FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - On April 3, the McDonald’s restaurant at 5301 Hazel Ave. in Fair Oaks was decorated with flowers and balloons to celebrate a momentous occasion. Peggy Lombardi has been employed at the restaurant for 30 years, and franchise owner Joe Ahumada hosted a party to celebrate the milestone anniversary.
Lombardi is a valuable team member at McDonald’s, where she is responsible for clearing tables in the dining area, stocking the beverage station, and keeping the lobby clean. “She’s our first employee to make it to 30 years, and we’re very proud of her,” said Ahumada.
Lombardi first began her professional career through the PRIDE Industries work services program. PRIDE Industries is a local non-profit that hires and trains people with disabilities and special needs to help them develop skills for successful employment.
Their services help people overcome obstacles to employment so they can contribute to the community and live more independent lives. When Lombardi was hired at McDonald’s in 1989, she was one of the first clients from PRIDE Industries’ work services programs to begin working independently.
Gloria McNally is Lombardi’s job coach with PRIDE Industries, and McNally explained that working for McDonald’s has given Lombardi financial independence and provided her with a wonderful opportunity to make friends and take pride in her work.
The job has taught her dependability and improved the quality of her life. After starting her job at McDonald’s she was able to move out of a care home and into her very own apartment.
“I’ve been working with Peggy for about 25 years, and it’s very rewarding,” said McNally. “She has a wonderful employer, she has a great job, she has made personal friendships with so many customers here, and McDonald’s and Peggy are each an asset to each other.”
“She kind of thinks she owns this place,” McNally joked, “and I know she’s already planning her 31st anniversary.”
Lombardi’s favorite thing about working at McDonald’s is all the friendships she’s made with both coworkers and customers. Lombardi said she loves going to work to see all her friends.
Many local customers were excited to celebrate Lombardi’s achievement, and she happily showed off a Disney watch given to her by a customer. “I feel very proud, very wonderful, and very happy,” said Lombardi.
After passing around slices of cake, Ahumada presented Lombardi with a card signed by all the McDonald’s crewmembers, a 30-year commemorative pin, a target gift card, and a promise to send her to Sacramento Kings games next season.
“She’s a great employee,” said Ahumada. “I’ve been through all the positions before I became an owner-operator, so I’ve worked with Peggy for many, many years. … We love having her as part of the family. I can’t ask for anything better, maybe another 30. That would be great!”
FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - In November 2018, Fair Oaks residents voted to approve Measure J, a $26.9 million bond measure that will fund park improvements within the Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District (FORPD). S&P evaluated the District and gave them an AA- rating, which Ralph Carhart, chair of the FORPD Board of Directors, said is an excellent rating for a public agency that has never borrowed money before. The first $10 million of Measure J bonds were recently sold on the public market at a 2.67% interest rate.
The District wants to get Measure J projects started as soon as possible: “People want to see results. The residents gave us these funds and we want them to see the benefits.… It’s very exciting to finally be able to do something significant to improve the community,” said Carhart.
One of the accountability requirements of Measure J is the establishment of a Bond Oversight Committee (BOC) comprised of local citizens. The BOC will provide citizen input and fiscal oversight for any projects that use Measure J funds. Carhart described the committee’s role as “ensuring that Measure J projects conform to the terms of the bond.”
The FORPD Board accepted applications from interested volunteers until March 18, and the Community Resources Development Committee then reviewed the applications and recommended 10 people for confirmation to the BOC. Carhart said that the Board was looking for a diversity of ages, community involvement, and professional backgrounds to ensure that members of the BOC will offer varied perspectives and input.
On April 9 at the Old Fair Oaks Library, the BOC met for the first time. Mike Aho, FORPD administrator, opened the meeting and introduced Paula Lucas, who will act as BOC clerk, while Aho will be the project lead and primary staff contact.
Aho explained that the BOC must have at least five members, and the members must be over 18 and reside within the District boundaries. Members will serve terms of one year, and they may not serve more than five consecutive terms. Aho anticipates that the Measure J projects will be completed within five years, so BOC members could potentially remain on the committee for the duration of the projects.
The BOC must meet at least four times per year. Aho explained that meetings should be frequent in the beginning in order to get the projects underway as quickly as possible. After projects have been approved and are in process, the meetings will be held less frequently since they would just be waiting for projects to conclude and wouldn’t have any new items to discuss.
BOC members can be removed from the committee for ethics violations or for missing two consecutive meetings without a reasonable excuse. The BOC will be automatically terminated as soon as all Measure J funds are spent, or as soon as all projects funded by the bond are completed.
The BOC is responsible for informing the public about the District’s Measure J expenditures and providing a channel of communication between the Board and Fair Oaks residents. The BOC will report public engagement results and recommendations to the Board. The BOC will also review quarterly expenditure reports to ensure Measure J funds are only being spent on eligible projects and that bond funds are not being used for any unrelated staff, administrator, or operating expenses.
