Zanni was honored at the Chamber Mixer that took place on Castle Street July 3 to kick off the city’s Fourth of July festivities, along with Non Profit of the Year Mount Shasta Rotary and Business of the Year Mountain Medics.

It was with overwhelming community support that John Zanni was selected as Mount Shasta’s 2019 Citizen of the Year, said Chamber of Commerce president Tessa Montgomery Wednesday evening.

Zanni was honored at the Chamber Mixer that took place on Castle Street July 3 to kick off the city’s Fourth of July festivities, along with Non Profit of the Year Mount Shasta Rotary and Business of the Year Mountain Medics.

Montgomery explained that the public nominates the Citizen of the Year. Usually there is only one nomination per citizen and the chamber board takes a vote.

“Some years, a person will receive two nominations, making the winner obvious,” Montgomery announced. “This year was a first for me. Our winner had 36 nominations! When they kept rolling in, it was clear our community had chosen their winner and I couldn’t agree more. Our Citizen of the Year, by overwhelmingly popular demand, is John Zanni!”

Zanni is a lifelong Mount Shasta resident. He spent 30 years as a volunteer firefighter, serves as chairman of the Doug Hansen Memorial Scholarship and for the past 20 years, has been organizing fundraisers in Mount Shasta, Dunsmuir, Weed, McCloud and Yreka, supporting a different community organization each time. Over the past 20 years, Zanni’s fundraisers have raised a total of approximately $40,000.

Zanni is the former vice president of the Mount Shasta Firefighters Association, a member of the Mount Shasta Elks Lodge for 21 Years (and was once honored as Elk of the Year), is the former president of the South Siskiyou Men’s Softball Association and has overseen the maintenance of the Siskiyou Ice Rink for more than 20 years in his role as Maintenance Supervisor for the Mount Shasta Recreation and Parks District.

Zanni said the experience was “one of those lifetime experiences I’ll never forget, especially the parade.”

He said the parade was “overwhelming,” seeing so many people he knew cheering him on.

“I’m so fortunate to have been born here, and I just want to give back a little bit. That’s where I get my enjoyment,” Zanni said.

Non Profit of the Year

Mount Shasta Rotary was selected as Non Profit of the Year “with full board support,” said Montgomery. Outgoing president Alisa Johnson and Rotarian Linda Stremel accepted the award on behalf of the club.

Mount Shasta Rotary celebrated 70 years in 2019. Highlights of their service include the annual Blackberry Festival and the Castle Crags Century bike ride. Proceeds from these events are donated back to the community and have supported causes including Mercy Mount Shasta Auxiliary Free Transportation Program, Shasta Disabled Sports, the Garden Greenway Project, Holidays on Us (which provides $50 bills to 30 seniors before Christmas), Shasta Senior Nutrition Program, and numerous trail projects.

“Every year the club gives three high school seniors $2,500 scholarships for college and sends two students to business and leadership camps,” Montgomery added. The club recently chartered Rotaract at College of the Siskiyous and sponsors an Interact Club at Mount Shasta High School.

“A big highlight of the year was the completion of the Lake Siskiyou Trout Pen Project,” Montgomery told the crowd. The club released 1,000 trophy-sized trout into the lake and co-hosted a youth fishing day.

Business of the Year

The Business of the Year is also selected by the Chamber of Commerce Board, said Montgomery. Accepting the award were owners Chad McCall and Aaron Stutz.

Mountain Medics was formed in late 2014 to address the emergency medical needs of wildland firefighters and other specialized teams deployed in austere and wilderness environments.

They provide 4x4 ambulances, rescue vehicles and medical clinic trailers to small and large scale disasters, Montgomery explained.

“Over the past four fire seasons, they have expanded to employ over 30 employees during their busy season,” Montgomery added.