Jingle Bell Run Honors Local Arthritis Warrior

By Carol Chamberlain  |  2018-12-02

Jeremy with his mom. Photo courtesy 3fold Communications

Six-year-old fights juvenile arthritis every day

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - In a Carmichael home where a family with three boys under 10 live, super heroes are widely respected, and even part of the décor.  Breakfast is served on top of Avenger placemats and Superman and Thor are nearby. Ironically, the kid eating his cereal from a bowl placed on top of Black Panther (his favorite) is a superhero in his own right. He is sharing his own battle with juvenile arthritis to bring awareness to the disease.

Six-year-old Jeremy Kelley will leave Black Panther behind and don a reindeer suit for a day the whole family is celebrating. Jeremy will be leading the Reindeer Games and Kid Run at the Arthritis Foundation’s 2018 Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis, supported by Sutter Health (where Jeremy’s mom works). The race takes place on December 9.

“Our honorees and volunteers are what make this event memorable every year, and this year we’re humbled to honor Jeremy Kelley who, along with his parents, is a true arthritis warrior,” says Heather Funk, the Arthritis Foundations’ Pacific Southwest region development director. “We are all pulling for him to be able to finish the Kid Run.”

Jeremy’s warrior-status journey started right before his third birthday. He was simply doing what kids do when they are three, but had a decidedly different outcome.

“Jeremy jumped off the couch in the living room and onto a beanbag chair,” his mother, Jaime Kelley says.  In a few days, his leg was swollen to triple its size. X-rays didn’t show any damage, but Jeremy didn’t improve over time. Clearly, jumping off the couch was not the issue.

The Kelleys went to their own pediatrician, were referred to Shriners Hospital and got an appointment several months later. By that time both knees and an ankle were severely swollen, and Jeremy was back to crawling. Doctors there did testing, but were also stumped by Jeremy’s severe symptoms. Shriner Hospital suggested taking Jeremy to UC San Francisco, where doctors there gave him aggressive joint injections.  They worked.

“He started running around like crazy, the previous six months seemed like a bad dream,” Jaime Kelley remembers. “We couldn’t believe we had Jeremy back.”

Unfortunately, the “miracle” really wasn’t. Despite Jeremy’s new-found mobility, the disease wasn’t subsiding.  More shots followed, and injecting the medicine was up to mom. Jeremy developed a bad case of shot anxiety, turning the household into turmoil when it was time for yet another one. Knowing the injection routine was impacting the family and hoping the disease was in remission, the doctors decided to give Jeremy a break from the rigid shot regime. The symptoms returned.

So now the Kelleys are in management mode, continuing with the injections sometimes, seeing a therapist for the shot trauma — and coping. Pain is still prevalent, and doctors say the remedy is harsh:  push through it.

“It’s something we will just have to deal with,” says Jaime, “Right now we are trying yoga.” Grateful for the help she received from the Foundation, Jaime is now an Arthritis Foundation activist who mentors— and learns from — other parents and the staff and board of the Foundation.

Andrew Pete, service line director for Perioperative Services at Sutter Medical Center Sacramento, is the Northern California Arthritis Foundation chair. He is one of many Sutter Health community volunteers who donate expertise and services to nonprofits throughout the region.  

“People assume that arthritis is a condition you get when you get old,” Pete says. “But our Arthritis Warrior Jeremy confirms that kids get arthritis too. We want people to know the symptoms and get help because there are treatments available.”

Juvenile arthritis affects more than 300,000 children in the U.S., a figure experts consider on the low side. Considering the obstacles and determination parents must endure to convince their medical provider that the symptoms are more than just kids being kids, the disease is underreported and appallingly undertreated.

The Arthritis Foundation is trying to change the trajectory of misdiagnosis by funding cutting-edge research for new treatments and discovering a cure, advocating for health care access, and offering support to victims of the disease.

