A Pawsitive Impact

By Allison Armstrong, Sacramento Children’s Museum  |  2019-04-23

Photos by Allison Armstrong.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Children’s Museum gave guests the chance to meet the hardest-working hounds in the Sacramento Community at their second annual Dogs with Jobs event on April 6th.

Visitors of all ages attended and had the opportunity to learn more about each dog’s special set of skills from their handlers. The dogs in attendance did everything from work in hospitals, airports and schools to helping their human partners fight crime.

A major highlight for visitors was meeting two different types of police dogs and seeing the difference in their roles and abilities. The Rancho Cordova Police Department brought along detection dog, K9 Zoe and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department brought apprehension dog, K9 Bady.

Guests met working dogs of all sizes - from the 8lb Chihuahua all the way to the 135lb Great Dane!
Children and adults alike had a great time learning more about the different working dogs in our community. The event also featured dogs from the Gold Country chapter of Love on a Leash, Lend a Heart Lend A Hand Animal-Assisted Therapy and the Shriners Hospitals Pet Therapy Team. 

Rancho Cordova's History

Earning Eagle Rank and Scout of the Year

By Debbie Rumsey, Proud Mom  |  2019-04-24

Mitchell Rumsey. Photo provided

Mitchell Rumsey, a student at George Washington Carver High School, has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouts. This accomplishment represents over six years of adventure, fun, work and dedication to the Boy Scout program for Rumsey, a member of Rancho Cordova’s Troop 363.
During the process of satisfying the requirements for the Eagle rank, Rumsey has performed over 270 hours of community service with his troop and is currently serving as Senior Patrol Leader. Rumsey has completed over 120 nights camping and has earned both the Camping and Conservation National Outdoor Awards.

In addition to the traditional outdoor skills learned in Boy Scouts, Rumsey has 60 merit badges – almost tripling the 21 required for the rank and earning him seven additional Eagle Palms.

Shooting sports, metal work, and whitewater are among his favorite merit badges earned. His Eagle service project was to build custom feeding boxes and breeding boxes for the UC Davis Raptor Center. The University is well known for its veterinarian medicine program, and they are the prominent rehabilitation center for injured and displaced raptors in Northern California. Rumsey’s crew provided much needed custom rehabilitation feeding boxes as well as owl and kestrel breeding boxes.

Rumsey has been selected by local VFW Post 10125 and VFW District 17 as Scout of the Year. He is now qualified and entered at the State level competition in April. Rumsey will be formally presented the Eagle Scout award at a Court of Honor ceremony at the American River Grange #172 on April 28th.

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Saturday at the Farm

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-04-24

A cooking demonstration in the Youth Garden shows how easy it is to eat healthy using simple, fresh ingredients.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Soil Born Farms is a local non-profit that produces organic food along the American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova. Soil Born Farms encourages people to participate in the local food system, connect to the environment, and create deeper roots in the community.

On April 6, Soil Born Farms hosted their first Saturday at the Farm event of the season. Visitors explored the farm and purchased fresh produce from the American River Ranch Farmstand. The event featured cooking demonstrations, kids’ activities, and live music by Millington Strings.
Crowds of people from all over the Sacramento region attended the event, enjoying a snack at the café and perusing the gift shop for cookbooks, birdhouses, or handcrafted candles.
Saturday at the Farm also hosted Elderberry Farms’ spring plant sale. Elderberry Farms is a non-profit native plant nursery located at Soil Born Farms but operated entirely by volunteers from California Native Plant Society (CNPS). Their mission is to promote awareness about the benefits of native plant habitat.

Chris Callahan, a volunteer with CNPS Sacramento Valley Chapter, explained that the spring plant sale is their largest sale of the year: “Spring is when a lot of the plants are blooming; things are thriving and really starting to take off. It’s a great time for planting.”

“We found so many wonderful plants for our garden. It’s really wonderful here,” said Nell Suby, as her 3-year-old son Nicholas happily rode in a wagon with all their new plants.

The kids who attended Saturday at the Farm gleefully ran through the Youth Garden to look at the chickens, search the garden for fairies, and discover ladybugs, bees, and butterflies among the many flowers.
“We look forward to welcoming old friends and first-time visitors to enjoy a country experience in the city every Saturday,” said Janet Zeller founder and co-director of Soil Born Farms. Saturday at the Farm will be held weekly through December 14, and Soil Born Farms’ annual family event — A Day on the Farm — will be held on May 19. Visit www.soilborn.org for more details.


