Thumbs up to the first 26 students graduating from high school as part of the Steve’s Scholars program.
The program, established for Tehipite Middle School students six years ago by Francine and Murray Farber, honors their son, who died unexpectedly in 2001 at age 42. Steve’s Scholars receive $1,000 college scholarships for two years if they get at least a B average through high school, keep good attendance (at least 95 percent), take college prep classes and participate in community service.
The inaugural class reunited Tuesday at Tehipite, celebrating with their family, a favorite teacher and guests. No doubt Steve Farber would be so very proud of them.
Thumbs up to Francine and Murray Farber and family Part 2. In addition to the scholarship program, the Farbers hosted a grand opening celebration last week for Mike’s Books at Sequoia Courts, 440 S. Modoc St.
Mike’s Books is a free on-site library at two Fresno Housing communities. It was created in memory of the Farbers’ late son Michael, who was an avid reader and advocate for low-income and homeless causes. He passed away from cancer at age 35.
Thumbs up to the St. Anthony’s School children for donating thousands of diapers to the Saint Agnes Holy Cross Center for Women, a refuge for homeless and underserved women and their children. The center helps supply diapers to an average of 250 infants a month.
Thumbs down to the graffiti tagger who vandalized the landmark Freedom Flag Barn, which is painted like an American flag. It is on Highway 41 and Avenue 12 in Madera County.
The barn painted in patriotic colors after 9/11 to honor the victims of the tragedy has become a part of the Valley’s landscape. Visitors from all over the world, including many on their way to Yosemite, have taken photos in front of it.
Community Medical Centers now owns the barn and the acreage it sits on, and the barn was quickly repainted. Lary Llanes, an Army veteran who served three tours of duty in Iraq, was among a group of folks who quickly helped repaint the stripes.
“When I saw what happened it was sickening,” Llanes told The Bee’s Bob Rodriguez. “That barn is iconic and it is something that we need to do to preserve it.”
Thumbs up to four Fresno State students in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology for being recognized with area ag scholar awards by 23rd District Assemblyman Jim Patterson at a ceremony at the Vincent E. Petrucci Viticulture Building.
Plant science graduate students Anthony Mele of Clovis and Rohith Vulchi of Bapatla, India, plant science senior Aldo Garcia of Shafter and agricultural business senior Emma Zacharias of Merced) were chosen for the honor based on their passion, growth and innovation in various industries.
Thumbs up to Fresno Chamber Junior Board of Directors for its Toy/Supply drive, benefiting Valley Children’s Healthcare, for surpassing its initial donation goal 10 times over – receiving more than 2,000 items.
The Junior Board members initially launched the drive with a goal of collecting 200 donations from the community. They wanted to exceed their goal, but never imagined their class project would have this much success, according to Diana Giraldo, Junior Board program coordinator and communication cpecialist at the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. Now those kids really mean business.