Thumbs up to 9-year-old Danay Ferguson of Fresno, who added another piece to her Reading Heart program recently by announcing a partnership with the Fresno Police Department to donate 1,200 books for patrol officers to give to children around the city. Danay’s first idea was to open a bookstore until she realized some people wouldn’t be able to afford the books. She changed her mission to donating books to those less fortunate in hospitals. Fresno police say patrol officers will distribute books to children they encounter on the street, schools or on police calls, giving officers another way to have positive interaction with children.
Thumbs up to the Edison High School water polo teams for their show of support for Madera High School’s grieving water polo squad. Edison’s water polo teams played Madera last month in Madera. At that time, the Madera team had a memorial for a team mom who had died of breast cancer five days earlier. It was a fitting tribute especially given it was breast cancer awareness month. The memorial touched the Edison High players, who decided to show their compassion for the Madera High community. The Edison High players had fundraisers to help the family with expenses. The two teams met again on Nov. 3, this time at Edison High. The Edison High water polo teams presented the family with a check for $1,018. This is great sportsmanship, citizenship and empathy. Well done.
Thumbs up to Tommy Caprielian, owner of Sanger brewery House of Pendragon, and Chafic Dada, owner of Visalia Mediterranean restaurant Pita Kabob, for winning the Downtown Fresno Create Here Business Plan Competition, grabbing a grand prize of business-related services valued around $100,000. The partnership received $10,000, a $24,000 media package from television station KSEE 24, a year of free rent at one of seven Civic Center Square locations in downtown Fresno and a variety of smaller prizes ranging from free flooring to information technology support. Caprelian said he and Dada already are working to secure permits and licensing for their new 7,000-square-foot location on Van Ness near Inyo Street. This spot was not offered up as a prize; the ownership duo decided to forgo the free rent to choose a bigger locale. Second place went to Raw Fresno, an organic food truck business that likely will get a year of free rent for a brick-and-mortar location. Nice beginning for the Create Fresno competition. Cannot wait to see what is happening at this time next year. Good luck as the newest downtown businesses – and hey, downtown workers, watch for the big opening and give them some love.
Thumbs up to adult school writing instructor Janice Stevens for teaching the Stories of Service classes Mondays at 9:30 a.m. in the Veterans Room of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District, 808 Fourth St. in Clovis. Veterans gather weekly for guidance in telling their stories in military service, verbally and in writing. Their essays have resulted in several books, including “Stories of Service: Valley Veterans Remember WWII” and “Valley Veterans Remember WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War.” They are available on Amazon. It is a great way to preserve the memories of our region’s fighting men and women.
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Thumbs up to Miss Fresno County Keri Allred for organizing a book drive Nov. 12-15 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 7849 N. Blackstone Ave., to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California. Her plan is to create a library at Big Brothers Big Sisters. A Big Sister herself to a 7-year-old, she hopes to increase the literacy skills of the children in the program. Entertainment is planned for each day. Customers visiting Barnes & Noble can donate new or used books at the Big Brothers Big Sisters booth or specify a portion of their purchases for the organization. Shopping can also be done online; enter the code 11719556 at checkout so that a portion of the purchase amount will be donated. Details: http://bit.ly/1LP3L31.