The Jingle Bell Run is part of that strategy. It is a holiday event where at least 1,000 people will gather at Sacramento’s Crocker Park to join the movement to conquer the disease. The 5K run encourages participants to dress in festive costumes and get moving to raise awareness and funds to cure America’s #1 cause of disability. To register, visit,  www.jbr.org/Sacramento 

Meanwhile, Jeremy loves to escape his trials and play Pie Face, a game-in-a-box with rules that dictate that if you are the unlucky opponent, a lever slaps whip cream all over your face. Jeremy thinks it’s hilarious.

Source: 3fold Communications

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ARC Breaks Ground on New STEM Center

By Ben Barber  |  2018-12-02

The STEM groundbreaking kicks off the next phase. ARC has launched a major fundraising effort for STEM Innovation and 21st Century Science. Photo by Tatyana Torgashev, courtesy ARC

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - This Fall the campus of American River College has provided new challenges for students and staff with the groundbreaking of a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) building.  The 38,000 sq. ft. three-story building will replace the Liberal Arts Wing that has existed at the college since the 1960s.  The demolition of the Liberal Arts Wing has forced students and staff to abandon routine parking lots, walkways, and drop off points formerly familiar, a necessary complication to a much needed infrastructural upgrade.

Design elements of the new building will provide shared, flexible and movable space and labs for programs and disciplines that include Business & Computer Science, Mathematics, Astronomy, Physics and Engineering. The second phase of the project will benefit the Science division (which produces 47% of ARC's graduates and is the largest division in the Los Rios Community College District) with long-awaited lab space modernization and state-of-the-art wet labs for biology and chemistry.

Many successful and notable alums in the fields of science, healthcare, engineering, biotech and research have benefited from their start at American River College. This new STEM Center will offer greater opportunities to even more students.

ARC has launched a major fundraising effort for STEM Innovation and 21st Century Science. This campaign will seek to raise $3.5M in private support and provide a margin of excellence for students in both phases of the project. Private funding will be used to enhance the construction with industry lighting, technology and lab equipment. 

Sources:  Kirsten DuBray, http://www.arc.losrios.edu/STEM

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Getting Pumped Up

By Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2018-11-25

Ed Marszal (left) shares his company headquarters with a collection of vintage gasoline pumps. Daughter Annie and son Adam are executives for Marszal’s Carmichael-based business that operates in four US states. Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - A business that began on a Carmichael street corner is now one of Sacramento’s most geographically far-flung enterprises.

Owned by the Marszal family – and with father, daughter and son as executives -- California Retail Management pumps petroleum at 42 stations in four US states. All outlets have convenience stores and the combined operation has a more than 350 employees. It’s an understatement that Ed Marszal has come a long way from the Ohio college graduate who left the Army and sold auto accessories. “I felt I could run a gas station at least as well as some guys I was selling tires to,” he recalls. “In 1981, an old Chevron station on the Marconi and Walnut corner became available. I didn’t plan an empire. I just wanted to make one station work.”

In days of full-service, the boss pumped gas and employed mechanics for repairs. He mopped floors and cultivated a personal touch with customers. When daughter Annie (now Marszal’s development executive) was born, he covered his macho premises with pink ribbons. “That got us in the newspaper and brought new customers,” he says. “People like family businesses. I still have full-service available at all our stations; we make sure someone will always run out to help a customer. We’ll never charge for air or water. Cashiers are the most important people in our company. Being nice is not something you can teach; but friendliness determines whether a customer comes back.

“One day a lady asked me where she could get her car washed. I washed her car myself.  My employees watched and learned never to pass up an opportunity to extend service. Yeah, I kept her tip; I earned it. From then, we put carwashes in our stations.” While alert to innovation, Marszal treasures the continuity of old retainers and family. Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Valentina has been his right hand for 34 years. Executive Tim Skovensky has provided what Marszal calls “glue” for company operations for 12 years. Daughter Annie has worked nine years for her dad and son Adam joined his marketing team in 2015. “My kids began as cashiers,” he says. “I wanted them to learn how important that role is. They’ve done their share of cleaning restrooms, too.”

