By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
Thirty-two people have been nominated by the Crestline community to become this year’s Citizen of the Year. So many residents did so many amazing deeds during the recent snow disaster, probably saving many lives through their actions.
They were all worthy of being acknowledged, so their nominations and the reasons they were nominated are being presented in alphabetical order. The Crestline Chamber of Commerce will choose between these nominees this week. The Citizen of the Year will be announced next week and honored during Jamboree Days. Thank you to the 85 people who went out of their way to nominate these worthy residents.
Jerry Renfro – 19 nominations: Since Jerry Renfro moved to Crestline 39 years ago, he has exemplified Citizen of the Year commitment and demonstrated concern for his fellow residents that exceeds just being a good mountain neighbor, for which he is the role model. During the back-to-back storms, Jerry’s efforts to help others survive the disastrous conditions were noteworthy. For example, he set his alarm every two hours to plow the roads to keep them from getting impassible, running his personal vehicles and plows until they broke down – an everyday hero who set aside his own comfort for the benefit of others. He took neighbors into his home when they were no longer safe at their homes, fed them and gave them refuge from the storm.
Renfro is usually the first responder to any community accident or emergency. He paved and has maintained the roadway for his neighbors at no cost to them since he arrived in the area in 1984, and has dug out their driveways after every storm over the decades. He always stops and helps motorists who are stranded or stuck, lending chains that never get returned. He drives the elderly to medical appointments, going out of his way to help others. He coached soccer, softball and baseball from Little League through college, mentoring countless young athletes to develop their potential on and off the field. He has made a positive difference in many lives and has inspired others to do the same.
Jerry’s efforts have not been confined to one day, week or month; he has been doing it for almost 40 years, believing it is the right thing to do. He is a loving husband, father and grandfather who cherishes his family and friends. Jerry Renfro’s unselfish and modest efforts over the past 39 years show he is worthy of recognition by humbly displaying an exemplary commitment to his community, consistently helping others at all times and in their times of need. Jerry Renfro serves as an inspiring example of what it means to be a Citizen of the Year.
Jenna Rose – two nominations: Since Jenna Rose moved here, she has done a lot to help the town of Crestline, giving her all to the community through her efforts working with the chamber of commerce, her work and otherwise. For the past two years, she has revitalized and been in charge of the Duck Derby, which is the first event of the year to raise funds for the fireworks for Jamboree Days. She has coordinated this important fundraising committee and this year was ready to go with the event, until the damages created by the blizzard made this year’s derby impossible to hold. She was there during the blizzard, helping in any way she could. She loves Crestline and the mountain area in general. Since she wants the best for the chamber and the community, Jenna is a worthy Citizen of the Year nominee.
Max Von Strawn/Mountain Area Mutual Aid – three nominations: Max Von Strawn coordinated and continues to organize a crew of volunteers who have donated immeasurable amounts of time and his own resources to create a food distribution network, Mountain Area Mutual Aid (MAMA), at multiple sites to bring food and supplies to those in desperate need after the collapse of the market and continues today helping families in need. These long-standing efforts include obtaining and transporting donations from across Southern California so that our town has support while it weathers the ripple effects of the storm recovery. He and MAMA will continue to be there long after official sources leave, and he will be the first on the ground should the town need help with food and supplies, again. Max should be Citizen of the Year for the sheer number of families his efforts have served and saved.
Be sure to read next week’s edition of the Alpine Mountaineer to see who has been chosen as Citizen of the Year and a complete listing of the parade entries and Jamboree Days events in the pull-out section of this newspaper.