Garden Will be Open to Local Community Members in Need of Food Assitance
CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Over spring break, the high school youth group from Carmichael Presbyterian Church (5645 Marconi Ave.) completed their mission project for the year by building a community garden in the field behind the church. During the four-day project, they built a fence, raised beds, walking paths, and a garden shed. Then they installed an irrigation system and prepped the beds for planting.
Lisa Torgerson, director of children and youth at Carmichael Presbyterian Church, said the goal is to supply vegetables to the church Food Closet that serves local community members in need of food assistance.
Torgerson said planting should begin soon, and they plan to start with tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash in two of the garden beds. The remaining beds will be open for planting by members of the church and local community. Members of the youth group, Sunday school classes, and the church will tend to the garden.
Sarah Tomlinson, a member of the youth group and a senior at El Camino High School, said that the group usually travels to other locations for their missions. For example, last year they built a school in Honduras for their mission project. This year is the first time they’ve completed a mission project in their home town. “This project is different, because we’ll get to see the impact it will have on our community over time,” said Tomlinson.
Many of the kids in the youth group have been involved for years and have formed strong friendships. Tomlinson said, “This is a really tight group of kids here.”
John Wallace, a youth advisor for the youth group since 1992, said, “It’s important for young people to give back to their community, so community service is a big focus of our group.”
Since it is a community garden, it is open to the public, and Tomlinson explained that the community garden will provide an excellent opportunity for people in the community to learn about gardening. Tomlinson invited community members to “come check it out. The fence is to keep out critters, not people.”
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Rotary District 5180 has 41 clubs in the Sacramento Region that collaborated on a district-wide meal-packaging event on May 17 at Rusch Park Community Center in Citrus Heights. More than 250 volunteers worked in shifts to bag over 75,000 meals, which will be distributed by Rise Against Hunger, a non-profit international hunger relief organization.
Music blasted through the gymnasium as hundreds of volunteers enthusiastically worked their stations, filling buckets with ingredients, bagging, sealing, packing the finished meals into boxes, and stacking boxes onto shipping pallets. Youth exchange students from Rotary International, players from the Casa Robles High School football team, members of local churches, and rotary members from throughout the District all worked together to package meals for those in need.
The meal bags include a nutrient package, a scoop of dehydrated vegetables, soy protein, and rice. One meal package boiled in a gallon and half of water will feed six people. Rich Hale, president of the Citrus Heights Rotary Club, said the meals are sent to developing countries: “They go all over the world, wherever the need is.”
“There’s a lot of starving people in the world, and you cannot function in society if you’re hungry. That’s why this is so important,” said Hale. “One bag can feed a family of six, so you can see the impact. That’s why we do it.”
District 5180 held a Poker Night fundraiser in April to raise $20,000 for the meal-packing event, and Heinz donated an additional $3,000. With a total of $23,000, the District was able to set the goal of more 75,000 meals.
Hale said, “We’ve been wanting to have a big District event, so this was very successful.… Hopefully this gives us momentum for years to come and we can do this again.” Hale said that next year they’d like to fill a shipping container, which holds 289,000 meals.
Hale said Rise Against Hunger is “a very well-organized company.… They bring all the materials and all the equipment we need.”
“This is an amazing undertaking,” said Pete Schroeder of the Fair Oaks Rotary Club. “It’s just incredible when people get together and it’s organized and they know what they’re doing.”
Jim Quinney, Rise Against Hunger community engagement manager for the Sacramento territory, said, “We started working with the Rotary in Citrus Heights four years ago for the 10,000-meal event, and it’s grown and now we’re collaborating with other clubs.… It’s just been wonderful to see the spirit of collaboration, and all these people are true advocates working to end hunger by 2030.”
Quinney described the Rise Against Hunger meal-packing events as “scalable turn-key operations.” They have the resources to organize events of any size, from large work parties to small team-building events.
Quinney said, “We want to engage as many people as possible. Every day we want people thinking about hunger and how they can help.”
