‘Filling the Boot’ Raises Funds for Burn Victims

By Elise Spleiss  |  2017-02-24

Firefighters celebrate as this year’s drive for burn victims raises a record $149,000. --Photo by Rachel Crowell

The intersection of Greenback Lane and Sunrise Avenue in Citrus Heights was once again bustling with activity as drivers and pedestrians dropped cash and checks into the boots of 200 Sacramento Metro fire firefighters over a four-day period during the annual “Fill the Boot” drive.

Once again, those dollars added up to another record year. Rachel Crowell, Assistant Director of the Firefighters Burn Institute (FFBI), said in an email, “Preliminary figures are in and it looks like we broke another record this year! Over the course of the Boot Drive (February 9-12) we raised a record high of approximately $149,000 for burn survivors.”

The Sacramento Area Fire Fighters Pipes & Drums Band and the Local 522 Honor Guard were part of opening ceremonies. Councilwomen Jeannie Bruins welcomed attendees.

Besides collecting donations for the Firefighters Burn Institute at U.C. Davis, a free family friendly Safety Fair on Saturday in the Sunrise Mall parking lot gave children and their families a good taste of what law enforcement and other safety programs do to help and protect the public. The helicopter landings, vehicle extractions with the jaws of life, and fire truck rides around the perimeter of the mall were fun and educational for all members of the family. Kids put out fires with extinguishers, and learned when and how to call 911.

According to the UC Davis website, “The burn treatment center is the largest in Northern CA. Formerly called the UC Davis Regional Burn Center, the new center reflects the name of the FFBI, which raised $2m through the ‘Fill the Boot’ and other fundraising efforts to make this new expanded burn center at UC Davis Medical Center a reality.” The new facility is 13,000 square feet and has 12 ICU beds in private rooms. The Shriner’s Hospital for Children Northern California also benefits through research and training of staff in burn treatment.

Forest Rowell, Battalion Chief with Metro Fire and an advisory board member of FFBI said at the site, “The last couple of days have been amazing, it’s incredible to see the amount of money people are pulling out, everyone has been very generous. What’s been so great this year versus other years, is so many people driving by but couldn’t stop, but are taking time to stop, turn around, come back into the parking lot or gas station to donate. It shows how dedicated the citizens of Sacramento County are to donating.”

Jonathan Williams, Battalion Chief, City of Sacramento who oversaw the food and volunteers agreed saying, “Each year we’ve been doing better and better, get more participation from fire fighters, and more support from the community. People don’t realize when they put money in a boot, they might be helping themselves if something happens down the road and they get burned.”

Five girl scouts and their mothers from Troop 1544 and Troop 889 made the trip from Shingle Springs to help wherever needed. It was an exciting experience for them and they are planning to return.

A special thank for help in putting on this four-day event goes to Duarte Construction, Regional Builder Inc., Sunstate Equipment Co, Granite Construction, IBEW Local 1245, ModSpace, City of Citrus Heights, Sunrise Mall, US Bank, Happy Daze RV’s and Big Dog Transport.

FFBI founded in 1973 by Sacramento Area Fire Fighters Local 522, has grown into the area’s largest firefighter-run charity. It helped establish the first burn unit in Sacramento in 1974 and continues to donate medical equipment, fund burn research and provide free burn recovery programs, including two annual summer camps for young burn survivors.

SAFE Credit Union Donates $5,000 to Local Salvation Army

Source: Runyon Saltzman Inc.  |  2017-02-24

In an effort to support communities impacted by the evacuation orders along the Feather River Basin in Butte, Sutter, and Yuba counties, SAFE Credit Union donated $5,000 to the Salvation Army, Del Oro Division, which directly serves the affected region.

“It’s deeply important to support an organization with boots on the ground, and the Salvation Army is already working hard to help the people who were, or remain, displaced,” said SAFE President and CEO Dave Roughton. “We want to ensure they have the necessary resources to provide assistance to those in need.”

The Salvation Army is providing food and comfort in evacuation centers around the region, including Chico, Grass Valley, Roseville, Oroville, and Anderson. They continue to assess needs and have units on standby to support other affected areas, if needed.

“We’re so thankful for SAFE Credit Union’s generous donation to our Emergency Disaster Services program,” said Major Guy Hawk, Salvation Army Divisional Secretary for the Del Oro Division. “The funds will help a lot with the meal services we have provided for the evacuees of the Oroville Dam situation, and they may also be used to assist families as they transition back home. It goes without saying, but we can’t do this without local support from individuals and organizations like SAFE Credit Union.”

