Pocket Area Churches Together held annual Walk and Bike to Church event

Pocket Area Churches Together, which includes Faith Presbyterian Church, Greenhaven Lutheran Church, Greenhaven Neighborhood Church, Riverside Wesleyan Church and St. Anthony Catholic Parish, held its annual Walk and Bike to Church event on Sunday, May 31. Folks were encouraged to walk or bike to church if possible, and then join in fellowship and share lunch together at Riverside Wesleyan.

Arden-Carmichael Calendar

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Audubon Program to highlight loss and recovery of Central Valley Wetlands
May 15:

The story of the loss and recovery of waterbird habitat in the Central Valley will be told by CSU Stanislaus Associate Professor Philip Garone at the May 15 meeting of the Sacramento Audubon Society.
The 7 p.m. meeting will be at Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Ancil Hoffman Park (For directions, see http://sacnaturecenter.com).
There will be no charge for the program or parking, and no park-entry fee.
Professor Garone teaches environmental history and is the author of several publications, including The Fall and Rise of the Wetlands of California’s Great Central Valley (UC Press 2011).
For the first 100 years of statehood, the original four million acres or so of permanent and seasonal wetlands in the Central Valley was “reclaimed” to a fraction of its size and converted to agriculture, Professor Garone notes.
But in the second half of the 20th Century and into the present we have been protecting and restoring – rather than destroying – Valley wetlands.
The different ways this came about in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, and some of the challenges still facing us, will be the main thrust of his presentation, Professor Garone states.

Fairytale Town presents a day of “Farms, Friends & Fairytales”
May 16:

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., join Fairytale Town for a fun-filled celebration of farm animals and agriculture! At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. watch Fairytale Town’s Babydoll sheep get sheared and the wool spun into yarn using an old fashioned spinning wheel. Plus, participate in agriculture-themed hands-on activities, and visit with local area farms and organizations. This program is free with paid park admission. Weekend admission is $5.50 for adults and children ages 2 and older. Children ages 1 and under are free. For more information, visit http://fairytaletown.org or call 808-7462. Sponsored by Whole Foods Market and SAFE Credit Union. Fairytale Town is located at 3901 Land Park Dr.

Free Community Safety Event for Children/Parents
May 16:

To keep kids safe over the summer months it’s important to share safety awareness, self-defense and strategies to avoid conflicts including bullying. So, Robinson’s Taekwondo will be offering a free one-hour safety clinic to bring parents and children together to learn and practice being safe together, including easy escapes from grabs and anti-bully roleplaying families can share. With many parents working and the kids out of school many are often more vulnerable to bullying, playground assault or potential victims of predators. Safety in our community comes from raising awareness and giving children and families the tools they need to cope. Robinson’s Taekwondo at 1 p.m. Registration is required and space limited. Register online at:
http://www.robinsonstkd.com/tickets to reserve your place and find a participating location in the Sacramento region. Call 1-888-249-7853 for more information.

Fire Station 6 Open House
May 16:

Fire Station 6, located at 3301 MLK Jr. Blvd., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

‘Haute Stuff’, a benefit fashion show and marketplace for the Sacramento Children’s Home
May 17:

From noon to 4 p.m., enjoy a marketplace of fashion, home, and lifestyle temptations. There will be local food and wines as well as a fashion show of Haute trends. Even benefits the Sacramento Children’s Home. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.kidshome.org/events. Event will be held at Jardin Rue Estate, 4475 Garden Highway.

Free band concert
May 18:

The Sacramento Concert Band will present a free Spring concert at 7:30 p.m. at Christ Community Church, 5025 Manzanita Ave., in Carmichael. The concert by the 50-piece band will include “Colonel Bogey” (theme from the movie “Bridge Over the River Kwai”), “Marche Militaire Francaise”, and a medley of tunes by Jule Styne (“The Party’s Over”, “People”, and “Don’t Rain on My Parade”). The band has been performing in the Sacramento area since 1969. There is no charge for the concert, but donations will be accepted. For more information, visit the band’s web site: http://www.sacramentoconcertband.net. Come and enjoy the music!

Sacramento Guitar Society Orchestra spring concert
May 19:

A 3 p.m. spring concert with the Sacramento Guitar Society Orchestra directed by Sean O’Connor and guest artists including Live Oak Waldorf School in Auburn’s Guitar Class directed by Nan Shaw will occur at Capistrano Hall, Room 151, California State University, Sacramento. Donations accepted.