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SacRT General Manager Awarded for Defending Taxpayer Funds

By Jessica Gonzalez, Sacramento Regional Transit District  |  2019-04-23

General Manager/CEO Henry Li receives the Good Governance Award from the Sacramento Taxpapers Association. Image of the Good Governance Award for 2019. Photo provided by SacRT

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) recently  announced that General Manager/CEO Henry Li received the first annual Good Governance Award from the Sacramento Taxpayers Association for Outstanding Leadership in Defending Taxpayer Funds.

“Since I began with SacRT three years ago, I have pushed to get the district back on track financially and provide a cleaner and safer environment for our riders,” said GM/CEO Henry Li. “Being recognized with this coveted award is reflective of our efforts to cut our debt and provide the community with better public transit choices.”

SacRT Cost Cutting Initiatives Implemented under Henry Li include: Reducing fare evasion from over 15% three years ago to below 4% today; Lowering fares for the first time in the agency's 47-year history; Implementing business process optimization policies that led to more than $6.5 million annually in cost reductions through debt restructuring and renegotiating vendor contracts; Cutting debt by $45 million and cost avoidance of $75 million in five years; Building up reserves to nearly $20 million; Reformed retirement benefits program and reduced 20% retirement costs by converting a defined benefit plan to a contribution plan for hires dedicated to new services.

SacRT is currently seeking public comment in the Fiscal Year 2020 Operating and Capital Budget. The SacRT Board of Directors is expected to adopt the budget on June 10.

The Good Governance Award was presented during the Sacramento Taxpayers Association annual member meeting on April 15.

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California’s Rich Pioneer History Will Be Celebrated May 4 in Coloma

By Gary Zavoral  |  2019-04-23

Free wagon rides will be offered in Coloma during the Pioneer History Day May 4. Photos provided by PHD

Family Activities, Stage Shows and Historical Reenactments Highlight Third California Pioneer History Day

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Before the famed California Gold Rush brought tens of thousands of gold seekers and others to Northern California, there were hundreds of pioneers who paved the way for them to arrive, already having constructed homes and businesses, started farms and even began building cities.
On Saturday, May 4, area residents can learn more about how they lived and their accomplishments during the California Pioneer History Day at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma.
This free family event features historic reenactments and displays, a parade with descendants of early California pioneers, stage shows and musical entertainment, and many activities for families and children, including a cannon that shoots candy, free wagon rides, pioneer games and children’s crafts.
“Few Californians know about the rich early history of our state,” said Michelle Jones of Placerville, who is heading the effort along with Robert and Peni Frew from Auburn. “The California Pioneer History Day will give them the opportunity to discover this inspiring heritage in a fun and interactive way.”
The event will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with the parade at 10 a.m. and an opening ceremony following. This is the third California Pioneer History Day, which is sponsored by the California Pioneer Heritage Foundation and organized by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra foothills. While the event is free, the state parking fee is $8. Food concessions will be available, or attendees can bring their own lunch.
During the Pioneer History Day, three-dozen interactive exhibits and activities organized into two “tent towns” will straddle Highway 49, the main thoroughfare into Coloma. Among the many historical exhibits are:
· The Buffalo Soldiers, an African American Army infantry unit that served in the West.
· The Pony Express, whose Western hub was Sacramento.
· Gold Rush Jewish Communities, highlighting the accomplishments of this minority group during the Gold Rush.
· Demonstrations with a sacred Indian grinding rock.
· Pioneer United Methodist Church, which had its start in Auburn in 1851.
· Chinese Cultural Club, exhibiting the culture and achievements of the many Asian men and women who traveled to the gold fields.
· The Ship Brooklyn exhibit, which recreates the cramped quarters of the Latter-day Saints who sailed in 1846 around Cape Horn to Northern California to escape religious persecution.
· Bear Flag Revolt, celebrating a small group of American settlers who, in 1846, rebelled against the Mexican government and proclaimed California an independent republic.
Tents will also feature many family-friendly activities that will give attendees a taste of pioneer life. These include:
· Brick, rope and candle making.
· Making and playing with pioneer toys.
· Pioneer doll making.
· Biscuit baking.
· Dutch oven cooking.
Among the reenactments will be cannon and musket firing, giving a detailed demonstration of how they were loaded and the safety precautions taken before firing. These will be held at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30.p.m. The Pony Express will also recreate a mail hand-off during those same times, and free wagon rides will be available from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. In addition, there will be historical demonstrations on pioneer medicine, frontier justice, blacksmithing, wood carving, and free old-time photos with pioneer garb will be available.
On the main stage will be crowd-pleasing musical acts as well as old-time stage musical shows.
The Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma features a museum and visitors center, a replica of John Sutter’s sawmill where gold was discovered in 1848, and many other buildings that recreate the town of Coloma during the Gold Rush.
It is located off Highway 49 between Auburn and Placerville; the museum address is 310 Back St., Coloma. For more information, go to www.californiapioneer.com/cphd/ or call the Gold Discovery park museum at (530) 622-3470.

