Terminally-Ill Man Receives NASCAR Dream

Special Dream Foundation Release  |  2019-04-08

Winston Cain (Dream Foundation Dreamer), Glory Ariche (Genentech), Rene Hamlin (Snowline Hospice), Jeremy Lansing (Snowline Hospice), and Janice Curtin (Snowline Hospice). Photo provided by Dream Foundation

Dream Foundation celebrates Winston Cain’s life with a final NASCAR Race

El Dorado Hills, California (MPG) - Despite being diagnosed with ALS, which has left him paralyzed from the neck down apart from the use of one arm and hand, 71-year-old El Dorado Hills resident, Winston Cain, hasn’t stopped dreaming.

Winston has always loved NASCAR and car racing, having attended many races throughout his life. Now bed bound, Winston watches NASCAR intently every Sunday. He loves to imagine himself as the announcer, “Start your engines!” and dreams of attending one final race with his family.  

With support from Autoclub Speedway and Homewood Suites, Dream Foundation fulfilled Winston’s final Dream. This past month, Winston, his wife, daughter, and son-in-law enjoyed VIP treatment and a special meet and greet with his favorite driver, Chase Elliot at the Fontana NASCAR race of March 16th. The foundation will also provide accommodations, a wheelchair accessible van rental and extra travel funds for the trip.

Glory Ariche from Genentech, one of Dream Foundation’s Mission Partners, served “Dream Host” at the intimate gathering of Thursday, March 14th delivering everything that Winston needed for his Dream journey. Also in attendance were Snowline Hospice’s Rene Hamlin, Jeremy Lansing, and Janice Curtin who referred Winston to the organization’s dream-granting program. Their commitment to Winston was instrumental in bringing his final Dream to life.

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 30,000 final Dreams over the last twenty-five years.

The Foundation is proud to maintain Charity Navigator’s four-star rating—its highest—for sound fiscal management, ensuring its donors and partners that their investment will be used wisely. Dream Foundation receives no state or federal funding—we rely solely on private donations. To support our mission please visit: DreamFoundation.org/donate.

Snowline Hospice serves the Sacramento, El Dorado, and Placer Counties, delivering end of life care and support to patients and their families.  Since 1979, Snowline has been dedicated to meeting the unique physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who are nearing the end of life's journey.  Our goal is to enhance living, comfort the dying and support the grieving with compassion and dignity.

 

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I Spy with my Bird’s Eye

By Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-04-05

Naturalist David Rose and Bird and Breakfast supporters watched nesting California wood ducks and hummingbirds at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center. Photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Avian species provided a plumed pageant for the Effie Yeaw Nature Center’s recent Bird and Breakfast fundraisers.

During two events, more than 100 nature-lovers viewed many nesting critters. A red-tailed hawk hauled twigs to a eucalyptus nest; a hummingbird patiently incubated her clatch; woodpeckers checked acorn pantries. Forty or more feathered species inhabited the Nature Center’s 100-acre preserve.

Audubon Society-guided forays were favored by weather – even after a wet start on the final Saturday. “Kids love to splash in puddles and see foot tracks left on paths by animal passersby,” said a nature Center volunteer. “Nature’s guestbook isn’t so visible on dry trails.”

The events have been a sell-out hit at the center for 32 years. On spring mornings, house-hunting wood ducks provide harlequin interludes. Close to the American River, killdeer moms are belly-down on flood-plain nests.

Nesting above a walking trail last weekend, a hummingbird nursery was a rarer – usually invisible – treat. “We saw the hen incubating on her tiny nest,” explained the volunteer. “She seemed used to people walking nearby  and wasn’t fazed by tourists. It’s amazing to view something so seldom discovered. Audubon people combed  the area in previous weeks and observed nests being built. Such secrets of nature are what our Bird and Breakfast event offers every year.”

Event sponsors included: Fred and Betsy Weiland; Wild Birds Unlimited (Roseville). 

Learn about Effie Yeaw Nature Center events at www.sacnaturecenter.netH 

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United Way Announces Sacramento Foster Youth Summit in April

By Kristin Thébaud  |  2019-04-03

Stephanie Bray of United Way stands with keynote speaker September Hargrove, emcee Kitty O’Neal from KFBK and local foster youth at the annual Women United Luncheon where she called for a summit to address foster youth graduation rates. Photo courtesy United Way.

Findings will determine how to prepare foster youth for success in college and career

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - United Way is gathering foster youth and community leaders working on foster care issues for its inaugural Foster Youth Summit on April 5 from 9 am-3 pm at the Sacramento State Ballroom, 6000 J Street.

