Thumbs up to Steven Braswell, 22, a barista at the Visalia Starbucks on Caldwell Avenue, who was gifted an ebony Trek FX hybrid street bike by his fellow partners at the coffee shop. Several weeks ago, Braswell’s bike was stolen from Target while he was shopping. That put him on foot during a couple of record-setting rainy weeks in February.
After too many days of seeing their buddy showing up for his 5:30 a.m. shift soaking wet, Braswell’s colleagues cooked up a surprise, donating enough to buy him the bike worth nearly $400 – a big upgrade from his previous ride. He came in early recently and there in the cafe was the present with a big card bearing his name. The message said something to the effect of “amazing people deserve things that will take them anywhere and this will take you anywhere you want.”
“It’s the best bike I’ve ever had,” Braswell says.
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Thumbs down to the funny money thief who ripped off a Girl Scout by buying cookies using counterfeit cash. ABC30 reported that the crime happened outside a supermarket in northwest Fresno. A fake $100 bill was passed by a woman who got $50 worth of cookies and was then given $50 in change. The bill was found to be fake when it was taken to the bank for deposit. The bank delivered the counterfeit bill to the Secret Service and police are searching for the low life who passed the bill.
Thumbs up to Kaiser Permanente for donating $300,000 in grants to two health organizations in Fresno and Madera to help increase access to care for people who are at greatest risk for heart attacks and strokes. Camarena Health in Madera and Valley Health Team will each receive $150,000 in grants to implement and continue the PHASE program at their clinics over the next 36 months.
PHASE stands for Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes Every day. Nearly 4,000 Valley residents will be served through the program. The regimen has helped Kaiser Permanente reduce heart attacks and stroke-related hospital admissions among its own members by 60 percent since it began the program in 2002. Camarena Health implemented the program last year.
Thumbs up to The Central Valley Community Foundation, which, in partnership with the Howard K. Watkins Photo Archive Fund, awarded $100,000 to Fresno State’s Henry Madden Library to establish the Howard K. Watkins Photographic Archive. The online collection is the largest of its kind documenting much of the greater Fresno/Clovis area since the 1970s.
The archive fund was established at the foundation in 2006 and has currently received donations from nearly 950 donors with the goal to make the photographs accessible to the public. The permanent archive will be available to students and members of the general public for research purposes and to experience a visual history of the community over the last four decades
Thumbs up to the Ronald McDonald House Central California charities for raising a record $167,000 at the 10th annual Red Heart Ball. The house, located at Valley Children’s Hospital, provides free lodging and meals for families whose children require long-term stays in the hospital.
Thumbs up to Milne Photography for teaming up with the Central California SPCA to raise money for the homeless animal shelter. Throughout March, every adopter or donor (who makes a financial gift of $99 or more) will receive a $300 certificate from Milne Photography. This service includes a complimentary family, senior, or children’s portrait seating (a $100 value) and $200 toward any portrait order. Here’s a good chance to get a portrait with the new pooch or kitty.