Volunteers Wanted for Orangevale Woman’s Club

By Kris Cardwell  |  2017-08-16

Many Hands, Many Blessings - The Orangevale Women's Club. Photo courtesy OWC

Orangevale, CA (MPG) - How does a club that is 104 years old remain relevant in 2017? It does so, successfully, with a merging of long time members whose history tells the story of Orangevale volunteerism, with the enthusiasm and new ideas of incoming participants.

It can be daunting to walk into a room as a stranger but the smiling faces and laughter of a group of like-minded women quickly puts one at ease.

The re-affirming motto of newly elected OVWC president, Marilyn Edwards, “Many Hands Blessing Many Hearts” captures the spirit of the club’s upcoming projects and events. Organizations run on fundraising opportunities and one of the club’s biggest and most fun occurs on Friday October 13. The Fall Bunko happens in conjunction with the Orangevale Grange at the landmark hall on Walnut Avenue. Somehow the rowdy dice rolling parlor game transforms into a well-organized and well attended community activity. One with a delicious spaghetti dinner, raffle prizes galore, and money to the winners!

OVWC members are encouraged to bring ideas to the group and one new member’s idea proved a big hit last year. Sharon McGrath introduced the concept of “pop-up” lunches to the club. So often meetings are busy-ness with reports and work with little time for socializing other than the chatter during the pot-luck style lunches. Sharon’s party planning skills led her to coordinate monthly gatherings at local restaurants where good food and casual conversation builds on the relationships that keep the group glowing and growing.

We look forward to a fun and productive year as we meet Tuesday September 5th at 11:00 at the Orangevale Community Center. We would love to have you join us as we continue our goal of serving the Orangevale community.

For more information find us at Orangevale Woman’s Club on Facebook or contact Marilyn Edwards @ 916-764-6816. 

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - On August 17, 2017, at 8:27 p.m., a 15 year old male from Natomas was riding his bicycle northbound on El Centro Rd north of Moscatel Ave. An unknown dark blue sedan was traveling at an unknown speed southbound on El Centro Rd north of Moscatel Ave approaching the bicyclist’s location. The front right side of the sedan struck the bicyclist causing him fatal injuries. The driver of the sedan then fled the scene driving southbound on El Centro Rd.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation. It is unknown if alcohol and/or drugs was a factor with the driver of the sedan.

CHP Investigators are asking for your help in locating the driver and vehicle involved in this collision. The right side mirror was left at the scene and it is believed that there is significant damage to the front right side of the vehicle. Evidence indicates that this is quite possibly a late model sedan. If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Special Investigations Unit at the North Sacramento Area CHP office at (916) 348-2300, Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or contact Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at 443-HELP or 1(800)-AA-CRIME. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Source: CHP

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Twice As Nice for 34 Years

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-08-16

David and Judy Fleege, owners of Twice As Nice Furniture. Photo by Paul Scholl

Local Furniture Store Celebrates More than three decades in business

Carmichael, CA (MPG) - Perhaps you are in need of a new mattress or dresser to fill that spare bedroom left vacant when your kid went off to college. Or, maybe you’re just ready for a new sofa or recliner and don’t want to pay exorbitant department store prices.

If you’ve got fine home furnishings, furniture, either antique, contemporary, new or pre-owned on your brain, David and Judy Fleege, owners of Twice As Nice Furniture likely can help.  And, you can count on their more than three decades in the business as testament to the quality of their inventory and customer focus.

The couple, both Chicago-area natives, brought their passion for antique and preowned furniture retail sales to Mission Avenue in Carmichael on August 3, 1983.  The Auburn Boulevard store opened in 1987, marking 34 years in business this month.

“Our first location was at Mission and Whitney,” says David, a former furniture and appliance sales professional for Montgomery Ward, a 23-year retail and catalogue order retail enterprise that dated back to the turn-of-the-century and, at one time, was second only behind Sears as the nation’s largest catalogue order and brick and mortar department store chain.

“I sold appliances for Montgomery Ward originally,” says David. “Then, when we moved to Wisconsin, we met a couple in the 1970s who sold antiques, tools, furniture and other things. They kind of took us under their wing and showed us the business and that’s how we got into this. Here we are 34 years later.”

Just as with any family-owned business, this one affords David and Judy with inherent opportunities for working side-by-side and growing their client base, figuring out what works best for their business and what doesn’t, and for carving out prospective roles for one another.  In this case, David does the buying.  Judy also buys, but her primary role involves keeping social media updated, marketing and customer service.

“I really do everything,” said Judy, who briefly worked as an activities director for a local nursing home before the couple opened the business. 

