Claremonters have special day at fair
Four of Claremont’s finest citizens were honored Thursday, September 17 during the LA County Fair’s annual Claremont Day.
In between the Community Expo and a thrilling parade, members of Claremont’s top brass took time to commend longtime Foothill Country Day School secretary Eleanor Pierson, Claremont Club CEO Mike Alpert, Claremont High School senior Shay Seery and seven-year-old leukemia survivor Jazzy Lyn.
“What makes Claremont great, the greatest gift we have, is all of you,” Claremont Community Committee Chairman Jeff Stark said. “So if you look around, you are the people that make Claremont great. And on top of the community heroes, it’s the people here who go above and beyond.”
Ms. Pierson, who retired from Foothill Country Day School in 2015 after 50 years of service, is a Claremont stalwart, having spent all 94 of her years in the city. Both Mr. Stark and Mayor Corey Calaycay had kind words for Ms. Pierson from when they were children.
“Eleanor was my second mother,” Mr. Stark said. “What she did was make a difference not only in my life but made a difference in thousands of kids’ lives and that’s what this award and being a community hero is all about.”
Mike Alpert, who has been the CEO if the Claremont Club for 18 years, was recognized for his team’s work in helping Claremonters with physical disabilities reach for a better way of life.
“I know of no business leader who has done more for the community and cares for more people, whether it’s directly impactful to his business or not, than Mike Alpert.” Mr. Stark said.
Mr. Alpert was honored, if a little embarrassed about all the pomp and circumstance surrounding his recognition.
“It’s very humbling, and I think the people who deserve the award are the people who are doing work at the club,” Mr. Alpert said. “The management, the team and the staff have been so inspiring and passionate. What can I tell you? It’s a very humbling experience.”
Claremont High School senior Shay Seery was recognized by the city for a litany of accomplishments, most importantly her creation of the school’s first literary journal, which showcases the eclectic talents of the student body.
“I came up with the idea my sophomore year but didn’t get the validity to really publish anything until my junior year when it became a club,” Seery said. “So all the student body contributed and members of the club helped format and edit the book and it was published.”
In addition to the literary journal, Shay also had two internships with Farmscape and with U.S. Representative Pete Aguilar, founded the school’s Earthwise conservation club and attended the famed Iowa University’s young writer’s program.
The City of Claremont also recognized seven-year-old Jazzy Lyn for her remarkable and inspiring bravery in the face of a debilitating battle with Leukemia. Jazzy was first diagnosed when she was only three years old and took her final chemotherapy pill in 2012.
She also serves as an ambassador for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Jazzy’s principal at Condit Elementary, Christine Malally, was on hand to talk about her uncompromising courage.
“I’ve never met a more inspiring young lady that is able to endure all the experiences that Jazzy has and still be so positive.” Malally said.
All four community heroes received certificates and awards from the city, the school board, the LA County Fair and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.
During the ceremony, Mayor Calaycay was quick to point out that even though Claremont technically had one special day at the fair, the city’s footprints were felt behind the scenes.
“A majority of the staff who work here are from Claremont,” Calaycay said. “So make no mistake about it: we are in Pomona, but this is Claremont’s fair in Pomona.”