Featured Recipients


Featured Past Recipients

Learn more about the service and community contribution of honorees past and present.

Learn more about the service and community contribution of honorees past and present.

Alan Wing

2023 Ruhkala Community Service Awards Honorees Recognized by City Council

The Rocklin City Council held a special presentation for the 2023 Ruhkala Community Service Award Winners at the May 9 City Council meeting and honored them with an awards reception.

This year’s honorees have been involved in decades of volunteerism, helping veterans and students in need, promoting education, leading youth sports, and honoring Rocklin’s library.


2021 Ruhkala Community Service Awards Honorees

On April 27, City Council honored four residents and one service organization with a 2021 Ruhkala Community Service Award.

The Ruhkala Awards recognize people for their exemplary efforts to give back to the Rocklin community and were created in honor of Roy and Peggy Ruhkala, a pair who worked for the betterment of the Rocklin for over 40 years.

Article Siena Hansen

Ruhkala Community Service Awards Feature
Kathie Nippert - Pioneer Award Recipient

It often seems like Kathie Nippert is everywhere things are happening in Rocklin. Her largest role may be as a longtime member and current board member of the Rocklin Historical Society, but she also serves many other aspects of the community.

She has worked on events hosted by the Rocklin Friends of the Library, graduated from the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce’s “Leadership Rocklin” program, volunteers for the annual “Run Rocklin” event, and even read “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” during Rocklin’s virtual tree lighting ceremony.

Article Siena Hansen
Staci Bier at a Staci's Helping Hands outreach event

2021 Ruhkala Community Service Awards Feature
Staci Bier - Individual Award Recipient

Staci’s Helping Hands was born in 2017 when Rocklin resident Staci Bier took on leadership of a small charitable group and decided to run a food pantry out of her apartment. Her mission was to simply help those in the community who are hungry.

Today, Staci’s Helping Hands has grown into an online community with more than 2,500 members, who regularly provide food and baby products to those in need, and deliver meals and gifts during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Article Siena Hansen

2021 Ruhkala Community Service Awards Feature
Father Michael Dillon - Pioneer Award Recipient

When Father Michael Dillon arrived in Rocklin on May 1, 1981, the first thing that struck him was the community – everyone seemed to know each other, was involved, and helped out.

“Since long before I came here, Rocklin has been very family oriented and full of friendly, helpful people who were very much in tune with one another,” said Dillon, reflecting back.

Article Siena Hansen
Alllegiant Giving

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:

Julia Shohbozian, winner of the 2019 Youth Ruhkala Award

2019 Ruhkala Award Winners

The Ruhkala Community Service Awards recognize exemplary community service efforts annually in the City of Rocklin. The awards were created to honor Roy and Peggy Ruhkala, a pair who worked for the betterment of the Rocklin community for over 40 years.

Read more about the 2019 honorees:

Article Siena Hansen
Rocklin Public Library

Ruhkala Award Recipient Recap
Rocklin Friends of the Library - 2007 Group Award Winner

In 2007, the Rocklin Friends of the Library received the Group Award for their continued fundraising and support for the Rocklin public library. 

The Rocklin Friends of the Library was established as a California 501c(3) non-profit corporation on November 8, 1982. Their mission has always been to promote and support the Rocklin Library, the Placer County library system, and encourage community interest in libraries, reading, and lifelong learning.


Ruhkala Award Recipient Recap
Ken Yorde - 2008 Pioneer Award Winner

After living in Italy for six years and for a time in Japan while working as a civilian advisor for the Air Force, Ken Yorde was transferred to California and needed a home near McClelllan AFB.  Wanting to live in a city with good public services, Yorde found Rocklin and moved there in 1975.

Steve Paul is pictured with daughters Haily, Sophie, and Julia.

Ruhkala Award Recipient Recap
Steve Paul - 2002 Individual Award Winner

For our last previous awardee highlight, we’re looking back at Steve Paul’s individual award from 2002.

Paul’s dedication and leadership to the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce played a role in the expansion of the Hot Chili, Cool Cars event. Steve also played an integral role in the passage of a measure to construct Whitney High School to accommodate Rocklin’s growing population. Paul has continued to serve the Rocklin community and is currently the chairperson for the annual tree lighting event.

Do you know a person or organization working to make Rocklin a better place? Nominate them for a Ruhkala Award before Sunday’s deadline! https://www.rocklin.ca.us/post/ruhkala-community-service-awards-nominations

Article By Alyssa Mielke

Ruhkala Award Recipient Recap
Bryce Jessup—2010 Individual Ruhkala Award Winner

Bryce Jessup, the President Emeritus of William Jessup University, won the Individual Ruhkala Award in 2010 for his volunteer work, mentorship, and efforts that make a difference in the Rocklin area and around the world. Ten years later and now into his 80’s, he is still creating a positive influence in many ways on those in the community.


Ruhkala Awards Recaps of Previous Honorees
Will Linton - 2000 Ruhkala Pioneer Award Recipient

Will Linton, a recipient of the 2000 Ruhkala Pioneer Award, was an outstanding citizen and leader in the Rocklin community for many years. Linton was a public school teacher by trade, teaching at the secondary level and eventually retired from the San Juan Unified School District. When the Lintons first moved to Rocklin, it was was a small city with a population of less than 10,000 people. During Linton’s involvement and leadership, Rocklin took the steps making it the city it is today. 


Ruhkala Awards Recaps of Previous Honorees
Kathy Lund - 2011 Ruhkala Pioneer Award Recipient

Kathy Lund dedicated 30 years of service to her city and residents, served on the Rocklin City Council from 1985 to 2010 and was a six-time Rocklin Mayor.  She also served on the Parks and Recreation Commission from 1980 to 1985.  Her longevity on the Council was attributed to her philosophy, which she said was “while sitting up there, you need to listen, listen, think and think and then talk, and then you have to be consistent and stay on track. I always tried to.”  Lund’s major areas of focus were planning the growth of the city, transportation, and city parks.