Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

Story by Trina L. Drotar  |  2019-03-11

Robert and Michele by the carnival – photo by Sandy Thomas

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – There are two new murals in town located at Folsom Cordova Community Partnership, thanks to a grant written by FCCP Director of Programs Michele Cook funded by the city’s Community Enhancement Fund.

The first mural is “The Reading Tree” appropriately located behind the organization’s Free Little Library. The mural, designed and painted by Shannon Scott and Griffin, is, according to Cook, a gathering place for children and their parents to read.

“Our hope was that it would be something kids would look forward to seeing when they come in, to welcome them, and cause them to have their attention drawn to the Free Little Library where they could then sit and read a book with their parent.”

The second, and by far the largest of the two, is “Welcome to Rancho Cordova,” a 50 plus foot mural that begins just down the hall from “The Reading Tree” and opens with a big, whimsical sun shining bright and smiling a welcome and wraps around the corner and down the remainder of the wall. This mural was created by Sacramento-based artist Demetris Washington (BAMR).

Washington’s murals are located in Sacramento, Stockton, and Oakland, and tend to be what Cook referred to as edgier than what she was looking for – family-friendly and fun.

She asked Washington for a mural that would “represent the community so that everyone could see themselves in the mural or see something that they enjoy about Rancho Cordova in the mural, and we also wanted it to be another piece that drew the kids.”

The mural, she added, is a favorite photo stop opportunity for families who pose themselves and their children in front of the “Welcome to Rancho Cordova” sign. Children, she said, enjoy tracing the route along the river or the American River Bike Trail.

 It is brightly colored and filled with many landmarks including the library, City Hall, WIC, Regional Transit’s Light Rail, Hagan Park, Sacramento Aquatic Center, and the Sunrise foot bridge. Events like the California Capital Air Show at Mather, carnivals, and the REMAX hot air balloon are highlighted.

Bicycles roam the trail, a nod to the many cyclists who ride for fun and those who will participate in this year’s AMGEN Tour of California, which will begin Stage 2 in Rancho Cordova on May 13. The Golden Poppy, Eschscholtzia californica, California’s state flower, honored annually on April 6, blooms bright beneath the snow-covered Sierras at the mural’s close.

Palm trees, dogs, birds of paradise, people sunning, riding, walking, playing, and eyes greet each passerby. The eyes, Cook explained, are part of Washington’s style and the blocks that appear throughout the mural are what he calls creative blocks. The closer people look, the more they see, including how Washington integrated signage and hardware into the mural because they could not be moved, unlike the mural which moves with each person who walks down the hallway.

“It is an opportunity to engage families and kids who come here every day,” said FCCP Executive Director Robert Sanger, referring to the myriad programs and services the agency provides to families, parents, and children. 

The mural is being praised by everyone from children and families, who in addition to touching and photographing it, said that it is really fun to look at, to Rancho Cordova’s mayor.

“’A Day in Rancho Cordova’ mural does a remarkable job of showing the history of our City from Mather AFB to Hagan Park and more. We are proud to support local art in Rancho Cordova, and I’d like to thank everyone involved who made this piece of artwork truly come to life,” wrote Mayor McGarvey.

                For additional information, visit

Rancho Cordova's History

Rancho Cordova Welcomes New Deputy City Manager, Micah Runner

By Maria Chacon Kniestedt, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2019-03-11

Micah Runner. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova

Served as Economic Development Director for City of Stockton

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (March 4, 2019) – The City of Rancho Cordova welcomes Micah Runner, who will serve as the Deputy City Manager overseeing Economic Development, Community Development, Facilities and the Community Enhancement Fund.

Mr. Runner has over eighteen years of experience in municipal government with a primary focus in economic development and management.  Mr. Runner previously served as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Stockton where he was responsible for economic development, housing and homeless, real property, venue management, and parking operations. He oversaw a team of 20 employees.

Prior to the City of Stockton, Mr. Runner was the Economic Development Manager for the City of Rancho Cordova, and a Senior Project Manager for the City of Sacramento.

“Micah brings a wealth of knowledge to the City that will build on the already solid reputation we have in the areas of economic and community development. I am pleased to have him return to the City of Rancho Cordova and rejoin us as a member of our leadership team,” said Cyrus Abhar, City Manager.

