Posted by John Pokorny on Jul 08, 2019
Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue Capt. Mike Kreza 
lost his life to a drunk driver in November, 2018
Kennedale RC President Jessica Mang did the painting below
which was sold at auction and given to Capt. Kreza's family
Artist and Kennedale RC President, Jessica Mang paints a stark reminder of the impact a loss of life in this dangerous profession can be.
Kennedale Rotary Club President, Jessica Mang moved to Texas from California several months ago. Being a Rotary member in her home state, she naturally sought out a Rotary Club in Kennedale upon arriving in Texas. Her vocation is Artist although she refers to herself as an Artist and Muralist. Just prior to moving she had been commissioned to make a painting of a local fire fighter that had lost his life riding his bike when he was struck by a drunk driver.

Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue Capt. Mike Kreza was riding a bicycle shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday (November, 2018) on Alicia Parkway near Via Burgos in Mission Viejo when he was struck by the driver of a van.

Kreza, who was training for an Ironman triathlon, suffered apparent trauma to the head and body and was rushed to a hospital. He remained in critical condition until he died Monday morning. The captain, an 18-year veteran with the fire department, was off duty at the time.

"Words alone cannot describe the immeasurable heartache felt by his friends & family, including his fire family," the fire department said in a statement on Twitter announcing Kreza's death.

Jessica's niece lives in Mission Viejo and commissioned her to paint this for the fireman family. According to Jessica "It was sitting in my studio for 6 months and I finally decided to finish it. I'm not going to lie, the painting makes people who see it in person cry. Mostly because the girls took on such emotional poses that were not in the photo. Not sure how it turned out that way but it works for the painting."
This painting will be in the gallery show in Mansfield,TX. from July 10th to July 20th at the Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts. And we will have a gala there on Saturday the 13th of July. Gallery show is open to the public.