FRESNO, Calif. – Say cheese!
It’s all smiles at The Point Patio Bar & Bistro in Fresno where Jeff Thiesen, Ed Dunkel and Barry Maas present a check for $20,000 to the Bulldog Foundation.
“The three of us came up with this concept of throwing the tailgate for our friends and employees and colleagues and asking them just to come out and have a great time,” says Thiesen, of Thiesen Dueker Financial Consulting Group. “And for us doing that, we ask people to make donations to Fresno State. And they came through in a huge way this year. We’re able to give $20,000 through those donations of the people that came to our tailgates. And we just think it’s a heck of a trade-off. You come out, you have a great time, you go to a Fresno State game and at the same time you gave back a little bit. And then in turn, it turns out to be a lot because that $20,000 check, I know, means a lot to Fresno State.”
So where is the money going? One word: scholarships.
“It’s so important that we fulfill our promise to our students in order for them to go out and pursue education and better their lives through education,” says Fresno State Director of Athletics Terry Tumey. “We have so many other needs, of course and having this portal, in order for people to give, allows us to fill this one bucket.”
“It helped set another record in the Bulldog Foundation this year by generating $4,460,000 for scholarships,” adds Tim Collins, Fresno State’s Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development. “And those opportunities that we are creating for our young men and our young women is a thanks to people like you in our community.”
It is worth pointing out despite the fact the Fresno State football team took a step back in 2019, the joint tailgate did not. More than 500 people showed up at every one of them.
“Hopefully we’re building an experience, so people want to come to the game,” says Dunkel, president of Precision Civil Engineering. “There is a reason to go. And then get to the tailgate and then get into the stadium to watch the game.”
“What they’ve done, I’ll call it an eclectic group of people that have given in a lot of different ways and are fans of so many different things around the university,” says Maas, president of Administrative Solutions, Inc. “It’s been awesome for me.”
If you ask Tumey, the feeling is mutual.
“I think the only thing I can say about these three men is I couldn’t find better partners in this community for those who are going out and looking to support not only the student-athletes, but this university and this valley,” he says. “These are true, I don’t know how else to say it, they are treasures for us. They are what our community is all about.”