In 2012, Mr. Runner was recognized as one of the Sacramento Business Journal’s “40 Under 40.” He has chaired the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Jobs and Business Growth team for Cap-to-Cap and served on the Board of Directors for the Florin Road Partnership, Power Inn Business and Transportation Association and Downtown Stockton Alliance, among others.

“I am looking forward to rejoining the City of Rancho Cordova in this new capacity.  Having worked in economic development for the City previously, I understand this community and admire the progress that has taken place in the 15 short years since incorporation. I look forward to contributing to the many innovative projects on the horizon,” said Mr. Runner.

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First Place for St. John Vianney’s Varsity Boys Basketball Program

By Coach David Sander  |  2019-03-11

The Winners! Photo courtesy St. John Vianney

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Rancho Cordova’s very own St. John Vianney Boys Varsity Basketball Team won the season-ending Championship, claiming First Place in the Sacramento region’s Parochial Athletic League Tournament held at St. Charles Borromeo School in Sacramento.   

The road to the championship included wins over Holy Spirit School (Land Park, Sacramento), St. Mary’s School (East Sacramento) and St. Ignatius School (Arden). 

The St. John Vianney Tigers continue a long proud tradition of youth sports achievement at St. John Vianney School (SJV).  Students at SJV can participate in a wide variety of team and individual sports from First Grade to Eighth Grade. Sports are recognized as an important part of youth development. This championships demonstrate SJV’s continuing success right here in Rancho Cordova.

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SACRAMENTO, CA – The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) Board of Directors approved a new bus network proposal, which comprehensively redesigns SacRT’s bus system. “We are excited to begin the process of rolling out our new bus network in a few months,” said SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li. “To ensure the success of the new network, SacRT will conduct frequent monitoring of the new bus service to optimize and adjust service where it’s needed most.”

A draft plan was released for public review on December 10, 2018. Since then, major outreach efforts took place to let riders and stakeholders know about the proposed plan, called SacRT Forward.

Based on the comments received, and reviewing ridership and demographic data, staff spent the past two and half months making adjustments to the plan. A revised bus network proposal was released for public review on February 18, 2019, and approved by the SacRT Board of Directors on February 25, 2019. The new service is expected to start in summer 2019.

“We have been actively listening to our riders and the community for the past year and a half to make changes that will best fit their lifestyle and help improve mobility options for the Sacramento region,” said SacRT Board Chair and Sacramento County Supervisor Patrick Kennedy. “Travel patterns have changed, regional mobility options have been expanded and development has occurred on the periphery.”

The focus of the new network has been on building a solid network of core routes on major corridors that will lead to economic growth and reduce congestion. Adjustments have been made to almost every route, some minor and some much more substantial, which will provide improved schedules and better service reliability. The new network consists of: 27 regular routes; 14 peak hour only routes; All routes have 7-day service (with the exception of bus route 33); All routes have 45 minute or better service (with the exception of one rural route); Complements the new 15-minute weekend light rail service

In many areas that don’t have high demand for fixed-route bus service, or are not designed for large buses to navigate the neighborhood, SacRT will deploy SmaRT Ride microtransit service.

Annual bus ridership is forecasted to go up between 400,000 and 1,000,000 boardings a year with the new service improvements. For route by route details, visit

SacRT operates approximately 70 bus routes (fixed-route, dial-a-ride and microtransit) and 43 miles of light rail all within a 400-square mile service area throughout Sacramento County, which includes service in the cities of Citrus Heights, Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove. Sacramento buses and light rail trains operate 365 days a year. SacRT's entire bus and light rail system is accessible to the disabled community. ADA services are provided under contract with Paratransit, Inc.

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Local Resident Represents Shriners Hospital at PGA Golf Tour

By Russell Hartley, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2019-03-11

Rancho Cordova resident, Chloe Maples. Photo courtesy City of Rancho Cordova

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Rancho Cordova resident, Chloe Maples, 13, is a pretty special young lady. She was chosen as one of 22 patient ambassadors throughout the country to represent Shriners Hospital at a PGA Golf Tour tournament, where she would be a standard bearer, carrying the scores of professional golfers as they compete in the tournament. It is a rare “inside the ropes” opportunity at a PGA Tour event, as well as the chance to share how Shriners Hospitals has helped transform Chloe’s life.