David buys much of the store’s inventory from wholesalers, private parties and roughly six different manufacturers. If there’s something you don’t see in the store, there’s a good chance they can find it for you.  But be prepared to wait if you’re looking for a grandfather clock. Apparently there is demand.

“We have a waiting list for grandfather clocks,” David says. “We can get them, but so many people want one lately we have to put them on a list and call them.”

The store also has one part time employee, although, at one time, the couple’s daughter, now in her 40s, worked for the family biz.  She, says Judy, may or may not take over the business if and when retirement comes calling.

Coming from a background in furniture and appliance sales, David says he has always stuck to a fail-safe strategy for pricing inventory and keeping an edge on the other guys. 

“I shop my competition,” he says. “I know what they have, what they are pricing it at and what the quality is. They all have the same things. I know how to order and get that price down to where I want it, whether you’re talking about wholesale or antiques. I can get the deals I need.”

More than half of the store’s inventory is not just made in the United States, but in the Sacramento.  “That’s very important to us,” David says.  And, just as Montgomery Ward, Sears and many of the other big-box retailers did throughout much of the 1970s and 1980s, Twice As Nice Furniture accepts layaway.

“We offer it because it makes it possible for folks who are just starting out to buy a bed set or a dresser or something for that first place and pay it off in time so they can afford to have what they need,” David said.

You won’t find any used fabric sofas, chairs or mattresses in the store.  They are all new. But you can find a good deal on solid wood end tables, book cases, antique writing desks, storage cabinets, unique accessories and other items.

“The only furniture we sell that is used or as we like to call it ‘pre-owned,’ is made of wood,” Judy says. “We never sell used fabric items.”

Mattress set prices begin at $149 for a twin and go to $299 for a king set.  Headboards and frames are extra. Solid wood rockers with craftsman style wood framing sell for a very reasonable $249, and several of the store’s solid wood chest of drawers and end tables, some with beautiful slate inlay range between $179 and $299.

Thirty four years in business naturally brings challenges along the way and Twice As Nice has certainly seen a few of them.  During the 1980s, for example, the store offered more collectable items, such as dish and glassware, vintage accessories and even memorabilia, in addition to furniture items.  While there are still some of those items available, that trend has dropped off. 

“People don’t shop much for collectables today like they used to,” Judy says.

Most recently, one of the biggest challenges has come from Mother Nature herself.  

“When it’s hot outside, like triple digits, which it has been the last few weeks, things really slow down,” says David.

But there are upsides, namely, the building up of long-term relationships.  David and Judy claim to know more than 95 percent of the people that walk through the doors. And they know their families, as well. That brand of customer loyalty and turn-over business are the key to any successful retailer, family owned or not, and to watch generations of customers come and go is perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of being a true “Mom and Pop.”

“We are so fortunate to have the best customers in the world. Almost everyone who comes in here we know,” Judy says.  “We know their parents, and their parents before that.  We have many customers going back three generations. That’s pretty neat.”

For more information, call (916) 344-6423, or visit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Twice-As-Nice-Furniture-366498443619

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DOVIA: Leading the Leaders

By Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-08-16

(L-R) Mariann Eitzman, volunteer coordinator, Bayside Church, Roseville, Rachele Doty, volunteer coordinator for First Call Hospice and vice chair, DOVIA, Sacramento, and Meredith Holkeboer, Volunteer Services Assistant/Pet Therapy Coordinator at Shriners Hospitals for Children, Sacramento, at a recent workshop lead by Eitzman on giving presentations. Photo by Jacqueline Fox

DOVIA Sacramento Supports Non-Profit Volunteer Managers

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - With few exceptions, among the most important individuals behind any successful nonprofit organization, including its return on investment, are its volunteers. But how do you find them, keep them motivated and give them the tools to they need to effectively make an impact?

Enter DOVIA, or Directors of Volunteers in Agencies, which has chapters across the country, including Sacramento.  The Sacramento Chapter is currently celebrating 40 years of service, providing some 100 volunteer managers from a vast range of non-profit agencies, most of whom are members, with the support they need to successfully build and serve their core of volunteers.

DOVIA workshops and trainings offer ideas for learning how to motivate volunteers, as well as avenues for members to connect with other volunteer leadership professionals and collaborate and exchange ideas.

Rachele Doty, is the volunteer coordinator for First Call Hospice in Citrus Heights. She also serves on the board of directors as vice chair for DOVIA, Sacramento.  She views the organization as an indispensable resource, where, through workshops, trainings, networking and annual conferences, she can access an evolving and valuable exchange of information on relevant issues facing professional volunteer managers, no matter the size or scope of their agency’s mission.

