Society for the Blind Named Rehab Organization of the Year

Source: Kristin Thebeaud Communications  |  2016-08-19

Society for the Blind staff members accept the award for Rehabilitation Organization of the Year from the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Society for the Blind in Sacramento recently accepted the award for Rehabilitation Organization of the Year by the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. The award is given each year to an organization that has demonstrated exceptional commitment and service to the field, as well as leadership in working with students, families, colleagues and businesses.

"While there are so many strong organizations in this region, we find Society's expansion of services through the development of partnerships over the past few years to be an exemplary model of the standard all such organizations should follow," said Richard Rueda, president of the Northern California chapter of the association. “This organization is distinguished by its ability to dream big, allow partnerships to emerge, and sponsor and underwrite large portions of programming that ultimately benefit people with vision loss in Sacramento and throughout Northern California.”

Society for the Blind received the award for its expansion efforts, including its onsite Low Vision Clinic that now offers occupational therapy and services for young children, its peer and support group programming for parents of children with vision challenges, and its new partnerships with groups like UC Davis Eye Center and Junior Blind.

“This is an enormous honor, and we are grateful for this recognition as we continue to find new ways to empower people of all ages living with vision challenges,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind.

For 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers that included the Lions Clubs of America to a nationally recognized agency and the only rehabilitative teaching center for a 26-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for 6,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information or to make a donation, visit

A Grand Night for Singing

Source: Fair Oaks Theatre Festival Photos by Brian Williams  |  2016-08-19

Corey D. Winfield, Dan Slauson.

The Fair Oaks Theatre Festival continues its summer season of melodies, mischief and theatre under the stars with a feast of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s delectable music! “A Grand Night for Singing,” a fully staged musical revue, celebrates the last three decades of the magical R&H collaboration. Nominated for two Tony awards, and winner of the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revue, the show features numbers from well-known and lesser-known Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musicals including “Cinderella,” “South Pacific,” “The Sound of Music,” “State Fair,” “Allegro,” “Pipe Dream,” “Oklahoma,” “Carousel,” and more!

Directed by Bob Irvin and Karen Bombardier, “Grand Night” features spectacular theatre veterans Deane Calvin, Joe Hart, Corey D. Winfield and vocal director Jonathan Blum, as well as sparkling newcomers Zane Boyer, Leah Fraizer, and Brittni Proffit. On Broadway, the show garnered enthusiastic reviews for its innovative musical arrangements and delightful re-imaginings of songs like “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out-a My Hair” (now a sultry Andrew Sisters-esque tune), and “Stepsisters Lament” as a hilarious male duet. GMT writes “This exhilarating revue leaves no question about how terrifically up-to-date the remarkable songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein remain.”

“A Grand Night for Singing” runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through September 18, at 8pm. All performances take place at the Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre under the stars in Fair Oaks Village (7991 California Avenue, Fair Oaks). Tickets range from $12/general and $6/children (all Sundays), to $18/general, $15/student/senior and $10/children on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit the website or call (916) 966-3683.

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IHOP Teams Up to Fight Childhood Hunger

Source: Wills Communications  |  2016-08-19

IHOP and No Kid Hungry will come together again in the fight against child hood hunger. IHOP restaurants nationwide will offer a short stack of their world-famous buttermilk pancakes for just $1 with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting No Kid Hungry. Please help IHOP, the pioneer of breakfast all day, every day, reach its goal of serving one million pancakes to make an impact in the lives of hungry children across America.

For close to six decades, IHOP has been the leader in bringing guests a freshly made breakfast served any time of day, every day ― but at least one in every five children across the U.S. struggles to get the food they need to grow and thrive. No Kid Hungry works to connect our future leaders with a healthy breakfast by delivering food to where kids live, learn and play.

You can participate on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM at any IHOP in the United States.

No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 5 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Join us at

Please support your local IHOP on this fundraising event and tell them you read about it in your local newspaper. We support great local fundraising causes and hope you will too.

