Corcoran residents celebrated their man and woman of the year last Wednesday evening, as the Corcoran Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual banquet.
Also highlighted at the dinner were the youth citizen of the year and the organization of the year. New chamber board members were sworn and the large crowd attending enjoyed dinner catered by Cal Clemente.
Earning top honors were Doug DeVaney, Sheila Javaux, Angelica Salgado and the Corcoran Youth Wrestling organization,
Adrian Hernandez spoke on behalf of the wrestling team, noting the success of individual wrestlers in the 12 years he has been with the program. They have included both high school league and Valley champions, along with at least one college national champion. Hernandez also thanked the coaches and coordinators of the team who came before him, handing him a strong program.
“We have never been below 50 members on the team,” he noted.
The program has become so prominent that when Corcoran hosts its annual tournament, teams come from all over the state to compete.
Angelica has served her community and high school in numerous activities, participating as an altar server at church and as a volunteer at church fundraisers. She has been a member of both the cross country and track teams at the high school, as well as serving as both vice president and president of the Interact Club. She has been the Angel Tree coordinator at CHS and is also a member of the Future Business Leaders Association (FBLA).
She has been a HOBY Ambassador and is a member of the California Scholastic Federation. A March of Dimes volunteer, she served as class president both as a freshman and sophomore and has been involved in fundraising for Academic Boosters. She currently serves as junior class president and maintains a 4.0 grade point average.
She competed in the 2014 and 2015 CIF California State cross country championships.
“This is very humbling and I just want to say thanks,” stated Angelica. “The experiences I have had have created lifelong friendships and bonds. And through Interact, I have learned so many lessons that will last me a lifetime.”
While thanking the chamber for the honor, Sheila Javaux told those in the audience that she was always accompanied by her husband in her volunteer efforts. That includes working in the Little League and Blue Dolphins snack bars and working on behalf of the high school Band Backers. She served as secretary, treasurer and vice president for Band Backers and secretary, vice president and president for the Corcoran Guild.
Sheila helped with high school cheerleading fundraisers and was a high school ASB chaperone, as well as being co-chair of the 2013 Sober Grad
commitee. She attends the Corcoran Community Church of the Nazarene, where she serves as a board member, missions’ president, preschool Sunday School teacher and vacation Bible School chairman. She is also the church’s youth ministry Puppet Pal leader.
Sheila has been the Corcoran 50-50 Club’s secretary and vice president and is also a Chamber of Commerce board member.
She thanks her family and children for spurring her involvement. She also thanked a mentor, Donnetta Murray, for encouraging her to participate when she would most likely have let her high school years pass by.
“I think if you are raising involved children, you are raising involved adults,” said Javaux.
DeVaney also emphasized involvement in the community, challenging peers and newer generations to discovery the strength and fulfillment that comes from volunteering.
A longtime supporter of YMCA camping programs, he helped lead the renaissance that got Corcoran children once again attending camp sessions at Lake Sequoia. Until recent years, few to no local kids were seen at the campsites.
He told the story of sharing camp letters at a local luncheon designed to raise money to send Corcoran youth to camp. One letter noted that the writer had not known what a lake even was until attending camp. That letter prompted one attendee to sponsor children to attend the following summer.
“these are just small things, but one small piece of light can ignite other lights,” he said. “I think there are many unlit candles that may be out there in our community and I call upon you to light them.”
He said his remarks were particularly directed at Corcoran’s “next generation,” who he called upon to take charge in leading the community through volunteerism.
DeVaney himself has served as a local Cub Scout leader, YMCA board member and president, as a volunteer with the Corcoran Blue Dolphins Swim Team and as a volunteer for several Chamber of Commerce events. He was a Corcoran Guild “husband,” volunteering with set up, clean up and party night duties, was a member of the Corcoran Golf Club and served on the Golden State Y board. He was also a member of the Colomco board of directors.
He was introduced by his wife, Terrell, who noted that whenever she volunteered to help in the community—and as a former woman of the year, the list was extensive, the organization for which she was working got two for the price of one.
“I always said, ‘honey, I need your help,’ and he was right there with his muscles and his truck,” said Terrell.
DeVaney also sits on the DeVaney Memorial Scholarship Committee, and represents a local family that has five generations of helping the community under its belt.
A final highlight of the banquet was the annual table-decorating contest, with the CrisCom Company taking first place and earning a free 2016 chamber membership.