“Helping others is a big part of who we are, and who the club is,” said Fair Oaks Rotary Club member Joe Arguelles. “It’s important to come and stand by your fellow man and help other people, help those who need help, so you can really feel like you’ve done something good for somebody.”
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. Playmakers hosted their 10th annual fundraising dinner on Saturday, April 27 at Divine Savior Church in Orangevale.
The evening’s festivities included live and silent auctions to raise money for the organization. Proceeds from the event will fund Playmakers’ free six-week all-day Summer Character Academy. Playmakers founder Greg “Coach Roz” Roeszler said, “We seek out the kids whose families cannot afford any kind of summer enrichment, so it is extremely important we have funding for our trained coaches and volunteers.”
The Summer Character Academy will serve at least 100 kids, teaching them teamwork and improving their self-confidence.
Phil Oates, part-owner of the Sacramento Kings, was the keynote speaker of the event. Oates explained that the most important part of coaching is character development. He said, “Coaches sacrifice for their teams and always put the kids first.”
“Playmakers are making a difference for kids,” said Oates. “They are very fiscally responsible with the contributions they receive.… They’ll make you proud.”
The dinner was donated by Chicago Fire and was served by players from the Rio Americano and El Camino football teams. The teams are working together as part of a unique reconciliation effort after a brawl last season forced them to forfeit the final game.
The fundraiser’s title sponsor was Fitguard president Ryan Meier. Playmakers’ sponsor Harrison Phillips of the Buffalo Bills was honored at the event, and Stanford defensive linemen Michael Williams and Jovan Swahn attended as honored guests.
Thanks to many generous donations, Playmakers raised more than $30,000 to fund their Summer Character Academy. The largest donations came from the Country Club Optimists and the Azevedo Foundation.
Coach Roz thanked Playmakers civic group participants — Rotary, Optimists, and Lions — and all of the donors and volunteers for making it possible to help so many kids in the region. “Sometimes kids need extra attention. It’s about investing time,” said Coach Roz. “That’s what we do at Playmakers. That’s what we do as coaches. We never give up on the kids.”
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Walmart is opening the retailer’s first-ever standalone transportation office in Sacramento in a bid to recruit up to 130 experienced truck drivers for its private fleet.
The office, which opened a temporary location on April 1, will service stores and distribution centers in northern California, southern Oregon, and east to Reno, Nevada. Drivers at this location will qualify for the company’s recently announced driver pay increase. Walmart drivers can earn an average of $87,500 in their first year of employment with an all-in rate of nearly 89 cents per mile.
Walmart has more than 65 transportation offices throughout the country, but Sacramento will be the first that is not co-located with a distribution center. The permanent location will be located in the McClellan Business Park and will have a drop yard. The office will have 85 trucks and 100 trailers.
“We’re excited to open a facility in Sacramento where there is a deep pool of talented, experienced truck drivers,” said Uni Cerezo, regional transportation manager of the Sacramento transportation office. “Walmart continues to explore how we can operate more efficiently and serve our customers’ changing needs, and this office will serve an important customer market for us.”
Walmart plans to accept internal Walmart transfers and recruit externally. To qualify to drive for Walmart, a driver must have 30 months of commercial driving experience in the last three years and a clean safety record for the past three years. For details and to apply, please see www.drive4walmart.com.
Those drivers hired to staff the Sacramento transportation office will differ from others in the industry in that they will start and end their weeks in the same location and have home time each week. Other perks and benefits of driving for Walmart extend well beyond the competitive per/mile rate and activity-based pay. Some of the reasons truck drivers say they enjoy working for Walmart include:
Great benefits. Walmart drivers have access to company benefits on the first day and can earn as much as 21 days of Paid Time Off (PTO) in their first year;
Predictable home time. Walmart operates on a weekly schedule, so drivers know when they will be home and on the road. We use a bidding process two to three times a year to set their schedules, so drivers know where they stand on work-life balance;
Walmart is one of the safest fleets operating with contemporary well-maintained equipment. At Walmart our drivers drive and earn money rather than waiting for a truck to be fixed. Walmart offers quarterly safety bonuses and a safety incentive and recognition programs. The American Transportation Association has awarded Walmart the Safest Fleet in the Over 250 Million Mile Division for the past 5 consecutive years;
Transportation offices all over the country. Walmart operates more than 70 transportation offices throughout the U.S.;
No-touch freight. Walmart truck drivers don’t unload trucks;
Safe parking. Walmart drivers park in well-lit, safe parking in Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers across the country.
CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - As if delivering full loads of mail on the eve of Mother’s Day were not enough, American mail carriers served a humanitarian cause on Saturday, May 11.
The National Post Office food drive gathered groceries for food banks across America. Paper sacks were distributed to millions of homes days before collection and carriers began their Saturday routes expecting to return to base heavily laden. “It was a long, hard day, but worth it to know we were helping needy families,” said the Carmichael Office union president Barry Wilson. Zone 95608’s 50 carriers and many volunteers toiled from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. collecting, hauling and sorting over 16,218 pounds of non-perishables. These were dispatched to the Sacramento Food Bank.
In days that followed, hundreds more pounds of groceries rolled in to the Post Office. The food bank also received these late donations.
“Too many people in this country are still going hungry,” said National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando. “We see this first hand in communities we serve. For more than two decades, our members have taken the lead in the effort to help. It’s an easy way for our customers to help people in their own communities. Food banks usually benefit from an upswing in donations during the holiday season. By spring, stocks dwindle.” Because school lunch programs are suspended during summer, Rolando added, many families scramble to feed children.
The success of the food drive demonstrates “the remarkable connection between letter carriers and the communities they serve,” he said. “It’s a bond that serves the nation well.”
FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - Courtney Warner, a 2018 graduate of Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, was recently awarded the prestigious $10,000 WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarship®. Warner, who is a WoodmenLife member, submitted an application highlighting her grades, activities and volunteerism, as well as an essay on patriotism.
Courtney, the daughter of Paul and Martha Warner of Carmichael, is actively at her university, where she is involved as the Director of Internal Events for Sororities and Fraternities. She also plays intermural soccer.
She attends California State University in Sacramento, where she is majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. She plans on entering the nursing program. Her family is a member of WoodmenLife CA Chapter 339 in Sacramento.
“Courtney was chosen as a recipient of this scholarship because of her dedication to excellence in academics.” said WoodmenLife President & CEO, Patrick L. Dees. “WoodmenLife is thrilled to be able to recognize that achievement and help Courtney realize her dream of furthering her education with this prestigious scholarship.”
The WoodmenLife Focus Forward Scholarship program is part of the organization’s member extras. The program awards up to $1 million annually to members furthering their education in a two-year or four-year college, university or technical school.
This year, WoodmenLife will award more than 850 scholarships ranging from $500 to $25,000.
WoodmenLife was founded in 1890 as a not for profit. The organization gives back to its nearly 700,000 members, who join together in a shared commitment to family, community and country. With a legacy of financial stability, WoodmenLife offers quality life insurance and retirement products. To learn more about the organization and the extras members enjoy, visit WoodmenLife.org.
CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The longest of journeys begins with a single step. Seventeen Carmichael Improvement District (CID) leaders and volunteers recently set out on foot to meet business owners. The all-morning “business walk” included shops and companies around the Carmichael “Y” – the intersection of Manzanita Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard. Armed with clipboards and flyers, volunteers gathered contact details, shared information and asked 60 business owners for input on the organization’s operations.
“Not all business operators knew they had access to our services,” said CID outreach chair Johnna Phillips. “We want them to know we’re here to help them succeed.”
Formed with Sacramento County facilitation in 2016, the non-profit serves nearly 450 commercial properties and 700 businesses. These range from large retail stores to professional offices and single-owner operations within 460 acres of the local business corridor. Security, street cleanliness, beautification and economic development are principle CID goals. Funded by a property assessment, the cooperative has hired a security company to protect businesses and customers. It will soon appoint an executive director.