For more than 58 years, IHOP has been a leader, innovator and expert in all things breakfast, any time of day. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service.

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Mom Pays it Forward after Son’s Transplant

By Margaret Snider  |  2016-08-19

Riggs’s dad, Mark Grassinger, fully supported his wife’s decision to donate a kidney, which Sarah did in November of 2015.  “It’s like for us everything has come full circle,” Sarah said. 
--Photo by Noah Berger

Riggs Grassinger of Citrus Heights was a happy and healthy infant and toddler. Then, at the age of 17 ½ months he went into acute liver failure without any discernible reason.

He was officially listed for a transplant on a Wednesday.  “He was status 1A when he was listed,” Riggs’ mom Sarah Grassinger said, “which meant that his life expectancy at that point was measured in hours to days.” A potential donor was located on Wednesday evening and the transplant took place on a Thursday morning in September 2012, at University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital. The procedure was a success, and Riggs is now an active five-year-old.

Riggs’s brother, 14-year-old Simon, said he was too young at the time to fully realize the significance of his little brother’s illness. “But at the same time I was also terrified,” Simon said.

The liver came from a teen girl who had died. Sarah said, “My heart just broke for some family out there that lost their child, yet in their worst moment decided to save mine.” She sent a letter to the grieving parents via a third party, but never received a response and never felt fully at peace with their sacrifice.

That wasn’t the end of the story.  Sarah was in a wedding and another woman in the wedding was listed for a kidney transplant. “She’s a mom and she has 2 kids and so I just knew I wanted to do it,” Sarah said. “I think the reality of it is I couldn’t be in the presence of somebody that needed in the way that we needed, and not do something about it.”

Riggs’s dad, Mark Grassinger, fully supported his wife’s decision to donate a kidney, which Sarah did in November of 2015.  “It’s like for us everything has come full circle,” Sarah said.  “I feel like this says thank you as well as I can say it.”

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital began pediatric kidney transplants in 1964 and pediatric liver transplants in 1989, making it one of the oldest children’s transplant services in the country, according to Suzanne Leigh, Senior Public Information Representative at UCSF.

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Hot August Bites Sizzles in Citrus Heights

Story and Photo by Elise Spleiss  |  2016-08-19

Sister and brother, Hannah R. (left) and Jacob R.(right) with friend Hannah W. (center) pause for some shaved ice at the 3rd annual Hot August Bites on August 9. Brother and sister Hannah and Jacob attend St. Marks Lutheran School. Hannah W. graduated from St. Marks earlier in 2016.

It was a family affair with parents pushing strollers with toddlers in tow, dogs enjoying all the smells and sights, music, classic cars, swimming and good food and drink.  According to Kevin Donnelly with the Sunrise Recreation and Park District the 3rd annual Citrus Heights Hot August Bites brought out over 1,400 people despite the 100-degree temperature.

The Rusch Park swimming pool’s seven lifeguards were kept busy keeping watch over 270 swimmers who took advantage of the three-hour free swim during the final day of operation for the year.

Young and old alike moved to the classic rock sound of the 8-Tracks.

The “Bites” part of the event offered something for everyone with cuisine from It’s Nacho Truck, Good Dog hot dogs, the Cowtown Creamery, Ohana Shave Ice and the famous Squeeze Inn Roseville.

Dozens of classic cars, presented by Autos for Alzheimer’s dotted the hills above the party area. New this year was a beer garden available for adults to relax and enjoy the good food, music and a brew.

Over 50 local vendors, City and community booths participated in the event. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) reported only one minor injury; it was not heat related. Metro Fire and the Citrus Heights Police Department also mingled among participants during the afternoon.

This year’s sponsors helping to make the event a success were the City of Citrus Heights, Sunrise Recreation and Park District, Sunrise Marketplace, Republic Services, Consolidated Communications, Hot 103.5, and 101.9 The Wolf.

Plans for 2017 Hot August Bites will begin in January and promises to be even more tasty and entertaining.