Born without a fibula in her left leg, Chloe’s foot was amputated when she was one year old.  She then spent three months in a body cast to help correct an undeveloped hip. A few weeks after her cast was removed, Chloe was fitted for her first prosthesis.  The prosthetic team at the Northern California Shriners Hospital has designed several new legs for Chloe over the years, each one thoughtfully crafted to suit Chloe’s active lifestyle — including her passion for dance. A junior high student from Rancho Cordova, during the school day Chloe is focused on her studies, which she hopes will lead one day to a college degree and a career as a Marine Biologist.  In her free time, she enjoys the company of friends and performing with a contemporary and jazz dance group.

Late last year, Chloe traveled to Las Vegas and was on the big stage walking with the pros at the PGA Golf Tour to represent Shriners Hospital for Children.

“I thought it was incredible because I was in Las Vegas to be in a golf tournament for free. It was an honor to walk among the other ambassadors and to get to know them and to get to know the golfers,” said Chloe.

After the final putt, Chloe stood in the winner’s circle with the tournament champion, Shriners leaders, and kids from other Shriners Hospitals for Children.

“Shriners let us know that the care will move forward when she’s in college. And it’s a huge blessing that they will still help her out,” said Chloe’s mother, Mary Maples. “We are incredibly grateful to Shriner. The care that they provided has been top notch. They are just incredible.”

As part of her participation in the tournament, Chloe’s story and photo appeared in the tournament program, and her information was shared with the Golf Channel, which televised the tournament nationally. The broadcast reached over 700 million homes across 240 countries worldwide.

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Sacramento County Employees Show They Care

By Andrea Hansen, Sacramento County  |  2019-03-07

Troy Givans, left, and Supervisor Patrick Kennedy present the ceremonial 2018 Employee Giving Campaign check on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.  Photo courtesy Sacramento County

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Every year, Sacramento County employees participate in an employee-organized fundraising campaign to support local and global nonprofit organizations. To report on the success of the 2018 Employee Giving Campaign, the Campaign’s Chair and Director for the Office of Economic Development, Troy Givans, presented the results on Jan. 29 to the Board of Supervisors.

The theme of this year’s campaign, “Sacramento County Cares,” highlights the generosity and concerns that employees show when they support the causes that improve the quality of life in their local communities and the world around them.

This year’s campaign included a new online donation system, Giving Matters 365, which expanded the County’s paperless initiative and streamlined donations through only payroll deductions, and credit/debit card contributions. 

Giving campaign events included the annual 5K race/walk held at Discovery Park and a successful golf tournament held at Ancil Hoffman Golf Course.

Donations were provided to six federations of charitable organizations, as well as 17 non-profit Sacramento County programs that serve our communities. 

The grand total of the 2018 donations came to $273,024.

2018 Chair, Co-Chairs and Loaned Executives:

Chair, Troy Givans, Office of Economic Development

  • Loaned Executive: Kim Lettini

Co-Chair, Chief Lee Seale, Sacramento Probation

  • Loaned Executive: Peggy Hower, Monika Lopez and Cindy Coy

Co-Chair, Doug Sloane, Waste Management

  • Loaned Executives: Eric Vanderbilt and Melissa Schultz

Sacramento County Departments with the highest donations:

  • 1-99 Employees – County Counsel; County Clerk/Recorder
  • 100-299 Employees – Public Defender; Assessor 
  • 300+ Employees – Sheriff; Human Assistance 

Source: Sacramento County Media

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SAFE President and CEO Dave Roughton Named Businessman of the Year

By Carole Ferguson  |  2019-03-07

SAFE President and CEO Dave Roughton the 2019 Businessman of the Year.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce has named SAFE President and CEO Dave Roughton the 2019 Businessman of the Year.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this award,” Dave Roughton said. “I love the Sacramento area, and I am proud to be able to contribute to Sacramento’s regional success by helping our members and small businesses gain financial wellness through products and services that put their needs first. I also believe it’s vitally important for local companies like SAFE to actively support Sacramento’s regional growth and prosperity through economic development and non-profit engagement.” 

Dave was nominated by longtime Sacramento public relations and advertising executive Jane Einhorn. Her nomination reads in part: “Dave has led SAFE through tremendous growth, solidifying it as the second largest credit union in the Sacramento area. … Dave has been an active leader in the credit union industry for many years, having served on the California Credit Union League Board, Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy Committees, CO-OP Board of Directors, and as chair of the WesCorp Supervisory Committee. He’s also an engaged member of the Sacramento business community, serving on the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce board.

