Alfredo Muccino, the 51-year-old chief creative officer of San Jose brand marketing company Liquid Agency, is embarking on a pretty crazy adventure this week.

With two friends, he’s taking part in the Rickshaw Run, a 3,000-mile race across India in two motorized rickshaws, three-wheel vehicles commonly used as taxis there. They leave from Cochin in southwest India on Friday and are expected to arrive in the far northeast city of Shillong by April 30.

They have no plans for accommodations, no support vehicles and no experience driving rickshaws. Oh, and none of them has even been to India before.

“I grew up in a family that was never taught fear,” said Muccino, who was born in Colombia and raised around the world before landing in the Bay Area.

As part of the challenge, the team is trying to raise $10,000 to support UNICEF and the International Rescue Corps, which responds to natural and man-made disasters all over the world.

“The reality is that I would probably do it even if there wasn’t a good cause attached to it, but it makes me feel good about it instead of it being a selfish experience,” Muccino said.

His wife recently got Muccino into yoga, and among his goals is to practice it in Maharashtra, assuming they find their way there.

Liquid Agency, based in downtown San Jose’s SoFA district, tricked out a pair of rickshaws — dubbed Liquid Lust and Liquid Love — for the team and set up a fun website at where you can track the route and make donations.

Arts Council Silicon Valley has awarded $4,000 Artist Fellowship Grants to five people for their contributions to the arts in Santa Clara County.

This year’s recipients are: Shannon Amidon of San Jose (photography); Terry Berlier of La Honda (sculpture); David Perez of Campbell (spoken word); San Jose Taiko founder P.J. Hirabayashi (music performance); and Ballet San Jose principal dancer Karen Gabay (choreography).

The Housing Trust of Santa Clara County awarded its inaugural Housing Champion awards at an investor-briefing luncheon held in Palo Alto on Friday.

The awards went to Bank of America, the city of Santa Clara and nonprofit developer Charities Housing.

The Housing Trust is a nonprofit community loan fund that works to make Silicon Valley housing more affordable.

Pizza My Heart held a one-day fundraiser last week for Bryan Stow, the Santa Cruz man who remains in a coma from an assault after a March 31 Giants game in Los Angeles. And on Wednesday, the company’s CEO, Chuck Hammers, presented $20,000 to Stow’s family. Stow was a regular customer at the South Bay chain.

Another pizza place, The Pizza Guys at 55 Dempsey Road in Milpitas, will have a fundraiser for Snow on Sunday. All the proceeds from sales of slices from noon to 4 p.m. will be donated to the support fund for Stow at the San Francisco Police Credit Union. Donations also can be made at

Mountain View-based Hula Networks donated more than 64 core routers and switches to the Mountain View Whisman School District this month so the district can upgrade its network.

“We understand the hardships the educational staff members and schools go through. We need to do our part to help the community and its schools keep up with technology and IT infrastructure,” said Hula Networks CEO Joe Commendatore, whose mother spent 40 years as a teacher in the Bay Area.