Thumbs up to Cornerstone Church for its annual Christmas celebration, which involved providing a joyous Christmas to families who might not otherwise have one. A long line formed full of excited people during the breakfast, toy and food distribution at Sunnyside High School.
Thumbs up to three generations of a Bay Area family for joining together to establish an endowment for Fresno State students facing food insecurity. Michael Treviño, University of California director of undergraduate admissions, established a $25,000 charitable gift annuity in honor of his aunt, Ermelinda Treviño. The annuity will provide lasting support of the Student Cupboard, which provides free food and hygiene products for Fresno State students in need. Treviño learned about the Student Cupboard from Fresno State’s President Joseph Castro, whom he has known since they were undergraduates at Berkeley. Treviño brought his wife and two daughters to Fresno State to visit, then shared stories of the project with his Tia Linda, who resides in Bakersfield. They planned the gift together. Kindness is the best family legacy.
Thumbs down to five stores in Hanford that were busted by police for selling alcohol to underage decoys. Come on, people, you know there is an increase in underage drinking and – frighteningly, underage drunken driving – during the holidays. It takes two minutes to check IDs. If you can’t judge the ages correctly, check all IDs, even the grannies. They’ll brag to their friends about getting carded. The locations that were fined were Buford Star Mart, 627 W. Seventh Ave.; Sierra Liquor, 1220 N. 10th Ave.; Shell Gas Station, 1702 N. 10th Ave.; Grangeville Liquor, 1705 N. 11th Ave.; and United Market, 426 E. Seventh St. Each of the clerks who sold alcohol to the decoy was issued a citation. The clerks and businesses face civil, criminal and administrative consequences. And if you suspect a business of selling alcohol to minors, contact the police. You’ll save lives.
Thumbs up to the FedEx Freight employees who chose two families to take care of this Christmas. And by take care of, we mean about a hundred employees teaming up to fill a 28-foot trailer with food, cleaning supplies, furniture, toys. There were no media throngs on hand, just a team of Fresno Mindfulness Walkers who happened to be at the right place at the right time and caught them delivering gifts to a surprised mom and her son. The walkers said everyone should say “Wow! Awesome!” Well, OK!
Thumbs up to Stephan Alvin of Fresno, who was on the “Live with Kelly and Michael” talk show in New York this week. You think we’ve got no royalty in Fresno? Not so fast! Alvin plays the role of a prince, among other characters, while skating in the “Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic” international touring show. Alvin attended Pyle Elementary School and Edison Computech. He perfected his skating skills at our local Gateway Ice Center, before going professional and traveling the world.
Thumbs up to the Fresno City College faculty, staff, administrators, the Educational Employees Credit Union and community members for donating more than $13,000 to the Hope for the Holidays fund. Gifts were purchased for 300 City College students this year, plus Reading Heart donated 700 children’s books to the cause. The college’s dental hygiene department provided children’s toothbrushes. A-plus and extra credit for that holiday homework!
Thumbs up to Fasi Estate Winery in Madera County for getting national attention recently when it was picked by Forbes magazine as one of the 10 best wines of 2015. It was singled out for its 2010 Fasi Crest Private Reserve Syrah. Writer Katie Kelly Bell said the “silky syrah made from 100% organic grapes was a nice surprise from a relatively unknown region in California: Madera.” Madera certainly is well known to us! The wine sells for $29 a bottle. Cheers!
Thumbs up to Dumont Printing for their clever 2016 calendars – designed like a trendy adult coloring book you can draw yourself.
Thumbs up to the Marjaree Mason Center for its innovative partnership with Uber drivers, who picked up donated Christmas gifts for about 300 families, all survivors of domestic violence. On one day, donors just had to punch in SLEIGH on their Uber app and a volunteer came to fetch the donations. Excellent idea.
Thumbs up to Kaweah Delta’s “Brighten a Child’s Winter Sky” toy drive for bringing in hundreds of gifts to needy families in Visalia this year. New bikes, perfume and beauty sets, toys and trucks and other gifts were among the donations. The Visalia Fire Department donated safety helmets to go with each bike.