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Good Neighbors: Diggers, designers ready mansion for hospice benefit

Ceres Boy Scout Troop 9, the Ceres Garden Club and other community members will plant trees, shrubs and other vegetation April 1 at the entrance of the historic Whitmore Mansion in Ceres.

The sprucing up is in preparation for The Friends of Hospice Designers' Showcase, April 28 through May 13. The two-week event benefits patients and families of Community Hospice.

Whitmore Mansion is at 2733 Sixth St. Tickets for the benefit are $25.

For more about the planting event or the showcase benefit, call 578-6301.

Los Amigos Tire & Wheel on Crows Landing Road, a Uniroyal dealer, donated funds and equipment worth $1,650 to the Puebla Soccer Club of Modesto.

"The Uniroyal Soccer Program is great because it helps us give back to the community that has been so supportive of us," said Francisco Chavez, owner of Los Amigos. "We get a real kick out of giving away the free soccer balls to the kids."

Over the past seven years, Uniroyal dealers have provided 655,000 soccer balls to U.S. families and have donated $9 million in funds and equipment.

Lucille Fuentes of Modesto wrote to thank Eric and Jon of Ceres Fire Department Station 2 for their help earlier this month.

Lucille's 3-year-old cat, Lena, went missing for a couple of days. Turns out she was stuck on the top of a "very high light post," Lucille said. "With no way to get her down, we went to our local fire department, and they were willing to help us out."

Thanks, Eric and Jon, for your soft hearts and rescue expertise.

The Irving J. Symons Foundation recently gave a new delivery van to the Jamestown Food Bank, which serves all of Tuolumne County.

"This is a phenomenal gift, beyond anything we have hoped for," said Food Bank director Lee Kimball.

The nonprofit agency had been using two large U-Haul trucks.

The agency serves nearly 950 households each month with one full-time staff member, three part-timers and 40 volunteer drivers.

Hammond Ford in Sonora pitched in on the gift, selling it at dealer cost.

Robert McCulla, a dentist in Turlock, has helped raise funds for good causes in the past and he's at it again. Through June, anyone can call his office and participate in "Smiles for Life," a national campaign.

It works like this: Participants pay $250 for teeth whitening (the normal price is $360). All of that money goes to charity — half to benefit Alex Poindexter of Denair, a 19-year-old battling bone cancer, and the rest to the national charity, which benefits children.

McCulla's office is at 990 Delbon Ave., Turlock. To find out more or make an appointment, call 667-7889.

Do you have a story about someone who has helped others or is a terrific role model? Send a brief item to Sue Nowicki at P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352 or e-mail