Thumbs up to the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame, which celebrated an extraordinary week. Not only did the nonprofit induct its latest class, but it announced the kickoff of a $1.5 million community drive to build a space at the Save Mart Center. The hall’s home, as described by FAHOF President Walt Byrd Jr., would utilize the latest technology and be interactive, and display sports memorabilia and inductee plaques. The organization is in the process of developing an educational curriculum focusing on the importance of character as a key ingredient of success. Partners in the effort are Fresno State, the Fresno County Office of Education and the Bonner Foundation. Byrd also announced that Producers Dairy and the Zinkin family have made substantial donations to jump-start fundraising. The 2016 induction class: Ron Adams, basketball; Bill Glasson, golf; Yvette Roberts, basketball; Paul Schecter, general; Billy Volek, football; the 1968 Hoover baseball team.
Thumbs down to low-life phone scammers preying on the sympathies of Valley folks saddened by the death of Fresno County sheriff’s Deputy Rod Lucas, who died Monday. In the Fresno area, people are claiming to be soliciting donations for the family of the fallen deputy, according to Tony Botti, Fresno County sheriff’s spokesman. Don’t fall for this con. The Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association has established accounts, and these are the only ones the public should trust, Botti said. Checks can be made payable to FDSA, and in the memo column, write “Rod Lucas Memorial Fund.”
Thumbs up to the winners of the sixth annual Community Heroes Awards presented Wednesday at Fresno State. The College of Health and Human Services honored nine individuals for making a difference in the fields of health and human services through their work, volunteerism and advocacy on behalf of children and families in the Valley.
The winners were David Barton, athletic director at Fresno High School; Carolyn Drake for turning Fresno City College’s nursing program into one of the largest and most diverse in the Western U.S. in her role as director of the program; Jan Duttarer, who teaches doctoral students in the physical therapy program; Michael Michner, who inspired Fresno State’s deaf studies program; Emilia Reyes, executive director of First 5 Fresno County; Jennifer Ruiz, chief executive officer of the Fresno American Indian Health Project; Rosanna Ruiz, education program manager at Sierra Foothill Conservancy; Jim Santos for his efforts on behalf of Special Olympics; and Norma Verduzco, who is chief operations officer at Family Healthcare Network.
Thumbs up to Exeter Unified School District for its effort to become the first school district in Tulare County to go entirely green with its waste. It has launched an organic recycling program, in partnership with Mid Valley Disposal, which reclaims food and green waste and, in combination with traditional recycling, creates a virtual green school district.
Thumbs up to Matt Sconce of Oakhurst for being named best director for his film “Altar” during the Malibu West International Film Awards. For six years, he has made feature films and hoped for this award. This year, he scored.