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Doggy ‘Dashing’ at William Land Park

By Dawn Foster, Sacramento SPCA  |  2019-04-23

The Doggy Dash has grown to include more than 5,000 attendees and is Northern California’s largest 2K/5K dog walk and pet festival, with a goal to raise $180,000. Photos provided by SSPCA

Northern California's Largest 2k/5k Dog Walk & Pet Festival

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento SPCA will host the 26th Anniversary Doggy Dash at William Land Park on Saturday, April 27th from 8:30 am - 2:00 pm.

An estimated 5,000 animal lovers are expected to gather on April 27th at William Land Park both with and without their canine companions to raise funds for animals at the Sacramento SPCA. Participants will enjoy the 2K or 5K walk and are invited to stay for the Bark at the Park Festival, where they can enter their canine pal in the pup show or agility and ice cream eating contest!

In addition, participants can watch canine demonstrations, visit with more than 100 pet-friendly businesses, enjoy the "Watering Bowl" Yappy Hour Beer Garden and some great food from Sacramento's most popular food trucks. And new to this year's event is the Kids Zone, where kids of all ages are invited to enjoy face painting, coloring, bowling and other fun activities.

"The Doggy Dash offers our community the opportunity to have fun with their dog and connects people and animals with rescue groups, pet-friendly businesses and other pet lovers in the area," said Sarah Varanini, Sa PR & Social Media Specialist. "Having a great day outside with your pup while also helping homeless pets is a win-win!"

Now celebrating its 26th anniversary, the Doggy Dash has grown to include more than 5,000 attendees and is Northern California’s largest 2K/5K dog walk and pet festival, with a goal to raise $180,000 in registrations and donations this year to support lifesaving programs and directly help animals in the Sacramento SPCA’s care. Last year alone, donations from the Doggy Dash helped provide low-cost spay and neuter surgeries to more than 18,300 of our community’s animals, vaccinate 16,200 companions and find homes for more than 3,600 pets.

The 26th Annual Doggy Dash will take place at William Land Park, 3800 Land Park Drive, Sacramento, CA 95822 on April 27th. Event day registration starts at 8:30AM, the 2K/5K walk at 10:00AM and the Bark at the Park Festival immediately following the walk. To register for the 2K/5K dog walk prior to event day, visit www.sspca.org/dash.

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It's at All About Equine’s 10th Anniversary Celebration

RANCHO MURIETA, CA (MPG) - All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc. (AAE) is holding its sixth annual Boots and Bling fundraising event on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm. The public is invited to participate in event festivities, which include BBQ dinner catered by Blackjack Grill, live and silent auctions, DJ entertainment, and dancing. This year's Boots and Bling event celebrates AAE’s 10th anniversary of horse rescue, while raising funds to support AAE's horses and equine-based programs.

AAE is a volunteer-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has rescued and rehabilitated over 265 horses since 2009; more than 195 horses have been adopted into forever loving homes. AAE has hosted equine-based programs for youth and adults. AAE is honored to be a Platinum level GuideStar nonprofit, and AAE is was awarded Top-Rated Nonprofit in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 by GreatNonprofits.org.

AAE is grateful for the many sponsors that support this important fundraising evening including Horse Expo, JP Equipment Rental, Lees’ Feed & Western Store Shingle Springs, AIG, Camblin Steel Service, A&J Drywall, Faith Episcopal Church, West Coast Equine Foundation, El Dorado Community Foundation, Tailored Tree, InAlliance, and the Fulton Family, the Fawkes Family, the Benoit Family, and the Rothenberg family. Wendy Digiorno, Founder and Executive Director offers, “The fact that industry leaders continue to support this event confirms AAE’s mission and validates the hard work and dedication of our volunteers”.