To donate to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts, visit deloro.salvationarmy.org or call (800) 725-2769 and designate that funds be allocated to “Oroville Response.”

Earlier this week, SAFE initiated calls to members who live in the evacuation zone to gauge what assistance they might need to mitigate financial hardships as a direct result of this emergency. Impacted members who have yet to be in contact with SAFE are requested to call (916) 979-7233 or (800) SEE-SAFE to discuss options for their specific situation.

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Celebrate “Read Across America”

By Diane Levin  |  2017-02-24

Celebrate the 19th Annual Read Across America on Thursday, March 2nd, by reading to your young children and making it something you do with them every day.

Read Across America was created by the National Education Association (NEA) in 1998 as an annual way to celebrate the importance of reading on a most appropriate day – the birthday of Theodore Geisel, better known as the beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss.

Forty-five million readers, young and old, participated in last year’s celebration, and even more are anticipated to take part this year.

Reading to young children is one of the most important activities you can do. It is a pillar of First 5 California’s efforts to help California’s youngest succeed in life. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, less than 60 percent of children between the ages of three to five are read to on a daily basis.

Reading to your child, even when they are babies, helps increase their vocabulary, and stimulate brains to grow stronger and smarter.  Studies show kids whose parents read to them frequently have much larger vocabularies by the time they go to school than children who have not been read to on a regular basis.

Reading to your young children also builds a lifelong appreciation for books and reading, expands their knowledge base about the world, and most importantly, promotes a bond and closeness.

So put on your red and white stripped top hat, find a favorite book, and spend some time reading to your young child.  It’s a treasured moment you can share not just on March 2nd, but day after day, year after year.

You can find out more about Read Across America at www.nea.org/readacross.

Diane Levin serves as First 5 California’s chief deputy director and directs the agency’s day-to-day operations. Her primary responsibilities include establishing and implementing internal policies that provide for the governance of the agency’s policies, programs, systems, services, security, and public relations. http://www.first5california.com

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Aerospace Museum to Present Leonardo da Vinci “Machines in Motion”

Source: T-Rock Communications  |  2017-02-23

The dynamic “Machines in Motion” exhibit will remain on display at the Aerospace Museum through September 4, 2017.

The Aerospace Museum of California is proud to present a dramatic, interactive and world-class Leonardo da Vinci “Machines in Motion” international traveling exhibit that will be on display for the first time in California starting on February 6, 2017.  Forty machine replicas will be part of the impressive exhibit that will occupy nearly 9,000-square foot of space inside the spacious Museum. The dynamic “Machines in Motion” exhibit will remain on display at the Aerospace Museum through September 4, 2017.

Once open to the public, Museum guests will have the unique opportunity to set a wide variety of machines in motion while learning and exploring the wide range of mechanical principles da Vinci employed to create each one. Grouped together in four sections according to the element which the machine operates or from which it draws power -- Earth, Water, Air and Fire – the exhibit features visionary early inventions such as the helicopter, glider, armored tank, drive transmission, printing press, bicycle, robot and more. In addition, a da Vinci themed PlayZone will also be available for very young children to inspire creative learning.

“We are thrilled to bring the genius of da Vinci to the Aerospace Museum and our inquisitive guests,” said Roxanne Yonn, Executive Director of the Aerospace Museum of California. “Most people first think of da Vinci as one of the world’s most famous painters but he was also a brilliant inventor and creator who was way ahead of his time. In addition to the amazing number and diverse range of machines he created, he was intrigued by the phenomenon of flight and detailed plans for several flying machines, many of which guests will see on display at the Museum.”

All of the hands-on machines on display at the Museum are based on Leonardo da Vinci’s visionary designs and innovative notebook drawings that have been meticulously constructed by a modern team of scientists and craftsmen in collaboration with the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Florence, Italy.

The Leonardo da Vinci “Machines in Motion” hands-on exhibit is included with Museum admission:  $15 for adults, $12 for seniors & teachers (with ID), $12 for children & youth (ages 6-17), and is free for children ages 5 and under along with active duty military (with ID) and Museum members. For more information about the Leonardo da Vinci “Machines in Motion” exhibit or the Aerospace Museum of California in general, please call 916-643-3192 or visit www.aerospaceca.org.

Located in a spacious facility at McClellan Business Park in Sacramento, the Aerospace Museum of California is one of aviation’s greatest showcases that captures the allure of flight. With a wide range of impressive military and civilian aircraft on display – from biplanes to Russian MIGs -- and an extensive engine collection, the Museum also offers a state-of-the-art STEM learning laboratory or “Flight Zone” with 10 interactive digital flight stations. The Museum is committed to providing a world-class experience along with the opportunity to learn about and celebrate aviation’s past, present and future. For more, visit www.aerospaceca.org.

