner.
Leadership is something that comes naturally to Kendra. Her smile greets students on a daily basis and she is approachable and reliable. She was awarded Kiwanis Hope of America Award as an 8th grader. Her freshman year she was Rookie of the Year, sophomore year she was awarded Defensive Player of the Year and Team Captain, and awarded as Most Inspirational Athlete for tennis.
There is nothing like daily chores to make a farm kid appreciate hard work and Paige Morgan is a great example of this. She wakes up each morning at 5:30 to feeds the animals and then takes her brother to school, goes to tennis practice after school only to head back home to do more chores. She cleans up after the horses, pitches in to drive equipment, weed eats the property or just helps her parents in doing what needs to be done. Paige maintains a solid 3.23 GPA, babysits on the side, volunteers in community events, assists in the organization for FFA events and meetings, is part of the Leadership Class for the past three years, a seven-year member of the Rainbows and is a teacher’s assistant for the front office and one of the Ag Teachers. Paige is always excited and ready to help anyway she can.
Paige has been part of 4H for nine years and has entered rabbits in the State Fair the last four years, as well as cooking, soap making and canning. She’s been part of Oakdale High School’s FFA program all four years and is an athlete as well. Paige has been on the tennis team four years with three of those years at the Varsity level and two years on the softball team.
Paige is also a big participant in community events and has participated in Love Oakdale and Love Knights Ferry clean up. She helps with the Breakfast with Santa whose proceeds provide specially trained service dogs to police officers, military veterans, and firefighters who suffer from PTSD. Paige helps organize games at the school to show support as part of the Leadership Class. In 8th grade she received Hope of America award from the Kiwanis and a past Worthy Advisor in Rainbow and named Miss Service in 2015. If something needs to be done or organized with follow-through, Paige Morgan is the person.
Tatyn Silva is a senior at Oakdale High School and many say she is enthusiastic, dedicated and kind to a fault. There’s a saying “no one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another” and that saying rings true when it comes to Tatyn. She has a very giving spirit and devotes much of her time to helping others. She has been tutoring for the Literacy Center since her freshman year and has been the head tutor for the past two years. She uses her lunch break to tutor students and assists the English department in helping all 1600 students at Oakdale High School. Tatyn enjoys lending a hand in leading the Ag Program and loves to connect students with the opportunities available to them through FFA. She is currently representing Oakdale FFA as Chapter Vice-President and is the Central Region Secretary for California. Tatyn has helped with freshman orientation during round up at the beginning of the school year. She helped to put up the Christmas trees in Downtown Oakdale and volunteers for the Oakdale Youth Wrestling Club and Tri-County Track Meets. Tatyn also goes to her grandpa’s house once a week to wash his clothes since the passing of her grandma. Tatyn is community minded and has the heart of service.
Academics take a huge priority as she holds an outstanding 3.81 GPA, she’s been a cheerleader for all four years of high school. Tatyn has also been part of the Track and Field team for the past three years. Tatyn is always involved in something; she has danced since she was three years old. As she got older she instantly became the girl helping the little ones, do a fast change, as they get into their outfits for the next dance, all while changing and getting ready herself.
Tatyn Silva is dedicated, passionate, and personable. To have a conversation with this young lady you are taken aback that she is only 17 years old.
LARGE BUSINESS NOMINEES
ASTORIA SENIOR LIVING
Astoria Senior Living was nominated for Small Business of the Year. They are an assisted living and memory care senior living community located in the old Oakdale Hospital building on Laurel Avenue. Astoria feels a responsibility to the residents and their families to provide them with personalized resident-focused care which allows them to thrive. The staff at Astoria Senior Living works tirelessly with the residents to ensure they are living their best life possible while living in assisted care. Aside from any care if needed by residents, they visit places like Pacifica Beach, Pinecrest Lake for a cookout and even attend local minor league baseball games like the Modesto Nuts. The residents are provided with many opportunities to get out and enjoy themselves with field trips to the movies, area parks and casinos – Black Oak’s Buffett is a big favorite of their residents. They go above and beyond to help their residents remain active and social. When at home, the fun continues with engagement through programming that enriches the body, mind and spirit by hosting a great many events for the residents from a New Year’s Nooners-Eve party to ring in the New Year, sip and paint nights, and activities for every holiday. They encourage the staff and families to actively participate with them in celebrating each day and making a difference.