The summit will identify opportunities to increase the number of foster youth who graduate from high school and go on to complete post-secondary education. Summit findings will be released as a report that will determine the direction of United Way’s foster youth programs. For more information and to sign up: YourLocalUnitedWay.org/FosterYouthSummit.

Stephanie Bray, president and CEO of United Way California Capital Region, announced the summit to 300 supporters at United Way’s 17th Annual Women United Luncheon on March 21. More than $78,000 was raised through the luncheon for United Way’s programs that are preparing foster youth for success in college and career. Since 2002, United Way’s Women United action group has raised more than $2 million for programs for local foster youth.

“It’s time to take our work to the next level,” Bray said at the luncheon. “For far too long, we have talked about the drop-out and homelessness rates for foster youth. We know that no one person or organization can do this alone. So we are convening a public forum to discuss how we move the needle on high school graduation and college or career attainment for foster youth so that fewer struggle as they transition into adulthood.”

Nonprofit service providers, state and county foster youth advocates, school districts, foster youth and other supporters will come together for a deep dive into community level data, a foster youth panel on real-world implications of the data, breakout sessions and a keynote speech by Jennifer Rodriguez, JD, executive director of Youth Law Center and a former foster youth.

At the luncheon, Bray cited a 2018 Annie E. Casey Foundation report that noted without any support, California foster youth drop out of high school at a rate of 24 percent, 30 percent do not have stable housing and 51 percent are unemployed.

 “That is so much lost potential,” Bray said. “We at United Way believe that every child, including each foster youth, has the opportunity to achieve. Imagine the impact if we don’t invest in our foster youth’s potential.”

Bray referred to luncheon keynote speaker September Hargrove as an example of how foster youth achieve success, not only for themselves but for communities across the country. Hargrove, a former Sacramento foster youth who volunteered with United Way a decade ago, is now VP of global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co., leading the company’s $150 million commitment to Detroit through neighborhood revitalization, small business, financial capability and workforce development.

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond.

United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation: YourLocalUnitedWay.org.

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DOVIA Presents Annual Awards

By Trina L. Drotar  |  2019-03-29

Darlene Cullivan, CVA (Outstanding Achievement in Volunteer Engagement winner) with Rachele
Doty, Photos by Mika Guevarra, courtesy DOVIA Sacramento

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - On March 14, volunteers were recognized by Directors of Volunteers in Agencies (DOVIA) at Shriner’s Hospital for Children – Northern California. Nearly 100 people attended the annual awards ceremony which recognized three categories of volunteers – Youth Volunteer of the Year, Individual Volunteer of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Volunteer Engagement.

Rachele Doty, CVA is the board’s chair and presented the welcome to all nominees, their friends and families, judges, and Brian Ricks from Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s office. Doty said that each of the nearly twenty-five nominees present received certificates from DOVIA and from Cooley’s office. He was unable to attend this year but is very supportive of the awards.

The Youth Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Abby Schumacher, who has volunteered at Fairytale Town since 2016. In addition to the certificate, she received the $500 Margaret Einsphar Memorial Scholarship award to assist with college tuition. Youth volunteers are under 21 years of age and must currently be students. They are also required to have donated a minimum of 25 hours of service during the year and are nominated by their organizations.

Schumacher was nominated by Fairytale Town’s Education and Program Coordinator, Samantha Hawes who wrote, “Abby has truly made the lives of people who come to our park helping in summer camp, programs, events, marketing and so much more. We are so proud of her, and she is truly a wonderful volunteer.”

Doris Henke, a decades-long volunteer with Snowline Hospice received the Individual Volunteer of the Year award. She received a certificate and a $100 honorarium gift for Snowline Hospice. Henke has spent a lifetime giving back to the community in El Dorado County where she has lived since the 1960s.

“Doris Henke is a name to be recognized and remembered. Her name is truly synonymous with love and caring because of the profound difference she makes in the lives of others,” wrote Bonnie Davis, CVA, Director of Workforce and Volunteer Services for Snowline Hospice. Davis nominated Henke for the award. “It is impossible to quantify the hundreds or thousands of lives she has touched through the years. This loving wife, encourager, mother, caregiver, businesswoman, selfless giver, community developer, friend, ministry-builder, and mentor lives an intentional life of service to others and is a shining example of ‘giving your all’.”

The Individual Volunteer Award of the Year is new this year, said Doty. “We had always focused on the youth volunteer, and DOVIA is looking to the future.”