“I have just on-boarded 20 new volunteers at First Call Hospice, so I have been utilizing every tool and workshop or training I have under my belt through my membership with and my role on the board of DOVIA,” said Doty. “The agency is absolutely critical for anyone who is working with volunteers. You get the support you need to promote your own growth but also the growth and development of your volunteers, whether you’re part of an executive team or some other administrative department.”

Dues for membership to DOVIA are $55 for one year for those who are signing up as an employee of a non-profit agency, and that fee allows for the bundling of two employees from the same agency.  For individual memberships, the annual fee is $30.00, all nominal fees for access to support for trainings that often non-profits themselves simply don’t have the resources to provide, despite their dependence on volunteers.

Lynne Moore is a member support specialist with the Girl Scouts Heart of Central California Council, one of 112 councils in the nation.  She and several colleagues from her agency recently attended a DOVIA workshop at Bayside Church in midtown, Sacramento focused on delivering effective presentations to volunteers. For her, the workshops and DOVIA membership provide unsurpassed support and education needed to oversee the some 300 volunteers that support her council. 

“I get so much from my membership,” said Moore. “I have a lot of moving parts in my job and a lot of changing faces, so it’s critical that I keep up with new trends in recruitment and retention of volunteers. We depend so much on our volunteers and they deserve the best leadership available to them.”

The biggest challenge many non-profit organizations face with respect to volunteers, says Doty, is finding them.

“That’s an ongoing battle for everyone in the capacity of recruitment,” Doty said. “One of the things we focus on with our workshops and trainings is how to utilize all of the available tools out there to reach potential, new volunteers. That includes social media apps, creating events to attract volunteers and how to effectively get the message out to volunteers in the community about your organization and its mission.”

Meredith Holkeboer is the Volunteer Services Assistant/Pet Therapy Coordinator at Shriners Hospitals for Children, Sacramento.  To say she’s landed her dream job would be an understatement.  She also finds her membership with DOVIA as invaluable. It has provided her with the tools to network with other volunteer coordinators and share ideas for how to keep volunteers engaged and impassioned about their work.

“The unpaid volunteers that support us are critical to our mission, so I am always on the search for new tips and ideas for how to work more effectively with our volunteers at Shriners,” Holkeboer said. “I get a lot out of my membership. I learn new things every time I attend a workshop or a conference and I am reminded that I’m a part of a unique group of leaders out there who are overseeing people who make a choice whether to keep showing up and helping out.”

DOVIA will cap its 40th year with participation at the upcoming annual conference on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at Shriners Hospital. The AL!VE Hybrid Conference: Take the Leap | Embrace Change, will feature presentations for DOVIA members by four internationally renowned volunteer leaders with workshops centered on navigating organizational and professional changes.

DOVIA, Sacramento offers two, two-day trainings each year as a part of its membership focus, as well as monthly workshops, speaker events and other educational sessions.  These are open to both members and non-members.   Next year, the chapter will be taking a deep dive into the world of corporate giving, offering members in-depth trainings centered on how to make and maintain strong relationships with corporate giving managers who oversee employee volunteer pools in the community.

Presentations are planned by the heads of corporate giving departments from various companies who will provide DOVIA members with insights on how to recruit from their employee base and what their companies look for when determining which non-profits to support—something that can shift from year to year, depending on the nature of the economy and community needs.

“We are very excited about our plans for working with corporate giving representatives next year,” said Doty. “Corporate support is very important to every non-profit, regardless of the size or what their particular mission is, so that is one huge part of what we’ll be focusing on next year.”

Other areas of focus for upcoming workshops will include stress management, supporting volunteer managers with tips and tricks of the trade to keep their volunteers from overpowering or, in some cases, de-railing the mission. And, just as importantly, training support will provide members with ideas for keeping their sanity when volunteers drop off, a phenomenon that, unfortunately, “goes hand-in-hand with our profession,” Doty said.

To find out more see www.doviasacramento.org/

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Veteran's Appreciation Picnic Coming August 26

By Elise Spleiss  |  2017-08-16

All veterans are welcomed to the resource and appreciation picnic. Photo courtesy American Legion Post 637

Annual Appreciation and Resource Picnic Provides Services

Citrus Heights (MPG) – The Citrus Heights American Legion Post 637 is once again gearing up to host the annual Veteran’s Appreciation and Resource Picnic to honor the area’s active duty servicemen and servicewomen, our retired veterans of past wars and conflicts, and their families. 

This free event will be held Saturday, August 26, at Rusch Park, 7801 Auburn Blvd. at the Gazebo/Pavilion from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All veterans and their families and friends are welcome.