Astoria Senior Living also encourages their residents to participate in community events. They have been part of every parade and even won second place for Most Inspirational Float at the Oakdale Rodeo Parade in 2018. The staff and residents of Astoria adopted 10 families last holiday season to ensure they have a warm meal to eat and much needed items to get them through the winter. Astoria Senior Living hosts several community events like their Annual Trunk-or-Treat where residents and staff decorate car trunks with fun themes and hand out candy to children and have carnival games, pumpkin painting and give out free hot dogs, popcorn and sno cones at no expense to the community. They host a Carnival every year with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Association from the dunk tank Astoria’s Executive Director, Sonya Smith was in. At each community event Astoria provides complimentary food, drinks and games open to the public.
Astoria Senior Living is part of the Agemark Senior Living Family. Agemark started their journey in 1987 when they opened their first assisted living. Since then they have continued to grow 22 communities while maintaining the heart of their philosophy which is treating people like family. Agemark has owned Astoria for five years and several other California properties located in Tracy, Antioch and Granite Bay. Astoria at Oakdale received the Reader’s Choice Award for the last three years recognized this year as one of the top best nine assisted living communities serving Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties by expertise.com.
FIT REPUBLIC OAKDALE
Lauren and Eddie Brown have owned Fit Republic Oakdale for just over a year. Prior to that Eddie worked in a corporate wellness company that owned the gym that was in this location and had 10 years of experience in this industry. Lauren was born and raised in Oakdale and has a real love for the Oakdale. Eddie was from a big city and has come to really appreciate the small town life Oakdale has offered their family. He wanted their gym to not only build community but transform people’s lives through health and wellness, and give back as much as they possibly can.
In 2019 they brought in multiple pieces of new equipment to their gym in addition to new technology that wouldn’t be available to the community otherwise. They brought back all of the amenities that were shut down by previous owners. These amenities offer a whole health fitness experience to the members and they established some new ones to help members achieve their goal. They partnered with Go Fresh, a meal prep company, where clients can purchase meals and pick up at Fit Republic Oakdale with no delivery fee. They added Superior Kids Club which is child care for gym members and started Kid Nation group training just for kids. Also, adding Les Mills Body Pump, Yoga, and ZUMBA classes, full-body Hoist circuits along with tanning beds and a sauna. There have been many improvements and additions to the services this location provided under previous ownership. Open from the early hours of the morning, into the late hours of the evening Fit Republic Oakdale makes sure to offer everything they can to the community whenever they need it.
Since the Brown family purchased the Fit Republic in Oakdale they have done everything possible to bring the community into their gym. They are always staffed with the friendliest faces that help keep their members accountable to their goals. Oakdale is a healthier place because of Fit Republic Oakdale. They make members feel like family, they support each other, and they motivate each other and encourage one another. Fit Republic Oakdale is more than just a gym and they are very proud of what they have built with the help of their amazing staff and support from the community.
The owners and staff regularly attend and support local causes. They offer scholarships to Oakdale High School students funded by their one-year anniversary raffle. Hosted events like their Annual Turkey Trot with the entry fees donated to Center for Human Services. Sponsored two soccer teams in the Oakdale Soccer League, sponsored an Oakdale Baseball Association baseball team, as well as Oakdale High School sports, sponsored and participated in the 4th of July parade and sponsored the Concert in the Park this summer. Coach Eddie and Coach Madisyn volunteer at Magnolia Elementary School to teach weekly PE to five different grade levels. The kids are able to earn prizes and they emphasize a love for fitness and wellness and the kids love it. They offer a Blueline membership for all first responders and military personnel, as well as, absolved large balances for members from previous ownership. Each month Fit Republic Oakdale has a member appreciation night and invite local businesses to participate free of charge to help increase exposure for local business community.
