The community gathered to celebrate its top citizens of 2016 last week during the annual Corcoran Chamber of Commerce banquet. Earning the honors were Karli Toone, Diane Gomez and Steve Brown. Before those three were introduced, however, the Corcoran Lions Club was showcased as Corcoran’s organization of the year.
The Lions are celebrating their 75th year as a charter club and in 2016 made a huge resurgence in activities and membership. As part of the club’s community involvement, members helped with both the Chamber’s Cotton Festival and Christmas Parade.
The club is known for its eyeglass program, with members collecting used prescription eyeglasses and providing good glasses to children and veterans.
Last year, the Lions hosted a 50-50 raffle benefitting local organizations, a barbecue with proceeds going to Corcoran Youth Wrestling and funding to send children to camp for the blind.
The group holds an annual pheasant hunt and bowling tournament, as well as providing scholarships to local high School students.
As Youth Citizen of the Year, Karli Toone serves as vice president of the high school Theater Club, a member of the softball team and as a member of the cheer squad. She has also been an assistant coach for youth cheerleading and helped with CHS mini cheer camps.
Karli is a volunteer for caring for the elderly and is also a member of the California Scholastic Federation. She has volunteered her time during the local cotton Festival and Springfest events. As a student, she has participated in the US Merced program that prepares students for college.
Karli has spent several years as an FFA member, serving as treasurer, vice-president and chaplain. She participated in FFA hog showmanship, as a member of the club’s cotton judging team and in the opening and closing team. She has also been a member of the FFA marketing plan team.
Diane Gomez can cite a long history of volunteering within the community. She is likely most recognized by local folks whose children have been involved in youth sports.
She has participated with the Corcoran Blue Dolphins swim team, has been a CHS wrestling volunteer and both a Corcoran football and Corcoran basketball booster member. She also served as secretary of the Corcoran Freestyle Wrestling program.
A local Little League volunteer, Diane also served on the high school Sober Grad committee and as a member of the John Muir 8th grade graduation committee. She participated in YMCA soccer and basketball programs and as a parent volunteer in the classroom.
She has been a girls’ basketball travel team mom and a high school wrestling team mom. Diane has been a confirmation class volunteer for Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and a swim host for cross country training. She also volunteers to shoot sports photos for the local newspaper. Diane serves as a member of the board of directors for the Corcoran Chamber of Commerce.
Steve Brown is also a Chamber director and is serving the community as a member of the Corcoran Hospital District’s board of directors. He was the charter president of the Association of California School Administrators’ Kings County board.
A YMCA basketball coach, Steve has also served as a Corcoran 50-50 Club “husband”, a longtime organization that has benefitted several local organizations, including the hospital and Emergency Aid. He has volunteered as a summer league junior high basketball coach and has served as an Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church lector and eucharistic minister.
A longtime member of the Corcoran Rotary Club, Steve is serving is second year as president of the organization. He recently made a trip to Guatemala to visit a village where the club participates in its international project, providing food and educational opportunities for underserved native citizens.
Steve is an Eagle Scout who has served as a coach for upcoming Scouts and also volunteered as a camp director. He is president of the Big Meadow Association. Steve has been a volunteer fire look-out for the Buck Rock Foundation for several years.