Thumbs up to the Fresno firefighters who rescued dozens of dogs and cats trapped inside a burning duplex in southeast Fresno. Fire Capt. Bob Van Tassel said two families lived inside the duplex. Once the flames were knocked down, the 23 firefighters on scene began a rescue mission for 35 animals, which they carried to a home across the street. SPCA officials were called to the block to assess the situation and provide shelter for the animals. At least one puppy that suffered smoke inhalation was given CPR by a firefighter, who also used a resuscitator on the animal.
Walter Salvari, a spokesman for the Central California SPCA, said an unknown number of the animals perished in the fire. Fifteen survivors are receiving care at the shelter, with the remainder in the hands of neighbors. Salvari said the woman who was in possession of the animals when the blaze erupted had agreed to give up her claims on them.
Thumbs down to the dimwit vandals who destroyed glass at the historic Warnors Theatre in downtown Fresno. Owners say the glass is virtually irreplaceable because of its original etching from the 1920s. “That’s what’s so heartbreaking. It’s just no respect or care for other people’s property or of anything that’s of significance or historic value,” Sally Caglia told ABC 30. “To some people, it just doesn’t mean anything, and that just breaks my heart.” It’s the second time that the booth’s glass has been shattered in the theater’s history.
Thumbs up to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley for launching its new Happy Wheels Hospitality Cart at Valley Children’s Hospital. The cart will primarily serve patients, siblings and parents with various snacks, beverages, hygiene items, and children’s toys and activities. Volunteers and donors from the community are needed to ensure that the cart can go out on a steady schedule to help families. Local businesses, organizations and individuals are needed to help stock the cart. Fresno State’s Humanics Program is credited for its help, along with support from Fresno State’s Masters in Public Health Cohort 20. To volunteer or donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thumbs up to Bank of the Sierra for awarding $63,000 in grants to 17 nonprofit organizations. The grants are part of the Sierra Grant program, which gives quarterly grants of $1,000 to $5,000 to 10 or more nonprofits. Among the grantees was Tulare County’s Porterville University Scholarship Fund, which received $2,500. The grant will be used to give scholarships to minority and low-income eighth-grade girls to attend a weeklong science and math camp at Fresno State. Very nice!
Thumbs up to volunteers from the Fresno Elks Lodge, Habitat for Humanity and Girl Scouts for installing play equipment and a gazebo last weekend in the Veterans Transitional Home, 2035 E. Princeton, near Fresno’s VA Hospital. The charity playground project was the idea of student Nicholas Rodriguez, who created his “No Place to Play” design last semester when he was a student at Kermit Koontz Educational Center. Nicholas won the 2016 Mt. Olympus Charity Challenge for his plan.
He got the idea from his own neighborhood near Fresno State, where there is a dilapidated playground leaving children no place to play. The playground could not be installed in his neighborhood, so he settled on putting the equipment at The Hospitality House, a transitional home for homeless veterans and their families as they await close of escrow on permanent housing. Funding was made possible by the Elks National Foundation and proceeds from a fundraiser planned by Nicholas and fellow students at Kermit Koontz.
Thumbs up to Susan Halstead and Dai Bai Dang restaurant in Riverpark for their year-round support of veterans and the gift-card giving tree for VFW Post 8499 they hosted leading up to Veterans Day. Every day of the year Dai Bai Dang offers a 20 percent military discount toward the bill, excluding alcohol. In addition, the restaurant solicited patrons to purchase gift cards for VFW members.
Dai Bai Dang then acknowledged every gift with a thank-you note. “This allowed the opportunity for every donation to be accompanied with a special thank-you in remembrance of the service that the veterans of Post 8499 had given,” Halstead said. “Veterans Day is definitely special for our family. We look forward to the opportunity to (provide) a giving tree next year for Veterans Day.”