A community hero through volunteerism

Randy Prout is one of our local State Farm agents, and is also one of 3 Community Heroes to be honored at the LA County Fair’s Claremont Day tomorrow.

When asked why he believes he was chosen as a hero, he said he had no idea.

Nevertheless, it is obvious he has given a lot of time and effort to the community through attending events, helping out during times of need and keeping a deep network of people.

Mr. Prout, who moved his family and his agency to Claremont 28 years ago, has been involved with selecting community heroes for some time, as well as being a part of the junior fair board. This committee reaches 17 communities in the area, and selects high school juniors and seniors in order to develop their leadership skills and to receive a $2000 college scholarship. In a time when it seems that school funds are being cut further than ever, Mr. Prout believes it is important to encouraging young people to pay forward the education they have received.

As a Claremont Rotarian and contributor to the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Prout helped form a subcommittee aimed at increasing funding for the Best BET school projects. The program has now been in existence for 21 years, and allocates mini-grants to teachers in Claremont public schools. In 2011, Best BET gave 35 mini-grants totaling over $18,000.

A number of other Claremont committees have benefited from Mr. Prout’s services, including the Claremont Community Foundation, the Claremont Educational Foundation and the Mt. San Antonio Gardens retirement community. Mr. Prout also served as chair of the Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee for the Rotary Club. During the 2003 fires, Mr. Prout helped out at the Alexander Hughes Center, working with families who had been evacuated by the fire department.

Claremont is a town that fuses people of different age groups, political beliefs and geographical regions.

“It is the people that make this community what it is,” Mr. Prout said, “and more people get involved per capita than almost any other community, whether its youth sports, community events, the arts, or the botanic gardens.”

The 4th of July festivities are especially close to Mr. Prout’s heart, and demonstrate the communal spirit exhibited by Claremont residents, he noted.

Mr. Prout also has a passion for high school sports. He coached for the Claremont High track team, using his skills as a former long jumper and hurdler to help athletes with their technique. Mr. Prout fell into this while cheering on his daughter Allison at track meets. Allison became a fine distance runner; the metaphorical apple fell close to the tree but not precisely underneath it. She now works for the city of Claremont.

As for the LA County Fair, Mr. Prout says he stays away from most of the deep-fried foods made there.

“I like anything new, even though it isn’t great for you,” he said. “If I had to pick a favorite, I’d say deep-fried Snickers bars.”

—Chris Oakley



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