Fit Republic Oakdale day-to-day mission revolves around contribution to the betterment of those in the community of Oakdale. Fit Republic Oakdale is a health and wellness business that extends far beyond the physical side of fitness.
MODERN URGENT CARE
Modern Urgent Care opened their doors in Oakdale in September in 2019 in an effort to offer quality, accessible and affordable healthcare to the underserved Oakdale community. Modern Urgent Care is staffed with emergency trained providers whose mission is to provide efficient, accessible, and quality health care to Ceres, Manteca, Oakdale and the surrounding communities.
Modern Urgent Care offers an alternative setting for urgent healthcare needs where the previous choices were traveling to Modesto or going to the emergency department. Through Modern Urgent Care’s service Oakdale residents now have an alternate setting for urgent healthcare needs where wait times are a fraction of that of the emergency room visits and offering less expensive care.
Modern Urgent Care was founded in 2015 by a group of emergency department providers who realized a need in the Central Valley by seeing the overcrowded emergency rooms and overbooked primary offices. Since its inception they have expanded to three underserved communities Ceres, Manteca and Oakdale and have positively impacted change in the community’s health.
Modern Urgent Care also wants to participate in the community and has worked with Infinite Athletics Cheer and Tumbling with their Trunk-or-Treat event this past October and plan on getting involved in more community events. Modern Urgent Care looks forward to rendering healthcare services to the community and offering preventative service in an effort to improve the community’s overall health.
Raley’s enjoys taking part in community events. From donating to schools, providing flowers to our local senior citizens and giving food to families in need, they pride themselves with being there to show their love and support for our hometown. Raley’s Oakdale branch opened April 2008, and has been heavily involved in the community since opening its doors.
Raley’s contributes baked goods and other wholesome items to Oakdale Community Sharing on a daily basis. They provide flowers to the residents of Astoria Senior Living and provide a monthly donation of flowers to Oakdale High School Floral Club. They provide waters and fruit to the S.O.S Fun Run, and the Oakdale Junior High School Color Run. They donated to the K-9 dinner and also offer various donations throughout Oakdale Stampede season along with refreshment donation and volunteers for Oakdale High School Sober Grad. They welcome Cloverland students for a school tour of their store, sponsored and had a team for Relay For Life. Raley’s genuinely cares about feeding the hungry in our area, and sponsors the Food for Families program. Food for Families generates thousands of dollars each year toward the goal of eliminating hunger for families. Through this program and other partners, groceries are distributed to needy families.
Raley’s proudly supports Oakdale’s community events, but they also make supporting their customers that shop with them a priority. Under the new leadership of the new Store Team Leader, Jeremy Watson, they pride themselves on delivering a top-notch customer service experience where customers not only are guests, but also friends. Raley’s proudly delivers a shopping experience where “everyone knows your name”. Along with the new leadership, they have also brought a new shopping experience to life with their E-cart and delivery services. Their experienced personal shoppers take extra special care of customers’ online orders and pride themselves on picking only the very best for each customer. Their delivery service is quick and easy and currently delivers to anyone within the 95361 zip code. Raley’s encourages customers to give the service a try and offer the first experience at no charge.
SMALL BUSINESS NOMINEES
Over 25 years ago Curves changed women’s fitness by delivering a total body workout in just 30 minutes. That includes strength training, cardio and stretching. Curves has been part of Oakdale for 19 years but 10 years ago the franchise was purchased by Brad and Colleen O’Connell and relocated to their current Downtown location. The O’Connell’s added Jenny Craig, a weight loss program that focuses on healthy eating and having a consultant to help you through the rough times, about five years ago making them a dual branded business.