The day will begin with the Citrus Heights Community Marching Band featuring some of its new repertoire. The Marine Corp Honor Guard will present colors, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, and the National Anthem sung by Air Force Veteran Mary Jerue.  Post 637 Commander Paul Reyes, Mayor Jeff Slowey and Police Chief Ron Lawrence will greet attendees. 

A special ceremony will again be held to honor an outstanding veteran and this year’s Police Officer of the Year.

Lunch will be a hot dog and hamburger barbeque with all the fixings prepared by Wild Wade’s BBQ & Grill of Citrus Heights. GFWC Citrus Heights Women’s Club and the Lion’s club will provide dessert and drinks. Music will be provided by DJ Carlos Verrett.        

Dozens of veteran and non-profit resources including VA representatives will be available to retired and active duty veterans. Be sure to look for the horses and canines; their programs have proven vital in helping our veterans re-enter society.  Scheduled children’s crafts and other activities will be provided by local Pageant ambassadors and princesses.  

Picnic sponsors and members of the community are generously donating gift baskets and other opportunity drawing prizes to show their appreciation to our veterans. Raffles will be held throughout the day.

Covered, accessible picnic tables are available or bring your own chairs, blankets and umbrellas.

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Giving Young Women in Need New Hope

By Kristin Thébaud  |  2017-08-15

The new center opened for care in support of women in need. Photo courtesy Thebaud Communications

Sacramento Life Center’s New Medical Clinic Opens

Sacramento, CA (MPG) -  More than 200 people toured Sacramento Life Center’s new medical clinic in the Arden area for low-income women and teens at an Open House that included free Leatherby’s ice cream, music, appetizers, wine and a ribbon cutting by Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. 

“This much larger facility will allow the Sacramento Life Center to serve even more low-income, pregnant women and teens that need our services,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “We are thrilled to be able to expand the vital services we provide to this community.”

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and two Mobile Medical Clinics that provide all services for free, including pregnancy testing, STI testing, ultrasounds, advocacy for men and women, education and resource referrals.

The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, a 24-hour hotline and a program for women seeking support after having an abortion. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com.

For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org

Source: Kristin Thébaud Communications

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Free Clinic, Free Fishing Day at Mather Regional Park

By Bruce Forman, CDFW   |  2017-08-15

The entire family can enjoy the free fishing day. Photo courtesy CDFW

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) “Fishing in the City” Program, in partnership with the County of Sacramento, are sponsoring an introductory fishing clinic on Saturday, September 2, 2017 at Mather Regional Park in Rancho Cordova.   The County of Sacramento is waiving the $5 parking fee prior to 1:00 pm. 

The CDFW provides free equipment loan plus tackle and bait, following a 30 minute clinic.  The clinic is scheduled at 8:15 with equipment loan from 9 a.m. to noon.  As this day is CDFW’s statewide free fishing day, anglers are not required to possess a fishing license; however, all fishing regulations are otherwise still in effect.

Mather Lake will be stocked just prior to this date with catfish. For other information, call (916) 358-1644. The phone is staffed only on Thursdays.

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August 21 event will cause solar production to dip but with no SMUD grid impact

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The morning forecast for August 21 calls for darker skies in Northern California and across the country. That’s when a near-total solar eclipse will occur—from about 9 a.m.to about 11:30 a.m. for our region—during which time the sun will be obscured by up to 76 percent.

Given the growing penetration of solar energy in California, the electric utility industry and  other energy stakeholders have considered the potential impacts of  such a significant solar event.

SMUD has secured additional reserve power to ensure it’s able to meet the increased demand when the availability of solar reduces because of the eclipse. SMUD does not anticipate any problems meeting the Sacramento-area community’s demand for electricity.

SMUD, for its part, has almost 300 megawatts (MW) of solar power in its service territory. Approximately 140 MW is utility-connected solar generation and about 150 MW is “behind the meter”, customer-owned solar generation.

The timing of the eclipse is fortuitous for SMUD and for California in general as demand on the grid during those hours can be considerably lower than in the late afternoon hours.

Typically, solar production can be impacted by everyday weather events like cloud cover, which is why SMUD’s energy portfolio, including its renewable generation resources, is very diverse. By going the extra step and securing additional reserves, SMUD has the flexibility to manage the increased demand on the grid during the eclipse and the drop off in demand during the transition out of the eclipse.

For more information about SMUD and its award-winning renewable and energy efficiency programs, visit SMUD.org.

