Black Tie & Boots

Event Date: March 8, 2025

Start Time: 4:30 PM

Location: Marriott Rancho Cordova Sacramento - 11211 Point E Dr, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742


Reserved Rooms for 2025.




Rock Award Hall of Fame

2023 Aaron Bortolazzo

2023 Clarke Schiller

2024 Jesse Barton

2022 Randy Burleson

On March 19, 2022 the Rubicon Trail Foundation awarded Randy Burleson the 12th individual Rock Award. Randy was involved with the early days of FOTR, In September 2004, Randy was the founding Secretary of the Rubicon Trail Foundation, and later became President from 2008 to 2009. Randy was instrumental in the scientific defense of the Rubicon Trail to the California Water Board hearings in 2009. He resigned from the RTF board in 2009, but maintained a pulse on the Rubicon Trail until 2021 when Randy decided to return to the Foundation, where he currently is the Secretary once again. Randy once said, "It’s not difficult to find passionate people, its very difficult to focus that passion into a coalition." This statement holds true more than ever, and Randy has continued to help others find that focus.

2019 Dana Holland

On March 9, 2019 at the 11th Annual Black Tie & Boots, Dana Holland was recognized for his lifetime of volunteerism and community on the Rubicon Trail. Dana was the organizer of many work parties on the trail, he helped move the Kiosk to its current position, and also was the driving force behind the Green Bridge repair in the late 80's.

2018 Rusty Folena

On March 10, 2018, The Rubicon Trail Foundation recognized Rusty Folena as the recipient of the 2018 Rock Award. Rusty has been a long-time advocate for access to the Rubicon trail for all. Rusty was part of the original 2001 Shovel Brigade after word came from the Lahontan Water Board that a possible gate could be installed on the Tahoe Side of the trail. That original shovel brigade created Friends Of The Rubicon (FOTR) to which Randy is a charter volunteer. Over the years, Rusty ran many projects on the trail successfully, which helped maintain access to the public. In 2004, Rusty was a founding director of the Rubicon Trail Foundation (RTF), to which Rusty served as the first RTF Property committee chair, and President from 2013-2015. The entire Folena family, Rusty, his wife Beverly and son Colton have all volunteered over the years in order to keep the Rubicon Trail open to the public.

2017 John Pardi

2016 Christine and Marlin Czajkowski

Marlin and Christine are innovators and stewards of the Rubicon Trail. Marlin bought his famous red Toyota truck in 1983 and quickly realized several limitations. He invented the "Marfield" and the "Marlink" to strengthen the front end. But his true masterpiece was the Marlin Crawler. A Toyota could now go from 39 to 1, to 2000+ to 1 final drive ratio. His one true calling, was to make the Toyota truck a respectable rock crawler was realized with the founding of Marlin Crawler, Inc. Christine realized that after Marlin lost his favorite trail to closure in 2000, she had to do something to prevent this from happening to the Rubicon Trail. Christine set forth the idea of the Marlin Crawler Rubicon run and raffle. In 10 years, the raffle has donated nearly $90,000 to RTF. This donation was instrumental in giving the Rubicon Trail Foundation the financial ability to purchase 317 acres in 2010.

2015 Daphne Green

Daphne Greene is a passionate advocate of responsible OHV recreation on the Rubicon Trail. Under Governors Davis, Schwarzenegger and Brown, she was first appointed as a member of the OHMVR Commission - a position she later Chaired - and then as Deputy Director of the OHMVR Division. Soon after her appointment to the Commission in 2000, she joined other like-minded trail advocates and became an early member of the Rubicon Oversight Committee. Building partnerships with OHV user groups, members of the environmental community and colleagues from other agencies, the group worked to improved conditions along the trail. But it was as Deputy Director that Daphne had the greatest impact on the Rubicon Trail. She recognized the need to support the dedicated core of volunteers who worked along the trail. Under her administration, non-profit organizations such as RTF were allowed to receive grant funding for the first time. Daphne saw early on that erosion posed a significant threat to continued use of the trail, and initiated and funded the 2007 Trail Assessment by the California Geological Survey that became the blueprint for the County in their efforts to comply with the Cleanup and Abatement Order from the Water Board. Daphne has always quietly worked behind the scenes to support our right to drive on the Rubicon Trail. Even with all her significant contributions, she still credits the volunteers who give of their time as her heroes in the OHV community.

2014 This Dysfunctional Organization (TDO)

In honor of TDO, on the 10th anniversary of the Cantina For The Con, they were presented a special Rock Award and a plaque was bolted to the side of the FOTR Kiosk. It read: On Labor Day weekend 2004 (really 2005), This Dysfunctional Organization held the first "Cantina For The Con" with the sale of that first "Dysfunctional" taco, "Cantina For The Con" became an annual Labor Day event. To Date, "Cantina For The Con" has raised over a quarter of a million dollars for the benefit of the Rubicon Trail. Every driver and rider that crosses the Rubicon owes that experience, in part, to the Dysfunctional Organization. Without this event and the support of the trail users, dysfunctional and otherwise, the trail on which you now stand would not be open as we know it today.

2014 Steve Morris

Steve is a true pioneer of the Rubicon Trail, participating at the beginning of the Jeepers Jamboree with Mark Smith, a partial owner of Rubicon Springs, the first President of Cal4Wheel, and the official, unofficial Rubicon Historian at Jeepers Jamboree. Steve has dedicated his life to spreading the message on the beauty of Rubicon Springs and through ownership, making sure the Rubicon Springs is available to everyone. Steve has spent over 50 years as a rock roller at the top of Cadillac Hill. This part of the trail is now known as Morris Rock.

2013 Jack Sweeney

Jack Sweeney has been the most ardent supporter from the El Dorado Board of Supervisor to keep the Rubicon Trail open. Going back to his Grandfather, who helped get the Rubicon Trail designated as a County Road over 125 years ago, Jack has supported the trail through it's darkest hours. Jack was there on the very first clean up day around Spider Lake after it was closed to camping in 2004. Jack successfully fought to get an easement through the forest from the US Forest Service, so that El Dorado County is soley responsible for the trail.

2012 Merlin Scott

A longtime friend of the trail, as an El Dorado Sheriff's Deputy, Community Service Officer, caretaker of Rubicon Springs and RTF Mid-Trail Staff, Merlin has become the face of education on the Rubicon Trail. Merlin is a fixture on the trail, educating users and handing out information. In 2003, when behavior on the trail was at a low, Merlin was instrumental in using his years of law enforcement knowledge to help train the Rubicon Trail Patrol to be non-confrontational and more educational.

2011 Mark Smith

Considered by many to be the grandfather of 4 wheeling, for his contribution to the sport. In a “salty” and vastly entertaining speech Mark reminded us that support of the foundation is important and constant vigilance is necessary to fight opposition groups and government agencies who seek to close the Rubicon Trail to motorized access. He suggested in his speech everyone consider remembering the Foundation in their estate planning.

2010 Del Albright

Del is truly the father of the Rubicon Trail Foundation and Friends Of The Rubicon. His efforts back in 2001 to prevent closure of the trail on the Placer County side, gave birth to the Friends Of The Rubicon. Del was also the first President of the Rubicon Trail Foundation. Del is now a land use advocate for the Blue Ribbon Coalition.

2009 Tom Celio

Director of El Dorado County Department of Transportation for his dedication and personal attention to improving the trail and meeting the requirements of the Water Board Cleanup and Abatement order. Without Tom and his crew, the trail would not be open today.