Music at noon free concert at Westminster Presbyterian Church
May 20:

Bring your lunch and enjoy fine music. This week there will be music featuring jazz guitarist Doug Pauly and Friends. Upcoming concert information and “printed” programs can be accessed from http://www.musicatnoon.org. Westminster Presbyterian Church is located at 1300 N St.

What: Grinding Holes to Cattle Brands History Hike
May 23:

The Sacramento Valley Conservancy’s featured monthly history hike at Deer Creek Hills
is the Grinding Holes to Cattle Brands, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come travel a new trail with Deer Creek Hill’s historian David Scharlach as he points out evidence of prior residence to Sacramento’s largest open space preserve. Put your boots onto the soil where Native Americans hunted and chanted songs to the early hours, where European trappers took beaver, where Californios were rewarded for their services,
where miners scoured the gulches for a bit of color and, finally, ranchers grazed their
sheep and cattle. Good for all ages. Cost is $10. Register online: http://www.sacramentovalleyconservancy.org/calendar.asp

Woodland and Pond Birding
May 23:

The Sacramento Valley Conservancy invites you to participate to a docent guided Pond
Birding at Deer Creek Hills from 7 to 11 a.m. Volunteer Birding Docents Thomas Baumann and Lisa Couper will guide and lead you on cattle paths at this open space preserve. You’ll observe birding activity at stock ponds
and seasonal creeks, as you take shelter along the edge of the oak woodland canopy. Late
departing migratory birds can be seen and heard, as well as the activity of the year-round
birds of Deer Creek Hills. Hushed tones, walking and stopping are the best ways to bird watch on this outing. Wear “quiet” warm, muted earth-tone colors, sturdy boots for uneven surfaces. Cotton or wool
fabrics are considered “quiet” and work great! Birding scopes, binoculars and/or cameras,
are highly recommended for any birding outing. The event is good for all ages. The cost is $10.
Register online: http://www.sacramentovalleyconservancy.org/calendar.asp

Auditions for Sacramento Youth Symphony’s 2015-2016 season
May 23, 24, 30, 31:

If you play brass, woodwinds, percussion, or strings then you’re invited to join the award-winning Sacramento Youth Symphony, the Sacramento area’s premier youth organization for musicians (ages 6-21)! SYS has orchestras and ensembles for every level, from beginning through advanced. Online applications are available at http://www.sacramentoyouthsymphony.org, and are due by late April Auditions will be held on May 23 and 24 and May 30 and 31. Full merit-based scholarships available for select instruments (must apply before April 10)! Call Robert at 731-5777 for details.

Music at noon free concert at Westminster Presbyterian Church
May 27:

Bring your lunch and enjoy fine music. This week there will be music featuring violinist Igor Veligan and pianist Natsuki Fukasawa. Upcoming concert information and “printed” programs can be accessed from http://www.musicatnoon.org. Westminster Presbyterian Church is located at 1300 N St.

Fire Station 8 Open House
May 30:

Fire Station 8, located at 5990 H St., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

June

Free! Riverside Concert Series at Camp Pollock
June 4:

Come Relax at Camp Pollock! Concert will feature a relaxing musical experience on Sacramento’s American River Parkway. Concerts start at 6 and continue until 8 p.m. Bring your own picnic basket and blanket. Bring your leashed dog. Enjoy S’mores compliments of Sierra Service Project! The events are hosted by the Sacramento Valley Conservancy. For more information, contact http://sacramentovalleyconservancy.org or call 731-8798. Camp Pollock is located at 1501 Northgate Blvd.

Fire Station 5 Open House
June 6:

Fire Station 5, located at 731 Broadway, will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

The Folsom Symphony presents: Sport Night at the Symphony
June 6 and 7:

Narrated as a sports event, the symphony presents a-Monday Night Football theme, featuring Bizet’s “March of the Toreadors” (Carmen), Reineke’s “Casey at the Bat”, themes from Rocky, Chariots of Fire, and Brian’s Song, Williams’ “Olympic Fanfare and Theme”, Peter Schickele/PDQ Bach’s hilarious version of the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Harris Center for the Arts, 10 College Parkway. The Saturday, June 6 show starts at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday, June 7 starts at 2 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.folsomsymphony.com or call 608-6888. Tickets range from $20 to $55 depending on location.

