The prestigious Mesa Citizen of the Year award recognizes and honors exceptional volunteers who have demonstrated significant long-term commitment and accomplishment through a broad-range of volunteerism enhancing the community by their service and excellence of leadership.
The Mesa Citizen of the Year Award was founded in 1935 by Charles and Florence Mitten, the owners of the Mesa Tribune.
Man and Woman of the Year
woman of the year, 2018
Ruth Collins is a life long time resident of Mesa who has been active in community volunteer activities for many years. Ruth is the daughter of the Ross and Anita Farnsworth who served the Mesa community in significant ways and instilled in their large family a great desire to volunteer and help those in need. For many years, Ruth was an active participant in her family’s community activities as well as school and church volunteer duties.
Ruth was impacted deeply when she learned that many school children did not have access to food on the weekend. She decided to try to remedy this serious problem by starting a non-profit called Arizona Brainfood in 2008. This program provides weekend food packets for school children in need. The program started with 2 schools providing food for 100 children. Last year Arizona Brainfood provided food for 115 schools across the East Valley. They now serve over 3600 children each week. It is even more amazing when one learns that all this work is done by over a 100 volunteers who donate more than 6000 hours of service annually. As one of the individuals who recommended Ruth for this award stated. “The spirit of service displayed by Ruth Collins is the spirit of Mesa. — Taking care of those in need. Her willingness to work without recompense is admirable and epitomizes the spirit of our city. She is an amazing example of what one person can do when they are dedicated and driven by compassion for others”
Ruth is married to Dave Collins. They are the parents of 4 children.
Activities & Affiliations
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man of the year, 2018
Steve West is a well-known civic leader, community volunteer and attorney.
Steve has served on a wide array of community non–profit Boards. The following is a partial listing of some of the Boards: Mesa Baseline Rotary Club, Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Mesa United Way Grand Canyon Council, Boy Scouts of America, The East Valley Partnership, Mesa Boys and Girls Club, the East Valley Institute of Technology and Visit Mesa.
Steve started his community service in the late 80’s as a member of the City of Mesa Museum and Cultural Advisory Board. Steve is an individual who is always willing to assume leadership roles in the organizations where he serves. He has served as Chair of most of the Boards that he has served on. One notable example is his volunteer service was his work as the annual campaign Co- Chair for the 2010 -11 Mesa United Way Campaign. Although Mesa was still feeling the serious effects of the great recession, the campaign met its goal.
Although he has been extremely busy with community activities, Steve has also served in a variety of capacities for his church and several professional legal societies. As his nominator stated ”I have been significantly impressed with Steve’s service and commitment to Mesa. He has an inspiring history of service to the community”.
Steve and his spouse Julie have lived in Mesa for over 30 years. They have 6 adult children.
Activities & Affiliations
Mesa Baseline Rotary Club
Mesa Chamber of Commerce
Mesa United Way Grand Canyon Council
Boy Scouts of America
The East Valley Partnership
Mesa Boys and Girls Club
East Valley Institute of Technology