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Jerry Miller and Sherrill Hyink Named Mardi Gras Ball King and Queen

Jerry Miller and Sherrill Hyink have been chosen as King and Queen of the 27th annual Mardi Gras Ball, which will be held the evening of Saturday February 23 at the Hyatt Regency Westlake Hotel. The Ball is Community Conscience’s largest fund-raiser and this year’s title sponsor is Union Bank. With the proceeds and other donations, Community Conscience provides space rent-free to thirteen local non-profits, enabling them to more effectively serve our community. 

Each year, Community Conscience honors two individuals for their exemplary community service. This year’s honorees have contributed their time, energy, and resources to bettering our community for many years and in many ways. As such, they have earned the honor to be crowned King and Queen and reign over this year’s Mardi Gras Ball.

King Jerry Miller is best known in the community for his tenure as President of California Lutheran University from 1980 to 1992. As President, he guided a period of significant academic and physical growth. Most importantly, our little local College expanded and improved its academic curriculum under his leadership and was able to earn University status in 1986. Enrollment nearly doubled to almost 3,000 students, and several major building projects were accomplished, including the Pearson Library, Preus-Brandt Forum, Ahmanson Science Center, and Samuelson Chapel. And, the Federal Communications Commission granted the University a charter for the much-appreciated KCLU radio station in 1989.

Dr. Miller has been a leader in the wider community as well. He has served on many local Boards of Directors, including Los Robles Regional Medical Center, Red Cross, United Way, Conejo Future Foundation, Many Mansions, Community Conscience, Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, Alliance for the Arts, and the Thousand Oaks Library Foundation.

Jerry also serves the community through his membership in the Thousand Oaks Rotary Club and is an active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. He has received many awards for service, including the Patrick Henry Citizenship Medal from the Military Order of the World Wars, the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Christus Award from Cal Lutheran, and in 1999 the Conejo Valley Historical Society  named him “Don Triunfo”, recognizing his service to the Society and the community in general.

Our new King is a graduate of Harvard University, and holds a Doctorate of Divinity Degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary. He and his wife Margaret have been married sixty years and have lived in Thousand Oaks since early1981; they have five children, eleven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Queen Sherrill Hyink is a long-time dedicated and enthusiastic leader in many efforts to better our community. She is a retired teacher, with 29 years of service to the Conejo Valley Unified School District.

In addition to molding the minds and character of our youth as her day job, Sherrill logged many years as the faculty advisor to the Los Cerritos Middle School Builders Club. A Builders Club is a service club for middle school students, sponsored and supported by a local Kiwanis Club.

As a current member of the Thousand Oaks Kiwanis Club, Sherrill continues to advise the Los Cerritos Builders Club and also serves as a Key Club advisor at Thousand Oaks High School. Sherrill is and has always been instrumental in helping students to gain an appreciation for service to others and to develop leadership skills through participation in the Club.  

Sherrill plays other key roles in Kiwanis, including coordinating volunteers for the Monday route that the Club drives for the Senior Concerns Meals on Wheels program, organizing and directing silent auctions at the Club’s fundraising events, and taking the lead in the Club’s fund-raising efforts to support the Kiwanis International goal of eliminating maternal neo-natal tetanus worldwide. She’s historically been one of the organizers of the Club’s annual “Give Back” basketball tournament, which last year raised $7,000 for Manna, the local food pantry. 

Ms. Hyink’s volunteer service efforts range far beyond Kiwanis, however.  As “Sheriff Sherrill” she served as the coordinator of the annual Conejo Valley Crop Walk for fifteen years, marshaling local resources to attack world-wide hunger. Sherrill also volunteers for Make-A-Wish Foundation, helping make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.

For many years, Sherrill has been a leader of the local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional honor society of top women educators, serving as an inspiration to women in the field. And she volunteers to brighten the lives of patients at local nursing homes, not only with her personal charm but also by bringing her middle school students to provide musical entertainment.

The Thousand Oaks Kiwanis Club honored Sherrill as Kiwanian of the Year in 2010 and also has given her a Distinguished Service Award. She has received a Service and Achievement Award from the Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation, a Distinguished Teacher of the Month award from the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, and when the Olympic torch passed through Ventura County, Sherrill ran a leg, earning $3,000 for the Conejo Valley YMCA.

Sherrill feels blessed with good health, great friends, participation in active support groups, and a strong faith. She believes people were put on this earth to help make it a better place, no matter how large or small the effort. Sherrill is widowed, having lost Cliff, her husband of fifty years, two years ago, and has two sons and two grandsons.

The 2019 Mardi Gras Ball will begin with a champagne reception and entertainment by the Riverboat Dixie Jazz Band. A wonderful dinner will follow, with dancing to Fifth Avenue Entertainment. There will be both silent and live auctions packed with many desirable items – all proceeds benefit local non-profits!

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Each month Community Conscience spotlights one of the 13 human services agencies who operate rent-free in our 22,000 square-foot building. Those agencies serve 50,000 people annually, and we want to share their stories. Subscribe to our newsletter to have their stories delivered to your inbox.