Wall of Honor Tributes Recall Community’s Finest

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-11-07

Patriots Park was the scene of remembrances last weekend. Located on the Carmichael, Citrus Heights and Fair Oaks border, the reserve contains a monument for fallen community heroes.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Carmichael and Fair Oaks stalwarts gathered last weekend to recall fallen heroes of nation and community. The annual “Wall of Honor” ceremony was observed at Patriots Park.

Built in 2008, the reserve’s stone monument is dedicated to 14 local men – from military, police, CHP and fire-fighting forces – who died serving nation or neighborhood during Carmichael Park District’s 57-year existence.  The community pays tribute to the heroes each November. From the 1960s through to 2017 – from Vietnam battlefields to California highways – the heroes fell while protecting American values. Space remains on the wall for plaque additions and the park district annually considers nominations.

Last Saturday’s ceremony attendees included bereaved families; elected representatives and park district leaders. Congressman Ami Bera and County Supervisor Susan Peters were among speakers. Dr. Bera said the nation should “pause and consider values that bring us all together.”

Supervisor Peters noted that the 12-year-old park’s landscaping was maturing and its masonry was gathering the patina of age. “This park is more than a recreational gathering spot,” she said. “Patriots Park serves a deeper meaning. The individuals listed on this wall remind us how grateful we are to men and women who wear different uniforms but have a common bond in putting service above self. Regardless of whether they wore a Sheriff’s uniform or that of the Highway Patrol or a branch of the armed services or of fire protection, each was dedicated to the common good. They believed in serving us. It is fitting that we continue to remember each honoree.”

“We recognize the passage of time does not shield you from the emptiness you feel,” Peters told families of the fallen.  “We nevertheless hope Patriots Park is a source of comfort and pride in remembering your loved ones. Whatever uniform your loved one wore, we will be forever grateful for their dedication, commitment and service. The community will never forget them.”

Patriots Park monument honors the following heroes:

Deputy Robert French.

Deputy Danny P. Oliver.

CHP Officer Ronald E. Davis.

Army Specialist James E. Schlottman.

Army Leiutenant Robert S. Byrnes.

Airforce Captain Olin E. Gilbert Jnr.

Army Sergeant Larry H. Morford.

Firefighter Dean W. Rhoades.

US Navy pilot Lieutenant  J. G. David A Warne.

Marine and firefighter Sergeant Brian E. Dunlap.

Deputies Kevin P. Blount and Joseph M. Kievernagel.

Army Sergeant Ronald L. Coffelt..

Army Specialist Raymond N. Spencer Jnr.

Anyone may visit the Wall of Honor. Patriots Park is located at 6825 Palm Avenue, Fair Oaks. Those who wish to nominate a candidate for inclusion on the monument should contact the Carmichael Park District. 


Colorful Service Will Bless Clan Regalia

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-11-07

Scottish music will accompany colorful celtic ceremonies at St Michael’s Episcopal Church on November 23.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - As bagpipes skirl, families will present clan regalia for sanctification at St Michael's Episcopal Church (Carmichael) on November 23. In a pageant that celebrates most things Scottish, Pastors will bless kilts, shawls -- even plaid ties – with a laying on of hands. Sacramento Daughters of Scotia annually hosts the event.

“Kirkin’” (blessing) services for tartans were popular fundraisers for British war efforts during WW II and American Celtic organizations still stage the festivals. Armed Forces and Firefighter representatives last year joined 25 families in presenting tartans for sanctification. “There’s a great hungering in the Scottish community to celebrate our heritage in this way,” says Daughters of Scotia member Kathy Hanson. Hymns and prayers complete the service; an afternoon tea and Highland dancing will follow.

Anyone may attend. A procession of tartans begins at 1 pm at St Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2140 Mission Avenue Carmichael. Collection Donations will benefit the Sacramento Food bank.

Daughters of Scotia membership is open to women of Scottish ancestry, including those married to Scots. For information, visit: www.daughtersofscotia.org

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Playmakers Hosts Youth Basketball Game

Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-11-07

Playmakers founder Coach Greg Roeszler.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Local non-profit The Playmakers Organization is hosting a basketball game for special needs and at-risk kids at Oak Hills Church (1100 Blue Ravine Rd. in Folsom). Playmakers is partnering with the Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and UCP of Sacramento and Northern California (which provides programs and services for people with developmental disabilities).

Playmakers founder Greg Roeszler explained that at-risk kids have a 40% chance of living in a single-parent home, and the risk is increased for special needs kids. Playmakers is working to provide support networks for these parents to help their children thrive. “We’re really pleased with how we’re beginning to work together with other agencies toward the same goal,” said Roeszler.