The final award for Outstanding Achievement in Volunteer Engagement award was presented to Darlene Cullivan, CVA of Eskaton for her work. “I am honored to receive this special award as it demonstrates Eskaton’s vibrant philanthropic culture. Eskaton is grateful for the over 2600 volunteers who invest their time, talent and compassion to enrich the lives of seniors. I am inspired daily by people of all ages aspiring to make a difference. Eskaton volunteers illustrate our belief that Age is Beautiful.”

Nominees were judged by Carla Lehn, CVA, Cole Forstedt, and Valeri Mihanovich and had, Doty said, a difficult time making the final decision this year because all of the nominees were “so wonderful.” Volunteer service must have been performed in Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, or El Dorado counties during the 2018 calendar year.

Service includes work release time, without pay or for student course credit, and each nominating organization must provide service for the larger community, not simply for its members.

Nominees were involved with Access Leisure and Paralympic Sport, Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, ACC Senior Services, Sacramento Sheriffs Explorer Program, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento, Breathe California Sacramento Region, yolo County 4-H, Project R.I.D.E., Inc., Sacramento Tree Foundation, First Call Hospice, Sacramento SPCA, Foothill Therapy Dogs, Sutter Hospice, Oak Park Community Center, Gardenland/Northgate Neighborhood Association, and Junior League of Sacramento, Inc., Snowline Hospice, Eskaton, and Fairytale Town.

“DOVIA exists to support the volunteer managers, to provide networking, continuing education and support,” said Doty who has held several board positions. DOVIA presents at least one event each month.

For additional information, visit http://www.doviasacramento.org/.

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Loomis Soroptimist Club Education Awards Empower Women

By Karen Fraser-Middleton  |  2019-03-29

K-8 teachers in the Loomis Union School District received grants for Soroptimist International Loomis Basin. Photo courtesy LUSD

LOOMIS, CA (MPG) - Consistent with the mission of Soroptimist International (SI) to “transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities,” the SI Loomis Basin (SILB) club presented grants and awards on February 20 to support  education, especially for women and girls. The club distributed nearly $10,000 in scholarships, teacher grants and support for the Senior L.I.F.E center.

The Ruby Award for Women Helping Women recognized Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Associate Dean, Workforce Innovation, Sierra College for “improving the lives of women through her professional activities.” Through the CCC Maker initiative, she has created an inclusive statewide makerspace model to prepare all students for innovative, entrepreneurial and non-traditional careers. Pepper-Kittredge also previously led the Sierra Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Consortium, according to Gregg Ramseth, Technology & Assessment, Placer Union High School District (PUHSD). “Carol and her team were instrumental in pivoting Placer Union's perspective and outreach, helping us design inclusive programs that build confidence in young women as makers, entrepreneurs, problem-solvers and innovators,” said Ramseth. The club provided funds for Hacker Lab powered by Sierra College makerspace scholarships for women.

The SI Live Your Dream Award celebrates women who have overcome poverty, divorce, domestic violence and other life challenges through education. Ashley Volkerts received a $3000 scholarship to continue pursuing her associate degree in Counseling at Intercoast College. According to her references, “she has overcame a multitude of obstacles in her personal life, and maintains a beyond amazing attitude, while caring for her son,” and “she is learning how to take care of herself as a single parent. Education is the key to her future. She sees that, and it is her driving force.”

The Loomis Soroptimist Community Service Award of $1000 was given to Jianna Domingo, a Del Oro student who volunteers with Stand Up Placer, a private nonprofit that provides support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Domingo explained that she renovated a play room in the Stand Up Placer safe house. “I hope that this room allows for the mother-child relationship to be nurtured,” said Domingo. The PUHSD also chose Domingo to be an inaugural student board member. She hopes to go into the field of education, work internationally and empower others to fight against injustice and overcome oppression.

Since 1978, the Senior L.I.F.E. Center of Loomis has provided social and educational activities for seniors.  SILB was instrumental in establishing the program and continues to support it through this grant that was accepted by directors, Acsa and Fred Hitchen. In addition to classes, the program offers nutritious lunches for participants.

To support education in the region, the club provides Teacher Grants to help instructors fund special projects that will have lasting impact on students.

Casey Mills and Stephanie Meyer, eighth grade teachers at H. Clark Powers received grants. Mills will spark students’ interest in reading by adding books suggested by students to his library and encouraging them to complete the 40 book challenge. Meyer anticipates using the grant for a ramp that students will use with the lunar rover they create to explain Newton’s law, graph speed and understand the forces acting on the rover.

