Good Sports: Book made to honor 70th anniversary of B'nai B'rith award

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's an award unlike any other in the Central Valley.

B'nai B'rith is the annual student-athlete award that honors individuals for their accomplishments both in the classroom and in their respected sport along with their community involvement.

The idea is to celebrate all the hard work and dedication required to accomplish all they have done.

What started as a scholarship award for just a handful of local high schools has grown to include 17 different schools that draw students from the City of Fresno.

Stephanie Negin is a Fresno County public defender by day but sits on the dinner committee for the local chapter of B'nai B'rith - an award her grandfather, Irvin Negin, helped start back in 1952.

"I think he would be amazed at what the organization has done and what it has accomplished over the 70 years," she said.

Stephanie says she looks forward to keeping up the tradition while honoring young people and their accomplishments every year -- so much so that she decided to put a book together as a way of celebrating the 70th anniversary of this prestigious award.

Old newspaper articles and pictures of past winners and nominees - names like Jackie White, Tim McDonald and Jenna Prandini fill the pages.

The book along with the award's first trophy will be heading into the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame.

"The number of student-athletes that are teachers, coaches and superintendents in our local schools is really incredible," Stephanie said. "It's a testament of what they received as student-athletes, how much it motivated them and touched them that they have dedicated their lives to that."

Unfortunately, there was not an overall winner this year or an awards dinner due to COVID, but the student athletes and families were honored with a small presentation at a Fresno Grizzlies game over the weekend.
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