Thumbs up to Robert Isquierdo Jr., a Hanford teacher who grew up in the Tulare County town of London, for taking the lead in resurrecting the annual London Christmas parade. The parade, a welcome event in the town of 2,000 residents, was over in half an hour, but it had charm a big city cannot touch. There was a marching band, sure, and there was also a hearse among the diverse entries.
Not everything went perfectly, but hey, that’s part of the fun. The trailer hauling the Kings River Elementary School band managed to survive with an overly deflated back tire. The driver and passengers of an early-model automobile were late arrivals, then sat on the sidelines when the entry from the Alta District Historical Society sputtered and refused to run.
Janet Cerverra Barrera appreciated the candy thrown by parade participants. “It’s almost like Halloween for the kids,” she told Vida en el Valle editor Juan Esparza Loera. “It’s something good for the people.”
Thumbs down to CVS and EZ Pick N Go in Visalia, where, according to police, alcohol was sold to underage decoys. Between 6 p.m. and midnight, officers said, decoys were sent into several businesses. The CVS in the 3600 block of West Caldwell Avenue and the EZ Pick N Go in the 400 block of East Tulare Avenue sold alcohol to the minors.
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During the holidays, juveniles are susceptible to parties with alcohol, and adults need to be wary. Businesses caught selling booze to kids face administrative review by the California Alcoholic Beverage Control and could be fined or have their or alcohol licenses suspended. The decoy operations are paid for the ABC.
Thumbs up to Zackeria Lovick, 9, a third-grader at Figarden Elementary School, for his backpack and school-supply drive. He gave 25 backpacks to students at Winchell Elementary. This makes a total of 280 he has given away since August 2015. Donors can give supplies or money for supplies through his Facebook page. Zackeria’s School Supply Drive relies solely on private donations through Facebook.
Last August, he was shopping for his own supplies and his mom told him about students who could not afford backpacks and school supplies. His goal is to stage giveaways monthly. It takes about $500 to fill 25 backpacks with supplies.
Thumbs up to Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno for hosting a Christmas open house party in which more than 100 guests donated items such as gift cards, bedding, dishes, cooking utensils and diapers for the Marjaree Mason Center. How big was their generosity? It took a big truck to deliver all the donations to the center. The Marjaree Mason Center operates two safe houses in Fresno County with over 200 beds, serving more than 5,600 adults and children every year seeking to live their lives free of domestic violence.
Thumbs up to Kaiser Permanente Fresno for giving $45,000 in grants this holiday season to help feed needy families in the Valley. Grants of $10,000 each were given to Community Food Bank, Poverello House, Salvation Army, Madera County to feed more than 3,000 needy families. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fresno received $5,000.
Thumbs up to Cat House on the Kings for winning the Applaws USA pet food contest. It is one of five rescues selected to win $50,000 each of pet food. That’s a lot of kitty dinners.