Thumbs up to Carolyn Dickson of Fresno and Jose Espinoza of Huron for their exceptional meeting last weekend in Fresno. Dickson had a double lung transplant using the lungs from Espinoza’s late wife, Maria Castro Martinez. She died at age 37 of a stroke. In an act of extreme generosity, her heart, lungs and liver were all donated for transplantation.
That same month, Dickson’s lungs were failing. Dickson knew she wanted to meet the family of her organ donor. Espinoza, too, wanted to know who received his wife’s organs. Espinoza speaks Spanish, but with help from his daughter’s translating, communication was clear and they held hands.
Their first hug lasted about 16 seconds and Carolyn Dickson said, “I know he was hugging Maria.”
Thumbs up to the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame inductees honored this week at the annual dinner. They are David Carr, football; Melvin Ely, basketball; Roger George, track and field; John Harris, horse racing; Teri McKeever, swimming; 1977-80 San Joaquin Memorial girls basketball teams, team inductees; Jan Thomas, Harold S. Zinkin Sr. Award.
Thumbs down to the City of Fresno for creating an unnecessary heart murmur in the theater community over its lease with Children’s Musical Theaterworks. It was thought that the troupe would have to quickly move out of its long-standing venue, putting its season in jeopardy.
Thankfully, informed, experienced minds and creative thinking stepped in to create a workaround and they have a short-term solution. Props to Fresno city spokesman Mark Standriff whose expertise in the theater paid off for all concerned – especially the children.
In the great tradition of the theater, “the show must go on.” Get tickets to “Annie The Musical 2017” Dec. 1-10 in, yes, the Veterans Memorial Auditorium – whew – online at ticket.cmtworks.com.
Thumbs down to Scott Radtke of Clovis for his audacious betrayal of many elderly customers who trusted him to help them purchase cars, according to the DMV and customers. Radtke has been charged with 98 counts of swindling customers, lenders and car suppliers.
The DMV says he cheated both buyers and sellers out of millions. Radtke says he wants to do right by the customers: “It’s my sincere intent that everybody be made whole.”
Thumbs up to Fresno's First Armenian Presbyterian Church, boyhood congregation of authors William Saroyan and A.I. Bezzerides, on its upcoming 120th anniversary. It will be celebrated Thursday with a Merchants' Lunch and Country Store. The ethnic food bazaar is open to the public and will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church campus, First Street and Huntington Boulevard. The church has served six generations of the Central California Armenian-American community since its chartering on July 25, 1897.
Thumbs up to the scholarship winners honored at a luncheon reception recently for their courage and courage and conviction in turning their lives around and re-entering college as adults.
AT&T, the Central California Women’s Conference and Fresno State Central California Educational Opportunity Center (CCEOC) sponsored the event and awarded $500 scholarships to Veronica Aguilar, Anita Flores, Alejandra Gomez and Desiree Mesta, who are pursuing careers in the juvenile justice/criminology system, elementary school education, nursing, social work and counseling. Scholarship recipients range in age from 25 to 41 and are thriving despite challenges and setbacks that made their journey more difficult.
Thumbs up to El Concilio de Fresno for receiving $4,847 as a California Humanities grant for its project titled “Chicano Legacy of Fresno County.” The premiere showing of “Unjust Practices and Lethal Consequences” will be held today from 1-4 p.m. in the Fresno City College Old Administration Building, 1101 E. University Ave. Admission is free.