Danny JimenezFC

Danny Jimenez, right, Reedley’s Citizen of the Year for 2019, smiled at Jim Patterson, 23rd District Assembly Member and an awards presenter, during the Business and Community Awards Gala on Feb. 23 at Reedley College.

The Greater Reedley Chamber of Commerce Awards Gala was held on Feb. 23 at Reedley College. It was an evening filled with laughter, musical entertainment, food and a ceremony recognizing local businesses, people, and educators who have made a difference in the community. 

“To be up here and to honor fellow people throughout our community, it has been a big year,” said Tony Cabrera, master of ceremonies and a Reedley resident. “It has been a fun year as well. There’s been ups, there’s been downs in our community, and that’s what pushed me to get a little more involved.” 

Cabrera is the anchor for the morning show on Fresno television station, ABC 30. 

“This is a small town and we’re strong and we’re going to rise up this year,” he said. “We’ve [Cabrera and his family] been here about three years now and I can’t believe it’s gone by that fast. We have met so many great people, this community truly is amazing place to be, and an amazing place to raise kids.”

Among the winners this year were Danny Jimenez, who took home the Citizen of the Year award. 

Jimenez, a retired Kings Canyon Unified District custodian, told the crowd that he’s proud to be from Reedley, and the community is a great place to live. 

“From the past to the present, to the present, to the future, it’s always been one main ingredient; the people,” Jimenez said. 

“Whether you’ve lived here all your life or moved here to make it your home, moved to another city, state or country, this is our town.”

Jimenez thanked the various local media outlets who highlight the Reedley Pirates in their newscasts and joked about how he landed the job of being “Ribberto’s” private chauffeur. 

In 2018. the costumed frog became the mascot for the city’s annual Fiesta celebrations. 

“I was looking for a job, there was an opening to be a driver for Ribberto,” said Jimenez. “I applied and he gave me an intense interview and even did a DOJ background.”

In his speech, Jimenez talked about the city’s young people.

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