Few reflect the true spirit of philanthropy like Avenal residents Edna and Nick Ivans.
Married in 1949, the Ivans had four children born to them and they also shared their home with five foster children and five international students at different times. One of those American Field Service students, Reza Banai, donated $5,000 to a scholarship fund in their name - a fund that the Ivans have been contributing to for over 30 years.
When Nick passed away in 2015, others donated to the scholarship fund in his memory and the scholarship became endowed and will now be offered in perpetuity.
Seldom a week goes by that the West Hills Community College Foundation doesn't receive a check from the Edna Ivans. It might be in memory of a student or faculty member who has passed away. It might be in support of the annual President's Scholars Golf Tournament-for which they have been a supporter since its inception 20 years ago or it might be to support a sports fund raiser or an event.
Edna served on the WHCCD Board of Trustees from 1967 until her retirement in 2015. She was one of the longest-serving trustees and elected officials in the nation.
The Ivans have been honored over the years with a multitude of awards including Avenal Citizen of the Year, Kings County Homecoming King and Queen, and the Reef-Sunset Unified School District Milton O. Wilen Award for contributions to excellence in education by a community member. Edna was a finalist for the Fresno Bee/YWCA Business/Professional Woman of the Year in 1991.
They served the library, their church, the Kings County Art Center, the Rotary Club and a host of other organizations. Like their contributions, their list of activities is almost endless.
Hundreds of people gathered to honor Nick on his passing. Edna continues to thrive and is a regular honored guest at events at West Hills College. She continues to give to her community, their family and most of all--West Hills College.