Don and Anita Daniels have been named the 2014 Family of the Year by the Nevada County Fair’s Board of Directors. The Board chose the Daniels Family for their long time commitment, participation, and volunteer efforts at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.
For more than 50 years, Don and Anita have been actively involved in the Nevada County Fair. Don has been involved in the Fair since 1951, when he participated in his first horse show at Lions Lake. He was a charter Nevada Union FFA member, has roped calves and steers at the Fairs rodeos, and judged horse shows. Additionally, he has played in several bands at the Fair, served as a local 4H Beef Leader, and volunteered at work days at the Fairgrounds.
Throughout the years, he and Anita have also volunteered in numerous booths on Treat Street.
Anita has been participating in the Fair since 1955, when she joined 4H and entered club projects in canning, baking, sewing, horses and hogs. She participated in the 4H Dress Revue, continued to enter exhibits in the Fair, and even won a blue ribbon for her marmalade. She has assisted at the Junior Livestock Auction, worked in the Bingo booth, and assisted with the Idol Competition. Most recently, as President of the Rotary Club of Grass Valley, she initiated the first Rotary at Work Clean-Up Day at the Fairgrounds, which involved all five western Nevada County Rotary Clubs, and created the largest one-day community service project conducted in the county.
“The Fair is so important to us because it brings everyone together for good, family fun,” says Anita. “It teaches our young people the rewards of hard work, and it truly promotes pride in our community.”
Don and Anita, who have been married for 51 years, have two children, Brian and Kris, and six grandchildren. As children, both Brian and Kris were involved in the Fair as 4H exhibitors. Brian made his debut in 1967, when, at 13 months old, he enjoyed his first experience at the Fair, and made the front page of The Union eating pizza at the Fair. Kris – who won first place in a pie eating contest against kids and adults at the Fair when she was 7 – was selected as the Nevada County Fair Queen in 1988, won the first Gold Country Idol Contest, and went on to win the Western States Fair Idol competition. Today, she regularly sings the National Anthem for the opening of the Nevada County Fair and the Draft Horse Classic.
While the Daniels have many fond memories at the Fair, their favorite memories are when both their kids were showing their steers with 4H at the Fair. Says Don, “We had so much fun with the other families. We definitely miss that!”
Don, who is retired from the California Highway Patrol, is the Chairman of the Board for Nevada County Horsemen, and a past president and member of the Rotary Club of Grass Valley. Anita, who has been in the banking industry since 1962, is the Vice President and Branch Manager at Tri Counties Bank in Grass Valley. She is a board member of Western Sierra Medical Clinic, a board member of Rotary Club of Grass Valley, a board member of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation, and treasurer of Nevada County Horsemen. She is a former board member of the Sierra College Coordinating Council, the Grass Valley Downtown Association, the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Nevada County Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council.
“Don and Anita are truly avid supporters of the Fair,” said Sandy Woods, CEO of the Fairgrounds. “Having grown up in Nevada County, their involvement with the Fair goes back to childhood – and their dedication to the Fairgrounds continues! Through Anita’s inspiration of Rotary at Work Day at the Fairgrounds, both she and Don have painted barns, raked pine needles and pitched in to help make the Fair California’s Most Beautiful. The Daniels’ passion and dedication to the Fair makes them the perfect candidate for the 2014 Family of the Year.”
Upon being named the Family of the Year, Anita says, “we are humbled by this honor. So many families deserve this award. We are just one of the many families who love our Fairgrounds and the opportunities it offers to all those in our community.”
The Daniels Family will be honored at the Fair’s opening ceremonies. They will receive a Fair package, as well as a family portrait by Shaffers Originals of Grass Valley.