The late Dave Luis – beloved ag mentor and firefighter – was honored Monday afternoon when a San Joaquin County swine barn and show ring was named in his memory by the countless teens he guided through their animal projects.
Several hundred were on hand wearing green t-shirts emblazoned with his name. Emily Hoogendoorn presented the Luis family with $820 to help start a scholarship in Luis’ name. It was Hoogendorn’s family that was instrumental in the fundraising that made much of the memorial possible. She sold the last of their 300 shirts at Monday’s event and was taking orders for more being requested.
The San Joaquin County 4-H Council, San Joaquin County AgFest, and the San Joaquin County Fair were among those taking part in officially dedicating the swine barn and show ring in the memory of Dave Luis.
Kari Donich noted there were many donations made to the Ripon 4-H Swine Group made in Dave Luis’ name. Dianna Muller and Brian Campbell made the signs for the barn. Donations made it possible to pay for the large sign that is mounted atop the swine barn.
Hoogendoorn said that while Luis was the Ripon 4-H Swine Leader, he also impacted everyone at the fair and not just his kids from Ripon and not just those youth with swine projects. She talked about the logo seen on the front of the t-shirts had more than just swine because he was involved in more, adding that she also included his signature mustache in the design. He would always congratulate the opponent win or lose as well.
“He was always there for me, watching. If I wasn’t there, he would always find me saying, ‘Good Job Babe!’ or, “you’ll get it next time,” saying we should always be happy and humble no matter what the outcome,”Hoogendoorn said.
Luis loved helping the youth and turning kids into respectful young individuals, she added. Donich said she got stuck with sheep when she was 10 rather than swine because that was what her older sister raised and it was just expected. But she said she loved to wander off into the swine barn and see the pigs, however her family was known for sheep and the transition was going to happen.
In fact it was that year that she begged her dad to let her sign up for pigs and that was a special beginning for her in 4-H. She remembered that Luis had made a slide show about his “swine kids” and Donich was seen in the last picture calling her over from her “dark side” which she recognized as the sheep pens. She added that it was his ongoing teasing about her transition from sheep to pigs.
In guiding his kids on work details, he would always said, “Many hands make light work for all!”
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