Thumbs up to two Valley charities that were among dozens honored June 29 at the Nonprofit of the Year ceremony in Sacramento. Central Valley Honor Flight was selected by Assemblyman Jim Patterson. Founded in 2013, Honor Flight gives World War II veterans the opportunity to visit the memorial in Washington, D.C. Vice President Paul Loeffler has said the majority of veterans who take the honor flight have never seen the memorials, and would have never gotten to do so if not for the nonprofit.
The Central Valley Honor Flight is all volunteer-based, and has raised more than $1.5 million, taking more than 550 veterans on the flight to Washington, D.C. The most recent flight came home Wednesday.
Heart of the Horse Therapy Ranch owners Guy and Carey Adams were selected by state Sen. Tom Berryhill. The ranch provides hands-on, supervised therapeutic experiences with horses to Central Valley residents with special needs. “Bringing horses to the hospitals to help those that can’t make it to the ranch is just an example,” Berryhill said. “Now they are working to create a live-in facility for veterans. If ever there was a group deserving of recognition, this is it.”
Thumbs up to the local scholarship winners of $2,500 National Merit Scholarships. They are Jena Srikanth, Clovis North High School, and David Y. Wu and Fayyaz R. Ahamed, University High School.
Thumbs down to the eyewitnesses to the shooting death of 20-month-old Rashad Halford Jr., who are refusing to assist police in the arrest of his killer. One sure way for a city to become a crime haven is when good people do nothing. As Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer said, “It’s unfathomable” that witnesses would not cooperate with the investigation to catch a baby killer. Prevent the next child’s death. When you see something, say something.
Thumbs up to the off-duty Fresno police officer and several bystanders who saved a man from a burning building in central Fresno last weekend. The fire started inside a closed business at 479 E. Belmont near Palm. The officer and bystanders saw a boarded-up window moving and managed to pull a man to safety. He was unharmed. Congratulations for their selfless work.
Thumbs up to Saint Agnes Woman’s Club for donating 17,000 diapers for children and families served at the Saint Agnes Holy Cross Center for Women. Children at Saint Anthony’s School gave the drive a big boost by collecting 11,636 diapers and the Saint Agnes Child Development Center collected 5,490. The center gives away about 7,000 diapers each month. Now that’s what we call watching the bottom line.
Thumbs up to the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce and its foundation for winning $40,000 in grants from Wells Fargo Bank to help stimulate diverse businesses. The Central Valley Business Diversity VISTA Project is designed to address unemployment by providing job and business coaching, counseling and training to diverse residents in disadvantaged communities.
Thumbs up to the Golden State YMCA in Fresno. It is sending 30 middle-school students to a camp near Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks next month at a reduced rate, thanks to a donation announced Friday.
The donation will decrease tuition for the YMCA’s Camp Sequoia Lake program from $635 to $35 for select students in grades 7-9. The weeklong Leader in Training camp will teach public speaking, conflict resolution and decision-making through various hands-on activities. Students will participate in swimming, boating, ziplining and more.