Thumbs up to Roosevelt School of the Arts alum Sharon Leal for snagging a new role on the CW Network series “Supergirl.” She’s playing a Martian named M’gann. Bee columnist Rick Bentley says this is good news for J’onn J’onzz (David Harwood), who as the Martian Manhunter thought he was the last member of the Martian race. M’gann says a rival White Martian helped her escape the destruction. Great to know that Leal’s character is hiding secrets. We love that. That’s why when J’onn asks her to do the Martian ritual of sharing minds, she turns him down. Ohhhhh, man. Cannot wait to find those out.
Thumbs up to the Knights of Columbus Council in Fresno and Los Banos for donating 60 wheelchairs to the Fresno VA Hospital on Veterans Day. The wheelchairs are valued at just under $10,000.
Thumbs up to the inductees into Clovis Unified’s inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame recently held at the Clovis North Performing Arts Center. They are: Superintendent Floyd “Doc” Buchanan, iconic football coach Tim Simons, All-Pro quarterback Daryle Lamonica, All-America softball player Amanda Scott, wrestling coach Dennis DeLiddo, Olympian volleyball star Ruth Lawanson, All-conference Pac 10 basketball player Chris Hernandez; Clovis High School’s 1968 boys basketball team; Clovis 1970 football team.
Thumbs up to former Fresnan Alex Lawrence for getting cast on the Food Network show “Chopped.” Now the administrator of a New York soup kitchen, he will compete against three other soup kitchen representatives Monday at 8 p.m. in an episode called “Turkey Day Heroes.”
Although he loves to cook now, Lawrence told The Bee’s Rick Bentley that it wasn’t his thing growing up in Fresno. He wanted to be an actor. He attended Bullard TALENT, Roosevelt School of the Arts, Fresno City and Fresno State, where he performed in many productions. It was only after working at the then-Fresno Surgery Center that he developed a love of cooking.
Lawrence moved to New York 10 years ago and has been working at the Trinity’s Services and Food for the Homeless in the East Village for several years. The organization provides about 300 lunches a day to the homeless, and its food pantry serves 30 to 50 families a day. What a great representative from the Valley, and another story teaching young people that you can get there from here.
Thumbs up to the good Samaritan who pulled a Dinuba woman out of a burning SUV and saved her life this week. Two people died Wednesday in a fiery crash near Central and Del Rey avenues north of Del Rey. The woman was rescued by a passing driver who stopped to help. Bless this courageous person.
Thumbs up to the winners of the Re-Entry Scholarships, presented this week by the Central California Women’s Conference, AT&T and the Fresno State Central California Educational Opportunity Center. The women, ages 27-49, are Canderlaria Apolinar, Diana Cervantes, Heather Pasco, Maria Rodriguez and Brenda Villalobos. Their journeys were not easy, including single parenthood, drug and alcohol addiction and abandonment. These women are to be admired for their perseverance and resilience to pursue education in the face of tough barriers.
Thumbs up to 2016 Agriculturalist of the Year award recipient, Manuel Cunha, honored Wednesday by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. The award is given annually to an individual who exemplifies leadership and integrity in the Central Valley’s agricultural business community. Baker Peterson Franklin also will present the 2016 Ag Business Award recipient, Booth Ranches. This annual award is given to an agricultural organization whose achievements and impact have significantly contributed to the industry and the local community.
Thumbs up to the participants in the Edward Lund Foundation Hammer Road Rally, which raised $8,000. The winners were Levi Leipheimer, men; Jill Huyette, women; Timothy Stuart, men’s road route; and Vanessa Hauswald, women’s road route. Lund was a revered member of Fresno’s cycling and arts communities before his recent death.