Roeszler said, “We’re converting Oaks Hills Church into the Golden1 Center with a DJ, music, and a great deal of fun. Our desire is that this is the first of ongoing Playmakers events partnering with these agencies to create more fun activities and resources for kids and their families.”

The game will be held on Saturday, November 16, and it will kick off at 9:00 AM with a breakfast catered by the Burgess Brothers BBQ & Burgers, who will be serving their special ChurWaffles.

The game is scheduled from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and the participating kids will be assisted by the Folsom High School freshman football team. “It’s a very inclusive event,” said Roeszler.

Roeszler spent years coaching football, so Playmakers events usually focus on his favorite sport. But Roeszler is excited to be expanding into basketball because it is not dependent on the weather and can be played indoors year-round — so they can offer more frequent events for the kids.

Roeszler said Playmakers is grateful to be working with a group of “wonderful Corporate partners” for the event: Mortgage Consultant Group, FitGuard, Asher College, Republic Services, Palm Tile, Go Forth Coaching, and Serenity Spa — which will be offering massages at the game.

The public is invited to attend the game and there is no cost to attend. Roeszler said, “We’re hoping for wonderful attendance. Come and cheer and have fun, eat waffles, and meet our partners.”

There is still space available for more game participants, and kids can be signed up at www.ThePlaymakers.org.

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Love Packed in a Shoebox: Operation Christmas Child

By Mila Popov, Samaritan’s Purse International Relief  |  2019-11-07

Children around the world celebrate the holidays but many families live in bleak poverty. You can change that with Operation Christmas Child. Photo courtesy Operation Christmas Child

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It’s that time, when colorful leaves cover the ground, and the aroma of pumpkin pie and spices are everywhere. Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are just around the corner. This is that joyful time of the year when we count our blessings around the Thanksgiving table, and enjoy the spirit of Christmas with family and friends as we unwrap beautiful carefully packed gifts.

Did you know that there are many children around the world, who have never received a gift in their life time? Did you know that there are children who are not able to go to school because they do not have their own pencil or notebook? Going to school means a lot more than getting an education. Often it means getting a meal at least once a day. The life of a child who had never experienced such blessings as having a new toy, their own drinking cup or even a toothbrush, is very difficult.

Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is one of many projects of the Samaritan’s Purse organization that delivers the Good News and Great Joy to children around the world. Simple shoebox gifts have life changing impact. Every child deserves to experience Christmas at least once in their lifetime.

In 2018 over 10.6 million shoeboxes were delivered to over 160 countries to the neediest children impacted by extreme poverty due to war, natural disasters and famine. These children live in homes with their family or in orphanages, from small villages to large cities.

By packing simple items such as toys, art and school supplies, and personal hygiene items, you can impact a child’s life and give hope to children in hopeless life conditions. Would you join us in packing one shoebox for a boy and/or one for a girl? 

Here is how you can pack a shoebox: (1) Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately. (2) Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, in the age category: 2–4 years, 5–9 years, or 10–14 years. (3) Select a medium to large “wow” item such as a soccer ball with pump, a doll or stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and art and school supplies. Dollar stores, Walmart and Target have many inexpensive items.

If you wish, include a personal note with a family picture and words of encouragement. (4) Donate $9 online and receive a label to Follow Your Box and discover the country destination of your shoebox gift. (5) Take your shoebox gift(s) to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week, Nov. 18–25, 2019. 

Drop off locations are: Fair Oaks Presbyterian; Bayside Life Rancho Cordova; Metro Calvary, Roseville; Bayside Church Folsom and Second Slavic Baptist, North Highlands.  For address and drop off times go to:


For more information contact Mila 916-308-8360 or sacocc.mila@gmail.com

Thank you for making a Big Impact on a child's life! Happy Holidays! 

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El Camino Center for The Arts Named Best In Real Estate 2019

San Juan Unified School District  |  2019-11-07

San Juan Unified Assistant Superintendent of Facilities, Maintenance & Transportation Frank Camarda speaks about the real estate value of the arts center. Courtesy SJUSD

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The El Camino Fundamental High School Center for the Arts was named by the Sacramento Business Journal as the top real estate development project (education category) in the Greater Sacramento region.

San Juan Unified was honored along with the project’s design-build contractor McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and architect HGA Architects at an awards breakfast Sept. 20 at McClellan Conference Center.

The Center for the Arts – a 14,000-square-foot, 500-seat theater with a full stage, control center, lobby, and orchestra pit – stood out among other education projects in large part because it was the district’s first design-build project. With design-build, contractors, and architects bid for a construction project as an entity based on qualifications. The design-build method has not historically been utilized by K-12 school districts in California.

