Raffle for Derek Carr jersey will help fund Fresno kids programs

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Next weekend Derek Carr will come to Fresno as his alma mater retires his jersey, but the jersey is making an impact on dozens of lives right now. (KFSN)

Next weekend Derek Carr will come to Fresno as his alma mater retires his jersey, but the jersey is making an impact on dozens of lives right now.

When children dream of becoming firefighters, Fresno's Fire Explorer program can help make it come true. Kids and young adults get some of the same training as Fresno firefighters.

Part of that training teaches them how to respond when they see kids taking a dangerous ride down the street.

"So if a child is biking or riding without a helmet, a firefighter in their engine or truck can pull over, fit them for a helmet and send them on their way or you can go to any fire station and get a helmet for free," Fire Chief Kerri Donis said.

The Fire Explorers and the Helmets Are Cool programs both get funding from the Fresno Fire Chief's Foundation. Chief Donis directs the charity to support programs that help her fire teams like Tessa the arson investigating dog and fire victims like the Champ Camp where kids hang out with their peers.

"It's a great opportunity," she said. "We send them on white water rafting trips and things they've really never experienced."

And now another kind of hero is helping Donis raise money for the foundation. The fire department is raffling off tickets for a drawing to win this autographed Derek Carr jersey.

The Oakland Raiders' number four is on display at the Elbow Room in Old Fig and the restaurant's owner not only bought a couple raffle tickets himself, he's kicking in a second place prize of a wine dinner for eight.

"I think it's a great opportunity to support the chief and her programs and community awareness and do something really great to get kids and other people some really needed services," restaurant owner Mike Shirinian said.

The department is only selling 200 tickets at $100 apiece, so it could raise $20,000 for the fire programs. You can get them at the headquarters in Downtown Fresno or the Fire Credit Union at Fresno and Barstow.

The drawing is on November 3.

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