As the year comes to a close, many find themselves reflecting on their personal achievements. When Kristin Bettencourt reflects on her year, it's full of the amount of money raised for nonprofits, awareness brought to important issues and the increased sense of community fostered -all for the betterment of Turlock.
At the beginning of 2015, the Turlock Journal editorial team put together the people-focused feature "15 Movers & Shakers for 2015." As the year comes to a close, we will take a look at how a few of those "movers and shakers" fared over the year, and see what their plans are for 2016.
Celebrity bell ringer challenges are one of the many community-centered ways that the Salvation Army raises funds and Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth and his team of bell ringing volunteers soundly defeated Ceres, Modesto and Riverbank in the third annual Salvation Army Mayors kettle Challenge.
When Stewart & Jasper Orchards president Jim Jasper was asked to attend the Almond Conference Gala Dinner to celebrate the retirement of his company's marketing manager Marguerite Bradley, he had no idea that he would also be recognized that same night with the Almond Board of California's most distinguished honor, the Almond Achievement Award.
An hour before Westside Ministries opened the gates for their annual coat drive there was a long line of parents and children snaking around the block eager to bundle themselves up into a nice warm winter jacket. Inside the facility volunteers were bustling about making sure the meal would be ready to serve when the doors opened and upstairs a host of children were partaking in activities as part of the afterschool program.
For any culture, the start of a new year is more than just the earth completing another journey around the sun. It marks a new vision, new goals and for those of Japanese descent it brings about an old tradition.
While Santa Claus was missing his signature red suit and white beard for 100 students at Wakefield Elementary School and their families on Friday afternoon, his giving spirit was apparent as he delivered presents and a Christmas dinner during the seventh annual Letters to Santa Charity distribution event.