Thumbs up to Glenn Fitzgerald of Fresno for being honored at the 31st Huntsman World Senior games in Salt Lake City, Utah last week. In what would have been his 15th Games, according to the Salt Lake Tribune’s Brennan Smith, Fitzgerald was awarded a commemorative ring – which he wore proudly on his left pinkie.
He was using a wheelchair because he was unable to participate in his beloved slow-pitch softball and horseshoe events after suffering a major stroke last November. That did not stop him from attending and being one of the stars of the show.
His four children raised money to collect his prize. The Fresno Senior Softball League did a benefit game, and there is an active GoFundMe account set up to defray expenses for the trip. About 10,800 athletes over age 50 participating from all 50 states and over 30 countries came to the event and the Tribune reports that none were honored more so than Fitzgerald, seated at the front of the crowd during the ceremonies.
While the national anthem played at the ceremony, Smith reported, his kids helped their father stand and steadied him – a dream realized even if he wouldn’t be playing in the games
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Thumbs down with a chaser of cheers and boo-oo-s from the Thumbs office that former Fresnan Fran Fried did not win “Jeopardy” this week. At The Bee newsroom, where she used to work, folks were all fired up during one heckuva game. Fried made TV history before she even went on the air, as one of just three transgender contestants to appear on the “show. \
She did not win, but at one time she was way out in front before losing her lead, which made for one of the most dramatic endings ever. All three players bet the farm on the final question. All got it wrong, except the winner -- he bet the farm minus $1.
Fried now lives in Prospect, a suburb of New Haven, Connecticut. She has worked as a disc jockey and has a show on Cygnus Radio called “Franorama.” On her Facebook page, she describes herself as an “accidental civil rights activist,” since it is legal to discriminate against transgender people in 31 states.
Thumbs up to Helen Yonangitti of Fresno for being this week’s luckiest Fresnan. She won $1.2 million after buying a $2 Set for Life Scratchers ticket at a Fast ’N Esy Chevron station at 4003 E. Ashlan Ave.
A grandmother of five, she told the Lottery “Since I lost my husband 11 years ago, it’s been hard. My daughters have been helping. I owe them a lot. Anytime I need something, they take care of me.”
It also was a good day for the gas station station owners, who get a $6,000 retailer bonus just for selling the winning ticket.
Now that day was a gas, so go, granny, go!
Thumbs up is not normally into pain as a good thing, however, thanks to Dutch Bros., a little pinch is worth it. The addictive coffee kiosk company is giving away free drinks to people who get a flu shot Sunday. The urgent care clinic at Saint Agnes Medical Center, 1245 E. Herndon Ave., is providing the vaccine from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. No appointments are necessary. People who get the vaccine will be given a free drink on-site.
Thumbs up to Rougeh Awad, Kaiser Permanente Fresno Pediatric Manager, and his family for scaring up Halloween costumes from his colleagues for the folks at Marjaree Mason Center. When he first learned seven years ago, of the need for costumes for the children, he also found out they needed lots of other things, like diapers, toiletries, clothing, books, just stuff for life. So he enticed his colleagues to chip in and last week he dropped off this year’s bounty of two carloads of goodies. Not sure what he’s got planned for Halloween costume, but we’re thinking Superman works perfectly.