One of my favorite authors, Alice Walker, has said, “’Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say … ‘Thank you’ expresses extreme gratitude, humility and understanding.”
As we approach one of my favorite times of year, I am moved to express my gratitude to everyone who is part of this special edition of Central California Life. This includes not only the writers, photographers and graphic artists who bring these stories to you, but also the remarkable individuals who have given us these stories to share.
As you read about their respective life journeys, it will be clear why Minnie Santillan, Sister Mary and Bruce Weinberger are the featured subjects in our “Stories from the Heartland” section. What they all have in common is their commitment to serving others. Minnie has built a career advocating on behalf of those without a voice, especially children and immigrants. Sister Mary has spent several decades improving the lives of the poor and disenfranchised locally and abroad. And teacher Bruce Weinberger has instilled in young people a love for music – one that has transformed their lives.
In addition to these stories, this issue shines a well-deserved spotlight on important organizations: Elder Paws, Exceptional Parents Unlimited and my favorite hockey team, the Fresno Monsters. We hope to see you out at a game this season!
A new section, “The Wish List,” will feature items found at local retailers. As the holiday season nears and you begin thinking of gifts to buy the special people in your life, we hope you consider patronizing these and other worthy Valley businesses.
I usually share more detail about what’s inside each issue, but this time I encourage you to unwrap these pages. This magazine is our gift to you.
One of my favorite holiday songs is “Ven a Mi Casa Esta Navidad” by Luis Aguile. In the song, Aguile speaks of inviting those who are far away from their loved ones to his home for Christmas. It is in this spirit that I reach out to you. Pull up a cozy chair and enjoy the heartwarming stories in this issue!
I wish you all a blessed and happy holiday.