Curves / Jenny Craig has helped many attain a healthier, fuller life. To move away from obesity or sedentary life is a game changer. Many of their members have reported overcoming diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and overall improved health through the efforts of the Oakdale Curves / Jenny Craig. It’s a great program for seniors who typically lead a very sedentary lifestyle and this increases their balance, strength and overall health. Many of their senior members have changed habits due to their newly found strength and endurance and lead much more active and fulfilling lives.
Curves / Jenny Craig coaches work with each member individually to identify their strengths, challenges and personal goals in order to create unique weekly meal and activity plans that fit individual needs. Curves / Jenny Craig offers great motivational challenges every day and have a support system with personal coaching session for each member. They offer a holistic approach to health; mind, body and soul. They push members to be the best version of themselves and live their best lives.
Curves / Jenny Craig work hard for the woman here in Oakdale, Knights Ferry, Waterford and Escalon. But they are also devoting a great deal of time and effort in making the whole community stronger and healthier. Curves / Jenny Craig does an annual food drive every year, participates in Relay For Life, support the Alzheimer Associate Fund, raised money for Paradise Fire Aid, hosted a 5k Fun Run to support cancer research, and participated in setting up the Farmers Market each week. They also participate in many health fair, speaking at clubs and organizations on healthy living and participate in the Taste of Oakdale.
Curves / Jenny Craig is all about empowering women with the help and guidance. Physical fitness is vital to life so what better way to stay fit then be surrounded by people with the same goals. Friendships are made and laugher is shared and everyone wins.
INFINITE ATHLETICS CHEER AND TUMBLING
Within a little over three years under their belt Infinite Athletics Cheer and Tumbling has made a huge impact on the Central Valley and in the competitive world of Cheer. With over 100 competitive athletes and 1000 students this gym is the only one of its kind in the area. Infinite Athletics is a family owned business that chose Oakdale because it’s home to owners, Jason Dillion and his daughters Ashley and Amy, who knew the area was underserved in youth activities. Their aim is to promote a lifelong enjoyment of Cheerleading while emphasizing a positive athlete experience and instilling the core values of discipline, teamwork, safety, respect and integrity in their athletes. Now they run a world class gym that’s ranked #1 in the world.
Infinite Athletics trains competition cheerleaders on a national level. In addition to winning the US Finals National Championship, they also are the 2019 D2 Summit Champion, 2019 D2 Summit Silver Champion and just won three bids to the 2020 D2 Summit National Conference in Orlando, Florida this summer. Along with competitive cheerleading they teach tumbling, stretching, and conditioning classes. They genuinely care about their athletes’ experience, and it shows in the coach’s instruction and close attention to technique. First-time athletes continually become long term athletes time and time again.
They also provide a unique special event location for things like for nerf wars, ninja warrior training, dance and tumbling parties perfect for a birthday party or team building event. Infinite Athletics is also the only gym in the area that has a special needs competition cheer team. Youth activities are lacking in the Valley and Infinite Athletics is filling the void and building a reputation for themselves. Infinite Athletics Cheer and Tumbling has had a positive impact on their students by teaching them skills needed to be among the best athletes in the nation. More importantly they provide the youth with a safe place to be, teach life skills and how to become a better citizen for our community.
Being involved in the community of Oakdale is very important to Infinite Athletics and encourages their students to also give back. Several times a year Infinite’s athletes participate in feeding the homeless and sponsoring families through various organizations during the holidays. They hosted an Easter Egg Hunt open to the community at the Eric Medlen Memorial Park last spring where they provided thousands of treat filled eggs, lunch, games and the Easter Bunny was on hand for photos. They hosted their first Trunk or Treat at this gym this past Halloween and for Veterans Day they not only participated in the parade but they hosted lunch for the Veterans. On Memorial Day they hosted a BBQ at their gym that is open to the public at no charge. They give a great deal back to the community of Oakdale by continuing to provide fun and entertainment for our youth in a variety of ways.