Thumbs up to Trisha Cooper, winner of the 2017 She Makes a Difference Award for the Central California Women’s Conference. Her commitment to community service began when Cooper’s son, Brandon, was diagnosed with autism in 2005. Her search to find support for his needs helped create special educational programs that have helped nearly 30,000 students. She will be honored Tuesday at the conference in Fresno’s Convention Center.
Cooper is a founding member of the Autism Awareness Committee in the Central Unified School District. The committee helps the district understand the unique approach to teaching students with autism and promotes awareness and acceptance on every school campus.
She also has helped raise nearly $500,000 for the Exceptional Parents Unlimited Children’s Center, a community benefit organization that supports children and families facing developmental delays. Alene Istanboulian, who nominated Cooper, said “she is the ultimate example of a mother who turned her grief into support, support into empowerment, empowerment into to advocacy, and advocacy into leadership. Advocating for children and families with special needs is truly Trisha’s divine purpose.”
Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the CCWC will award a grant of $5,000 to EPU in honor of Cooper at a reception to be held next spring.
More information about Tuesday’s women’s conference and speakers is available at www.CCWC-Fresno.org.
Thumbs up to the generous folks attending the Sanger vs Clovis East high school football game last week, which raised $400 for Hurricane Harvey Relief. Clovis Unified spokeswoman Patti Lippert said Clovis East has adopted KIPP Northeast College Preparatory School in Houston and is helping students, staff and families of that school who have lost most everything due to Hurricane Harvey.
Clovis East will continue accepting donations for KIPP in the coming weeks. The Houston school has specifically requested clothing, gas cards and grocery cards; it has also made available an Amazon wish list asking for everything from clean-up kits, tools and work gloves to backpacks, paper and pencils.
They are continuing their efforts to raise money and teaming up with their seven feeder schools. With any purchased fundraiser shirt, $19 goes toward Hurricane Harvey victims.
Thumbs up to Pinot’s Palette for its Hurricane Harvey fund-raiser Paint it Forward, set for Monday 7-9 p.m., 6763 N. Palm Ave., Fresno. All proceeds go to relief efforts, according to the website. Reservations at $38 a person can be made by calling 900-2804. This is a paint and sip event, so there is a good chance there will be wine. Everyone learns to paint the same picture, under the guidance of an art teacher. You can see the painting of the night on the website.
Thumbs down to the knuckleheaded Texans who turned their backs on their own during the state’s most desperate hour. While Cali Valley kids are donating money to Texans out of their allowances and after-school jobs, four Lone Star State congressmen voted against the Harvey relief: Joe Barton of Arlington, Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, Sam Johnson of Plano and Mac Thornberry of Clarendon were “no” votes.
The Houston Chronicle said it well. “May the Arkema chemical plant open a branch by their homes.” The plant’s hazardous materials exploded numerous times during Hurricane Harvey, causing officials to take a closer look at Texas’ notoriously lax regulatory loopholes. Nice neighbors.
Thumbs up to Fresno Acura for donating 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to all students in the fourth-sixth grades and all special education students at Pinedale Elementary School. Nobody knows better than car mechanics the importance of having the right tools for work.
Thumbs up to the League of Women Voters of Fresno for giving out 10 $1,000 Women’s Equality Day scholarships in honor of Bette Peterson. From Fresno City College, the recipients were Randi Anderson, Paul Areyan, Andrew Bedford, David Bethea, Valeria Mesa and Emma Healy Open. From Fresno State: Pamela Rodriguez, Elnora Sabroso, Isabel Salazar and Harmala Singh.