For two local families, this year’s graduation festivities most likely included a celebratory toast of milk. The Sac-Joaquin Section recently honored 49 graduating seniors with Dale Lacky and Clarke Coover scholarships as the top student athletes in their respective athletic conferences. Crystal Creamery, a long-time sponsor of the Sac-Joaquin Section, took this opportunity to create four commemorative milk cartons celebrating this top honor and salute outstanding seniors including Max Moore and Taylor Stewart from Oakdale High School.
Crystal Creamery delivered the special-edition milk cartons to local grocery and convenience stores from Los Banos to Marysville. A long-time sponsor of the Sac-Joaquin Section, Crystal Creamery has recognized more than 170 Section and State champions, academic team champions and the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Dale Lacky and Clarke Coover Scholarship winners on their milk cartons over the past seven years.
“We are proud to honor the championship teams throughout the year, but we especially love to call attention each Spring to these outstanding student-athletes who lead both in the classroom and on the field,” said Brian Carden, Crystal Creamery’s Senior Director of Sales. “We produce these milk cartons because we want people to know about these local future leaders who have delivered in the classroom, on campus and in the community for the past four years.”
Each year, every high school athletic league in the Sac-Joaquin Section nominates their top male and female candidates to the Dale Lacky and Clarke Coover Scholarship Committee for consideration. The Section first awarded the Dale Lacky Scholarship in 1993 to honor the longtime principal of Woodland High School who also served as the Section President from 1966-1978 and as the California Interscholastic Federation State President from 1978-1980.
Initially, a scholarship was awarded to one male and one female athlete. Over the years, the Section has been able to expand the scholarship program through funds generated from “foundation games” where Section schools play designated basketball and volleyball games with 50 percent of the gate receipts being dedicated to the scholarship program, thereby expanding the scholarship funding from two scholarships to 49 scholarships for graduating seniors. In addition, two $1,500 scholarships are awarded in honor of former Section President Clarke Coover who was the Section’s second Commissioner and served from 1968-1993.
“The Dale Lacky and Clarke Coover Scholarships are unique to the Sac-Joaquin Section and among the first scholarships ever awarded in the California Interscholastic Federation. We greatly appreciate Crystal Creamery choosing to recognize these recipients as it is a great way to further salute these student-athletes for their success,” said Michael Garrison, Commissioner of the Sac-Joaquin Section. “Each year, the winners of these scholarships are some of our region’s best and brightest young leaders and the students who received these scholarships this year are truly impressive.”
Crystal Creamery has been a sponsor of the Sac-Joaquin Section since 2012. The company became involved to support high school sports because it is a proponent of high-school athletics. The company believes high school sports provides student athletes with unique experiences and an understanding of the importance of teamwork, dedication and commitment which can last them a lifetime.
Crystal Creamery is owned by the Foster family and based in Modesto, California. Originally known as Foster Dairy Farms, it was founded by Max and Verda Foster in 1941. In 2007, it purchased the Crystal Cream & Butter brand, which has been in business in California since 1901. In 2011, it acquired the Humboldt Creamery brand and its dairy plant in Fernbridge, California. Today, Crystal Creamery is the largest privately-owned dairy in California, producing dairy products under the local Crystal Creamery brand and the organic Humboldt Creamery brand.