Within SAFE, Dave has set a course for his company that led to the credit union recently being named the No. 1 Best Place to Work by the Sacramento Business Journal. Dave’s business philosophy reflects the lessons he learned working with many great leaders throughout his career: to have happy and loyal members, you must first have happy and loyal employees; inspire employees to provide exceptional experiences; walk the talk on promoting work-life balance; and show you believe in your employees by providing career growth opportunities and celebrating their successes.”

Prior to joining SAFE in 1999, Dave worked for Arthur Andersen LLP for more than seven years in its Business Consulting and Audit practices. Dave is a CPA; he earned an MBA from the University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management and a BS in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire, Whittemore School of Business & Economics. In addition, Dave serves as the 2nd Vice Chair and Board Director for the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, serves as the Treasurer and Board Director for Align Capital Region and is a Board Director and Past Chairman of the Board for The First Tee of Greater Sacramento.

 SAFE is federally insured by the NCUA. Find out more at

 Source: Marketing Department, SAFE Credit Union

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In Harmony with Nature

Story by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-03-07

Each year almost 3,000 students visit Soil Born Farms on field trips. Students tour the farm and explore the Youth Garden. Photo by Guy Galante, courtesy Soil Born Farms

Soil Born Farms Promotes Healthy Living

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG)  - Soil Born Farms started as a small one-acre urban farm in Sacramento in 2000. Almost 20 years later, the non-profit farm is producing local organic food along the American River Parkway on the historic 55-acre American River Ranch, located at 2140 Chase Drive in Rancho Cordova. The mission of Soil Born Farms is to empower people to participate in the local food system while connecting to the environment and creating deeper roots in the community.

Terese Hollander Esperas, Soil Born Farms project manager, explained that the urban agriculture and education project strives to promote healthy living and engage the community to “get back to the roots” through a variety of programs, classes, workshops, and events.

Some of Soil Born Farms’ upcoming classes include Winter One-Pot Meals, The Wonders of Fungi and Mushrooms, Cooking with Citrus, Growing Medicinal and Culinary Herbs, Raising Backyard Chickens, and Intermediate Urban Backyard Beekeeping. They also offer Bird Walks and a Spring Gardening Clinic. You can even attend a free Composting Workshop and a free Make Your Own Solar Cooker class. (For the dates and prices of classes, visit

Starting last month, Pop-Up Farmstand events give visitors the opportunity to purchase produce while enjoying tastings, live music, kids’ activities, and beverages and baked goods available for purchase. The Farmstand also features Millie’s Mercantile & Greenhouse Garden Gift Shop. Upcoming Pop-Up Farmstands will be held on March 9 and March 23.

Starting on April 6, the farm will begin hosting Saturday at the Farm, a weekly event featuring the American River Ranch Farmstand, open Saturdays through December 14. Visitors can meet the farmers who grow the food and enjoy the beautiful rural setting of the American River Ranch while listening to live music and purchasing produce fresh from the field. Magpie Café offers fair-trade coffee and pastries, and other hand-crafted items are also available for purchase.

Soil Born Farms’ biggest event is the Day on the Farm, a festival held every May. More than a thousand people attend each year, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for local families to experience all the farm has to offer. “It’s a really fun day. Many community groups come to the farm and lots of organizations come together. It’s a really fun way to experience the farm,” said Hollander Esperas. The American River Ranch Farmstand is open during Day on the Farm, in addition to various vendors, booths, gardening classes, cooking demonstrations, workshops, tours, nature walks, and draft horse demonstrations. The festival also features live music, games, a raffle, an array of delicious foods, face painting, and lots of activities for the kids. Day on the Farm will be held on May 19 this year, and there is a $5 suggested donation for attendance.

“We utilize these events to promote our mission. And the farm is a wonderful oasis for people to learn and to experience nature,” said Hollander Esperas.

Members of the community can support the farm and enjoy the bountiful harvests through the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. CSA members purchase farm shares twice a year to help cover the farm’s costs. In return, members get to pick up boxes of fresh produce each week during the growing season.

Hollander Esperas said that Wellness Wednesdays are a great way to experience the beauty of the farm at the American River Ranch. During March through September, visitors can start their Wednesday with a morning yoga class on the farm at 8:00 AM for a $10 suggested donation. Hollander Esperas said, “It’s a great way to be outside experiencing nature…It’s very peaceful.”

