SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Saint Mary’s High School wins the first Sacramento Valley Lacrosse Conference Division II Championship with a 12 to 11 victory over Bella Vista High School in the championship game. Saint Mary’s finished the regular season with a 7-1 conference record and an overall record of 12-4. Division II consists of St Mary’s, Lincoln, Bella Vista, Casa Robles, Christian Bros and Rio Americano High Schools

As voted on by the Sacramento Valley Lacrosse coaches, Mike Mulvimill of Saint Mary’s High School was chosen as the Division II Coach of the Year. 

As voted on by the Sacramento Valley Lacrosse coaches, Derek Walaitis of Rio Americano High School was chosen as the Division II Player of the Year.

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Sharing Songs and Prayers of Mourning at Carmichael’s Vietnam War Monument

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-05-30

Former CSO entertainer Delta Edun performed a Cherokee mourning song at the Vietnam War Monument in Carmichael.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Carmichael's Vietnam Memorial was this week’s setting for commemorations to those who served their country. More than 160 visitors shared songs, prayers and remembrances. The patriotic program was augmented by a Cherokee mourning song, performed by former CSO entertainer Delta Edun.                  

The first-known monument to the Vietnam War in California is in Earl J. Koobs Nature Area at the now-shuttered La Sierra High School. First dedicated in 1973, the lofty steel structure and its plaque honor La Sierra graduates who died during Vietnam years. Memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies have been held in its shadow for 18 years.

The preserve is named for Earl (“Ranger Jack”) Koobs, a WW II veteran and La Sierra teacher. Koobs fought to keep the woodland area undeveloped and to establish a monument for his fallen students. He died in 2015. Under the aegis of Carmichael Kiwanis Club, the Koobs reserve is now a center for community service. Many Eagle Scout projects have been completed in its five acres; Carmichael Organic Gardening Club nurtures a butterfly garden; California Montessori Project and other supporters maintain woodland and trails for environmental education.

Thanks to a donation of $25,000 from La Sierra alumni, permanent bench seating was recently increased to accommodate larger event audiences.

Earl J. Koobs Nature Area is open to visitors from March to October on the second Saturdays of each month. For information, go to or visit the Koobs Nature Area site on Facebook.

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Big Day of Giving

By Vasey Coman, Sacramento Region Community Foundation (SRCF)  |  2019-05-29

Handful of Big Day of Giving 2019 nonprofits. Photo courtesy of SRCF

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - During this past Big Day of Giving, nonprofits in the Sacramento region raised nearly $8.4 million from over 23,000 donors who gave 44,000 donations, exceeding the $7.4 million raised last year and bringing the total generated since the inception of this annual giving day to nearly $40 million.

“Yesterday, our community came together to celebrate the nonprofits that strengthen our region and build a better Sacramento area for everyone who lives here,” said Linda Beech Cutler, chief executive of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, which has organized the day-long giving challenge since its beginning in 2013, when research demonstrated local philanthropy lagged national averages.

“When we launched Big Day of Giving, we aimed to grow giving in the capital area by making philanthropy something everyone in our community feels they can do. All these years later, it is incredibly heartening to see a philanthropic spirit thriving,” said Cutler.

“This community-wide movement is successful when the people who live here make a difference by chipping in to give back—during Big Day of Giving and every other day of the year, too,” she said, noting that the majority of the donations made through the Big Day of Giving website were under $50.

In all, nonprofits in the capital area generated $8,357,897* on May 2, and each of the 601 participating nonprofits received donations.

The organizations that topped the leaderboard represent a breadth of nonprofit sectors—the arts, human services, youth development, the environment, and animal services:

The amount each participating nonprofit raised is available to view on the website.

Along with helping nonprofits raise much-needed funds, the Foundation offers a robust training program to help build the capacity of participating nonprofits in areas such as donor engagement, board development, collaboration, marketing outreach, and storytelling prior to Big Day of Giving.

“Big Day of Giving has been essential to our work,” said Nicholas Haystings, Executive Director of Square Root Academy, which raised $8,335 on May 2 to fund the free STEM education it offers in underserved Sacramento neighborhoods. “We are a relatively new organization, so the Big Day of Giving networking and skill-building trainings have been essential to helping our small staff engage new supporters and grow interest in our programs—which means we can focus more on growing our impact.”

Gifts made during Big Day of Giving 2019 will fund diverse services throughout the region. Along with Square Root Academy’s classes, Big Day of Giving donations will make possible Runnin’ For Rhett’s purchase of 682 pairs of running shoes to educate area youth about the value of living a healthy lifestyle. Donations will also fund 14 weeks of Food Literacy Center’s classes at a local school, and ensure thousands of high school baseball players can access Keep Playing Baseball’s resources to succeed as collegiate student-athletes.

