2020 Ruhkala Award Winners to be Honored
Oct. 27, 6 p.m. - Rocklin Events Center
The 2020 Ruhkala Community Service Award winners will be honored by City Council and the Community Recognition Commission on Oct. 27 at the Council meeting starting at 6 p.m. at the Rocklin Event Center.
The Ruhkala Award winners are traditionally honored in April but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their recognition was postponed. The City of Rocklin thanks each person and organization for their longstanding commitment to serving the Rocklin community.
Read more about the honorees:
Pioneer Honoree – Michael “Buck” Clark
Since moving to Rocklin in 1989, Michael “Buck” Clark has been devoted to his community and serving others. Buck and his wife Dawn have dedicated countless hours to improving much of downtown Rocklin, supporting the schools, and preserving the history of Rocklin. As the owner of M.S. Clark Roofing, over the past thirty years Buck has participated in and contributed to countless community events including many Rocklin Historical Society restoration projects. His roofs can been seen on Old St. Mary’s Chapel, the Rocklin History Museum, the Firehouse, and many of the homes in downtown Rocklin. The restoration of Old St Mary’s Chapel is a wonderful example of a project near and dear to Buck’s heart.
Buck has also empowered and motivated countless other Rocklin and non-Rocklin residents to assist in the preservation and growth of the city. In the words of his daughter Holly, “helping others is second nature to Buck, he has had his share of ups and downs and knows that kindness can go a long way.” Buck and his family can see every day the positive impact that community service can have.
Through hard work and dedication, Buck has become a respected figure in the community and an example of the impact a person can have on so many.
Sadly, in April 2019, Buck suffered a stroke and was left permanently disabled. However, Buck and his family handled this transition with strength, grace, and the gratitude that has been his hallmark.
Individual Honoree – Wendy Smith
Wendy Smith has lived in Rocklin since 1989 and has worked tirelessly for the city over the past 31 years, giving extensively of her personal time and finances to help community members and organizations in need. Wherever there is an opportunity to lend a hand – whether it be “Story Time at the Station,” Rocklin Patriot Day, Bayside’s annual Mexico missions trip, or the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Tea and Fashion Show – Wendy steps up.
Wendy has enjoyed being able to watch Rocklin grow and evolve over the years, while still maintaining its small town feel. Wendy says “there is no greater feeling than being able to connect people to the services they need” and is motivated by the desire to do her part in making the community a better place to live, work and play. Wendy’s husband and daughter have also joined her in serving the community and the Smith family enjoys working side-by-side at many of the same community service events.
Wendy has supported the Rocklin community by volunteering with groups including the Rocklin Police Officer’s Association, CAMP and TUBBS Fire Victims Assistance, Rotary of Rocklin/Loomis Basin, and the Rocklin Police Activities League. She’s also served as a California Girl’s State counselor, a Rotary Youth Leadership counselor, a Stand Up Placer board member, a Rocklin Public Safety Foundation board member, as Vice President of the Rocklin Friends of the Library, and as a Leadership Rocklin Steering Committee member. Wendy also participates annually with career building mock interviews at local high schools and annual Shop with a Cop days.
Service Organization Honoree – Allegiant Giving
Mark and Stacey Haney founded Allegiant Giving in 2010 as a way to give back to the greater Sacramento/Placer County region. As owners of several successful business ventures, the Haneys united businesses and non-profit organizations to promote local solutions by building relationships and combining resources.
Allegiant Giving supports today’s heroes and tomorrow’s leaders by serving veterans, students, and athletes. “We believe in saving veterans’ lives one program at a time,” said Stacie Haney. “Our lives have been deeply enriched in many ways through our involvement with Allegiant Giving.”
The service organization is currently working to expand their education, employment, and entrepreneurial programs for veterans and their spouses; integrating the Rocklin Residents Unite for Fido (RUFF) Healing Heroes initiative into the Allegiant umbrella by providing support animals for veterans with post-traumatic stress; and creating personal connections with veterans through a mentoring program.