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Ripon couple donates $100K to Valley Childrens
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Jessica Coleman gives Ripon benefactors Arvin and Terri Boersma a hug over lunch at the Canal Street Grille Thursday for their challenge donation of $100,000. - photo by GLENN KAHL/ The Bulletin

It’s a $100,000 challenge to help build the Valley Children’s Healthcare specialty care center in north Modesto on Pelandale Avenue off Highway 99.
Terri and Arvin Boersma made the pledge this week hoping others in the region will also step up to help ill and injured children in the Ripon, Manteca, Modesto areas.
The Boersmas were taken to lunch Thursday at Canal Street Grille in Ripon by Matt Steele of the Madera-based Valley Children’s Hospital along with Jessica Coleman.
Coleman was the sparkplug behind the creation of the Color the Skies Over Ripon hot air balloon festival that raised $200,000 for the hospital over a 10-year period.
Arvin Boersma attended Ripon Christian Elementary School and then went on to Ripon High School where he could play varsity football.  He grew up in the family home along Highway 120 on his parents’ 80-acre farm that had four cows that he milked twice a day and an almond orchard with chores that kept him busy. 
Terri Boersma attended school in Modesto. Her family home was where the Redwood Café and Vintage Gardens wedding reception venue at Dale Road and Bangs Avenue is located today.  Both of them had to do chores all through their teenage years including milking cows.
The taste of fresh cow’s milk turned her off on store bought milk because it just didn’t taste the same, she said.  She has not had a glass of milk since, she added. Terri recalled that her family had sold their cows and planted trees instead on their Modesto farm.  She attended Stanislaus Union School that had its start as a two-room school.
“We have the Modesto connection and the Ripon connection,” Terri said noting they still have a ranch in Modesto. 
She said she and her siblings grew up in the area where the new satellite speciality care center is going to be located next to Costco – a place where she hoed beans, tied grape vines and knocked almonds.
Within their family they have had two children who have been treated at Valley Children’s Hospital. Her siblings include two brothers and three sisters and she often took care of the younger ones growing up.
Terri said she had a great foundation in life given to her by her mother and her two grandmothers – Swiss and Italian ladies, Tamagni Guibasco and Maria Bracco,  with Grandma Bracco living just across Bangs Avenue from their farm house. Terri and her siblings would ride their bikes to her house after school for freshly baked cookies.  Her mother, she noted, was so completely selfless and wanted nothing for herself but was always so very thoughtful of her children.
“Arvin loves children,” Terri said of her husband who she said was also brought up in a big family, part of the reason he is devoted to the hospital.
 She remembers when her two sons Scott and Brent had friends over to their ranch, riding up on their bikes; he would put them in his truck along with their bicycles and take them out in the field for an adventure.
They were both impressed by the artist’s sketch of the children’s play area that will be included in the new facility when it opens.  Ground breaking is expected mid-year.
Boersma said his family had originally lived on Almond Street now known as Roberts south of Main Street, moving to Highway 120 in 1937. 
Before getting married she was a stock broker in Modesto and took a leave that ran into 14 years away from the business devoting her time to her children’s upbringing.   She even taught Sunday school and became its superintendent, showing her love for children that has now been transferred to the need for a children’s hospital in the region.
A second satellite facility is being constructed at the same time in Bakersfield with its groundbreaking expected to mirror that of the Modesto facility.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email