Soil Born Farms’ year-round garden team welcomes volunteers every Wednesday to assist farm staff. Volunteers get the opportunity to learn about medicinal herbs as well as native plants, flowers, and trees. Volunteers also help with the greenhouses, plant sales, caring for the orchard, and planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables. Hollander Esperas said it’s a wonderful opportunity to “get exercise, fresh air, and sunshine while talking to the farmers, getting knowledge, and building skills.”

There are many opportunities for kids to enjoy the farm. Each year almost 3,000 students visit Soil Born Farms on field trips. “There’s a bus at the farm almost every day,” said Hollander Esperas. Students get to take a tour of the farm and then participate in a variety of activities, such as working in the Youth Garden, playing an educational game, or creating a craft project inspired by nature. And no visit to the farm would be complete without tasting foods fresh from the gardens.

There is a lot for kids to explore at Soil Born Farms. And there are lots of animals to see, including cows, horses, chickens, and pigs. A play structure and a discovery area allow kids of all ages to learn and play. The farm also offers summer camps and afterschool programs.

Soil Born Farms is open to the public Monday through Saturday, and visitors can explore the rural setting through self-guided tours. Hollander Esperas said, “The farm is special because it’s a peaceful, serene place where people can come to get away from the busy, technologically driven world and reconnect with the land and get back to basics. It’s an environment that makes people feel connected and like a part of the community.”

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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

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

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

Source: T-Rock Communications

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Legendary Rock Band Donates Worldwide Hit Song to Shriners Hospitals for Children

MPG Staff  |  2019-03-06

Foreigner band members Kelly Hansen (Foreigner lead singer, left) and Mick Jones (Founding band member and song writer, right) pose with Alec Cabacungan, Shriners Hospitals for Children Patient Ambassador. Photo courtesy Shriners Hospital.

FOREIGNER, the classic British-American rock band is donating its hit song I Want to Know What Love Is to Shriners Hospitals for Children. FOREIGNER recently recorded a special version of the song with Kelly Hansen as lead vocalist and created a new music video featuring Shriners Hospitals for Children patients.

The new release of I Want to Know What Love Is now is available for download on Google Play and iTunes.  FOREIGNER is donating all sales proceeds to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The Mick Jones composition I Want to Know What Love Is hit the top of the charts all over the world when it was released in 1984, and is FOREIGNER’s biggest hit to date. It remains one of the band's best-known songs and is listed as one of Rolling Stone Magazine's greatest songs of all time.

“There is a spiritual undertone to I Want to Know What Love Is, and when you apply the lyrics to a cause like Shriners Hospitals for Children, it brings a whole new meaning to the song,” said FOREIGNER lead guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones.

“It’s hard to put a dollar amount on the value of this gift, but this is truly a monumental donation in our mind,” said John McCabe, executive vice president of Shriners Hospitals for Children. “Participating in the music video will be an invaluable experience for our patients. The fact that sales proceeds from the download of this song will go to Shriners Hospitals for Children is a wonderful bonus.”

“FOREIGNER has been involved with Shriners Hospitals for 10 years, and we’ve been looking for a way to make a more meaningful impact,” said lead singer Kelly Hansen. “The lyrics of this song really speak to the qualities we’ve observed in the children here at Shriners Hospitals. The kids show this amazing resilience and happiness that really makes one think how powerful love is.”

You may donate or download FOREIGNER music online.

Since 1922, Shriners Hospitals for Children has provided pediatric specialty care to children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Shriners Hospitals has treated more than 1.3 million children from more than 180 countries over the last 95 years.

Shriners Hospitals for Children has locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, and is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. All care is provided regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

FOREIGNER is responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including Juke Box Hero, Cold as Ice, Hot Blooded, Waiting For A Girl Like You, Feels Like The First Time, Urgent, and the worldwide No. 1 hit, I Want to Know What Love Is. More than 40 years into the game, FOREIGNER continues to rock the charts with massive airplay and continued Billboard Top 200 album success. FOREIGNER also features strongly in every category in Billboard’s Greatest of All Time listing. The band is consistently in the Top 20 on classic rock radio. As a result of the depth of the catalogue, the band gets more airplay at the format than Eric Clapton, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Bon Jovi, U2, Bad Company and many of their peers. 

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