At Placer Elementatry, kindergarten teacher Amanda Ross will purchase a microphone that she can wear around her neck and use in class for singing and talking with students as well as allow the shy chilren to use the microphone to build their confidence when speaking to groups.

Librarian, Sylvia Edmond, at Newcastle Elementary School, plans to use the grant funds to replace worn out books as well as select new appealing books that will encourage students to read.

Janine Brizendine, kindergarten teacher at Loomis Grammar School, has implemented a writer’s workshop and will purchase additional texts to excite the children about writing in addition to white boards students can use to practice handwriting. Also at Loomis Grammar School, sixth grade teacher, Susan McQueen will enable her students to practice the metric system with additional scale and calibration kits for science labs.

Karen Acosta, fifth grade teacher at Loomis Grammar School, will purchase Wobble chairs that allow active students to rock and move their feet while sitting and this continuous movement helps them focus, participate and complete assignments. Third Grade teacher at Loomis Grammar School, Julie Levens-Hupp, will either use her grant for historical costumes that children can dress up in during a biography unit or for flexible seating which research has shown helps students focus and learn.

Leslie Morgan is a middle school teacher at Penryn Elementary School and wants to purchase Lego base plates for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) projects in the school’s new makerspace.

Third grade teacher, Julie Woodward, at Franklin Elementary School, intends to use the grant to address students’ diverse learning needs by enhancing her classroom environment with standing desks. Bonnie Robinson, first grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School, has found that small collaborative groupings build a positive learning environment and will purchase a rolling television stand and portable document camera to project visual aids from anywhere in the room.

At Loomis Basin Charter School, first grade teacher Christy D’Ambrosio plans new units on space and maps, and will use the grant for new books and listening center equipment.

The Loomis Basin SI club fundraises throughout the year to support the awards program. The next fundraiser is Tostado Bingo on March 30. Tickets are $30 and available at the Loomis Chamber of Commerce, from members and by calling 916-652-7252.

About Soroptimist International Loomis Basin

Soroptimist (soroptimist.org) is an international volunteer service organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Soroptimist International of Loomis Basin is a 501(c)(3) organization.

To learn more about the club, join SI Loomis Basin for club meetings on the first and third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 at the Train Depot at Taylor Rd. and Horseshoe Bar Rd. in Loomis. Learn more at www.soroptimistloomis.com and find Soroptimist Loomis Basin on Facebook.

 

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Prominent life-long Sacramentan, Gregg Lukenbill, first managing partner of the Sacramento Kings, builder of two Arco Arena’s and the Hyatt Regency Hotel alarmed at “reckless” City Staff proposal, calls on community to speak out

 

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - On Tuesday, March 26, the Sacramento City Council is poised to approve an environmental plan concerning the Del Rio Trail which, if adopted as currently proposed, would cause irrevocable permanent destruction of the historic Sacramento Southern Railway, the original “Delta Farm-To Sacramento Fork” Sacramento Delta agriculture pipeline responsible for much of the capital city’s unique global identity and rich agricultural heritage. Gregg Lukenbill, prominent life-long Sacramentan and historian, is calling on all Sacramentans and railroad enthusiasts alike to persuade the City Council to save the Sacramento Southern Railroad and preserve our cultural history.

 “The Del Rio Trail bike and walking path can peacefully co-exist alongside the Sacramento Southern Railway without destroying the historical tracks, berms and other crossings,” says Lukenbill. “Any destruction of the rail crossings is unnecessary and would conflict with California State Parks long planned and previously approved cultural education train ride from Meadowview to the California Delta town of Hood. Sacramento is so much better than this—we can progress into the future and support alternative transportation systems while honoring and maintaining our historic and irreplaceable railroad infrastructure.  Let’s not make the same mistake we made with the Alhambra Theater,” an historic landmark that was destroyed in favor of a supermarket.

The Sacramento City Planning department is recommending the destruction of 8 intersection rail crossings, a significant grade change, and trestle bridge in the Final Environmental Impact Report to be considered by the City Council on Tuesday at 5 pm with no recognition or mitigation that the train exists. This section of track must be left intact to complete the 50+ year documented vision celebrating the City of Sacramento’s historic role in creating the Sacramento Delta National Heritage Area and today’s farm to fork movement.

