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Rotary dedicates downtown Ripon clock project

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Ripon Rotary Club President Harrison Gibbs speaks to some 50 members of the Ripon community at the dedication of a new free standing town clock at a cost of more than $15,000 on Main Street in the ...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED December 13, 2014 1:13 a.m.

Ripon Rotary has given the community the gift of time.

The service club Friday formally dedicated the town clock in downtown Ripon before a crowd of 50 people.

Club President Harrison Gibbs rolled out the clock project shortly after taking the reins of the service club on July 1. He was more than successful in soliciting members and the business community for the some $15,000 plus to install the memorial to Rotarians past and present who have been an outstanding demonstration of “service above self” to the community.

Rotarian and community leader heading up the athletic field restoration, Stephanie Hobbs, spoke briefly on Gibbs’ giving back to the Ripon community. 

“Whatever Harrison touches becomes a blessing – a gift to our town,” Hobbs said. “Harrison really is the gift. I admire him so much,” she said.

Gibbs has also been lauded by his Rotary Club for adding nine members to the club by his own actions since becoming president. 

Those listed on a large plaque mounted near the clock include Jerry DeGroot, Herb Den Dulk, Morris DeJong, Harvey Douma, Nick Groen, Richard Jolly, Duane Kirk, John Mangelos, Elden “Red” Nutt, Clementine “Mul” Mulholand, Dean Uecker, Paul Van Dyken and attorney Jim Williams.

In addition to Harrison and Faye Gibbs, the others donating to make the clock possible are Robb Burkett, Kelly Cole, John Mangelos, Dave Fredriks, Mike and Mona Restuccia, Dave Van Vliet, Ability Mortgage, David Hall Masonry, Bank of Stockton, Oak Valley Community Bank, Diamond Pet Foods, Vernon Transportation and Deegan Ripon Memorial Chapel.

Bank of Stockton Manager Danielle Pierce and Lisa Watson provided a reception for those attending the dedication. 

Gibbs said many were involved in laying the groundwork to make the clock possible included City Administrator Kevin Werner assisting in finding the best location, John Mangelos in locating sponsors, with Danielle Pierce and Mangelos helping in determining the citizens to be acknowledged. 

David Hall Masonry poured the foundation, did the brick work at the base and set the clock in position near the rear door of the Ripon Library. Public Works Director Ted Johnston prepared the site for electricity and plumbing. Aluna Marble and Granite donated the granite slab for the plaque recognitions. Mathew Simpson of Deegan’s funeral home etched the plaque and mounted it on the brick crosswalk upright. 

“This shows why Ripon is an excellent example of a community working together and how community service organizations give back to the residents,” noted supervisor-elect Chuck Winn.

Ripon Fire Chief Dennis Bitters noted, “This is a very awesome and notable project that fits in well with the downtown theme. I think this was very nice for those honored and for their families.” 

Mangelos made sure that the late past mayor and longtime police Chief Red Nutt was included on the large plaque honoring Ripon citizens. It was a last minute addition to the list. Nutt’s wife Bonnie was present for the ceremony and ribbon cutting Friday morning noting that she hadn’t known Red was going to be honored on the plaque. Mangelos was also surprised, he said, as he hadn’t been told of his recognition either.

Winn acknowledged Nutt further, adding, “You know, sometimes I think we don’t realize the true value of individuals. There is a big hole in this community with Red gone. Sometimes we don’t realize what an impact an individual has until they are gone. 

“I remember so many times when we had council functions, or like here in the community such as Almond Blossom, he was always working, cooking or helping out or doing whatever he could. Most of the events I went to, he was serving and doing things that made him a pillar of the community. To be honest with you, I really miss him – he was at the top of his game.”

The clock includes a Rotary seal in the center of its face and is lighted during the nighttime hours.

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