Outside Sacramento, the family now has stations in Maui, Oahu, Nevada and Ohio. 2019 plans include a new El Dorado Hills outlet. The founder and Susan -- his wife of 37 years -- live quietly in Carmichael. Their national operation is run from an anonymous building near Manzanita Avenue.

At HQ, the boss houses an arsenal of vintage petrol pumps, telephones and slot machines. “I found the first of my collection in a Rancho Cordova bar,” he explains. “In the 1950s, every oil company had distinctive pumps and they were works of art. I love seeing them restored and gleaming. They’re relics of an industry dear to my heart.”

In 40 high-octane years Marszal has seen oil companies and retailers come and go. “Many of our competitors lost their focus on service,” considers the survivor. “Over 40 years, service is what constantly opened doors for us to gain more customers.

“The gasoline engine will be around for many more decades. As for gas stations, I believe the strong and the friendly will survive.”

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Railroad Museum CEO Cheryl Marcell to Serve on Prestigious HeritageRail Alliance

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack   |  2018-11-25

Railroad Museum CEO Cheryl Marcell. Photo courtesy Sacramento Railroad Museum.

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – California State Railroad Museum Foundation President & CEO Cheryl Marcell has been named to serve on the prestigious board of directors for the HeritageRail Alliance, a nationwide organization dedicated to promoting the common interest of entities engaged in the business of tourist, scenic, historic or excursion railroading, railway and trolley museums. The official announcement was made at the HeritageRail conference held last week in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Marcell will serve on the board for a three-year term ending in 2021. 

With an impressive and expansive background in business development and the airport industry, Marcell joined the California State Railroad Museum Foundation in April 2015 where she has been instrumental in helping to reinvigorate and pave exciting new paths for the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown. 

Marcell’s new role on the board of directors comes at an important time for the rail industry. May 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad when, along with the rest of the country, the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation plan to present a series of exciting events, activities and exhibits to commemorate the historic achievement that helped to shape and connect the nation. For more information about the California State Railroad Museum Foundation, please visit www.californiarailroad.museumand for information the HeritageRail Alliance, please visit www.atrrm.org.

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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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - Volunteer registration for the 2019 Homeless Point-In-Time (PIT) Count is now open. The count will be conducted on the evenings of January 30 and 31, 2019.

The biennial PIT count is a county-wide special census which provides a snapshot of who is experiencing homelessness on any given night. The data gathered helps shape policy and programs designed to assist some of our most vulnerable residents.

Sacramento Steps Forward is partnering with Sacramento State’s Division of Social Work and the Institute for Social Research on this crucial project.

Sacramento Steps Forward will be recruiting hundreds of volunteers who will be trained and grouped in teams to canvass the community in organized deployments during the two evening counts, rain or shine. Volunteering does not require any prior experience but you must: be 18 years of age or older; have a strong interest in helping people who are experiencing homelessness; and attend required training's to learn to safely conduct accurate counts with teams within carefully pre-mapped territories..

If you would like to form a group of coworkers, family or friends, we will accommodate your requests. More information will be provided to registered volunteers as we prepare for the event. Volunteer at Volunteer@SacStepsForward.org

The most recent biennial PIT Count was conducted in January 2017 and found that the total number of people experiencing homelessness in Sacramento had increased by 30 percent since 2015. Of those, people who are living outdoors on the street, in tents, cars, or RVs - increased by 85 percent. Sacramento followed a West Coast-wide trend reporting increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness.


Sacramento Steps Forward is a nonprofit organization committed to ending homelessness in our region through collaboration, innovation, and connecting people to services. Walking side-by-side with our partners, we seek to provide people experiencing homelessness with the support and services they need to find stability and long-term housing. Since 2012, Sacramento Steps Forward has been the lead agency for Sacramento’s Homeless Continuum of Care.