A theater performance “Anansi, The Spider” to be held at Fairytale Town
June: 6 and 7:

Show times are 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. In the jungles of Africa lives a tiny spider known as Anansi. Believing the children of Earth need stories to tell each other, he begins a quest to get the golden box of stories from Nyami, the sky god. This story is presented by The Puppet Company using hand and rod puppets with authentic African music, colorful costuming and classical African design. Tickets are $2 for nonmembers in addition to park admission, and $1 for members. For more information, visit fairytaletown.org or call 808-7462. Sponsored by ScholarShare College Savings Plan. Fairytale Town is located at 3901 Land Park Dr.

Film showing about Sutter’s birth place, Kandern
June 12:

At 7 p.m., Peter Volker from Kandern will be in Sacramento at the Turn Verein to show a film about Kandern, which is not only the birthplace of General Sutter, but in 1848 there was a fight at Kandern where the first “Republicans” (i.e. students etc.) were demanding and fighting for establishing a “Republic of Baden.” When they were defeated many of them fled across the Rhine-river and then to the USA. They founded many “Turnvereine” in America. After the film, Peter will have a discussion and answer questions. This is a project of a partnership between Sacramento and Kandern. Those interested in this project are invited to join the meeting at the http://www.sacramentoturnverein.com

Fire Station 12 Open House
June 13:

Fire Station 12, located at 4500 24th St., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

Free! Riverside Concert Series at Camp Pollock
June 18:

Come Relax at Camp Pollock! Concert will feature a relaxing musical experience on Sacramento’s American River Parkway. Concerts start at 6 and continue until 8 p.m. Bring your own picnic basket and blanket. Bring your leashed dog. Enjoy S’mores compliments of Sierra Service Project! The events are hosted by the Sacramento Valley Conservancy. For more information, contact http://sacramentovalleyconservancy.org or call 731-8798. Camp Pollock is located at 1501 Northgate Blvd.

Family Campout at Fairytale Town
Friday, June 19 5:30 p.m. through Saturday, June 20 at 7 a.m.:

Spend the night in Fairytale Town’s storybook park. This exciting overnight adventure includes a theater performance, arts and crafts activities, a scavenger hunt, bedtime stories and a sing-along. Wake up the next morning under Fairytale Town’s canopy of trees to a light continental breakfast. Prices range from $25-$30 per person and include all activities. Member discounts are available. For more information, visit http://fairytaletown.org or call 808-7462. Fairytale Town is located at 3901 Land Park Dr.

Fire Station 7 Open House
June 20:

Fire Station 7, located at 6500 Wyndham Dr., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

Fire Station 10 Open House
June 27:

Fire Station 10, located at 5642 66th St., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream & Crystal Ice Cream Fantasy at Fairytale Town
June 27:

From 5 to 9 p.m., celebrate William Shakespeare’s popular fairy-themed play while enjoying all-you-can-eat Crystal ice cream! This magical midsummer’s evening features multiple ice cream tasting stations, live entertainment, hands-on activities, an olde worlde marketplace and more. Celtic rock band Tempest will perform throughout the evening. Costumes for the whole family are encouraged. No host food and bar. Mix 96’s Dan & Michelle will emcee the evening as this year’s Honorary King and Queen. Tickets go on sale May 1 at http://fairytaletown.org. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children ages 2-12. Members receive $2 off per ticket on advance tickets. Day-of tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 2-12. No member discount on day-of tickets. For more information, visit http://fairytaletown.org or call 808-7462. Sponsored by Crystal Creamery. Fairytale Town is located at 3901 Land Park Dr.

July

Free! Riverside Concert Series at Camp Pollock
July 2:

Come Relax at Camp Pollock! Concert will feature a relaxing musical experience on Sacramento’s American River Parkway. Concerts start at 6 and continue until 8 p.m. Bring your own picnic basket and blanket. Bring your leashed dog. Enjoy S’mores compliments of Sierra Service Project! The events are hosted by the Sacramento Valley Conservancy. For more information, contact sacramentovalleyconservancy.org or call 731-8798. Camp Pollock is located at 1501 Northgate Blvd.

