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BEST LOCAL OLYMPIC FAN
He's no Ryan Lochte, but UC Davis sports doc BRIAN DAVIS is still one heck of an Olympian. Davis attended the 2012 Summer Olympics in London as a consultant volunteer physician, one of only two American doctors chosen for that honor. Assigned to the judo and wrestling arena, he treated top athletes from all over the world, including one who blew out his knee right before going on to win a medal. You might call Davis an Olympics junkie: In addition to London, he volunteered at Olympic and Paralympic games in Salt Lake City, Athens and Vancouver, and he hopes to go to Rio in 2016. But 12-hour workdays in London left him little time to catch any of the events. "I saw the closing ceremony," he says. "That's it."
BEST PEOPLE MOVER
She's been called a money maven and fundraising guru, thanks to raising $15 million over the course of 30 years for area nonprofits, libraries and other organizations. But Sacramento resident MARYELLEN BURNS is much more than that, according to her friends and colleagues. Library director Rivkah Sass calls Burns a "major friend-raiser" for her ability to bring people together. Food reporter Elaine Corn, who's working with Burns on We Are Where We Eat, a yearlong project focused on local food producers and cuisines, calls her a "teacher, coach, guidance counselor and gadfly." And art educator Larry Fox says Burns is a "force of nature." No matter what you call Burns, she's dedicated her life to helping Sacramento thrive, whether it's through writing grants for literary and arts education programs, preserving Sacramento's history or teaching people how to make their dreams a reality through crowdfunding workshops.
BEST PUBLIC TRANSIT FAN
It started as Facebook posts of the amusing, sometimes touching, sometimes troubling stories that BRIAN GREEN, media consultant for the state Senate, heard and observed while riding Regional Transit into downtown Sacramento. At the urging of his Facebook friends, and with the help of his wife (who surprised him with a Word document compilation of nearly three years' worth of stories), he self-published Rail Tales, a collection of 200 vignettes categorized by month. Since its publication in June, the book has sold upward of 600 copies. "Anyone who rides public transit—not just in Sacramento—can relate to it," says Green. His experiences have definitely changed him for the better: "It's made me aware that we're all in this together."