The members of the BOC are Adria Walker, Amy Larsen, Barbara Sestito, Christy Wallace, Dana Woodworker-Negri, Darren Mounts, Gary Juels, Justin Drake, Kim Sarkovich, and Rand Jacobs. Sestito and Sarkovich were unable to attend the first meeting.
Larsen, Drake, and Mounts worked on the Measure J campaign; Aho said they were instrumental in getting the bond passed. Jacobs, who has 12 years of experience as a former member of the District board, was elected as BOC chair, and Walker accepted the nomination to vice chair.
Measure J passed with a “68.93% approval rating. That’s an unprecedented level of support,” said Aho. “We had a great campaign team and great community support.”
Measure J projects are restricted by the bond language, so Aho explained that the required public outreach must take a focused approach and ask for specific input on projects eligible for Measure J funds.
The District’s top-priority projects are Fair Oaks Village renovations at Village Park, Plaza Park, and the Community Clubhouse; adding new softball fields and additional parking at Phoenix Park; and to replace McMillan Center with a brand-new recreation center for Fair Oaks.
At $26.9 million, Aho said Measure J is the smallest bond measure in California and “we’ll be watched carefully by other park districts to see how it’s progressing. Other parks are in the same situation looking for funds, so they’re looking to see how we handle this.”
BOC meetings are open to the public and are tentatively scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month.
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.
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.
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.
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, email@example.com
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.”
Retirement leads to new management
FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) – Under the serene shade of the trees and upon the calming paths that wind through the tall, well cared-for grasses of the Fair Oaks Cemetery, change has been in the air.
With the retirement of Terri Perrin, District Manager, a new team has been placed to guide the cemetery patrons for the future.
Terri retired a couple of months ago, sharing the celebration at an open event held at the Fair Oaks Community Clubhouse. Many friends, family members and former business associates to the cemetery district were in attendance. A dozen or so offered their personal stories of working with Terri over her 26 year career, some that remembered even the earliest years and how their relationships had grown into friendships.
“I want to thank all those who attended this event and for all their comments and well-wishes”, Terri said. I also want to thank my former staff for all their hard work. Thank you to those on the board of directors for all their support. I am grateful for the years I spent with the Fair Oaks Cemetery District. After 26 years in the cemetery I am glad I made it out alive.”
Commenting on the gifts she received from friends at the event “And I plan to enjoy all the wine I received!”
New District Manager Guillermo Barron said in a recent interview, "We will continue to help our families that come to us in their most difficult time, with compassion and understanding to provide the best possible service"
One of the latest additions to the cemetery staff is Mysti Lingenfelter, Administrative Assistant. She said "I am so excited to work with such a great team. We are truly a family."
The Fair Oaks Cemetery District is now planning their annual Memorial Day event for Saturday, May 25. If you have never attended this event before, please come by this year. You will find a new appreciation for what they provide this community.
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.
Carmichael Girls Softball League to Host Alumni Game Story
CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Carmichael Girls Softball (CGS) is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. In honor of the occasion, CGS is hosting an alumni softball game on Saturday, May 11 on Field 2 at Carmichael Park, 5750 Grant Ave. in Carmichael.
The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. with a preview of the evening’s silent auction items, featuring baskets of goodies assembled by each of the 22 teams in the league. At 4:00 p.m., the alumni game will commence with the first pitch. A celebratory dinner will begin at 5:45 p.m., catered by Texas Roadhouse. The winners of the raffle and silent auction will be announced at 7:30 p.m.
The public is invited to watch the exhibition alumni game, which is free to attend. Tickets for the dinner are $15 for adults and $6 for kids. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.teamsideline.com/sites/carmichaelsoftball and clicking on the “For Parents” link above the anniversary event details.
Founded in 1969, CGS is a non-profit organization 100% staffed by volunteers. CGS welcomes players of all skill levels and any girl between the ages of 4 and 17 can participate.
CGS states that they strive “to teach character, confidence, and courage in a fun environment through quality instruction using the principles of Positive Coaching. Our mission is to provide opportunity for every player to develop her softball skills, have respect for her teammates and competitors, and achieve her individual goals. We will strive to teach life lessons along the way.”
Corey Papais, head coach of the 12U Team, said, “We teach the girls good sportsmanship, camaraderie, and friendship. The girls are the most important aspect of the league, so first and foremost, we want to ensure they enjoy the game.”
“It’s an amazing accomplishment to last 50 years, and to be able to sustain such longevity,” said Papais. “I’m really happy to be involved and excited to celebrate this milestone. I am also very proud of our Board for keeping the league going throughout the years. And special thanks to Rhonda Stefko, the 50th Anniversary Director, who is coordinating the entire event.”
Anyone who played in the league in the last 50 years (excluding current players) is encouraged to sign up to play in the exhibition game. If you would like to participate, email Rhonda Stefko (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jen Leavitt (email@example.com).