“We’ve achieved coordination with law enforcement agencies to reduce criminal activity and to address the homeless problem in our area,” says board member/lawyer Gary Hursh. “We feel we’re on a sound foundation to establish Carmichael as a place where businesses and customers want to be.”
CID board meetings are held at the Carmichael Library (5605 Marconi Ave), on fourth Thursdays of each month at 1 pm. These meetings are open to the public. More information is available at www.carmichaelid.org
ARDEN ARCADE, CA (MPG) - Joining a host of other recently relocated or newly established businesses in Country Club Plaza is Country Club Luxury Cinema, located directly across from new mall tenant, Rebounderz. A large group of business owners and interested parties assembled Wednesday evening for the venue’s ribbon cutting and tours of the theater which opened Friday. A soft opening was held Thursday evening with a few of the thirteen screens showing Avengers: Endgame.
Invited guests praised the food, which is freshly cooked in the full kitchen behind the snack counter. Offerings include artisan pizza, nachos, fries, and popcorn chicken balls. More traditional movie fare, popcorn and candy, is also available. Margo Powers, Cinema West’s food and beverage manager, expects the menu offerings to grow.
“People can just come in and have a beer,” she said, without buying a ticket or seeing the movie. Tables and other seating are situated in a corner off of the snack bar with a huge window looking into the mall and across to the nearest neighbor.
Wines, beers, and cocktails are also on the menu. Sacramento, she said, is an IPA town so she has included a selection of local beers and local wines.
Guests toured the thirteen theaters, which include two giant screens. They sat in the spacious and well-cushioned seats, adjusted the table trays, and reclined their legs, which they probably needed if they returned to see the three hour long Avengers movie.
Several employees, including Dyanna Paredes and A.J. Souza, also live nearby. The location benefits Matt Ceccato from Congressman Ami Bera’s office as well. “It’s the closest movie theater to my house,” he said.
The lease was signed in 2015 said Cinema West CEO Dave Corkill, who also operates theaters in Folsom, Woodland, and other locations in California and Idaho.
Country Club Plaza has been through a series of incarnations, seeing shops like JC Penney move to Arden Fair Mall, Woolworth and Weinstocks close, and Macy’s move out. The mall, once a thriving retail location serving a broad population from Carmichael to Natomas and points north and south, is in the midst of reinventing itself, thanks to the new owners who took over a mere four years ago.
WinCo foods took over the long-vacant location that once housed JC Penney and more recently Weinstocks; Planet Fitness set up shop; and Flaming Grill, a decades-long staple on Arden Way, is centrally located in the mall. The theater is one of several entertainment venues the mall seeks to attract.
Rebounderz opened in January and features trampoline-based activities including basketball and dodge ball played on trampolines. A ninja warrior course is also available as are arcade games. Seth Pearl, Operations Manager for the mall, said that a virtual reality center is expected to open this year.
In addition to entertainment, the mall is increasing its offerings of food with several new eateries for take out or dine in. YouMingTang Wutie Tea House across from Luxury Theater is celebrating its grand opening, and the mall’s website says that Luchador Coffee is now serving.
Service businesses are also flourishing and include Sarah’s Alterations and a barber shop that will open soon. Rainbow, a fashion retailer, has also moved in.
A caterer, who was watching her daughters perform on the ninja circuit in Rebounderz, was considering space at the mall and a small business owner was inquiring about a freestanding kiosk space in which he could sell Afghan jewelry.
Although there are many empty spaces and there was not a lot of foot traffic during the ribbon cutting ceremony, the mall is growing. Not everyone is excited about the movie theater’s turquoise and rust paint scheme or night lighting, but the consensus was overwhelmingly positive Wednesday evening.
One woman wanted to buy a ticket and said she would return the next day when the theater opened, but many tickets had been presold said Assistant Manager Payge Lloyd.
“It was an exciting weekend and most showings of Avengers were sold out,” wrote Cinema West Executive Director James Howard. “The shopping center is buzzing with new activity, and it looks like we have a great future.”
