Stratford booster earns top award from Tulare-Kings Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

By Ed Martin, Editor
Rob Isquierdo
Rob Isquierdo

One of the founders of “Reestablishing Stratford,” the non-profit created to bring positive resources to the citizens of Stratford, was named the “Man of the Year” by the Tulare-Kings Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Teacher Rob Isquierdo Jr. was awarded the honor on November 21 at the Tachi Palace and Casino. According to the Tulare-Kings Hispanic Chamber, Isquierdo was recognized for his ongoing work in Stratford brining positive events, resources and services to the town’s many residents.

He was also recognized for another organization, “Library for London” project in his small central valley hometown of London, where he is helping to establish a library. The library is expected to open in April, 2016.

Reestablishing Stratford is the brainchild of Stratford residents Isquierdo and Ramon Chavez, both of whom see a bright future ahead for their tiny community.

The two, and several others from Stratford, including a local pastor, Treasurer Ray Avina and board Secretary Mayra Martinez, who make up the governing board of the 501 c 3 non-profit organization, hope to bring change to their small town and to change its image.  The overriding goal of this group of committed citizens is 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.

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: Building a sports complex, create language programs for adults, sponsor positive community events, build a community garden, and much more.

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