Source: SMUD Media

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One Family’s Journey Out of Homelessness

Sacramento County Media  |  2017-08-15

Jessica Hodges smiles in front of her place of employment. Photo courtesy Sacramento County Media

​​Sacramento County, CA (MPG) - The path to self-s​ufficiency was not an easy or quick road. B​​ut today, Jessica Hodges, her husband, and their three children (ages six, eight and 10) are living the life they dreamed of, thanks to the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance, the Mustard Seed School and Mary House​.

Three years ago, their youngest child developed a cough that required two surgeries and resulted in scarred lungs.  Upon discovering that the cause was mold inside the walls, the family moved out of their apartment in a hurry.  This sudden move impacted their credit, which ultimately prevented them from finding permanent housing.  And, because the mold had contaminated all of their belongings—including clothes, photos and furniture—everything had to be abandoned.    

Around the same time, Jessica graduated from Kaplan College but was laid off from her job as a medical assistant for a local doctor.  

Jessica expressed her dismay at her living conditions and at the circular challenges—securing a job without a permanent address was an uphill battle, while finding a home without a job and with damaged credit was nearly impossible.

County Director of the Department of Human Assistance (DHA) Ann Edwards, confirmed the currently rental housing landscape is bleak for struggling families. Low vacancy rates and escalating rents - far above what many residents can afford, make finding housing difficult.

In November, County DHA Social Worker Samantha Sween partnered with Mustard Seed School Director Casey Knittel to stabilize the Hodges and to develop a plan. 

As the children attended the Mustard Seed School, County DHA staff and Mary House staff were assisting the family with services and supplies. 

The group effort paid off a few days before Christmas.  After three long years of sleeping on couches, in hotels and in their van, the Hodges—with only sleeping bags and pillows—finally moved into an apartment where they could start over. 

Much to their surprise, staff from the Mustard Seed School brought gifts for the children, ranging from clothes to iPads.  

“We didn’t have any furniture,” Jessica expressed with a smile, “But it was the most touching Christmas ever because I did not have anything to give them [until these gifts arrived]. They even brought a Christmas tree.” 

In March, bolstered by her degree, Jessica was hired by SMPP Rehab as a Medical Office Specialist. Her husband is attending school to develop new skills while caring for their children.  

Their three children miss their teachers and friends at Mustard Seed School, but are grateful they no longer need the assistance and for the first time in years, the family is doing great.​

Find out more about assistance programs available through the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance.

To apply for medical, food and cash assistance programs online please visit CalWIN.

Source: Sacramento County Media

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Student Exchange Seeks Host Families for School Year

By Sheryl Longsworth  |  2017-08-08

You can host an Exchange Student! Photo courtesy NorthWest Student Exchange

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Responsible parents looking for ways to supplement the educational and personal growth opportunities for their children should consider hosting a teenage exchange student for an academic semester or year.  Children and adults alike, by interacting on a daily basis with a new, international family member, broaden their perspective on the world and discover new facts and ideas.  

NorthWest Student Exchange places international high school students with families all over the country, including here in our community.  Exchange students add a dimension to the family dynamic that cannot be achieved in any other way.  The benefits to the exchange student are perhaps obvious:  honing their English language skills; learning about the educational system in this country; understanding U.S. social, political, and cultural values; establishing international friendships.  Benefits to the hosts are similar:  Not only can host families learn about another culture and its values; they can view the U.S. through another’s eyes, and thereby gain a broader understanding of our own country.

And families do not need to have children at home to host!  Many childless couples, empty nesters, and single-parent families have enjoyed exchange students. NWSE places students from dozens of countries who have varied interests. I will do my best to match a student to your family’s lifestyle and interests.

Those who cannot host can earn financial incentives for referring to us families who do host. While host families are not compensated for hosting, tax deductions may be available. Check with your tax preparer.

NWSE exchange students are closely screened for appropriate motivation, academic and language skills; our students have solid emotional and practical support from NWSE professional partners abroad, and from the students’ natural parents in their own countries.  Our students come with their own spending money and health and accident insurance.  NWSE local Academic Coordinators recruit, screen and orient local host families and provide close support throughout the program.

My family has personally hosted students from France and China and we keep in touch with every student even years later! While they stayed with us, they shared games they play with us and cooked their favorite meals for my family. We also have been invited to stay at their family’s homes when we go to their country. One of our French students even calls me his “American Mom.”

It’s easy to get more information about hosting. Potential hosts can call me, Sheryl Longsworth, Area Coordinator at 916-833-1218 or sheryl6663@yahoo.com; or by contacting NWSE at 877-850-3312 or info@nwse.com.  Or, you can visit the NWSE web page at https://www.nwse.com and click on Host an Exchange Student.  Student placements for the fall must be made before 8/31/17. Spring semester-only placements will be available towards the end of this year.

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