Fire Station 11 Open House
July 11:

Fire Station 11, located 785 Florin Road, will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

American-Portuguese Veteran’s Memorial Poker Tournament
July 11:

There will be a poker tournament on July 11 at SPHSS Portuguese Hall, 6676 Pocket Road. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; the tournament starts at 6:30 p.m. While this tournament will help fund the placement of a monument at the State Capitol to honor American-Portuguese that served the United States, it is also a template for other ethnic groups to have a similar monument. If the time comes for Chinese-American, Greek-American, Irish-American, Italian-American, Mexican-American or any other ethnic gropus to place a monument, they will already have a blueprint for placement, which is required. For those who wish to buy tickets or sponsor the event can contact Eddia Maria at 314-757-0474. In regard to sponsorship, for $250 you will receive two entries into the tournament ($100 value) along with your business name and logo shown on a big screen in front of the room on a continuous loop for the duration of the event.

Fire Station 13 Open House
July 18:

Fire Station 13, located at 1100 43rd Ave., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

Fire Station 15 Open House
July 25:

Fire Station 15, located at 1591 Newborough Dr., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

August

Fire Station 18 Open House
Aug. 1:

Fire Station 18, located at 746 North Market Blvd., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

Free! Riverside Concert Series at Camp Pollock
Aug. 6:

Come Relax at Camp Pollock! Concert will feature a relaxing musical experience on Sacramento’s American River Parkway. Concerts start at 6 and continue until 8 p.m. Bring your own picnic basket and blanket. Bring your leashed dog. Enjoy S’mores compliments of Sierra Service Project! The events are hosted by the Sacramento Valley Conservancy. For more information, contact http://sacramentovalleyconservancy.org or call 731-8798. Camp Pollock is located at 1501 Northgate Blvd.

Fire Station 19 Open House
Aug. 8:

Fire Station 19, located at 1700 Challenge Way, will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

Fire Station 57 Open House
Aug. 15:

Fire Station 57, located at 7927 East Parkway, will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

Fire Station 60 Open House
Aug. 22:

Fire Station 60, located at 3301 Julliard Dr., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

Fire Station 16 Open House
Aug. 29:

Fire Station 16, located at 7363 24th St., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

September

Free! Riverside Concert Series at Camp Pollock
Sept. 10:

Come Relax at Camp Pollock! Concert will feature a relaxing musical experience on Sacramento’s American River Parkway. Concerts start at 6 and continue until 8 p.m. Bring your own picnic basket and blanket. Bring your leashed dog. Enjoy S’mores compliments of Sierra Service Project! The events are hosted by the Sacramento Valley Conservancy. For more information, contact http://sacramentovalleyconservancy.org or call 731-8798. Camp Pollock is located at 1501 Northgate Blvd.

Fire Station 20 Open House
Sept. 12:

Fire Station 20, located at 2512 Rio Linda Blvd., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

Fire Station 43 Open House
Sept. 19:

Fire Station 43, located at 4201 El Centro Road, will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

October

Free! Riverside Concert Series at Camp Pollock
Oct. 1:

Come Relax at Camp Pollock! Concert will feature a relaxing musical experience on Sacramento’s American River Parkway. Concerts start at 6 and continue until 8 p.m. Bring your own picnic basket and blanket. Bring your leashed dog. Enjoy S’mores compliments of Sierra Service Project! The events are hosted by the Sacramento Valley Conservancy. For more information, contact http://sacramentovalleyconservancy.org or call 731-8798. Camp Pollock is located at 1501 Northgate Blvd.

Fire Station 17 Open House
Oct. 10:

Fire Station 17, located at 1311 Bell Ave., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

Fire Station 30 Open House
Oct. 17:

Fire Station 30, located at 1901 Club Center Dr., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

Fire Station 56 Open House
Oct. 24:

Fire Station 56, located at 3720 47th Ave., will have an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet firefighters and possibly mascot Sparky.