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Year in the Lives of Owls Comes to Audubon Program

Source: Sacramento Audubon Society  |  2017-02-23

Award winning photographer Paul Bannick will present a program at the March 16 meeting of the Sacramento Audubon Society using video and sound and telling stories from the field.  He will also present several dozen new images from his brand-new book: Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls.

He will use intimate yet dramatic images to follow various species of owls in their distinct habitats through the course of one year.

Audiences will witness the four seasons as each stage in an owl’s life is chronicled through rare images: courtship, mating, and nesting in spring; fledging and feeding of young in summer; dispersal and gaining independence in fall; and, finally, winter’s migrations and competitions for food.

His program shows how owls use the unique resources available to them in each habitat to face those challenges. All 19 species found in Canada and the United States are featured in photos, video and narrative throughout the talk, with a special focus on the Northern Pygmy-Owl, Great Gray Owl, Burrowing Owl, and Snowy Owl.

Owl is a follow-up to Bannick’s bestselling title, The Owl and the Woodpecker, giving bird lovers yet another photographic tribute engaging natural history and a compelling call to preserve the habitats that sustain these most iconic of birds. 

The public is invited to the 7 p.m. meeting at Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Ancil Hoffman Park (For directions, see www.sacnaturecenter.com).

There will be no charge for the program or parking, and no park-entry fee.

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Free Small Business Seminar and Resource Expo for Veterans Comes to Region

Source: California State Board of Equalization  |  2017-02-23

Veterans who own a business or would like to start one are invited to attend a free Small Business Seminar and Resource Expo in Roseville on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Attendees will learn how to comply with California’s often complex tax laws.

California State Board of Equalization (BOE) Member George Runner is sponsoring the event with Senator Jim Nielsen, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet), City of Roseville, Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Advantage Roseville.

“We honor our veterans for their service and sacrifice,” said Member Runner. “It’s the least we can do to help them be successful in business by ensuring they’re aware of available tax benefits and resources.”

Those looking for assistance with state and federal tax laws, as well as those who want to expand their business knowledge, will benefit from the informative presentations. Topics include veterans’ property tax exemptions, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, forms of ownership, CalVet services, and marketing and social media for veterans. Representatives from the BOE, Employment Development Department, Franchise Tax Board, CalVet, Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development (Go-Biz), and California Capital Women’s Business Center will conduct the presentations and answer questions.

Exhibitors include the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of General Services, Veterans Resource Center–Sierra College, American Legion Post 169, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1487.

Time:  8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m.) Location: Tower Theatre, 417 Vernon Street, Roseville, CA 95678. Free parking is available. Registration:  1-888-847-9652.

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Sacramento County Employees Raise Funds for Charities

Source: Sacramento County Media Department  |  2017-02-23

Sacramento County employees held fundraisers, bake sales, a 5-K Walk/Run and a charity golf tournament to raise funds as well as making personal pledges to have one-time or ongoing payroll deductions withdrawn from their paychecks towards charities of their choice.

In the County’s annual employee campaign to raise funds for charitable organizations, project coordinator Terrie Porter, Director of the Child Support Services Department, reported to the Board of Supervisors that nearly $252,000 was raised in the 2016 campaign.

Employees held fundraisers, bake sales, a 5-K Walk/Run and a charity golf tournament to raise funds as well as making personal pledges to have one-time or ongoing payroll deductions withdrawn from their paychecks towards charities of their choice. Charities included a wide variety of services including veterans, youth programs, local and global organizations.

The golf tournament, spearheaded by Chief Information Officer Rami Zakaria and the Department of Technology, raised $63,500. This brings the total raised by the tournaments held over the last four years to $215,000. Proceeds are donated to the Sacramento Children’s Home, Children Receiving Home of Sacramento and the Courts Appointed Special Advocate.

The campaign continues the long-standing tradition of Sacramento County employees generously helping others. Each and every contribution will help improve the quality of life for everyone in the community, as well as people throughout the nation and the world.

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Learn to Create a Beautiful, Water-Wise Landscape

Source: Sacramento Suburban Water District  |  2017-02-23

Workshop Participants to Help Establish River-Friendly Demonstration Gardens at Howe Park

Learn to create a beautiful, water-wise landscape while also helping to establish new River-Friendly demonstration gardens at Howe Park during a new workshop series hosted by Sacramento Suburban Water District (SSWD) and EcoLandscape California.

