Thumbs up to the thousands of donors and volunteers Valleywide who contributed to the annual Kids Day fund drive for Valley Children’s Hospital. Almost $500,000 has been collected, with more donations still being counted. Everyone from the mayor to Bolivian visitors to law enforcement chiefs to college students became Newsies for a day. In their bright orange aprons, they could be spotted all over the Valley selling special editions of The Bee for $1. Fresno State students alone broke their own fundraising record, bringing in nearly $45,000, according to the Collegian newspaper. The event is a joint effort of The Bee and ABC30. If this year’s goal is met, it would push the total raised in 28 years past $7 million. Great job, all hands. It’s not too late to help the kids. To donate, text GEORGE to 90999.
Thumbs up to Central Unified School District Superintendent Mike A. Berg for winning the Dr. Harold Haak Award from the Fresno Compact and Fresno Area Strive. The compact is a coalition of business and community leaders and the area’s school systems. The group annually honors 10 outstanding businesses and one exceptional individual for their contributions to the schools. The honored businesses were Fowler Physical Therapy, Guadalajara Restaurant, Milano Restaurants, Good Company Players, Artworkz, Ultimate Staffing Services, Cultural Arts Rotary Club, Premier Studios of California, Rotary Club of Selma, and Pelco by Schneider Electric.
Thumbs up to developer Greg Hostetler for pledging $1 million to the Merced Police Department to go toward a foundation for officers. The announcement was made during the public comment section of the Merced City Council meeting to the surprise of just about everyone in the room. We like those kinds of surprises. The donation comes soon after a high-profile shooting that wounded an officer in Merced. The foundation’s funds could be used for equipment to help the department or to aid the families of officers killed in the line of duty, according to Chief Norm Andrade.
Thumbs up to the more than 40 Fresno Police officers — male and female — who shaved their heads in support of officer Edgar Valle Sandoval, who is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatment. Sandoval watched as officers staged the event at Fresno Police Headquarters in downtown Fresno to help raise funds. The money will be used for treatment and travel expenses for the Sandoval family. Local hairstylists volunteered their expertise for the task. To donate: www.gofundme.com/kditz8.
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Thumbs up to Hinds Hospice for its grand reopening after more than $300,000 in renovations. The home, at 1416 W. Twain Ave., has room for six patients. Donors paid for a majority of the cost for the upgrades, which include laptop computer carts that eliminate the need for paper charts, a new utility room, stone facade, concrete pathways for the front entrance and new lighting.
Thumbs up to the city of Sanger for never giving up and finally opening its public skate park that first began construction over a decade ago. The park, primarily funded by grants, is at 601 Harrison Ave. The amenities include picnic and barbecue areas and a security system.