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Chamber awards Mike Borges as ‘Citizen of the Year’

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Mike Borges’ decades of community service and passion for improving the lives of others in Ceres led the Chamber of Commerce to award him the “Citizen of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 54th Annual Ceres Community Service Awards & Friday Installation Dinner.

On this occasion, the Chamber was able to install New Year board members and select a number of companies and individuals for various awards based on member votes.

Borges’ selection was made by past Citizen of the Year recipients.

His life is dedicated to serving his country and community.

After graduating from Modesto High School in 1974, Borges learned how to become a restaurant chef and decided to join the military, becoming a military police officer. He served as a Member of Parliament in Fort Benning, Georgia, for nearly four years.

After his discharge in 1979, Borges returned to Ceres and began working as a Ceres police officer. In his 34 years of service with the badge, he faced a number of dangerous situations and helped make Ceres a safer place. He worked in every area of ​​the department and led the bureau as deputy chief until his retirement after 34 years of service.

Shortly after Borges retired from the Ceres Police Department in 2014, he was hired as Escalon Police Chief, serving for six years before finally deciding to retire.

Throughout his professional career, Borges’ dedication to family and community has never wavered. He was a member of the Lions Club and is currently its president. Borges also coached for Ceres Youth Baseball and served on the board. He was also a member of the Ceres Booster Club, Ceres Wrestling Club, and the Ceres Street Faire Committee.

Mike tends to wear more than one hat at a time, like when his boys went to Ceres High and he went from barbecuing linguiça as a Booster member, to cheering on his sons from the stands to coaching the youth with Ceres even when his kids were grown,” said Lisa Mantarro Moore in presenting the award. “Mike has volunteered to support Ceres athletics for more than a decade, most notably as a member of the Football Chain Gang on Friday nights and as a volunteer including Susan for all Ceres Wrestling tournaments He even took on a team of tee ball kids for one of his officer’s kids where he once again led by example for the betterment of kids and his community .

He and his wife Susan have raised three sons, all of whom live in Ceres. They learned to follow their father’s example of community service, from law enforcement to football coaching and wrestling.

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Other nominees included Bret Durossette and Brandy Meyer.

Rocky Fisher honored

The Chamber event took an emotional turn when Rocky Fisher was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Award, an award accepted by his widow, Sharon, and his family. Many in the audience knew Fisher and were still mourning his sudden death on November 8.

Fisher moved to Ceres in 1957 and nurtured a deep sense of dedication and community service. The 1969 Ceres High School graduate volunteered for decades, mostly as a member of the Ceres Lions Club, where he served in numerous offices and was once named “Lion of the Year.” Rocky had been the lead organizer and contributor to many Ceres Lions fundraising events, including the Lions Omelette Breakfast at Ceres and Crab Feed. His barbecuing skills were put to good use raising money for Ceres schools, Soroptimists, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and the American Cancer Society. He also worked for the Stanislaus County Fair fundraising and maintenance parking lot at Camp Pacifica, a camp for hearing-impaired children. Fisher also served as the Lions’ president, vice president, and tail-turner.

Rocky regularly volunteered at the Arrowhead Club booth at the Stanislaus County Fair, cooked for the Ceres Relay for Life Breakfast, and helped with construction projects at Ceres parks and both the Daniel Whitmore Home and Clinton Whitmore Mansion.

He also coached Ceres Youth Baseball and delivered food and staples to the needy through the Salvation Army.

He also helped maintain the Howard Stevenson Grove in Ceres River Bluff Regional Park and served on the Ceres Street Faire Committee and the Whitmore Mansion Committee.

Sharon Fisher said the qualities that made her late husband “such an exquisite human being whom he loved unconditionally with all his being.” As he loved, he was also loved and respected by many and never met a stranger. Throughout our life together, he was 100 percent gentleman, breadwinner, father, husband, and friend — and he did it all with a smile that brightened up his happy personality and those genuine blue eyes.

She said Rocky was always willing to help and lived by the motto “get’er done.”

The other nominee for the award was Sherill Petersen, owner of Sam’s Cafe in Ceres.