Faces and Places: Zoo Zoom 2015

Faces and Places: Zoo Zoom 2015/ Photos by Monica Stark
Faces and Places: Zoo Zoom 2015/ Photos by Monica Stark

Animals of all sorts ran wild at this year’s Zoo Zoom on Sunday, April 19. Donned in lion, monkey and giraffe costumes, many runners got into the spirit of the event, which raised money for animal care and enrichment at the Sacramento Zoo. After all, feeding animals and keeping them occupied can be a difficult and expensive task. In order to keep their minds and skills sharp, a variety of enrichments need to be made daily. More than 450 animals call the Sacramento Zoo home. Besides boasting funds for the zoo, the race also had some fast times. For the 5-kilometer race, Jedidiah Soliz of Carmichael ran a time of 16:05.4. (That’s a 5:11 minute per mile pace!) In the same race, Natalee Harper was the fastest female, clocking in at 19:02.2, or a 6:08 minute per mile pace. For the 10-kilometer race, Camron Shahmirzadi of Folsom ran a time of 15:44.6, which is a 5:05 minute per mile pace. In the same race, first place female Heather Tiska of Sacramento ran a time of 19:05.3 (a 6:09 minute per mile pace). Good job, runners!

editor@valcomnews.com

What’s new at the zoo?

Simon and Garfunkel once said, “It’s all happening at the zoo.”
That certainly seems to be the case at the Sacramento Zoo, which this year is celebrating its 85th anniversary with many new attractions.

Small Wonders

The zoo’s main focus right now is on its capitol improvement project called Small Wonders, for which the zoo is currently working on construction plans and permits, according to director Mary Healy.

Healy says the new exhibit will be located across from the zoo’s giraffe exhibit, aptly named Tall Wonders, and will feature four new species of animals – a pair of African monkeys called Wolf’s Guenon, an African bat called a Straw-Colored Fruit Bat, an aardvark and a mongoose.

The zoo has already acquired the Wolf’s Guenon and will acquire the other animals as the project moves forward, Healy said.
Healy said the Small Wonders exhibit will help complete an area of the zoo where consistent improvements have been made to make the animals much more visible to guests.

She also said bringing in new species of animals provides new educational opportunities.

“We’ve never had any bats on exhibit,” Healy said. “We used to have one in the education department, but we’ve never had any on exhibit, and that’s going to be a fun opportunity. Kids like bats, they’re not intimidated by them. Some adults tend to still think they’re kind of creepy, so it’s kind of fun to bring in something like that that the kids are into.”

Wild affair

Although there is currently no opening date set yet for Small Wonders, Healy hopes the zoo will be able to give a timetable update to guests at the upcoming Wild Affair fund raising event on Oct. 6.

According to marketing coordinator Marisa Hicks, Wild Affair is the zoo’s annual black tie gala dinner and auction.

“It’s our grandest event focused on adults and just raising as much money as possible for the zoo, and this year that money is going toward Small Wonders,” she said.

During this year’s event, attendees will start the evening with appetizers and cocktails, plus the chance to take special behind-the-scenes tours of zoo exhibits.

“That includes behind-the-scenes in the primate area (and) the carnivore area, the lions and tigers,” Hicks said.
Wild Affair attendees will enjoy a plated dinner by Mulvaney’s B&L, a live auction hosted by Dave Bender from CBS13 and a show put on by zoo staff.

“The show is put on by the very same staff that has done tours, so somebody who was just showing you behind-the-scenes in the primate area may now be on stage in costume,” Hicks said. “There is no end to what our passionate zoo staff will do to raise money for our exhibits here.”

For the community

In addition to Wild Affair, the zoo has a number of events coming up to help benefit its surrounding community.
For example, now until the end of August, zoo guests can bring in a new, unwrapped school supply for a school supply drive and receive $1 off general admission.

Hicks said the supplies will be donated to a school in need in the local community. In November and December, patrons can bring in a donation for either Toys for Tots or the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services and again receive $1 off general admission.

In October, the zoo’s popular Boo at the Zoo will return for two days, Oct. 30 and 31. Here kids can come in costume, visit 17 different candy stations and take rides on the “spooky” train and “creepy” carousel.

“Generally what people do on Halloween is they come to Boo at the Zoo and then they go out into Land Park and do the rest of their trick-or-treating, so it’s a real fun night,” Hicks said.

Additionally, the zoo has been hosting a number of nonprofits through different programming. For example, each night of the zoo’s summer Twilight Thursdays series gave a different nonprofit an opportunity to share its information with patrons.
Healy feels it’s important for the zoo to help out their fellow community nonprofits.

“We’re in kind of a unique position since we do get a half-million visitors to our zoo and we feel that we are in a position, kind of like the big brother, to help out some of the other organizations,” she said. “We just try to be a good partner and feel like we’re all in this together and a lot of the nonprofits are struggling.”

