Thumbs up to the Fresno Police Department’s southeast officers and Marc Q. Jones of ESPN 940 radio for arranging for the officers to accompany students from Calwa Elementary School and East Fresno Boys and Girls Club to their first Fresno State basketball game. The group had dinner at Don Pepe Taqueria, then watched the Bulldogs beat Colorado State University on senior night. The children in the group also experienced their first visit to the college campus and their first taste of Fresno State ice cream. The officers plan to continue mentoring activities with the children.
Thumbs up to Assembly Member Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, for playing an important role in passing a package of medical tax-reforms bills that will help residents in his 26th District and throughout California. The package will bring millions of dollars to health-care facilities in the district, provide a much-needed boost to services for the developmentally disabled and enable California to collect about $1.3 billion in federal funding for medical care.
More than just voting “yes” on the bills, Mathis was a member of the Republican team that negotiated with Gov. Jerry Brown’s office. “Devon was clear from day one that he wanted to be a part of the solution if we secured nursing facilities,” said Republican Assembly Leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley. “(He) fought for that funding and in doing so he kept the promise to the developmental disability community and our state’s most fragile. I’m proud of … his leadership.”
Thumbs up to Dante Simi, co-founder of Learn 4 Life Charter Schools and Choices in Learning National Foundation for donating $108,000 to the Fresno State Alumni Association, the largest donation given to an alumni association scholarship fund in the 23-campus California State University system.
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About 30,000 students are enrolled in 16 Learn 4 Life school locations, including Crescent View West, Crescent View South and Ambassador Phillip V. Sanchez Charter School in Fresno and Crescent Valley Public Charter in Hanford, Tulare and Visalia.
The donation goes to a new Dante Simi Scholarship Fund, a soon-to-be-established endowed scholarship. Simi, a business executive, lives in Lancaster. He graduated from Fresno State in 1963 with a degree in social science, and his schools address high school dropout issues.
Fresno State leads all 23 CSU alumni associations in annual student scholarship giving, with more than $146,000 in awards for the 2015-16 academic year.
Thumbs up to the Veterans Memorial Museum in downtown Fresno for winning a $100,000 donation from the Ted Martin Fund. According to Hugh Ralston, president and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation, the gift honors the wishes of Ted Martin, who strongly believed in supporting veterans. During the presentation, Ralston said the Community Foundation itself also recognizes “the incredible contributions of veterans in securing our nation, our liberties and our freedoms” and then announced an additional community-wide campaign to help fund job training and mental health services for vets. The foundation is formerly known as the Fresno Regional Foundation.