For more information, visit https://www.cinemawest.com/location?house_id=49047 or http://www.countryclubplazamall.com/.
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - On Monday May 13th AMGEN’s blue 2019 Tour of California portal opened an adventure of a lifetime for professional cyclists into our state’s renown scenic panoramas. At roughly 89 feet of elevation, Rancho Cordova became the perfect point of departure for AMGEN’s uphill race from the countryside all the way across the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Riding a bicycle a few blocks, for many of us, is seen as an act of valor and environmental consciousness. But those who competed for close to 150 miles uphill had the real valor and the full environmental experience―not to mention the strongest legs and lungs.
Kristin Klein, President of the Amgen Tour of California said, “The 14th annual Amgen Tour of California will not disappoint. This year the riders will face the most climbing, the longest road days and arguably the most competitive field in the history of the race.”
“The riders know when they come to the Amgen Tour of California they’ll get a bit of everything…mountains, ocean breezes, lush forests, farm fields and vineyards – it’s quite a way to sightsee this beautiful state, and we’re proud to call the Amgen Tour of California an international postcard for the state.”
The starting line in Rancho Cordova for Stage 2 was lined with hundreds of local cycling enthusiasts cheering on the big race. This was a big day for the city and its residents in hosting Amgen.
Bob Stapleton, Chairman of USA Cycling said “Kristin (Klein) calls this one of America’s greatest races. I call it one of the world’s greatest races.”
“Economically this really is a Grand Tour. If you look at where the money and interest and eyeballs that support cycling come from, American companies are the number two direct sponsor of teams, and if you look at the total support, all the money, goods and services that come into cycling, United States is number one.”
Rob DeMartini, the USA Cycling President and CEO mentioned “I was immediately impressed by the depth of talent that is here at the Amgen Tour of California. I look forward to spending time with all of the American riders here and am pleased we were able to field a National Team and give our up and coming riders an opportunity to race on home soil.”
Present at the race, Mark Cavendish, of Team Dimensional Data said that with this Tour of California, ““I’ve been here many times, not just for the bike race, but for holiday and for training camps, and I always feel welcome at The Amgen Tour of California, so it’s good to be back.”
“The race has gotten harder, and the race has stepped up. As Bob (Stapleton) said, it’s one of the most important races on the calendar now, and with that comes a bigger challenge to win, and it’s good that more people are watching.”
George Bennet, Team Jumbo-Visma – “[Winning the Yellow Jersey] is the main objective. I don’t know if it’s going to be easier, but it will be a lot different than last time, without the time trial and different riders here as well. It’s going to be a challenging week.”
“The winner on (Mount) Baldy is going to get the Lexus. Mount Hamilton is hard, but it’s not like two years ago when we could light it up and survive to the finish…it all comes down to Baldy and staying out of trouble the other days.”
Richie Porte, Trek-Segafredo noted how this race is evolving. He said “A lot of ways this [The Amgen Tour of California] is leading how cycling has got to go.”
Tejay van Garderen, EF Education First Pro Cycling offered his thoughts on racing at home. “It’s always a treat to be able to come home. Now being on a truly American team coming and racing on American soil provides a different feel and a different level of motivation.”
“This race is for sure a huge target, and it’s something that our team has been talking about all spring, that we need to be ready to do well at this race” said Evan Huffman, Rally UHC Cycling on the importance of getting a good start.
Alex Hoehn, USA Cycling offered his gratitude on being able to participate. “I’m grateful to USA Cycling for giving me the opportunity to showcase my talent here at the Amgen Tour of California in front of the best teams in the world. It’s not often that a young rider like me gets to line up with some of the best in the pro peloton, and this will be an experience I will remember for the rest of my life” He said.
Rancho Cordova can be proud as a Amgen Stage 2 host city.
Sources: Marissa Mavaega, Canvasblue.com. Amgen
WOODLAKE, SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - On Friday, May 2, officers from several agencies, including Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, descended upon the quiet Woodlake neighborhood for the 17th Annual Remembrance Ceremony, and to commemorate a new memorial plaque for Officer Mark Stasyuk who lost his life in the line of duty on September 17, 2018.
