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4-H, FFA members awarded $3k in scholarship money
Ripon Livestock Ag Boosters President Kari Donich and vice president Kenny Hoogendoorn present a premium check to Riley Gillihan for her Reserve Grand Champion Steer at the recent Ag Fest at the county fairgrounds. - photo by GLENN KAHL

It was a full house Saturday night at the Ripon Community Center with some 500 attending the Ripon Livestock Ag Boosters Awards Dinner emceed by Boosters’ President Kari Donich with $3,000 being awarded in scholarships and nearly $1,200 in premium checks for those with “Champion” projects. 

Donich noted that the boosters club was formed in the 1970s with the community “tremendously” supporting its youth in their livestock raising efforts.  

“Ripon has had buyers for their livestock projects at the San Joaquin County Fair since the beginning and the kids have had their expenses covered along with making a modest profit to invest in their next year’s projects, thanks to the boosters,” she said.

Lauren Bridges and Alyssa Cambra, both of Ripon 4-H each took home $1,000 scholarships.  Bridges is planning to attend UCLA in the fall, and Cambra to Purdue University. Mallory Brenner and Lyndsey Veltkamp, both representing the FFA, received $500 scholarships each.  Brenner is planning to attend Fresno State, and Veltkamp is going to Modesto Junior College.  

Premium checks totaling $1,175 went to those members who exhibited livestock projects that earned “Champion” recognition.

Custom-made belt buckles were presented to 4-H and FFA members who assisted in the boosters’ donation drive — going to the top kids securing donations from the community.

They included Abigail, Katelyn and Madison Hendley; Alyssa and Dawson Donich, E.J. Bruno; Ava and Gino Brocchini and Emma and Bret Phelps.  

Exhibitors finishing six through 10 in the donation drive received custom “Ripon Livestock Booster” jackets.  They included Brendan Heavey, Grace and Emmit Van Laar, Brooklyn Ballard, Lauren, Luke and Leighton Bridges and Madison Hoogendoorn. 

Exhibitors that finished in the 11 through 15 spots received Ripon Livestock Booster duffel bags.  They included Ty Valencia, Zoe Hoogendoorn, Haylie Brasil Addyson Whilmshurs and Kylie Smith. 

Following the awards presentations, the lights were dimed for an in-depth slide show that spotlighted all the students and their projects.  It was developed and produced by Emily Hoogendoorn and Kayleigh Luis and shown on the far wall of the center.

Special thanks went to those who helped provide the dinner went to McManis Family Vineyards, Fagundes Meats and Catering, Fredriks’ Nursery, Aunt Peggy’s Sweet Treats, Cambra Farms, and Wes Manchester from Reyes Coca-Cola.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email