Railroad enthusiasts have already painstakingly restored nearly 4 miles of track, the last 3,000 feet in 2017-2018 headed southbound from Old Sacramento, by volunteering tens of thousands of hours and personal contributions of tens of millions of dollars in cash and rail vehicles in this half century-plus effort.  The section of the Railroad corridor that the City proposes to unnecessarily damage been planned for three decades to periodically transit empty equipment from the California Parks Railroad Museum Maintenance Shops in Old Sacramento for federally required maintenance for the Delta/Farm to Fork historical education train to Meadowview Road. No passenger train is proposed through South Land Park.  If the City Council approves the staff recommendation on Tuesday, the maintenance yard in Old Sacramento will be severed from the rest of the historic rail line planned by State Parks since the 1960’s into the Delta, undermining decades of planning and tens of millions of dollars of State Parks investment. The federal government has already evaluated and declared the entire Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the 24.5 Sacramento Southern Railroad Branch Line to Hood/Walnut Grove, and the adjoining town of Locke as national historic resources.

Lukenbill forever altered the course of Sacramento history when in 1985, against the wishes of the City Council, he relocated the Kansas City Kings to ARCO Arena in Sacramento County, then mostly just open farmland and fields. No one can deny that Sacramento was forever changed as a result, and the sleepy governmental hub finally found its home on the world’s stage with its professional basketball franchise.  But Lukenbill knows that Sacramento deserved its place in the limelight well before Arco Arena.  He truly believes Sacramento, as the City that won the West through the Gold Rush, Railroads, Folsom Power House and Delta agriculture, and similar forgotten Sacramento history, must be preserved and shared for future generations. 

“We really are at a pivotal moment with this proposal,” says Lukenbill. This is purely a Sacramento quality of life decision.  All we are asking to share a right of way that was acquired for this train that the City staff is hijacking for the sole benefit of one Council District.”

“Are we going to rob future generations the opportunity to learn about our delta heritage on the Sacramento Southern Railway for a few residents who bought their homes knowing the railroad was there? Or are we going to be truly “World-Class” and do what other world-class cities do—embrace and celebrate our legacy, preserving it for everyone to enjoy?”

Lukenbill hopes that people with similar quality of life concerns will attend the Sacramento City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 26th at 5 pm and speak in favor of preserving the historic Southern Sacramento Railroad as a functioning railway so that all those who have already donated their time, energy, and money to saving it didn’t do so in vain.  There is adequate room for both the bike and walking path and the railroad, and the path can easily be aligned to ensure safe crossings of tracks where they intersect streets.  Furthermore, contrary to assertions of some neighbors, no tourist trains are proposed to run through South Land Park, just occasional rolling stock and maintenance equipment.

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Created & Designed by Sac State Students

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California State Railroad Museum & Foundation are proud to announce an all-new exhibit titled “Farm-to-Fork: A Public History” which is the creation of graduate students of the Capital Campus Public History Program at California State University, Sacramento. The team of dedicated history students conducted the bulk of the research, image search, and approved the design concepts under the direction of California State Railroad Museum Director and Professor, Dr. Ty O. Smith, and Interpretation & Education Manager, Kimberly Whitfield. The curriculum put into action the philosophy that the Museum’s highest calling is to be a laboratory of learning.

The focus of the new exhibit is to relate the multi-faceted story about the critical role the railroad played in transporting the Central Valley’s agricultural bounty to the surrounding region, state and nation. In short, the railroad helped to create the very foundation for the global success known today as farm-to-fork. This new exhibit provides Railroad Museum visitors with the opportunity to gain a more complete understanding about the production and delivery of goods, appreciate the deep history of the people and lives behind the foods we purchase, and learn how railroads played an integral role in that history.

As background, not long after California’s Gold Rush in the 1850s and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, many early Californians turned to farming the fertile Delta. The bounty of high-quality fruit and produce grown locally was loaded into ice-cooled railroad cars. Locomotives then pulled the refrigerated freight cars through the Sierra to eager buyers farther east and beyond. This agricultural success was made possible by opportunity, new technology and hard-working people coming together at the right place at the right time in history.

Available now for public viewing, the “Farm-to Fork: A Public History” exhibit is located in the Museum’s Roundhouse inside and surrounding the popular “reefer” car (also known as the refrigerator car) and will remain on display permanently. Viewing the exhibit is included in Museum admission: $12 for adults; $6 for youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under. For more information about the exhibit or the California State Railroad Museum or Foundation, please call 916-323-9280 or visit https://www.californiarailroad.museum/.

California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov.

The mission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation (CSRMF) is to generate revenue and awareness on behalf of its destinations, while supporting the preservation, interpretation and promotion of our railroad heritage. The Foundation provides funding for ongoing support of numerous programs, both at the museum's Old Sacramento location and at the historic park in Jamestown, Calif. For more information, please visit www.californiarailroad.museum.

Source: T-Rock Communications

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