ICONS OF SCCFMC

A VOLUNTEER a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task. 

We at the Santa Clara County Fair are so grateful to have many volunteers who offer numerous hours of time, a vase knowledge base, an unwavering dedication to our heritage and a desire to keep the long stand nostalgia of the Santa Clara County Fair going.  The love these individuals have for the Santa Clara County Fair is like no other. 

Here we would like to give these quintessential volunteers the warmest of appreciation and huge THANK YOU to for their numerous years of continued support.  Without their generosity all of this would not be possible.


LORRAINE MARIE TOENSFELDT

Lonnie1

Lonnie, contributed extensively to the youth of Santa Clara County. She was a long time 4-H Leader at the County level and in Cupertino where she lived. Her 4-H career started in 1972 when she co-founded Rolling Hills 4-H Club, currently the largest 4-H Club in the County. In 1973 she served on a Citizen’s Advisory Committee that designated a newly-acquired 16 acres property as a Rural and Natural Preserve. The following year she brokered a lease to a two acre section for use as a 4-H Farm site that is one of 4 remaining shared sites on public land in the county. She went on to serve as the Club Community leader for about 25 years. During that time she served as the writer, editor, and publisher of the monthly 4-H newsletter (Timely Topics) for 20 years, served several terms as County 4-H Council President, served as Adult leader for several learning Projects, and filled the position of 4-H Key Leader for about two decades. With another leader she initiated and held Youth Exchanges with 4-H members of three other states.

In the late 1970’s and through the 1980’s her 3 daughters raised 22 market animals – sheep, swine, and cattle – that were shown and auctioned at the Santa Clara County Fair. During those years, and for several years thereafter, she hosted a small travel trailer where club youths stayed during the run of the Fair. Through her associations with the Fair she became a member of the original Fair Association and later served for a few years on the Fairgrounds Advisory Committee. On several occasions she rallied members of 4-H to attend meetings of the County Supervisors to gain support for the local 4-H Office and the Fairgrounds. She also served for 8 years on the Cupertino Parks and Recreation Commission; during that time, the City built its first Senior Center. She followed with about 5 years on the County Animal Advisory Committee. She also served on the Boards of the Clover Foundation and of the Assistance League of Los Gatos-Saratoga, supplying school supplies to low-income children and lunches for Seniors.



HANS TOENSFELDT

Hans Image 1

Hans Toensfeldt, known to most simply as “Mr. T,” has supported youth agricultural programs in Santa Clara County for more than four decades. It all started when his eldest daughter joined Rolling Hills 4-H club and his wife Lonnie was recruited to take over the Club Leader position. Soon Mr. T was building a chicken coop in the backyard and giving engineering advice on how best to layout a sewing pattern, harvest a chicken or fix a fence at the club ranch. Throughout it all he continued to support Lonnie in her mission to teach, grow, and mentor their extended 4-H Family. Mr. and Mrs. T continued to fall in love with the program as they saw their daughters, and the rest of their 4-H family grow and succeed. It became their life’s work. Hans took on the position of Treasurer for the County’s 4-H Council and dedicated many hours toward modernizing records for the Junior Livestock Auction. When Lonnie passed in 2006, Hans retired from his long career with Kaiser Aerospace & Electronics and immediately knew he had to take on the work Lonnie started. Hans joined the Clover Foundation Board as Treasurer and was first to volunteer for interviewing junior exhibitors for livestock loans.(remove last sentence) In 2014 Hans enthusiastically signed on to the newly formed Fairgrounds Heritage Foundation dedicated to preserving and rebuilding the Fairgrounds for the future of our community. He has served as 4-H Emerald Star Advisor and County Ranch Advisor. He also served as the ranch manager at McClellan ranch where he is still a frequent workday volunteer. He’s claimed the nickname “Master Rat Killer,” using his love of experiments to devise new and improved ways to keep pesky vermin out of the livestock feed. In October 2017, the Tubbs Fire raged in Sonoma for 3 weeks and Hans instantly jumped in to help, spending day after day at our own Fairgrounds collecting large donations for displaced pets and over 300 horses temporarily housed at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. He was even interviewed on the KTVU News -Go Hans! A Master Volunteer is always looking for new ways to help out the community, and this continued throughout 2020 and 2021. As the Covid Pandemic began to hit, Hans found a local teen making face shields in a NextDoor video and recruited him to join forces with 4-H volunteers. Together they built and donated hundreds of protective shields throughout the county, including to the Indian Health Center serving local Native Americans. (remove last sentence) Hans loves to pay it forward through his philanthropic contributions and always keeps a full freezer of delicious meat from the Junior Livestock Auction. You’ve probably met Mr. T collecting Buyer Thank You Donations there, counting ticket money at the Clover Gala Dinners, or hosting an information booth at the fair. Be sure to stop by and say “Hello” the next time you see him. It will put a smile on his face.



JOHN HAGGERTY

image0

John Haggerty was a proud and devoted 4-H volunteer, supporter of youth agricultural programs and a staunch supporter and volunteer of the Santa Clara County Fair for over 30 years. John’s path to volunteerism at the fair and with youth agricultural programs began when he enrolled his five children in 4-H. He supported his children showing small and large animals, as well as other exhibitors each year at the fair. Not only did his children fall in love with 4-H and the Fair, but he did too. Over the years, the Fair went from being a two-week affair to a short four-day Fair, as it exists today. John worried about what would happen to 4-H and FFA youth if there was no Fair. Where would they show their animals? Where would they display their exhibits? In order to protect the continued existence of 4-H and FFA livestock projects in this county, John believed he would need to help save the Fair and protect the Fairgrounds from land developers. On his quest to ensure everyone could continue to enjoy the Fair, as he and his family had, John attended countless meetings at the County Board of Supervisors and fairgrounds planning meetings, wrote letters to elected officials, joined the Fair Management Corporation (FMC) Board and became a member of the Clover Foundation board. John became a fixture at the Fair. He could always be found supporting the youth at the auction, and for over a decade, he managed the Small Animal Barn. John was very proud of this barn, as well as the youth and adult volunteer who spend many hours to ensure a safe experience for the youth and an educational experience for the public. John worked very hard to make sure the youth in Santa Clara County had the opportunity to learn life skills and experience agricultural endeavors, regardless of whether they reside in the county or in the city. Through his participation on the Clover Foundation board, he helped provide significant financial support to both 4-H and FFA programs at the Fair. Much of his time and energy was devoted to making their fair possible each year. Although he will be dearly missed, his legacy will live on here during the Fair each year.