For The Madera Tribune
The Madera High Homecoming court: (from left) Ariel Garcia, Antonio Noriega, Alondra Cortez. Jasmine Pannu, Yvette Zuniga, Arianna Castro, Angel Tijero, and Brian Hefner. Homecoming is Friday at Memorial Stadium. The varsity football game starts at 7:30 and the king and queen will be crowned at halftime.
A week of Homecoming activities at Madera High School was set to finish Friday with a 12:45 p.m. parade and a 7:30 p.m. football game at Memorial Stadium, featuring the crowning of royalty at halftime.
This year’s homecoming theme, “Coyotes got game,” highlighted classic board games such as Monopoly, Sorry, Candyland, and Chutes and Ladders.
Don and Cynthia Nelson are grand marshals for the festivities. Born and reared in Madera, Don graduated from MHS in 1960 after playing varsity football for three years and capturing a wrestling valley championship. At Fresno City College, he became a Western Regional wrestling champ, met his wife Cynthia, and earned a degree in agronomy.
Don and Cynthia, a Song Girl and homecoming queen, wed in the spring of 1965 after she earned a bachelor’s degree in education. After living in the Pacific Northwest, the couple settled in Madera in 1979 when Don bought into Midland Tractor, which has since become a fully family-run business.
“The Nelson’s passion for athletics and education is seen yearly as they support over 200 groups on behalf of Midland Tractor through donations and scholarships,” said MHS Activities Director Isaac Lopez.
Cynthia capped her 23-year career in education as a kindergarten teacher at Alpha Elementary School. She has been a past president of Alegria Guild, which serves Valley Children’s Hospital, and a member of Sigma Theta. Both are active members of Fresno State boosters, Madera County Historical Society and the Madera County Arts Council.
Their three children — Kirstin, Steve and Stan — graduated from MHS in 1985, 1987 and 1989, respectively. Following Kirstin’s death in 2010, a scholarship in her honor aids Madera Community College Center students.
“The Nelsons are quiet, humble servants whom Madera High is grateful to call Coyote family for the years of contributions and support,” said Lopez on behalf of the school’s administration. “We are honored to have Don and Cynthia Nelson as our 2017 grand marshals.”