Nonprofit organizations held more than 100 events throughout the region to promote their missions and generate donations on Big Day of Giving, many of which were the result of collaborations between multiple participating organizations and local businesses. Creating alliances like these among nonprofits is a key goal of the Foundation’s initiative to strengthen the nonprofit sector, Expanding Philanthropy and the Social Economy.

In addition to Big Day of Giving donations raised off of the website and during events—which organizations had to add to their totals—many participating nonprofits raised pools of match funds to motivate day-of gifts; this year, organizations raised almost $1.5 million in matching funds.

Donors who gave through Donor Advised Funds at the Foundation and its partner, Yolo Community Foundation, made a significant impact during this year's giving day, too. In all, gifts from Foundation fundholders totaled $758,290 of the final tally.

Big Day of Giving was made possible with lead sponsorship by Western Health Advantage, in addition to the generosity of its other community partners.

To learn more about Big Day of Giving, please, and follow it on Facebook andTwitter.

Nonprofits and their supporters in the Sacramento region should mark their calendars for next year’s Big Day of Giving on Thursday, May 7, 2020.

Big Day of Giving is powered by the region's online nonprofit portal, GivingEdge, and both are brought to the capital area by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation as part of its initiative to grow local philanthropy. Learn more on the Foundation's website, and sign up for its e-newsletter to stay abreast of the latest in local philanthropy.

Big Day of Giving 2019 is sponsored by Western Health Advantage, and was made possible with the support of many community partners. Find a complete list on the Big Day of Giving website.

Sacramento Region Community Foundation has been the trusted steward of charitable assets, a community catalyst for meaningful change and the advocate for shaping vital impact through philanthropy since 1983. As the center of philanthropy in the Sacramento Region, the Foundation's mission is to transform our community through focused leadership and advocacy that inspire partnerships and expand giving. Learn more at


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Antiques Roadshow Returned to Sacramento

Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar  |  2019-05-29

Al and Virginia show off their treasures – a French doll that is actually German, a Jerry Crandall painting paid for legal services with a tiny pistol that Al said “allegedly a lawyer carried this with him.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Approximately 22,000 people sent emails in hopes that they would be selected to have their treasures appraised when Antiques Roadshow pulled into Sacramento and set up shop Monday, May 13th at Crocker Art Museum. Two thousand pairs of tickets were distributed to fans and casual viewers from the Sacramento area and far beyond. Each person was invited to bring two items for appraisal, along with the story behind each object.

This is the show’s second visit to Sacramento, and according to one lucky viewer and collector of treasures who won tickets both times, this visit was quite different. The first time, the event was held in the Convention Center nearly ten years ago and long lines were normal.

“This time, Antiques Roadshow was a well-oiled machine,” said Mattie, who has watched the show since its inception and followed its precursor, “The Collectors.”

“We didn’t have to search for parking because a parking lot was reserved for attendees and a shuttle bus took us to and from the Crocker.”

The show issued tickets with times spaced thirty minutes apart, which helped keep lines to a minimum, although some lines were definitely busier than others. The clock appraisers were hoping for people, while lines for Asian art, jewelry, and paintings were longer.

A triage appraisal area was set up in the Crocker’s dining area where preliminary appraisals determined which lines people needed to visit. A watch, it turns out, could end up in the collectibles line if it was a Mickey Mouse watch.

The show works regularly with 150 appraisers who volunteer their time, and KVIE’s marketing guru, Sarah, said that Sacramento’s event had about 70 appraisers on hand, including Brian Witherell, COO and Consignment Director of Witherell’s Auction House located in Sacramento.

The event also enlisted the help of 125 volunteers who performed an array of duties from greeting people to guiding them to their appropriate destinations. Some appraisers were in the courtyard and others were on the second floor in the Crocker ballroom and adjacent gallery rooms.

As fans of the show know, there is always a story behind the object and of the expected 4,000 attendees, 150 segments would be taped based on suggestions from the appraisers. Of those segments, the show hopes to pull together three one-hour episodes to air in 2020.

One of those stories was discovered near the feedback booth, something that was not available when the show visited in 2010. Al and Virginia brought in a doll that she believed to be French. It was German and the clothes were not original. She still loves the doll. Al discovered that his pistols are something that he needs to further pursue by contacting Smith and Wesson as suggested by his appraiser.