“San Juan Unified is a pioneer here, not only in Sacramento County but Northern California,” Frank Camarda, San Juan Unified Assistant Superintendent, told the Business-Journal. “Most other districts have not caught on.”
The design-build benefit for El Camino was that San Juan Unified was able to bring on a team of HGA and McCarthy, both of which have extensive experience designing performing arts spaces with a high emphasis on acoustics and lighting. 

“It had to have the highest acoustical sound rating you could get in a high school theater,” Camarda said.
Other real estate projects to be honored by the Sacramento Business Journal include The Bank restaurant (downtown Sacramento), Elk Grove Aquatics Center, Sutter Medical Foundation West Roseville Campus, The Hardin (downtown Sacramento), Bennett’s Kitchen-Bar Market and the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium restoration project among others. 
The Center of the Arts was funded by Measure N as El Camino’s high school signature project. Along with the Sacramento Business Journal award, it has also received an Honor Award from the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada and a Construction Management Association of America Design-Build Award.

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Famous YouTube Personality Dave Rubin to Speak at Sac State

By Kyle Gerard, Turning Point USA  |  2019-11-07

YouTube personality and political commentator Dave Rubin. Turning Point USA

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento State chapter of Turning Point USA will be hosting famous YouTube personality and political commentator Dave Rubin. Having built The Rubin Report, a channel with over 1 million followers and upwards of 200 million views, Dave Rubin has become a significant figure in the political world. He is famous for pushing the idea that “he didn’t leave the left, the left left him.” At Sacramento State, Rubin will be discussing the consequences of big tech censorship in the modern era along with the dangers of identity politics. As a gay married man, Rubin has been the victim of identity politics for not fitting in and knows how ugly identity politics are for being a classic liberal. For this reason, The Rubin Report celebrates free speech, civil discourse, and honest ideas.

Dave Rubin will be speaking on the Sacramento State campus on Tuesday, November 12th from 7:30 – 10:00PM. The event will take place in the Redwood suite of the University Union, located on the first floor. Tickets are free to the public through Eventbrite. Parking Structure II located by the Union is the recommended place for parking the night of the event.

“We expect Rubin to define what it truly means to be a minority, being an individual in an era of groupthink and censorship. We are proud to be hosting a renowned speaker,” said Chapter President Megan Masten.

Turning Point USA is the nation’s largest and fastest growing conservative youth organization. Learn more at www.tpusa.com.

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Having a Harvest Ball

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-11-07

Pastor Rich Reimer offered train rides for children at American River Community Church’s Harvest Festival.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Fall fun continues as leaves tumble and local churches stage annual Harvest Festivals. Carmichael’s oldest church, Carmichael Presbyterian last week hosted congregant families and visitors at a festival that combined harvest celebrations with Halloween shenanigans. A 12 ft inflatable dinosaur wandered the campus. Petting zoo critters were much-cuddled. Pastor Keith DeVries wore a Superman cape. The youngest of his flock gathered candy from decorated tailgates in a "Trick or Trunk" lane of the parking lot.

American River Community Church offered train rides with Pastor Reimer manning the engine. A “pie-walk” provided take-home desserts as prizes.

Harvest festivals date back through millennium and in many cultures; God-fearing communities annually rejoice in harvests that favor their winter survival. Thanksgiving – commemorating such a celebration by America’s first european settlers – is just weeks away. Gather ye pumpkins while ye may.

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One of a Kind

By Sal Arrigo, Jr.  |  2019-11-07

The Kiwanis Club of Orangevale - Fair Oaks enjoying their celebration night! Paul Scholl

ORANGEVALE / FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - The title says it all – it is one of a kind.  The Kiwanis Club of Orangevale – Fair Oaks! The new club held its Charter Night celebration on October 22, 2019.  Twenty-three members share a distinction that only they will forever hold – being the first inductees of a new Kiwanis club; a club that is already making an impact in their service area.  Think about that for a moment – the club was just a thought in March 2019.  It just goes to show that when like-minded individuals band together for a common cause, lightning strikes quickly!

The evening’s festivities included a resolution presented by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, representing the 6th district of California, and whose area includes Orangevale – Fair Oaks and former Kiwanis Governor, Rocci Barsotti, who represented the California-Nevada-Hawaii region.  More than 70 guests celebrated the evening with representatives from Kiwanis Clubs from Lincoln, Auburn, Rancho Cordova, Roseville, Folsom, and Carmichael.  They were treated to a tasty Octoberfest dinner and Kiwanis fellowship.

