Saturday Shorts: The Modesto Bee is making dreams come true, thanks to you

December 13, 2013 

Denair's Barbara Olave stands inside the Naraghi Sciences building Wednesday afternoon (11-20-13) at Stanislaus State University in Turlock where she teaches a sociology class. Olave, who was once homeless, is just one success story benefitting from the services that Book of Dreams donations contribute to.

ELIAS FUNEZ — efunez@modbee.com Buy Photo

The numbers never really tell the story, but they’re important nonetheless.

Hundreds of people are counting on the kindness of others this Christmas season to make the dreams of children come true, to feed the elderly, to start new lives, to sleep in a warm space for at least one night. All of those dreams and many more will be answered this year because so many people and businesses from our region are contributing to A Book of Dreams, The Bee’s annual community-wide fundraising effort.

Nearly 200 people have contributed almost $31,600 so far. That will fulfill a lot of dreams. But it won’t make all of the dreams come true. We can still use your help in fulfilling all the dreams of our partner charities. They all do good work. Here is the list:

• Advancing Vibrant Communities,

• Blessings in a Backpack,

• CASA of Stanislaus County,

• Catholic Charities,

• Center for Human Services,

• Family Support Network,

• Inter-Faith Ministries of Greater Modesto,

• Haven Women’s Center,

• LearningQuest, the Stanislaus Literacy Centers,

• Modesto Gospel Mission,

• Parent Resource Center,

• The Salvation Army,

• We Care of Turlock,

• United Samaritans Foundation.

This time of year there are hundreds of people and organizations you can help. If you are able to make a contribution, we appreciate your kindness. No matter how you choose to help others, we appreciate that, too. Have a Merry Christmas and very happy holidays. And thank you for helping others find a little more joy this season.

If you’re looking to help others, you can always drop off a new, unwrapped toy at The Fruit Yard. The toys will be wrapped then donated to the Children’s Crisis Center and the Gospel Mission. Better hurry, deadline is Friday. And if you’re in the mood for pizza on Wednesday, if you a buy a pie at the Pizza Factory in Turlock, part of what you pay will be contributed to the We Care shelter.


Congratulations are due Ricardo Córdova, who, after 11 years serving as a judge for Stanislaus Superior Court, has been appointed the California Commission on Access to Justice. The state board works with groups who are under-represented in the system. We’re certain he will do well; it’s his style. And congratulations to Sue Siefkin, who is leaving the bench after 18 years of service.

While we’re at it, congratulations are also in order for Lynn Martin of Sonora, who was elected the Yosemite Community College District board chair at last week’s organizational meeting. Martin is a member of the Columbia College Foundation. Don Viss of Waterford was elected vice chair, while outgoing chair Abe Rojas and Linda Flores were appointed to represent the district in a group of Stanislaus County school districts.


Emma Hughes, who teaches criminology at Fresno State, will join Dan Morain, editor of The Sacramento Bee opinion pages, and the police chiefs from Bakersfield and Fresno on this week’s Maddy Report. Always interesting, you can find it most easily online at http://maddyinstitute.com. Look under Policy Analysis.

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