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Chamber to honor Turlock's best
Al Skinner
Award-winning comedy magician Al Skinner is slated to perform at the Best of Turlock awards ceremony on Sept. 23. - photo by Photo Contributed

Turlock is known for having some of the most innovative and inspiring business, agricultural and philanthropic leaders in the region and each year the Chamber of Commerce takes time to recognize these noteworthy citizens through the Best of Turlock awards. This year will mark the 48th anniversary of the awards and Chamber President and CEO Karin Moss is hoping the entire community will join in with honoring these outstanding leaders.

Members of the community nominated candidates for each of the seven award categories: Agricultural Leader, Business Leader, Humanitarian, Educator, Small Business Leader, Youth Citizen of the Year and Citizen of the Year.

"It's a Turlock tradition," Moss said about the annual awards program. "It's exciting for me to be new and get to meet and honor those who've made such a difference in the community."

While the tradition of honoring outstanding leaders remains the same, there were a few changes in this year's awards program. The first change was one in the timing of the event, which moved from January/February to September this year. There was also a new selection process for the winners.

Following nominations from the entire community, a panel of five judges representing the Chamber, business, government and nonprofit organizations in town considered the qualifications of each candidate and selected the top two or three for each category. Those finalists are being recognized in this special section. The winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony, set for Sept. 23 at the Assyrian American Civic Club.

"We want to have as much broad-based community involvement as we can," said Moss about the changes.

Also new this year is the entertainment for the event. Comedy magician Al Skinner is slated to perform at the Best of Turlock ceremony.

With over 20 years in the entertainment industry, Skinner is one of the funniest comedy magicians working today. His shows always include an abundance of hilarious audience participation and crazy outcomes. Skinner has received numerous awards for his comedy, magic and entertainment, including earning “Stand Up Magician of the Year,” from International Brotherhood of Magicians, three times!

Skinner has performed internationally for four years as part of a cross culture project. He has been a featured performer on Carnival Cruise Lines and had the privilege of working with such greats as The Beach Boys and Van Morrison.

A jazz trio from Stanislaus State will provide music for the event and Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa will emcee the evening's festivities.

Doors open 6 p.m. and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Assyrian American Civic Club, 2618 N. Golden State Blvd. A buffet dinner catered by Toscana's will be served, following introductions. Tickets are $75 each and tables and sponsorships are still available. To reserve tickets or for more information, contact Karin Moss at (209) 632-2221.