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Calling All Republican Women

By Kay Burton  |  2016-08-18

We are the Sacramento Republican Women Federated (SRWF) and we meet on the first Wednesday at 11:30 am at the North Ridge Country Club on Madison Avenue in Fair Oaks.

Do you enjoy talking to other like-minded women? Would you enjoy getting together with these ladies once a month for lunch, and new friendships? If so, please join us and check out our lunch bunch!

We are the Sacramento Republican Women Federated (SRWF). We are a great group of ladies, and some husbands, that meet on the first Wednesday, every month except July and August.

We meet on the first Wednesday at 11:30 am at the North Ridge Country Club on Madison Avenue in Fair Oaks. We mix and mingle until 12:00 when we sit down for a full service lunch. Lunch includes a delicious entrée, ice tea, coffee, and a yummy dessert, all for $25, and that includes tax and tip. We have a guest speaker every month that includes some of our legislators, political pundits and other local leaders that give us updates on local issues that concern everyone. We have a great time, delicious food, entertaining speakers, and an opportunity to make new friends.

For more information, check out our website at:, or call our Club President, Suzanne Jones at 916-947-9241. We look forward to seeing you in September!

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Handing Off the Baton at American River Community Church

By Reverend Richard Reimer, Lead Pastor  |  2016-08-18

Like the long distance relay runners preparing for the Olympics in Rio, practicing the “hand off” is all important.  In church and community life leaders and staff go and come. American River Community Church (ARCC) has been serving the Carmichael community since 1948 and has gone through many such “hand offs” over the years.  Recently three significant staff transitions have been made with great hope and expectation that their collective leadership will increase the Christian impact the church of 150 members has in Sacramento County and the world.  As lead Pastor I introduce you to:

Steven Randal,
Worship & Music Director

Steven has been a music educator, local performing musician and worship leader in the Sacramento region for over 20 years.  He joined the ARCC staff July 1st.  His passion to be in the world sharing God’s love with people both inside and outside of the church has been his driving force and personal ministry pursuit.  Working with his broad network of some of the area’s finest musicians, he has been able to support and lead praise and worship ministry in Folsom and surrounding areas for many years.  Steven and his wife of 27 years reside in Folsom and have five daughters and ten grandkids.

Jessica Hankerson,
Director Wonder-Land Christian
Pre-School and Day Care Center

Miss Jessica started as the Assistant Director for Wonder-Land School in mid-2015.  The licensed pre-school and day care center is a mission arm of the church.  Jessica was moved into the Director position March 1, 2016.  She has a B.A. in Child Development from Sacramento State and a M.A. in Education from the University of San Francisco.  She loves spending time with family and friends, attending church, going skating and singing karaoke.  She will be married in August.

Svitlana Kovalev,
Children’s Ministries Director

Svitlana was born in Ukraine and 7 years ago came to the United States to join her husband.  At age 16 she became a believer in God and started to follow Jesus.  She served her church in Ukraine teaching Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and leading art, drama, & sports for children during summer camps.  Since joining her husband at ARCC her life has been touched by the children she has interacted with as both a volunteer and paid attendant.  She is always open to helping families who have children.  She loves children and she thanks God that the children love her back!  Svitlana has demonstrated leadership and artistic gifts that will prove invaluable assets to growing a healthy children’s ministry.  She and her husband look forward to adopting a foster child

As Lead Pastor, l invite our Carmichael neighbors to meet these new staff members at a COMMUNITY ICE CREAM SOCIAL SUNDAY AUGUST 21ST FROM 6:30 TO 8:30PM in the shaded courtyard at the center of the church campus.  The Steve Randal Band will provide a variety of music for all to enjoy, there will be a hop house and open gym for children and of course Ice Cream and toppings in ample supply.  Your host will be Anna Stowe, Outreach Team Leader.  Come make the “Hand – Off” fun and friendly!

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CAL FIRE Local 2881 represents the 6,500 firefighters of CAL FIRE. They answer more than 400,000 calls per year with professionalism and integrity. However, CAL FIRE firefighters are in crisis.