The six-session River-Friendly, Green Gardening workshop series, taught by the sustainable landscaping experts at EcoLandscape California, includes three classroom workshops and two hands-on training days that will cover:

  • Landscape design
  • Putting the right plant in the right place
  • Sheet mulching
  • Water-wise irrigation
  • Integrated pest management
  • How to care for your landscape
  • And much, much more

Classroom workshops will take place on four consecutive Thursday evenings, March 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and also includes two special hands-on workshops on Saturdays, March 18 and April 1 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided. The workshops and training days will take place at Howe Park at 2100 Cottage Way in Sacramento.

Ultimately, four unique water-wise demonstration gardens will be created for Howe Park as part of this workshop series and park transformation. The gardens will demonstrate the principles of River-Friendly Landscaping, a gardening method that works with nature to reduce water use, reduce waste, prevent pollution, attract birds and butterflies, and support the health of our region's waterways. River-Friendly Landscapes help home gardeners save water, time and money.

Total cost for all five workshops is $35. Complete details are available at www.SSWD.org or by calling SSWD at (916) 679-2890.

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Friendship Circle Presents the Great Bike Giveaway

Source: Friendship Circle  |  2017-02-23

Every Child Deserves a Bike!

Friendship Circle is kicking off its 6th annual Great Bike Giveaway on February 15, 2017. Great Bike Giveaway is an annual national campaign that strives to provide as many bikes as possible to children and teens with special needs. Participants will have one month to earn an adaptive bike through fundraising efforts using an online crowdfunding platform.

More than 74 million kids across the U.S. ride bikes. It’s a quintessential part of childhood. Sadly, a key group of children are excluded from the joy and independence of bike riding. Many children with special needs miss out on that essential childhood experience because their physical or cognitive limitations make riding a traditional bike impossible.

The high cost of adaptive bikes makes the dream of riding a bike unreachable for many children with special needs. Many families cannot afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a bike and unfortunately, insurance companies refuse to cover the costs.

Friendship Circle works with adaptive bike companies from around the United States to secure discounted pricing, making it cost-effective for families to earn appropriate bikes for their children. Adaptive bikes range in size, capability, and price making it easy for every family to find the bike that best meets their child’s needs. In just 5 years, Friendship Circle has provided over 900 children with adaptive bikes and the experience of riding their very own bike.

In order to participate in the Great Bike Giveaway families, or participants, will be required to complete a registration form and choose the bike they wish to fundraise for.

To view a full list of available bikes and rules, or to register, please visit bikes.friendshipcircle.org

Friendship Circle is a non-profit organization that provides programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs. In addition to assisting individuals with special needs, Friendship Circle brings together teenage volunteers and children with special needs for hours of fun and friendship. These shared experiences empower the children, our special friends, while enriching the lives of everyone involved. Learn more and see our available programs at www.friendshipcircle.org.

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Spirit Halloween Employees Raise Over $40,000 to Support Shriners Hospital

Source: Shriners Media  |  2017-02-17

The Spirit of Children Campaign is devoted to helping hospitalized children.

Patients arrived in the central activity area of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California dressed as princesses, storm troopers and adorable little monsters.  Child life specialists dressed as superheroes guided them in a cupcake decorating activity.  Even though it was the first Wednesday in February, Halloween was the inspiration.

The Therapeutic Recreation & Child Life team organized the Halloween party as a thank-you to the Spirit of Children Campaign, which raises money to support activities that allow hospitalized children to engage in play.

Representatives from the Spirit of Children Campaign arrived for the party at the Northern California Shriners Hospital with a giant check for $42,752, representing money raised and donated to support the therapeutic recreation and child life programs.  The funds were raised by Spirit Halloween stores in the Sacramento area. In the weeks leading up to Halloween, Spirit Halloween employees organized activities ranging from bake sales to face painting to support the Spirit of Children Campaign.

“We are extremely grateful to Spirit of Children for supporting opportunities for play and self-expression so kids can be kids even when they are hospitalized,” said Melissa Grialou, manager of the Therapeutic Recreation and Child Life program at the Shriners Hospital in Sacramento.  “We have enjoyed working with the Spirit of Children team. Through their community service and fundraising activities, they have brought a generous spirit of fun to the children here at Shriners Hospital.”

Shanda Pierce, who owns and operates 21 Spirit Halloween stores in Northern California, said the goal of the Spirit of Children Campaign is to help make a child’s hospital experience positive – not scary.

“It is important to us that every dollar raised by local Spirit Halloween stores stays right here in our community,” says Pierce. “It takes an immense amount of heart to ask strangers to donate to a cause. I am very proud of our Spirit employees. They have amazing hearts,” she adds.

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