The summer’s main event, the California State Fair, was kicked off in style with its annual gala featuring gourmet food, a live auction, entertainment and awards. It was also a night for making dreams come true as the Friends of the California State Fair awarded more than $32,000 in scholarships ranging from $250 to $5,000 to a broad range of students who exhibit academic excellence, leadership potential, civic accomplishments and a strong sense of personal commitment to continuing education.
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In addition to the scholarship awards, honors were also given to the following distinguished recipients:
Agriculturalist of the Year — Craig McNamara for his leadership on critical policy issues facing California’s farmers, his passion to inspire the next generation and his tireless dedication to responsible land stewardship.
Technology Champion of the Year — Robert Tse, the first Champion of Technology award winner for his commitment and work to bring together technology and agriculture that benefits all Californians.
Vineyard of the Year — Bechthold Vineyard, for its consistent grape production and superior quality wines. Bechthold has been producing wines since 1886.
Golden Bear Award — Golden 1 Credit Union, for emeritus support of the California State Fair.
The Friends of the California State Fair is a non-profit established to provide scholarships to support California youth and are a vital service organization for California Exposition and State Fair through a robust volunteer program. The Friends of the California State Fair Scholarship Program was created in 1993 to establish a vision of leadership in the community.
The gala is a collaborative project between the Friends of the California State Fair and the California State Fair Agricultural Advisory Council.
For more than 160 years, the California State Fair has showcased the best of California. The best will be celebrated once again at the California State Fair July 11-27 at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd.
Tickets to the fair start as low as $10 for adults, $6 for children, $8 for seniors and $29.99 for a season pass. Information on tickets and special packages is available at castatefair.org or by calling 916-263-FAIR (3247) 1600.