The next 85

As the Sacramento Zoo celebrates its 85th birthday, what’s in store for the next 85 years?
Healy says part of it will be focusing on offering more intimate experiences for zoo patrons.
“We know we’re limited with the 14 acre site (and) we want to make sure when people come here, they can see the animals up close and have interactions,” she said.

The zoo has already been moving in that direction with the all-glass river otter exhibit that allows kids to come “nose-to-nose” with the animals, the Tall Wonders giraffe exhibit that features supervised feedings twice a day and a window in the tiger exhibit where guests can sit next to the tigers.

“We just want to keep creating those kinds of special, up close experiences that make our zoo unique,” Healy said.
And Hicks says the zoo will continue to work on its main mission, which is to educate the next generation on conservation.
“They’re not going to conserve what they have today without being educated on what there is,” she said. “All of our programs (are) aimed toward engaging our audience and getting them to pay attention to conservation and observing that education so they carry it with them. And hopefully we’re creating that connection with wildlife that a lot of urban city kids don’t have.”

corrie@valcomnews.com

Empty Bowls aims to raise awareness of hunger issue in Sacramento

Hunger is a bigger problem in Sacramento than you may think, according to Eileen Thomas, executive director of the River City Food Bank based in midtown Sacramento.

EMPTY BOWLS is a major fundraiser for the River City Food Bank. This year’s ninth annual event will be held March 6 and March 6. / Photo courtesy, River City Food Bank

EMPTY BOWLS is a major fundraiser for the River City Food Bank. This year’s ninth annual event will be held March 6 and March 6. / Photo courtesy, River City Food Bank

In 2011, the food bank served 47,408 people, with about every fourth person a child. Thomas said the food bank is also seeing an increase in seniors – who are living on fixed incomes and pensions with not enough money to go around – as well as those on disability.

To help raise awareness about the hunger problem in the Sacramento area, for the past nine years River City Food Bank has hosted Empty Bowls – an annual fund raiser designed to raise funds for the food bank and awareness about hunger in the community. Thomas said this year’s event will be held at the Sacramento Convention Center on Monday, March 5 with a dinner session from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for $60 per person, and Tuesday, March 6 for a lunch session from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for $30 per person.

“Hunger is one of those problems that can be hidden very easily because you look around and you go ‘Oh, there’s nobody really starving in our community,’” Thomas said. “Starvation looks a little different to us in America than it does like in a third-world country, so some of the people who are starving are actually suffering from malnutrition. They’re not eating healthy because they don’t have enough money for healthy food. Empty Bowls really speaks to the idea that hunger is something that is here in our community and it can be helped.”

At Empty Bowls, attendees come to either a dinner or lunch session to enjoy a soup of their choice donated by a Sacramento area restaurant.

HAND-CRAFTED bowls created by local artists and students are the must-have item at this annual event. / Photo courtesy, River City Food Bank
HAND-CRAFTED bowls created by local artists and students are the must-have item at this annual event. / Photo courtesy, River City Food Bank
“We try to get the very best restaurants in Sacramento to donate,” Thomas said. Participating restaurants include Cafe Bernardo, Classique Catering, Scott’s Seafood Grill and Bar, Vizcaya and Greek Village Inn. To serve the soups to hungry patrons, the food bank enlists the services of honorary servers from local government and businesses, Thomas said. Some notable servers on tap for this year include City Councilmembers Rob Fong and Steve Cohn.

However, the real draw to the event is the handmade bowl that each attendee gets to pick out to take home. Thomas said this year they will have about 1,200 bowls for guests to choose from made by both professional and student artists. Additionally this year, the event will feature a selection of wood and glass bowls, plus some of the professional artists will showcase their other art at the Potters’ Market held in conjunction with the event.

This year’s Empty Bowls also includes a change in venue. For the first time, the event will be held at the Sacramento Convention Center. This is because the event has grown in popularity.

“We started out nine years ago and we had about 350 people attend – we thought that was pretty good, and then it’s grown and grown,” Thomas explained. The new location also means tickets for the event will not be sold at the door. However, Thomas said patrons will be able to purchase tickets online at www.rivercityfoodbank.org (including the day of the event). Tickets can also be purchased in person at The Avid Reader and the Cathedral Book Shop at Trinity Cathedral on Capitol Avenue.

