The basics: Jerry James, 55, is assistant general manager and vice president of revenue for the Fresno Grizzlies, a Triple-A franchise in professional baseball’s minor leagues. He is married with three children and lives in Fresno.
What he does: As a member of five community outreach organizations, James donates his time, money and connections through the Grizzlies to help Fresno families in need, especially underprivileged children. James is an active member of Latino Peace Officers Association-Fresno County, Centro La Familia, the Consulate of Mexico in Fresno, the Fresno Latino Rotary and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Why he does it: “Sometimes, some of the things we do might sound small, but it’s a huge deal to someone else who might be in need,” James said. “When you really look around and open your eyes, you see how many people are in need.”
You just want to help.
Jerry James on seeing, and filling the needs of, the less fortunate in his community
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The turning point: Before taking a job with the Grizzlies in 2010, James was the planning director of Madera County and saw firsthand the numerous people in need of help.
“The utilities we have and take for granted, they needed,” James said. “Basic necessities like clean drinking water. Or the gutters and curbs of their homes needed to be cleaned. You see it a lot. You just want to help.”
Details, details: Through the Latino Peace Officers Association, James has helped organize a golf tournament fundraiser that positioned the group to award $1,000 scholarships to 15 students. He also has helped with the association’s Winter Coat Drive, which collected 500 jackets for students from two elementary schools who might not otherwise have had proper winter clothing. James also took part in “Trunk or Treat” in the parking lot outside Tinker Funeral Chapel – more than 1,000 hot dogs were given away, along with candy. He also was part of a food drive through Fresno Latino Rotary that has helped 400 to 600 people in need during the holiday season.
What others say: “Jerry has been really helpful with our scholarship golf tournament, putting our organization in contact with the right people so we can raise money for the youths in Fresno,” said Ruben Diaz, president of the Latino Peace Officers Association-Fresno County. “He spearheaded our luncheon for our student scholarship recipients and their parents at the Phoenix Club at Chukchansi Park. The kids really love it. It becomes a great memory for them.”
How you can help: The Latino Peace Officers Association-Fresno Couty will ramp up its efforts for the annual Scholarship Golf Tournament. The event will be held May 19, with proceeds benefiting 15 selected scholarship recipients. For more information, contact Ruben Diaz (559-360-4974), Joe Ortiz (559-960-7184) or visit www.fresnonlpoa.org.
Bryant-Jon Anteola: @Banteola_TheBee