Community Involvement

Pleasant Valley prison population raises $16k for charities

Prison staff and a horse.
From left are CRM Jeanette Bragg, Correctional Officer Heidi Richards, Charanne Jerry, retired police mount, acting CDW Maria Faulkner, and acting Warden Rod Godwin.

With the encouragement of Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) Administrative Staff, the incarcerated population held a fundraising food sale to raise money for charities. The event was organized by Community Resources Manager Jeanette Bragg and other staff. It was held across the institutions, benefiting three charities.

The Boys & Girls Club Harris Farms Unit, Huron, was selected as one the recipients of the fundraiser because of their mission to help young people “reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” 

“I can see the parallels in our mission to that of the Boys & Girls Club. We too, are trying to instill positive decision-making skills while also acknowledging that we are all part of a larger community. We are preparing individuals with educational, emotional, social and behavioral needs to reintegrate back into society by fostering social responsibility and personal character,” said acting Warden Ron Godwin. “By supporting the Boys & Girls Club, I hope the youth in Huron can avoid dangerous behaviors that can impact their futures.”

With close ties to the Equine Care Program at PVSP, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation was the second recipient in the fundraiser. 

The TRF Second Chances Program, after which Heidi Richards, Correctional Officer and Instructor, modeled the Equine Care Program, is a unique vocational training program that promotes life building skills while participants learn to care for retired thoroughbreds while also gaining confidence and a sense of empathy. 

And as acting Chief Deputy Warden Maria Faulkner can attest, thoroughbred horses like PVSP’s newest horse, Charanne Jerry, can be difficult and high-strung. With patience and training, they too can be rehabilitated.

The final recipient selected was the Imaginarium Institute of Fine Arts in Coalinga. As founder Mary Blythe Jones notes, their mission is to provide a rich and deep experience in the arts for all people in the Coalinga area regardless of ethnicity, age, religion, language or gender. 

“The donation is like seeds planted in the garden. You may not be around to see the end results but your efforts will have an impact,” she said.

To learn more about these charities visit:

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County:      

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation:

Imaginarium Institute of Fine Arts, Coalinga: (559)-935-2787.

Two prison employees present a check to a woman.
From left are acting Warden Ron Godwin, founder Mary Blythe Jones, and CRM Jeanette Bragg.