For Empty Bowls 2012, Thomas said the River City Food Bank hopes to hit its goal of raising $125,000, which will “help us keep the lights on, to keep our building and operation running. It will also pay for some of the food that we have to buy for our food bank,” she explained.

Additionally, Thomas said they hope this year’s Empty Bowls will help them spread the word about the food bank and the hunger issue in Sacramento.

“We hope to gain support for River City Food Bank and raise awareness in the community that this is a real problem and there are people who need not only food, but they need healthy food, they need good nutrition, they need education about nutrition,” she added. “We want to make sure that we explain the programs that we provide the way that people can help to make a difference in their community.”

American Red Cross helps military families reunite, reconnect and rebuild after military deployment

The Capital Region Chapter of the American Red Cross is offering Reconnection Workshops, presented by Walmart, on March 3 and March 24 at its Sacramento office, located at 1565 Exposition Boulevard in Sacramento.

Four facilitated sessions will be offered to focus on skills building to enhance the likelihood of positive reconnections with armed forces personnel and their families following a military deployment.

“Deployments are a fact of life in the military,” said Trisha Johnson, emergency services manager. “Whether a service member’s absence is due to a training exercise, sea duty, combat, or unaccompanied duty in a remote location, separation and reunification pose unique opportunities as well as challenges for all family members. The American Red Cross, with support from Walmart, developed a series of workshops to assist all military families in managing the family’s readjustment to the service member’s return.”

Actively licensed and specially trained Red Cross mental health professionals lead participants through information and discussions designed to help them identify and respond to the challenges of readjusting to and transitioning back to a changed family dynamic. The workshops are targeted to service members and their spouses, children, parents, siblings and significant others. Topics include Communicating Clearly, Exploring Stress and Trauma, Relating to Children, and Working Through Anger.  Participants have the option of choosing any or all of the workshops.

Each workshop is approximately two hours in length. Participants can take them in any order and select those most applicable to their situation. Workshops are free to military members and their families and occur in a supportive and confidential environment.

For more information about the current workshop being offered or to register for future workshops visit www.redcrosscrc.org or contact Samantha Clark at (916) 993-7087 or clarksam@usa.redcross.org.

Flea market fundraiser to benefit Sac County Animal Shelter

The public can demonstrate their support for Sacramento County’s state-of-the-art Animal Shelter and at the same time shop for bargains during the weekend of June 25–26 at the Save Our Shelter “Flea” Market.

Like most government agencies, the Department of Animal Care and Regulation has had to endure budget cuts but community supporters and animal lovers continue to help raise funds to sustain operations. The “Save Our Shelter” effort raises funds to care for the 15,000 animals that come through the shelter every year. Through donations and various fundraisers, including last year’s very successful “Whiskers and Wine” event, supporters have been able to raise almost $100,000.

“The Department of Animal Care and Regulation makes a tremendous difference in the lives of animals that are lost, abandoned or subject to abuse,” said Sacramento County Supervisor Susan Peters. “With the departmental budget being stretched thin by current constraints, community support is needed now more than ever to help supplement funding for the shelter’s operations. The Flea Market is an opportunity to have fun and help the animals at the same time.”

The Flea Market will be held over the weekend of June 25–26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at the Animal Shelter, which is located at 3839 Bradshaw Road in Sacramento. All proceeds will benefit the animals. Merchandise available for sale will include household items, furniture, clothing, pet products and crafts created by shelter volunteers.

New or gently used items may be donated. To schedule a drop off or pick up of usable items call (916) 361-7604 or email saccountyshelterfleamarket@yahoo.com. Due to limited storage space, items cannot be dropped off at the shelter. More information is available online at www.saccountyshelter.net.

And attention all shoppers: please be sure to visit your ATM in advance because flea market purchases are cash-only.

18th annual Doggy Dash is June 4, rain or shine

The 18th annual Doggy Dash will be held this Saturday, June 4 – rain or shine – in Sacramento’s beautiful William Land Park. There are two walks (a 5K and a 2K) to benefit the animals at the Sacramento SPCA, also a “Bark in the Park” afterward. / Photo courtesy

The 18th annual Doggy Dash will be held this Saturday, June 4 – rain or shine – in Sacramento’s beautiful William Land Park. There are two walks (a 5K and a 2K) to benefit the animals at the Sacramento SPCA, also a “Bark in the Park” afterward. / Photo courtesy

Some 5,000 animal lovers will gather with and without their canine companions for the 18th annual Doggy Dash, a 5K or 2K walk to benefit the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on June 4. The event will be held at Sacramento’s beautiful William Land Park.