Source Sac Steps Forward

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Children’s Home has kicked off its annual Holiday Giving Program, bringing the local community together during the holidays to serve children and families in need. Last year, our program provided gifts for 1,200 children, and the community adopted nearly 70 families, providing them with gifts, gift cards and everyday essentials. Once again this year we have 1,200 children participating; many of whom the gifts they receive through our program will be the only gifts they receive this year.

The holidays are a joyful time when we can give thanks for all that we have and give back to those in need. There are several ways for community members to get involved with the SCH Holiday Giving Program, which ends December 14.

Wish Stars and Ornaments: The classic yellow wish star includes three wishes from an SCH child. Community members are encouraged to shop for their child and return unwrapped gifts to the Sacramento Children’s Home at 2750 Sutterville Road in Sacramento. Financial contributions of $25, $50, $100 or more, as well as gift card donations help us ensure that all kids and families have their holiday wishes fulfilled and basic needs met. Some male youth in our Residential Program do not have family to spend the holidays with, so financial support specific to our snow trip enables us to send our residents on a snow trip to Mt. Shasta over the holidays.

Adopt-a-Family: Community members can also adopt an entire family this holiday season. The adoptees are families that participate in Sacramento Children’s Home programs such as the Family Resource Centers and the Counseling Center.

Volunteer Opportunities: Every year, we rely on community volunteers to help run our holiday donation site. Last year, about 200 volunteers provided nearly 100 hours of support, which included greeting donors, accepting gifts, registering gifts into our system, sorting, and wrapping.

Giving Tree Sites and Holiday Sponsors: Local businesses and schools participate by hosting Giving Tree sites with stars available to the public for pick up. Businesses and corporations also have the opportunity to sponsor an SCH Holiday Party for individual programs such as our Family Resource Centers and Crisis Nurseries to help strengthen families in our highest risk communities.

For more information about all of these options and important dates, please visit www.kidshome.org/holiday-giving.

The Sacramento Children’s Home was founded in 1867 and today it is the most comprehensive child and family service organization in Sacramento County serving more than 7,000 children and 4,300 families each year through a broad spectrum of residential, community-based, mental health and educational programs. Throughout its 151-year history, the Sacramento Children’s Home has been at the forefront of trauma-informed care and developing new ways to improve the outcomes of children and families. Through its multiple programs at six sites in the county, the Sacramento Children’s Home offers prevention, early intervention and treatment programs that are critical to strengthening families and stopping the generational cycle of child abuse and neglect. More information is available at www.kidshome.org

Source: Sacramento Children’s Home

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Vehicle vs Bicyclist on September 19

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - On September 19, 2018 at approximately 5:20 a.m., the California Highway Patrol (CHP) was dispatched to a call of a traffic collision involving a vehicle versus a bicyclist on Watt Avenue near Whitney Avenue. A 14 year old boy was riding his bicycle on Watt Avenue when he was struck and killed by a vehicle. The driver of that vehicle fled the collision scene.  

CHP investigators began a criminal investigation in an attempt to locate the suspect vehicle and identify the responsible driver. With the assistance of witnesses, physical evidence, and information provided to Crime Stoppers, the suspect vehicle, a green 2000 Toyota Sienna, was located. A search warrant was obtained and vehicle was seized as evidence. Through subsequent investigation a person of interest, Edward John Flores (04/02/1968) of North Highlands, was identified as the possible driver involved in this collision.

On November 05, 2018, Flores came to the North Sacramento CHP Area office and spoke with CHP investigators. During the course of their conversation with Flores, investigators developed probable cause and arrested Flores for being the driver of the Toyota at the time of the collision.

Flores was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on charges of felony hit and run and driving with a suspended license.

Any additional information about this news release should be directed to Officer Mike Zerfas who will be available at the CHP North Sacramento Area business phone number: (916) 348-2337, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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