Stratford organization hopes to bring new life to Kings County community

By Ed Martin, Editor
Ramon Chavez and Rob Isquierdo Jr. accept a check for $2,500 from Kings Lions Club President Ray Etchegoin for Reestablishing Stratford.
Ramon Chavez and Rob Isquierdo Jr. accept a check for $2,500 from Kings Lions Club President Ray Etchegoin for Reestablishing Stratford.
Photo by William Munoz

There is a move afoot in the tiny town of Stratford to change its image. A number of committed Stratford residents have joined forces to bring respectability to their town through its newfound mission: To break the cycle of negative activities associated with rural small town living by offering positive alternative activities and services that inspire hope.

“We are dedicated to providing positive events, resources, and services for all Stratford residents,” said co-founder and vice president Rob Isquierdo of Reestablishing Stratford, the new non-profit which he and fellow co-founder Ramon Chavez recently started.

In addition to Chavez and Isquierdo, board members include local pastor, Ray Avina, the board’s treasurer and Secretary Mayra Martinez.

Isquierdo, a Hanford teacher, was inspired by Chavez, whom he saw building a basketball court in an abandoned building for local youth to use.  He thought more could be done to improve the lives of Stratford residents. He approached Chavez and told him how much he respected what he was doing. “Let’s start an organization together,” he told Chavez.

The two got together and came up with the idea of Reestablishing Stratford. With a little help from The United Way, which is helping guide the two in their quest for an IRS non-profit status, the two hope to get the funds needed to be successful.

The group’s goals are lofty. “We plan on opening a community center,” said Isquierdo. “We want to take an existing building and clean it up and we want to raise some money” to get the project underway.

The other goals are equally as lofty:

-       A sports complex for boxing, soccer, basketball, football.

-       Create and ESL program for adults

-       Create positive community events

-       A community garden

-       Inner city sports programs and leagues

-       Develop young leaders

Reestablishing Stratford has already garnered support. In addition to the United Way, the Stratford organization was awarded $2,500 from the Kings Lions Club, which was presented to Chavez and Isquierdo at last weekend’s annual Kings Brewfest.

The organization’ first official event is a 5K/Kid’s Run and festival on Saturday, July 11 starting at 8:00 a.m. with the kids’ race and 8:30 a.m. with the adult 5K. All participants will receive a T-shirt and all kids under 12 will also receive a medal.

This event is designed to create awareness of our community as well as help redefine the city’s reputation as a safe, positive, thriving community by bringing in spectators from all over the valley for a great family experience. It is also designed to create hope for the residents of Stratford who have been hit hard in recent years by the drought.

There will be a post-race festival featuring food vendors, music, community service organizations, live performances, and games.

For more information regarding this event or updates on Reestablishing Stratford contact Rob Isquierdo Jr. at 818 482-8140 or  


Comments powered by Disqus