By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
WOODLAKE – Good deeds in the community do not go unnoticed, at least not by District 4 Tulare County Board Supervisor Eddie Valero.
Two weeks ago, Thursday, Feb. 28, Valero pulled from his portion of the Tulare County’s My Good Works Fund to award several nonprofit organizations throughout District 4 at least $1,000. And instead of just handing them a check, he wanted to make sure they were recognized in a manner commensurate with their work.
“I didn’t want to just hand it out I wanted to put a spotlight on these organizations so I wanted to have a dinner… because I want people who are doing great work to have the potential to be unmasked,” Valero said.
The dinner was complete with dignitaries like 26 Assembly District Representative Devon Mathis and staff from state senator Melissa Hurtado’s office, along with keynote speaker Yolanda Valdez, superintendent of Cutler-Orosi Unified.
Ivanhoe Town Council/United Way was the special recipient of an addition $5,000 from the Tulare County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. United Way in Ivanhoe takes on difficult community problems. They confront the struggled of those immersed in poverty in Tulare County. Other organizations who received the $1,000 award were:
Woodlake Pride: A unique volunteer organization dedicated to involving the youth of Woodlake in innovative beautification projects throughout the community. The organization also established a community garden on Valencia Blvd. near Magnolia Street.
Visalia Rescue Mission: A faith-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been serving homeless and economically disadvantaged individuals and families in Visalia and the greater Central Valley for the past 37 years.
London Hodges Community Center: A youth community center that offers food and USDA commodities distribution, referral services and drug & outreach services.
Changing Minds: Changing Minds One at a Time Foundation is an organization comprised of both current and former Cutler-Orosi residents dedicated to serving At-Risk Youth within Cutler-Orosi and surrounding communities.
Proteus, Goshen: Proteus’ mission is to provide education, job training, job placement, and other support services to farm working families and other program participants.
Valley Forward: Valley Forward sets out to connect neighbors to community resources and remove barriers to civic education and public officials.
Open Gate: Open Gate Ministries sets out to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of persons according to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ through the provision of shelter, sustenance and companionship.
Valero says the event was well attended and well received.
“They all really loved the event. It was new and different,” Valero said.
He added that the event was tied together by Valdez as keynote speaker. She expressed the sentiment of community and detailed the story of Acciaroli, a remote town on the western coast of southern Italy. What makes the town so interesting is 300 of the towns 2,000 residents have lived to be over 100 years old.
Scientists found that residents had extraordinarily low levels of adrenomedullin, a hormone that widens blood vessels, in their blood. The lack of adrenomedullin led to better circulation and has been believed to be the result of good diet and exercise. What makes their diet and exercise particularly noteworthy, beyond their longevity, is that their food and commerce of food is largely local.
Reports have found that people in Acciaroli tend to eat locally caught fish, home-reared rabbits and chicken as well as olive oil and home-grown vegetables and fruit.
Valero says that he’ll be moving this annual event around District 4 to ensure that he spreads the wealth with the other communities in his district.
“I want this to be all of District 4 and not site specific…I want to make it’s engaging so the host city is not doing all the work,” Valero said.