Central Valley sets the bar high for events saluting area veterans

One thing you can say about the San Joaquin Valley — and Mid Valley Times’ anchor cities Dinuba, Reedley and Sanger in particular — is that they hold military veterans past and present in the highest regard.
That point is driven home when you look at the events you’ll find in the region surrounding the Veterans Day holiday. Start with the annual Fresno Veterans Parade, the largest Veterans parade in the United States. Also on the Monday holiday was the annual Dinuba Avenue of Flags program at Smith Mountain Cemetery. This year’s event featured a special flag presentation in honor of Cutler native Albert Chavez, who had an American flag presented to family members in his memory. The program also includes veterans sharing the memories of serving in the U.S. armed forces.
Sanger is another huge veterans advocate, hosting its latest annual Veterans Day parade on Nov. 2 and honoring local newspaper icon Dick Sheppard, Last Sunday, Nov. 10, the annual Sanger Marine Corps Ball marked the 244th birthday of the United State Marine Corps (see story on Page A6) while also honoring guest of honor Tanis Ybarra, a Sanger native and Marine sergeant. His service from 1965 to 1969 included a 1967 deployment in Vietnam.
In addition, on Nov. 8 Sanger formally dedicated the new Sanger Veterans Memorial Plaza on the western edge of the city. The park area includes a play area, public bathrooms, a walking path and landscaping areas.
Then there’s Reedley. While a formal Veterans Day commemoration isn’t held in Reedley Cemetery like the annual Memorial Day event, there’s always an annual Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park on the east end of the Reedley College campus. The event features current and past veterans and group representatives, and RC students are among the attendees.
The Times joins the community and Americans in thanking present and past members of the military for their efforts, dedication and sacrifice to help us all enjoy our freedoms.
Reedley’s Faith House, entering its second full year of operation as an emergency shelter for displaced mothers and families, is hosting its inaugural Charity Banquet event on Saturday, Nov. 16. There will be an open house from 3 to 5 p.m. at Faith House, located at 1697 W. Huntsman Ave. in southwest Reedley, followed by a refreshment time at 6 p.m. and dinner/ceremony from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Reedley Community Center, 100 N. East Ave.
Guest speakers at the event will include Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba, Reedley Police Chief Joe Garza and testimonials from Faith House clients. Money raised from the event will go to help fund operations at the facility.
One other fundraising event taking place Saturday, Nov. 16, is “Karen’s 17th annual We-Be-50 Plus” bicycle ride to raise money for Community Youth Ministries. Event host Karen Wiebe plans to pedal 66 miles this year in honor of her birthday, and to thank donors for their continued support. She plans to leave her Reedley home at 6:30 a.m. and should return at around 2 p.m. A late lunch will follow the ride.
Anyone wishing to join along in the ride, make a donation or be involved in the event can call Gordon Wiebe at (559) 351-8484.