Jeff Jardine

February 10, 2014

Jeff Jardine: Settling bet on NFL requires face paint, wig on northwest Modesto corner

From the emails and voice mails: Settling a bet, helping pets and raising money for breast cancer research.

From the emails and voice mails:

MAKING GOOD – Before the 2013 NFL season began, friends Thomas Adams and Mike Salet made a bet, and not exactly the kind you’d expect in 49ers and Raiders country.

Adams is an Indianapolis Colts fan. Salet is a Dallas Cowboys faithful. Their wager? The one whose team finished with the worst record would have to do – in public – whatever the other demanded.

The Colts won the AFC South with an 11-5 record before beating Kansas City and then losing to New England in the playoffs. The Cowboys finished 8-8. So Adams won. Salet’s penance for rooting for Dallas was to include wearing a woman’s wig, garments and face paint while standing at Standiford Avenue and Dale Road near Vintage Faire Mall for 21/2 hours Sunday, to greet passing cars.

Salet garnered plenty of attention as he stood next to a traffic light, with passers-by contributing a grand haul of 15 cents for his efforts.

“There were hundreds of videos and pictures,” gloated Adams, who owns a business cleaning homes vacated after foreclosures or evictions. “My 6-year-old daughter (Olivia) did his makeup.”

“It was actually kind of fun,” said Salet, who works for a telemarketing company. “Really kind of epic.”

But he failed to complete the entire mission because a Modesto police officer came along and told him to leave for safety reasons after just 18 minutes. Too many people out there, too many chances of someone getting hurt.

So much for freedom of expression. No ticket, though.

“He gave me a warning,” Salet said.

It was the friends’ second such bet. In February 2010, before the Colts faced New Orleans in Super Bowl XLIV, Salet challenged Adams by wagering that if the Colts lost, Adams would have to stage a backyard barbecue for Salet and several of their friends. The Colts lost, so Adams cooked for the horde.

Maybe Salet can finish the gig by participating April 16 in the Haven Women’s Center Walk A Mile event, in which men will tread a mile in high heels to raise awareness and money to prevent domestic violence and sexual assaults. The fundraiser will benefit the nonprofit.

PET PROJECT – A new nonprofit group is in the process of developing a no-kill facility and rescue. Bearing the acronym ASTRO (Animal Shelter To Riverbank & Oakdale), the group has retained the services of a consultant to determine available funding for building and maintaining an 8,000-square-foot building in the Oakdale area.

Jaydeen Vicente, one of ASTRO’s five directors, said Oakdale’s current shelter was built during a time when the town’s population was only 5,000. Now, between Riverbank and Oakdale, it serves more than 40,000 residents, rendering the old 800-square-foot building obsolete and overcrowded. Arizona-based Animal Shelter Fundraising will, in a few months, produce a report detailing the benefits of the new shelter, identify potential funding sources and how long it should take to raise, and assess whether the group is prepared to conduct its fundraising effort and other organizational details.

“The new shelter will incorporate a youth volunteer program, which will teach students valuable skills while offering them the pride that comes with being part of the solution to animal homelessness,” Vicente said.

ASTRO is looking for companies and individuals to participate in the study. Contact Vicente at or visit

NAME RECOGNITION – Sunday’s Success & Service column in the Local News section contained an item explaining that Wags & Whiskers, a local pet advocacy organization, received a $3,550 grant from the Bissell Pet Foundation to fund spaying and neutering surgeries. Because this didn’t come to us directly from the foundation, I emailed the company a week or two ago to confirm the information.

Tuesday, I received an email from a foundation executive asking for me to call her. It was from Cathy Bissell herself. She’s the director of corporate affairs for Bissell Inc., which makes vacuum cleaners, carpet shampooers and other floor-related products, including those for dealing with pets. She also heads the nonprofit Bissell Foundation. According to the company’s website, the nonprofit aids “lost, abused, neglected and abandoned pets by raising funds through the sale of Bissell pet products. Since its inception, the Bissell Pet Foundation has been able to award more than $500,000 to over 375 organizations in 43 states.”

It was interesting to chat directly with one of the company’s namesakes. Because her administrative aide has been out of the office, Bissell just wanted to know whether my original email had been answered. All’s well.

PLUNGING IN – In December, I wrote about Escalon resident Sandra Choate, who plans to raise money and awareness to fight breast cancer by swimming 2,321 miles of the Mississippi River in August. She’s looking for local sponsors and will have a booth at Ripon’s Almond Blossom Festival beginning Feb. 21. Sponsorships can be in various forms. Visit her web page at Proceeds will benefit the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund in Stony Brook, N.Y.

AND FINALLY – Last week, I mentioned the McHenry Museum’s various Stepping Stones issues detailing the history of Wood Colony. My GPS must have malfunctioned that day. The Colony is northwest, not northeast, of Modesto. Copies are available in the museum store for $4.95, as are copies of the winter edition that features the histories of the Modesto and Turlock irrigation districts.

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