By Lt. David Barksdale, AA/Public Information Officer
Valley State Prison
Valley State Prison (VSP) participated in the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run, Special Olympics, Northern California (SONC) fundraising efforts with good success. VSP Warden (A) Raythel Fisher and numerous staff participated in several events and fundraising activities raising over $7,000 for the SONC athletes.
- In March, VSP Sgt. Chandra Ballam and Lt. Kathleen Diaz along with Madera County Probation dressed in costume and splashed into cold water for the SONC “Polar Plunge” event and fundraiser. The total earned for Fresno and Madera County for this event was over $13,000.
- In May, Officer J. Lutz helped coordinate VSP’s first Wiffle Ball Tournament at the Towne and Country Park in Madera County, raising over $1,100 for SONC.
- In May, several VSP staff participated for the second year in a row in the Madera County Fire Truck Pull competition where once again VSP was awarded the first place championship plaque after defeating other law enforcement agencies and helping to raise over $1,200.
- On June 16, Warden Fisher and several VSP staff ran in the 2015 Madera County SONC Law Enforcement Torch Run which was a challenge in the heat and stretched over 22 miles with some VSP staffing running over 12 miles for the cause.
- In addition, there were other food sale fundraisers at VSP that helped to raise funds to support the 2015 SONC, Torch Run. All funds raised are attributed to the diligent efforts of VSP staff along with various VSP inmate food sales.
When it comes to giving back to the community for such special causes and being able to participate in exciting and entertaining events, VSP staff rose to the occasion to make it all worth running, pulling and plunging, according to those involved. VSP is committed to raising the bar for next year with a goal of doubling the amount donated to SONC in 2016.