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Strong back and a lot of big hearts

Melissa Fistolera of Modesto ran out of gas "in a horrible rental car" near the intersection of McHenry and Standiford avenues at about 5:15 p.m. Sept. 16.

"It was rush-hour traffic and hundreds of people were trying to get to their destinations," she said. "A wonderful man came to my rescue and pushed me all the way around the block into a shopping center all by himself.

"He had to hurry back to his own car, so I didn't even get his name. I know him as the man with the bright-orange work shirt and a huge, beautiful smile. I want him to know how appreciated he is. He was heaven-sent."

Currie Computers in Salida held a summer fund-raiser; about 10 members of the company participated in the second annual Currie Climb. They tackled Half Dome in Yosemite and, with sponsors, raised $3,500 for Howard Training Center in Ceres.

"This is just kind of a team-building for our company, improving morale and at the same time helping someone in our community," said Daniel Versola, chief technology officer for the firm. "It's a way we can give back."

Howard Training Center provides training and employment to people with developmental disabilities.

"We are proud to be their partners in building lives of choice, capability and self-determination," Daniel said.

Agnes Land of Turlock was in an automobile accident Sept. 14 on Golden State Avenue near the intersection of Berkeley.

"It's unbelievable the people who passed by and offered no help," she said. "I do want to thank the two who did stop."

One, a man, called Agnes' husband, while a woman, an off-duty emergency medical technician, stayed with Agnes until a California Highway Patrol officer and the ambulance arrived.

"I did not get the names, but I'm very thankful," she said.

Last month, Theresa Page went to lunch at Modesto's Tasty Taco with some co-workers.

"We got all the way back to work, off of Yosemite Boulevard, and I said, 'Oh, my gosh, I left my purse.' I called them.

"A woman named Cindy had found my purse and turned it in. She was another patron and gave my purse to the owner. It had everything in it; it wasn't even shuffled through. There was $400 in it. I just want to say thank you. It's so awesome that people can do something like that."

Carlos Fierros and Nancy Villarreal of Modesto wrote to commend their former postal carrier, Paul Glushenko.

"He was always prompt and efficient, and delivered the mail with a friendly, helpful demeanor," they said in a letter. "He is truly an asset to his profession."

Because of route changes, Paul no longer delivers their mail. "We appreciate his excellent service during his past years and will miss him," the couple said.

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