April 21, 2004
Fresno, Calif. - The Eighth Annual Kiwanis Torch of Excellence Dinner is right around the corner as the Kiwanis Club of Fresno and Madera Counties as well as the Fresno State Athletics Department have come together to single out distinguished accomplishments by Bulldog student-athletes over the past year.
Sponsored by the Fresno-Madera Kiwanis Clubs of District 7, the annual recognition will take place on Mon., April 26, at the Radisson Hotel Convention Center, located in downtown Fresno. A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will precede the dinner at 6:30 p.m., which is being emceed by KMPH 26 sports director, Ralph Wood.
Reservations are still being taken and tickets can be purchased at $40 by phoning Fresno State Assistant Director for Student-Athlete Services, Cleo Bauer, at (559) 278-2963. Sponsorship tables also are available for $300.
The event will honor 267 Fresno State student-athletes who have achieved a 3.0 or better cumulative GPA for the 2003 spring and fall semesters, or who have maintained a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA during their academic career. With just over half of Fresno State's 524 student-athletes being recognized, 12 seniors will be honored as Torchlighters, an award that recognizes seniors who are completing their eligibility, have lettered two of the past three years and have a cumulative 3.5 GPA.
With the athletics department commemorating the success of its student-athletes for the 15th straight year, four new awards will be handed out that evening: Athletics Director's Award for Community Service, the Bruce Farris Media Award, the Paul Schechter Courage Award and the Bulldog Foundation Business Award.
Fresno State already has announced its Western Athletic Conference Stan Bates nominees in Kara June (cross country/track) and Trevor Chatterton (track). The Stan Bates, an award given out by the WAC in early summer, recognizes a senior who is a well-rounded student, athlete and person. Two Bulldogs will receive the Harold Haak Scholarship: Lucia Tallo (tennis) and Ian Mason (track). This award is given to a junior who has posted at least a 3.5 GPA for two semesters.
The 12 Torchlighter recipients include Katie Christianson (track), Andrea Crisp (equestrian), Mitzi Ing (softball), Courtney Jantz (tennis), Kristyn Kellogg (soccer), Dawn McIntosh (equestrian), Amy Reed (equestrian), Stefan Suta (tennis), Chanie Sutherland (basketball), Stefanie Taelman (volleyball), Michelle Tonello (equestrian) and Christina Webb (equestrian).
The original scholar-athlete honors event was produced in-house by the Fresno State Athletics Department, Office of Academic Services in 1989.
Major sponsors for this event include the Educational Employees Credit Union (gold) as well as the Fresno State Athletics Department (silver), the Kiwanis Club of East Fresno (silver), Dr. Paul Oliaro (silver), and Johanson Transportation (silver).