The ceremony included a procession of law enforcement officers from Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento Sheriff’s Department led by the Sacramento Firefighters Pipes and Drums.
Officer Paul Brown, President of the Sacramento Police Sheriff’s Memorial Foundation welcomed officers, fallen officer families, dignitaries, fellow officers from outside agencies, and the general public.
“Today, let us remember our Sacramento fallen,” said the 20 year Sacramento Police Department veteran.
Pastor Anthony Sadler of Shiloh Baptist Church gave the invocation prior to guest speakers.
“It is in times like these that we realize how fragile we are and how quickly our loved ones can be taken away from us.” Each officer, he added, to be remembered had paid the ultimate price, as did the fallen officer’s family, in order to protect the citizens.
“Today we are saddened, and also honored, to add yet one more hero to the rank.” He then called for prayers for Deputy Mark Stasyuk and his family.
“We honor Deputy Stasyuk for his extraordinary bravery in the face of imminent danger,” he stated.
Throughout the invocation, the bells of Sacramento Regional Transit’s light sounded gently. The memorial, a living monument, is situated across the street from Woodlake Park and behind the light rail station on Arden Way. Land was donated by North Sacramento Land Company, wrote Rotary Club of North Sacramento President, Stephen Lemmon. His organization, along with Woodlake Improvement Club worked with the land company.
“Since we had a great working relationship with the Sacramento Police Department, the idea was hatched for a memorial,” Lemmon wrote, adding that Rotary Club member Dennis Tsuboi submitted the design and the club contributed $10,000.
In 1992, “a foundation was formed including both unions for Sac PD and Sac Sheriff, reps for the Chief and the Sheriff, the Rotary Club, Woodlake and the Council Member,” wrote Lemmon.
A list of major funders, board of directors, and past board members is etched in granite beside the dedication stone that reads, “For all those who served & sacrificed wearing the badge, we are eternally grateful.”
Sacramento Police Department Chief Daniel Hahn spoke first.
“Welcome to these sacred grounds,” he said. “We will never forget the sacrifice that you have made for our entire community.”
Chief Hahn spoke several minutes about current challenges for law enforcement, community, and how these men and women “know what it takes to protect our community, to protect our values and our way of life.”
“We pray that this will be the last year that we add a name to this very important memorial,” said Hahn.
Sheriff Scott R. Jones spoke next, thanking Supervisor Susan Peters, general public, and fellow officers.
“I love coming to this place. I come from time to time. It seems like things are a little quieter, things are a bit more contemplative. It seems like I’m able to be a little bit more reflective. I love the fact that the community takes care of this place. It is truly hollow ground,” he said, adding that he also hates that there needs to be a place like this and that another name needs to be added this year.
Mark Stasyuk’s name joined twenty other Sheriff’s department officers, District Attorney Investigator Grant Wilson, Galt Police Department Officer Kevin Tonn, and sixteen Sacramento Police Department officers.
“His life made a difference,” said District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.
Chief Todd Sockman, Galt Police Department, spoke about the family of law enforcement and the family that includes the community.
“As a family, we can get through this,” he said.
Following the guest speakers, the name of each of the 39 fallen officers was called, with a moment of silence, and the placement of a yellow rose on each memorial plaque by members of each respective agency. Each officer was honored with a white-gloved salute by a member of his agency.
Sheriff Jones said of 4 ½ year veteran Mark Stasyuk, that he “exemplified what it meant to be a law enforcement officer.”
Yellow roses were presented to members of the Stasyuk family who carried the flowers and placed them on his memorial.
Following a moment of silence, the rider-less horse was led in and through the memorial, a bugler played “Taps,” followed by a 21-gun salute, and a flyover of helicopters in the missing flyer formation.
“If one member suffers, all suffer together,” said Sacramento Police Officer William J. Conner in the benediction. “We are all part of something greater than ourselves.”
For additional information, visit: http://www.sacmemorial.org/.