Thumbs up, thumbs down

Thumbs up to Gerre Brenneman, who celebrated her 25th year as executive director of the Evangel Home at an event with board and staff members. Brenneman has done an outstanding job of leading the Fresno shelter for women and children in crisis to new heights. The faith-based organization, founded in 1955 by Pauline Baker Myers, has been totally supported by individuals, churches, and groups -- never receiving government funding. You can learn about the home's many programs at www.evangelhome.org.

Thumbs up to Fresno State's Austin Jones for winning a David L. Boren scholarship to study the Mandarin language in China during the 2013-14 school year. Jones, a linguistics student, was one of 161 undergraduates from across the country to win a Boren scholarship. A condition for scholarship recipients is that they work at least one year for the federal government after graduation. The scholarships are named after the former U.S. senator from Oklahoma who was principal author of legislation creating the National Security Education Program. Boren now is president of the University of Oklahoma.

Thumbs up to Lillian Harautuneian for leading the Fresno Pedal Pushers, who raised $15,000 for diabetes research, information programs and advocacy efforts this spring. The team of 25 cyclists trained for three months and then participated in the Tour de Cure in the Napa Valley on May 5. Since 2010, the Pedal Pushers have raised $50,000 for the American Diabetes Association.