As with any social gathering of this kind, Kiwanis members got to share their thoughts and ideas of what each club is doing for the upcoming holidays and more.  Some clubs are holding foods drives for their community food lockers, while one club is selling See’s Candy to help support their community’s high school performing arts programs.  When asked what the Orangevale – Fair Oaks club had up its Kiwanis’ sleeve, we explained that we have a “Pajama Drive” to collect as many pajamas as possible.  They will be distributed before Christmas to those kids in our area that can benefit from a brand new pair of “pj’s!”

What else is on the horizon? I have a feeling we are going to join Santa Claus for breakfast soon in Fair Oaks. We also shared with the other Kiwanis clubs ideas for a Paint and Wine Night, a Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament, and a wine tour of Lodi in spring 2020. 

Kiwanis does make a positive impact in the community, and so much so that from this Charter Night celebration we have been joined by two new members!  We did not cast some magic formula over them; they joined because of what Kiwanis does and its community impact.  I have said before, the choice is yours – if you have the inclination to get involved - then join Kiwanis!  Our focus is children, but we do support many other worthwhile organizations.

The Orangevale-Fair Oaks Kiwanis is unique in that it meets twice a month on the 2nd and 4thTuesdays and for service projects. Every 2nd Tuesday of the month the club meets at the El Gallo Mexican Restaurant located at 11173 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Fair Oaks from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.  The 4th Tuesday is reserved for our social get-together and the location varies within our service area.  Be sure to check us out!

Special note: if you would like to drop off a brand new pair of pajamas (plain, no logos, any kids size), you can do so at the Last Tangle Hair Salon located at 8820 Greenback Lane, Orangevale, the Steadman Group, Inc. located at 10149 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks or Lyon Orthodontics located at 7806 Madison Ave., Suite# 100, Fair Oaks by the deadline of December 13, 2019! Thank you in advance for your kindness.

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Fair Oaks, CA (MPG) – It is that time again to vote for your favorite businesses in Fair Oaks. Presented by the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce and the American River Messenger, the event has exceeded expectations each year.

This year the event is mainly designed and prepared by a local youth group. The Fair Oaks Youth Outreach (FOYO) will be working hard on all aspects of the presentation as a way to raise funds for their scholarship programs.

Businesses can promote the vote at their stores, through their social media contacts or other means to get people to cast their votes to win. The award winners are voted on by Chamber members, Fair Oaks citizens and readers of the American River Messenger newspaper. All the votes cast are tabulated by a third party to verify authenticity.

The rules to become a “Best of Fair Oaks” award winner are simple. A business must be located in the Fair Oaks zip code 95628, or must be a member of the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce to be recognized as “The Best”.

The business event of the year, “The Best of Fair Oaks” has been a crowd pleaser, with great food, fun and surprising winners of the annual awards. Plan to get your tickets early! Get your tickets and enjoy the evening in your favorite cocktail or business attire. Come and enjoy the great food, great fun, and great recognition of the best businesses in the community. To buy tickets contact the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce at 916-967-2903 or go to www.fairoakschamber.com

This year's event will be held at the North Ridge Country Club in Fair Oaks. The program is scheduled for January 23rd, 2020 from 5:30 to 8:30pm, and it is sure to be a fun-filled event. Voting ends December 15th.

Check it all out at BestofFairOaks.com.

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Books and Candy for Kids

Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-11-07

Neilu Golshanara of the Fair Oaks Rotary Club (left) and volunteer Oliver Glancy (right) distribute free books to costumed kids at the annual Safe Halloween event in Fair Oaks Village.

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - On Halloween morning, costumed kids mingled with the local chickens for the annual Safe Halloween celebration in Fair Oaks Village. The event was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Fair Oaks and Fair Oaks Theatre Festival, with support from the Fair Oaks Recreation and Park District.

Kids enjoyed games and prizes in Plaza Park, face painting in the Fair Oaks Theatre Festival amphitheater, and trick-or-treating at local businesses throughout the Village. Parents took advantage of the festive atmosphere and photographed their little witches and goblins with an array of pumpkins, scarecrows, and other spooky scenery.

The Fair Oaks Rotary Club’s Literacy Project also hosted their free book give-away, letting kids of all ages choose as many books as they wanted. Neilu Golshanara of the Fair Oaks Rotary Club organizes the book giveaway, and she said the goal is “literacy. Read, read, read to your children. Read as early as you can.” Golshanara collects books all year for this event and offers age-appropriate books for babies, toddlers, and elementary and middle school kids.

The Fair Oaks Safe Halloween festival is a free event held each year on Halloween, rain or shine.


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