By Lou Fancher, Lamorinda Weekly.com
March 2, 2022
The 2022 Lafayette Citizen of the Year announced in mid-February has been awarded to not one, but two exceptional residents: longtime science teacher and crusader for environmental sustainability Janet Thomas, and Bill Fraser, whose astute guidance and deep humanity as an athletic coach and Scouts leader has influenced generations of young people in the community.
PLEASE NOTE: tickets for the dinner are now sold out.
Introducing our 2022 Lafayette Co-Citizens of the Year!
The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and Lamorinda Weekly are proud to announce that the 2022 selection for the Lafayette Citizen(s) of the Year are TWO Lafayette residents: William (Bill) Fraser and Janet Thomas. We will hold a joint dinner honoring both of them on Friday, March 25, 2022 at the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa. For years they have both participated as volunteers and leaders in numerous local causes and activities.
The COY award is presented in recognition of someone who has unselfishly contributed to Lafayette’s quality of life. Sometimes we honor a resident who had an exceptional year. Other times we are focused on a lifetime of giving to our community. With 8 amazing people nominated, it came down to two individuals who have contributed to the selfless service to others. One a Coach and the other a teacher.
Bill Fraser grew up here in Lafayette. He graduated from Acalanes in 1975. He is described as a Champion of coaching. It doesn’t matter if its Football, Lacrosse, Boy Scouts or Little League, Bill gives from the heart. He does it for the greater good for young men and women in our community. He builds self esteem and confidence and helps to prepare them for life. He creates community on and off the field. Bill plays an essential role by setting an example, being there to LISTEN offering direction, encouragement, and exposure to alternative paths to success.
Janet Thomas has lived in Lafayette for more than 30 years. Janet had a long career at Campolindo and Acalanes as an Environmental Science and Chemistry teacher. Janet too had a special relationship with her students. It is hard to count the number of students Janet inspired to go on to pursue degrees and jobs studying Environmental Science. And then, when she retired, she got her second wind and has not stopped. She led the effort to create the Lafayette Community Garden & Learning Center. She helped get Lafayette a Farmer’s Market and was a founding member of Sustainable Lafayette. She helped create the City’s Environmental Task Force. Janet has been very active with the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley and the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center. Currently she is chairing the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee helping guide our city through conversations that will lead to a healthy, safer Lafayette.
Now you know why it was so hard to pick just one 2022 Lafayette Citizen of the Year.
Previous Citizen(s) of the Year
W.B. Ellis, Ralfe Miller, Margaret Bainbridge, Mel Nielsen, John R. Jacques, M.H. Stanley, C.R. Turner, Theron Nelson, William Zion, Stanford White, Jack Hageman, Lou Repetto, Jop Van Overveen, Vern Odegard, Jack Marchant, Donn Black, Charles Franklin, Chris Adams, John Kennedy, Clifford Feiler, James Lloyd, Boardman Moore, Robert Augenthaler, Percy Whitten, Barbara Bupp, Irene Graff, Ed Stokes, Robert Fisher, Ernie Marriner, Ken Clifford, Don Young, Irene Thomas, Ned Robinson, Alice Johnson, Hirsh Morton, Sue Cross, Tom Cleveland, Herb Joyce, Skid Thomas, Su Stauffer, Tom Courtright, Lynn Hiden, Avon Wilson, Bill Wakeman, Richard Holmes, Guy Atwood, Connie & Mike Collier, Judy Garvens, Anne Grodin, Ellen Peterson, Norma Evans, Robert Wood, Mary McCosker, Budd MacKenzie, Kathy Bowles, Ivor Samson, Gwen Watson, Judy Carney, Jeanne Ateljevich, Team Library, Karen Mulvaney, Gayle Uilkema, Greg Moeller, Toni McShane, Marechal Duncan, Tom Steuber, Dick & Robin Holt, Donovan Jenkins, Don Tatzin, and Rick and Janet Cronk.
FROM THE ARCHIVES:
Honoring Our 2020 Citizens of the Year – Janet and Rick Cronk
In February the Lafayette Chamber’s Citizen of the Year Committee unanimously chose Janet and Rick Cronk as Lafayette’s 2020 Citizens of the Year.
Unfortunately, the celebration dinner to honor them in March was postponed and then regrettably canceled because of Covid-19 and the current Contra Costa County Health Shelter in Place restrictions.
The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce continues to honor Janet and Rick Cronk as our Citizens of the Year. We are most appreciative of their philanthropy and community minded efforts through the years.
Congratulations Janet & Rick Cronk! Photo: Niroop Srivatsa, Lafayette City Manager; Don Tatzin, 2019 Citizen of the Year; Janet Cronk; Rick Cronk; and John McCormick, Lafayette Chamber Board President/Lamorinda Music at the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa in February 2020.