The Placer County Board of Supervisors honored six people Tuesday, Nov. 25 for outstanding community service, presenting them with commemorative coins created for a county citizen-recognition program.
The board created the program in December 2002 to recognize outstanding citizens who have long track records of community service, have performed heroic acts or participated in little-known, but commendable feats.
Supervisors choose recipients from their districts.
Honored Tuesday were:
* Melba Erven, (District 1), a Roseville woman with a long track record of support to community organizations;
* Warren Bostick (District 2), a rural Lincoln resident who organized the Paige Fire Company, a volunteer company;
* Captain Ed Zimmerman (District 2), a rural Lincoln resident who has served in the volunteer fire department more than 20 years;
* Randy Elder (District 3), who was a driving force behind the successful Loomis Fire Protection District Assessment;
* Ray Johnston (District 4), leader of Bayside Churches, whose organization extends a helping hand to people in need from Placer County to countries abroad; and
* Bill Briner (District 5), a Tahoe resident and former county supervisor active in state, local and regional issues.
The commemorative coins feature the county seal on one side. On the other side are the word “hero” and the image of an eagle with a star and sun rays in the background.
That second side of the coin was designed by J. Randal Smith, an Auburn native who is a nationally known artist. His design won a competition coordinated by the Arts Council of Placer County.
Background on the commemorative coin recipients
Melba Erven, District 1
Melba is a civic-minded Roseville resident who has been a member of many civic organizations, including Soroptimist International, the Roseville Chamber of Commerce and Roseville Crime Stoppers.
‘Her competency has always been combined with a hard-work ethic and she rarely, if ever, says no when asked for help on any worthy project,’ said 1st District Supervisor Rocky Rockholm.
In 1987, Melba received the Roseville Chamber’s prestigious Athena Award, which is presented to outstanding individuals who have achieved the highest level of professional excellence, given time and talent back to their community and opened leadership opportunities for others.
Melba was born and raised in Roseville and is an excellent bookkeeper.
Warren Bostick, District 2
In May of 1981, Warren Bostick organized the Paige Fire Company, a volunteer agency to provide assistance to the people west of Lincoln. He organized this important service with the help of about 20 friends, former Supervisor Alex Ferreira and Placer County. It is now the Placer County Fire Paige Company 75 and works directly with CALFIRE.
Everyone at the Paige Fire Company is a volunteer, receiving no compensation other than repayment for expenses. Each must take time to be trained and to drill. The company fights fires, but also assists people caught in auto accidents, life-threatening health problems and other emergencies.
‘In Warren’s case, this hasn’t been a job. It actually has been a mission,’ 2nd District Supervisor Robert Weygandt told the gathering.
The company often follows through to assist families in the aftermath of the event. Warren also remembers helping to save a young girl and her two babies from a flooded road, and ending up on national television.
He believes that many people try to avoid the dark side of life fire, suicides, deaths of children, but he believes that someone must tackle these challenges. In 1990, he reached the 1,000th call mark, a pattern continued through the company’s 28-year history.
Ed Zimmerman, District 2
Since his move to rural Lincoln from the metropolitan Sacramento area, Ed Zimmerman enjoyed the quality of life and wanted to preserve and give back to the rural Lincoln way of life.
He chose to join the Fruitvale/Fowler Fire Company and quickly rose to Company Captain.
‘Ed has been at it for 26 years and is credited with, in the Fowler-Fruitvale station, really making it the contemporary, sophisticated and high-class operation that it is today,’ Supervisor Weygandt said.
Most recently Ed worked hard to contain the Gladding Fire that hit the rural Lincoln area on Labor Day.
He takes pride in delivering an 8-pound baby girl on the living room floor of her parents’ home; she’s now 17 years old. He also remembers an unusual experience in which he saved a little Jack Russell Terrier dog trapped in a drain pipe by flowing water through the pipe.
His work has helped save lives all over the county.
Randy Elder, District 3
Randy Elder, an independent financial planner and investment manager, has also helped protect the Loomis community and its assets.
‘I am very pleased to honor one of the unsung heroes of the Loomis Basin and Placer County,’ said board Chairman Jim Holmes, the supervisor who represents the third district.
As a member, then as president of the South Placer Heritage Foundation, Randy has helped to save the Blue Goose Fruit Sheds, built in 1945 to pack and ship fruits all over the nation. The community’s renovation of the sheds has turned the Blue Goose into a well-used community asset, a hub of history in the Loomis community.
Most recently Randy helped Loomis residents understand the critical importance of providing additional funding to the Loomis Fire Protection District through an assessment, to make sure that staff and equipment are ready and available to serve. The assessment was approved.
Ray Johnston, District 4
Ray Johnston, Senior Pastor of the growing Bayside Family of Churches, was honored for being the leader of an organization that has helped Placer County citizens directly with programs such as their ‘Bikes for Kids’ drive, the Access to Care Fair and their involvement with local agencies to provide food to the homeless. They have also provided early funding for nonprofit organizations such as Acres of Hope, an organization that helps troubled mothers in Placer County. Bayside’s philanthropy extends beyond Placer County to China, Nigeria and Mexico, where helping those in need ranges from building houses to building hospitals.
‘Ray, thank you very much for your commitment,’ 4th District Supervisor Kirk Uhler told Ray during the coin presentation.
Bill Briner, District 5
Bill Briner was a member of the Board of Supervisors from 1961 to 1972, and continued to serve in important ways, bringing changes that continue to serve local communities and the region today.
He worked with the Placer County Water Agency on the Middle Fork Project, a project ultimately responsible for saving 200,000 acre feet of water for Placer County landowners each year, a point of county pride..
Bill also started Sunnyside Lodge in 1946, the Bi-Tri Group that became the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and worked with the Tahoe City Public Utilities District until 1983.
He served as Director of California State Parks from 1983 to 1990.
‘We want to thank him for his many years of service,’ 5th District Supervisor Bruce Kranz told the gathering before presenting Bill with his coin.