General admission is $45; and event sponsorships, including tables, are still available. This is a fun and exciting event you do not want to miss. Purchase tickets early; this event sold out in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

The event will be held at Western States Horse Expo at the Murieta Equestrian Center. The address is 7200 Lone Pine Drive, Rancho Murieta, CA.

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit www.allaboutequine.org/events All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc. (AAE) is located in El Dorado Hills, California. AAE’s mission is to rescue and rehabilitate horses and other animals, restore them to good health, and find each one a forever home.

Contact: Wendy Digiorno, (916) 520-4223, wendy@allaboutequine.org

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Rancho Cordova Named Finalist for a 2019 All-America City Award

By Russell Hartley, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2019-04-23

Representing the true spirit of inclusion and civic engagement that exists in Rancho Cordova. Photo provided by City of Rancho Cordova

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - We’re in the running!
The National Civic League has announced that the City of Rancho Cordova is one of 20 communities chosen as a finalist for a 2019 All-America City Award (AAC).
What is the All-America City Award?

The award is seen as the nation’s most prestigious community award and is now in its 70th year. Finalists are chosen from a large field of applicants and represent the diversity of American communities from the largest cities to the smallest towns, from east to west and north to south.
Why was the City of Rancho Cordova chosen?

This year’s focus was “Creating Healthy Communities through Civic Engagement,” a principal component and central theme that makes Rancho Cordova the city it is today.

“When we thought about what it means to be a healthy community, we were immediately struck by the term ‘healthy,’” said Shelly Blanchard, Executive Director of the Cordova Community Council. “When we looked at Rancho Cordova, what we found was healthy on so many levels—from food to education to caring for others to fun events to civic engagement.”

Representing the true spirit of inclusion and civic engagement that exists in Rancho Cordova, this effort was a partnership between the Cordova Community Council, Soil Born Farms, Mather Veterans Village, Mentees at Cordova High and the City of Rancho Cordova.

“Rancho Cordova is a vibrant community that values diversity, partnerships and fun,” said Cyrus Abhar, City Manager. “Our application brought these values to life through projects and programs that yield healthy food, inspirational educational environments, and supportive housing. We are thrilled to be recognized as a finalist by the National Civic League.”

In June, all 20 finalists will meet in Denver to compete for the chance to be named an All-America City.

2019 finalist communities also include Battle Creek, Michigan; Clinton, North Carolina; Cornelius, Oregon; Doral, Florida; Dubuque, Iowa; Edinburg, Texas; El Paso, Texas; Gothenburg, Nebraska; Hallandale Beach, Florida; Houston, Texas; Livingston County, New York; Millcreek, Utah; Mission, Texas; Ontario, California; Pasco, Washington; Rock Hill, South Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; West Hollywood, California; and Wichita, Kansas.

Previously, in 2010, Rancho Cordova was named an All-America City.

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Rotary Funds Trainings to Prevent Human Trafficking

Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-04-23

Students surveyed after the trainings say that they can define human trafficking, they understand how traffickers recruit victims, they know how to contact the human trafficking hotline, and they know how to protect themselves and others from trafficking. Stock image purchased.