“Today (August 16th) I did the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do as a firefighter,” said CAL FIRE firefighter Steve Mueller. “While I look forward to protecting my neighbors and working hard with my colleagues, I didn’t enjoy talking publically about how our pay lags drastically behind other departments.”

California’s independent Human Resources Salary Report reveals that CAL FIRE firefighters make 30-90% less than firefighters from California’s top twenty-five fire departments. A fifteen-year veteran of CAL FIRE can make more money, and with less responsibilities, as an entry-level firefighter at a local department. Three months ago, CAL FIRE had a 50% no-show for the promotional Fire Captain test.

Entry-level firefighters make only minimum wage. In five years, due to compaction within the Department, they will make as much as mid-level firefighters. The compaction and overlapping of pay negatively impacts morale among firefighters and robs our men and women the incentive to promote.

“I love fighting fires and the camaraderie on the job but, it is important that our pay at least be competitive with other fire departments,” said Mueller.

Mueller mentioned that firefighters will be at the State Capitol at 11AM on Monday, August 22nd to protest the pay disparities.

The men and women of CAL FIRE will always answer the call and it is an honor to protect our neighbors. We hope to work cooperatively with the Administration to find a viable solution.

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Governor Brown Appoints Marcroft, Gallardo

Source: Office of Gov. Brown  |  2016-08-18

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. recently announced the following two appointments.

Ryan Marcroft, 38, of Carmichael, has been appointed assistant chief counsel at the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Marcroft has been a deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General since 2010. He was a deputy legal affairs secretary in the Office of the Governor from 2006 to 2010 and a staff attorney at the Institute for Administrative Justice, California Parole Advocacy Program from 2004 to 2006. Marcroft earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $142,728. Marcroft is a Republican.

Sandra Gallardo, 38, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the State Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Intervention. Gallardo has been an assistant secretary of program and fiscal affairs at the California Health and Human Services Agency since 2015. She was an attorney at the California Department of Managed Health Care from 2014 to 2015 and senior oversight counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions from 2007 to 2009. Gallardo was a litigation associate at Venable LLP, Washington D.C. Office from 2004 to 2007 and a public policy fellow with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute from 1999 to 2000. She is a member of the C.K. McClatchy High School Law and Public Policy Academy Advisory Committee and the Voluntary Legal Services Program of Northern California. Gallardo earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Gallardo is a Democrat.

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Fox 40 Launches Studio40 Live

Source: Fox 40  |  2016-08-18

Host Gary Gelfand

FOX40 has announced the launch of Studio40 Live, a new lifestyle show for the Sacramento region. Studio40 Live will debut on September 6th, and will air live weekdays from 12 noon-12:30pm.

Hosted by Gary Gelfand and Lori Wallace, Studio40 Live is unlike anything previously seen in the market. This upbeat, fast-paced and high energy show is the perfect platform to showcase local businesses, events and causes in the Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto region.

Gary Gelfand will expand his role at FOX40 and has been hand-picked to host Studio40 Live. Gary has 20 years of local media experience and is thrilled to be hosting the show.

Katie Parish, FOX40 Creative Director said, “Gary’s positivity and contagious energy are exactly the traits we were looking for in a host. We are fortunate that we could expand his role at the station to get him involved in Studio40 Live.” Gary will continue to be seen on FOX40 NEWS in the morning reporting on feature segments in the 8 and 9 AM hours.

Joining Gary as co-host is Sacramento native Lori Wallace. Local to Elk Grove, Lori has been on-air in this market for almost 10 years. Wallace, a mom to three boys, will bring a family perspective to the show.

Leigh White, VP/GM FOX40 said, “Sacramento is growing. Our vibrant community is on the verge of becoming something bigger. FOX40 is a fixture in Sacramento, and is engrained in this community. Therefore, Studio40 Live creates a wonderful opportunity to show off the businesses that are unique to our hometown, and helps define what we love about Sacramento.”

To get your business featured on Studio40 Live, go to KTXL, owned by Tribune Media. For more information, please visit:

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