Colin and Shelley Mellon Named Citizens of the Year

Posted: Saturday, January 2nd, 2016 | By Darin Fenger, features editor

They say if you want to get something done, ask a busy person to do it. Numerous organizations and charitable groups in Yuma County know the secret to going a step further is asking a busy couple.

That fact explains why Yuma residents Colin and Shelley Mellon certainly don’t have very much free time in their busy lives. The breadth and depth of the couple’s involvement with a lengthy list of community organizations quickly explains why Colin and Shelley Mellon were chosen as Yuma County Citizens of the Year for 2015.

“People who know Colin and Shelley Mellon personally will tell you that they radiate kindness, compassion and deep love for their community,” said Machele Headington, one of several people who wrote nomination letters for the Mellons. “They give passion and heart to everything they do, and always without expecting anything but goodness for others in return. Whether a recognized charity, such as Yuma Youth Leadership, Future Farmers of America, their church or just someone the Mellons want to recognize for making a difference in our community, the Mellons always offer their deep and generous support.”

Each year the Yuma Sun accepts nominations from the public for Yuma County Citizen of the Year, and the winner is chosen by a committee of past award winners and Yuma Sun employees. This year’s voting committee consisted of Mary Cordery, Dr. Robert Cannell, Bob Slonsen, Gary Pasquinelli, Marci Rios, Barbara Rochester, Pat Cooper, Jon and Caroline Jessen, Bruce Gwynn, Lenore Stuart, Lisa Reilly, Roxanne Molenar, Randy Hoeft, John Vaughn and Rogelio Olivas.

Many Yumans know the Mellons through their family’s major presence in Yuma County’s agriculture industry. Colin Mellon, along with his brothers Todd and Cory, manage the family business Mellon Farms. The family farming operation was founded by the mens’ parents, Doug and Pamela Mellon in 1976.

Headington, who serves as vice president of Support Services for Yuma Regional Medical Center, commended Colin being a “dedicated father, husband and mentor” and still a man who finds time to serve this community. He does so, she said, “on a multiple levels, including several agri-business leadership roles/boards, University of Arizona and youth ag development and more.”

Shelley’s community involvement has also includes service with local 4-H clubs and Yuma Youth Town Hall.

Shelley dedicated the earlier years of her adult life to work with the Rio Colorado Commission, an “early driver of economic development” in southern Yuma County. She also served as the chairperson for the Southwest Arizona Futures Forum, a local group responsible for collaborative planning of key topics ranging from addressing poverty, improving health throughout the community, and creating jobs for local communities.

Shelley recently served as co-chair for the the Yuma Union High School District Bond Committee.

“Her sacrifices of time and resources over and over again, during weekends and evenings, kept the committee going strong. We heard comments from many local people…over and over again that many of them were simply inspired by (Shelley) to do the things they did for the campaign,” said Toni Badone, superintendent for Yuma Union High School District who also wrote a nomination letter for Colin and Shelley Mellon.

“(Shelley’s) leadership of the committee was only the most recent endeavor on her part to support our students and community,” Badone said.

Badone commended Colin for his unique and personal approach to supporting his community and beyond.

“Colin Mellon, who is a philanthropist and tirelessly generous citizen in his own right, is often a little more quiet, but just as much a giant in our community,” Badone said. “Between the two of them, I can’t think of a sector of Yuma County that has not benefited from their combined generosity of time, talent, treasure — but most of all — leadership.”

Headington honored the couple for their realization that investing in Yuma County’s future begins by guiding and supporting the next generation.

“Colin and Shelley dedicate hours of their time and resources to helping local youth. From fundraiser events and contributions to development of youth programs such as Yuma Youth Leadership, hosting youth plenary sessions that teach facilitation and future planning,” she said. “Their work for developing opportunities for local youth is seen throughout the community — from South County, all the way out to Dateland. Their energy and dedication truly are beyond anything I have ever seen.”

In her nomination letter, Headington asked of the Mellons — “Do they ever sleep?”

She stressed that for any member of a community, time is always that person’s greatest gift.

“We truly are a better community because of the kindness and compassion given each day by the Mellon family,” Headington wrote. “They are successful in so many ways — but what truly makes them special is that they give to others.”

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