Works Towards Protecting Children through Education

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry and is the fast-growing criminal activity in the world. California has the highest volume of sex trafficking, and the Sacramento region is a hotbed for trafficking in the United States.
The local Rotary District 5180 has undertaken a large-scale campaign to combat the issue of human trafficking in the Sacramento Region.
Rotary members Brian Gladden and Bob Deering (former District Governor) initiated the project more than three years ago. Through their research, they discovered that education is the key to preventing human trafficking. District 5180 raised more than $383,000 in grant funding to educate youth and the general public about the risks of human trafficking.
District 5180 partnered with local non-profit 3Strands Global in a public awareness campaign that reached approximately 78 million people.
Deering spoke at a recent Fair Oaks Rotary meeting to explain just how insidious trafficking is in our area and to update local Rotary members about the project’s progress.
Deering said that traffickers initially contact most victims online and that approximately 65% of the victims come from broken homes. When a stranger online begins showing them love and attention, the children are extremely vulnerable to becoming a trafficking victim.
Deering explained that one of the reasons Sacramento has such high trafficking rates is due to the prevalence of gang activity. He said that trafficking is “quickly becoming the number one revenue producer for gangs.”
While drugs can only be sold once and there are numerous risks in obtaining more to sell, the traffickers view young people as merchandise that can be sold repeatedly.
Because Interstate 5 and Highway 80 both run right through the Sacramento region, traffickers can easily transport victims throughout the state. Deering said that the practice of frequently moving the victims to new locations leaves them in a constant state of confusion because they don’t know where they are or how to find help.
Deering said that the project’s most important component was getting the 3Strands Global educational trainings into local schools. Deering described AB 1227, the Human Trafficking Prevention Education and Training Act, which was sponsored by 3Strands Global Foundation and signed into law in 2017.
The law requires California public schools to train county leadership, administrators, and educators in how to identify children who have been, or who are at risk of being, exploited — as well as how to proceed when potential victims are identified. The schools must also provide human trafficking prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school as part of sexual health education.
Due to the passage of AB 1227, Deering thought it would be easy to get the 3Strands curriculum into local schools, especially since District 5180 would be paying for it with grant funds. But Deering soon found that navigating the politics of the local school boards was no easy feat.
At many of the schools, Deering said it took months for the local curriculum committees to review and approve the 3Strands training curriculum. He explained that some individuals at the schools didn’t appreciate outsiders coming in and suggesting curriculum improvements and that those individuals believed the schools already knew how to handle the problem.
Deering said they also dealt with one angry parent who mistakenly got the impression that the training targeted students of color. Her frequent complaints that the training was racist made that particular school board initially hesitant to accept the trainings.
But Deering knew just how crucial it was to bring these trainings to the students, especially because the average age of trafficking victims is 12 – 14 years old. So they kept pushing, and now they have educated over 25,000 students and more than 650 teachers.
The trainings are already having a significant impact. Deering said that at each training, at least a few students approach the trainers afterward to say they now recognize they were being groomed for trafficking — or that they are already being trafficked and want help getting out.
Students surveyed after the trainings say that they can define human trafficking, they understand how traffickers recruit victims, they know how to contact the human trafficking hotline, and they know how to protect themselves and others from trafficking.
Deering expressed his thanks to all the clubs in the District for supporting this project. He estimates that the remaining grant money will be spent by the end of the year, so he asked that local clubs consider using some of their funds to sponsor trainings in their neighborhood schools.
“We want to find ways to keep this going even after the initial funding runs out.”

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Playmakers to Host Annual Fundraising Dinner

By Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-04-13

(Left to right) San Juan Unified School District Athletics Director Ron Barney, Rio Head Coach Sam Stroughter, El Camino Head Coach JP Dolliver, Playmaker Founder Greg Roeszler, and Playmaker Director Phil Dubois plan to bring rival teams together through community service. Photo by Shaunna Boyd.

Proceeds Fund Free Summer Program for Local At-Risk Youth

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Playmakers Organization is a local non-profit that coaches character through leadership and provides free programs to underprivileged and at-risk youth. The Playmakers Organization is hosting their 10th annual fundraising dinner on Saturday, April 27 at Divine Savior Church, 9079 Greenback Lane in Orangevale.

Playmakers founder Greg Roeszler (known as Coach Roz) said the goal of the organization is “to serve extremely at-risk kids and support them in the development of character, academics, sports and recreation — and to create a bond that the kids and their families can depend on.”

Roeszler said the upcoming fundraiser dinner “is a very inspirational evening; it’s very kid-driven.” Roeszler explained that kids who are involved in the Playmakers program speak at the event and “they will bring you to happy tears.” The dinner is an opportunity for the kids “to tell their story.”

The event will honor Playmakers sponsor Harrison Phillips of the Buffalo Bills and will celebrate Playmakers civic group participants — Rotary, Optimists, and Lions. Playmakers will also be welcoming Stanford defensive linemen Michael Williams and Joe Swahn as honored guests. The keynote speaker will be Phil Oates, part-owner of the Sacramento Kings.

Players from the Rio Americano and El Camino football teams will be serving together at the dinner, helping to set up the event and serve food throughout the evening. Their service is part of an effort to reconcile the teams after a brawl last season that forced them to forfeit the final game.

 Food will be provided by Chicago Fire, which will be serving pizza, wings, and salads. The event includes a live auction, DJ, and no-host bar.

Proceeds from the event will fund the Playmakers Summer Academy, an all-day program that is completely free for families that can’t afford childcare during the summer months.

Tickets are $40 and are available for purchase at www.theplaymakers.org/tickets.

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