For 17 years, two- and four-legged participants have attended this event, creating a tradition in Sacramento and transforming the Doggy Dash into one of the biggest “can’t miss” events of the year.

Be sure to stay after the Dash for a Bark at the Park Festival, where you can enter your canine pal in the Pup Show, high-flying Disc Contest, or our ever-popular Pug Races. Visit with pet-friendly businesses, learn about Sacramento-area animal rescue organizations or just have lunch while watching all the action.

The days activities include:

  • 5K or 2K walk
  • Fifth annual Pug Races
  • Pup Shows: Ugliest Dog, Best Wag, Best Smile, Best Kisser, Best Tricks, Most Magnificent Pup and more
  • Pet-friendly businesses
  • Demonstrations by the Sacramento Police K9 Unit, Sacramento Flyball, Touch and Go and First Fun Agility and the Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate “Disc Toss and Fetch” contest

On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and events begin at 8:30 a.m. and run through 12:20 p.m.

Register today

Whether you choose to bring a canine companion or invite a two-legged friend, mark your calendar and join your friends and neighbors for the Doggy Dash and Bark at the Park Festival. By doing so, you will help to make a difference in the lives of homeless animals sheltered at the Sacramento SPCA. Register as a solo participant, start a team or join an existing team. For more information, visit www.sspca.org.

Free e-waste recycling day on March 26

Get rid of your old televisions, computers, laptops, cell phones, printers, scanners, copiers, fax machines, ink cartridges, stereos, VCRs, DVD players, cable boxes, video game consoles and household batteries. Please, no microwave ovens, kitchen electronics or light fixtures. This free event benefits JFK High Grad Night 2013.

The e-waste drop off day will be held at the John F. Kennedy High School parking lot, located at 6715 Gloria Drive in Sacramento, on March 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is welcome and there is no charge to drop off e-waste. For more information, contact Chris Yun, JFK parent volunteer, at JFKgradnight2013@gmail.com.

Big bands to swing at Northern California Society’s annual Presidents Ball

Northern California ballroom and swing era dancers, singles and couples will dance to two leading orchestras at the 10th annual Presidents Ball on Sunday, Feb. 27.
Fred Morgan and his professional big band will headline at the 10th annual Presidents Ball at Elks Lodge No. 6 in Sacramento on Feb. 27. / Photo courtesy

Fred Morgan and his professional big band will headline at the 10th annual Presidents Ball at Elks Lodge No. 6 in Sacramento on Feb. 27. / Photo courtesy

Hosted by the Nor Cal Big Bands Preservation Society (NCBBPS), the event will be held at Sacramento Elks Lodge No. 6 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Mike Souliere, music director and his 18 member Pleasant Grove High School Jazz Band spotlight the school’s fourth appearance from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Their program will featuresa vast array of swing favorites including “Sentimental Journey,” “String of Pearls,” “Tuxedo Junction” and “Stompin’ at the Savoy.”

The 15-piece professional big band of legendary Fred Morgan will perform at 2 p.m. The band will present three hours of swing, fox trot, cha-cha, waltz, rhumba and blues dance tempos in NCBBPS’ salute to America’s famous presidents.

Morgan’s song sequence list features swing hits such as “How High the Moon,” “Sunny Side of the Street,” “Hot Toddy” and “Shiny Stockings;” waltzes such as “Moon River,” and “Alleghany Moon;” and Latin hits “Magic Tango” and “Spanish Eyes.”

Dance hosts, mixers, snacks and prizes will round out this Sunday afternoon lineup that brings music lovers of all ages to the Elks Club No. 6’s huge ballroom. The all-wood floor is perfect for dancing to America’s musical hits of the past century.

Tickets will be sold at the door only. Admission is $12 per person, $11 per person for groups of ten persons, and $10 per person for Society’s Gold Card Holders. Elks Lodge No. 6 is located at 6446 Riverside Boulevard in Sacramento. For additional information, call (916) 444-6138.