This couple did not win the lottery pull for tickets, but they were offered a second chance through a program called “Knock Our Socks Off.”

The painting Al carried was given to him by the artist, Jerry Crandall. Al explained that the painting was payment for his legal work for Crandall’s divorce.

“Allegedly a lawyer carried this with him,” he said about the tiny circa 1855 pistol pointed toward the painting.

Look for Al and Virginia when the credits run next year during one of the Sacramento episodes.

Sacramento police officers secured the street in front of the museum and manned a table in order to examine firearms which include pistols and rifles older than 1899 for the California visit.

Several attendees came in costumes ranging from top hats to Victorian Era dress.

Show fans might have recognized Leila Dunbar, the baseball expert, and Nicholas Lowry, the poster and print expert who looked dapper in his brown plaid suit and waxed mustache.

The consensus from attendees was that the event was fun, well organized, and everyone had a smile.

For additional information, visit:

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Fundraising Gala to Aid Nature Center

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-05-29

A live auction of work by VIP and award-winning art is a highlight of the al-fresco event.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Now in its ninth year operating as a non-profit, the Effie Yeaw Nature Center is preparing for its Spring Gala and Auction fundraiser with new patronage. As honorary chair, Ed Goldman follows such luminaries as Magazine publisher Cecily Hastings, Marcy Friedman, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, the late Russ Solomon and Greg Kondos.

Administered by the American River Natural History Association, the facility and its preserve welcome almost 100,000 visitors per year. “The Center has a history in this community” notes retired Effie Yeaw executive Betty Cooper. “Caring supporters keep us open and available for future generations.” A portion of funds raised on June 8 will provide free nature enrichment programs for schools that could not otherwise afford them.

The Sacramento Fine Arts Center is a vital art show partner supporting the fundraiser with work by artists from all over the Sacramento region. Jurists are sculptor Gary Dinnen and KVIE auction curator D Neath.

Celebrity artists contributing this year include Pat Mahony, David Peterson, Gregory Kondos, Maria Winkler and Paula Bellacera. Keith McLane of KLM Auctions will wield the auction gavel and KCRA’s Eileen Javora will emcee.

Silent and live auctions will offer other award-winning work. Travel and other lifestyle experience will also be up for bids. From May 14, the art can be viewed in an “Art Where the Wild Things Are” exhibition at the Fine Arts Center (Gibbons Drive), Carmichael. The exhibition will include photographic entries.

A sunset supper and beverages are part of the $100 per person admission for the June 8 gala.

Art Where Wild Things Are runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Nature Center in Ancil Hoffman Park. Valet parking is free. Table sponsors are welcome. For information on the event, visit

To learn about the Sacramento Fine Arts exhibition, visit


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Plant Fans Pack Cactus Festival

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-05-29

Grower and artist Merlyn Lenear was among vendors at the two-day show. His customer was Fair Oaks succulent fan Barbi Brown.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Despite weekend-long deluges, the recent Carmichael Cactus and Succulent Society’s 43rd annual festival drew record numbers.

“We had our best-ever show,” reported society member Gerri Wigglesworth. “Cacti are trendy at the moment but people are also more conscious of drought-tolerant plants for their gardens. In recent years, our society’s numbers have exploded. We now have about 150 members; more than we’ve had in 50 years.”

Rain storms scarcely deterred festival goers. “It was too wet for people to get out and garden,” considered Wigglesworth. “So they came to the show instead.” In a two-day crush, more than 800 visitors lined up to view succulent exhibits and to purchase thousands of potted specimens.

Festival proceeds support society activities; members also donate to plant-related programs at UC Davis. Annual membership dues are $10 per year or $15 per family. Anyone may attend Carmichael Cactus and Succulent Society meetings. These convene at 10 am on the first Friday of each month in Carmichael Park Clubhouse. For information, visit

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Taste of Success for Kiwanis

Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-05-29

Presented by Carmichael Kiwanis Club, The Taste of Carmichael is a tradition that has celebrated local restaurants, wine merchants and community for 17 years.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Great food, wine, music – and fortuitous weather – last week blessed the annual Taste of Carmichael fundraiser. “The big night takes about eight months to plan,” said event chair Donna Miller. “One thing we can’t plan is the weather and, as Friday approached, we were biting our nails and watching Doppler. But the heavens seemed to smile on us. Not a drop of rain fell all day and into the evening. We’re so thankful everything could go as planned.”

Presented by Carmichael Kiwanis Club, The Taste of Carmichael is a tradition that has celebrated local restaurants, wine merchants and community for 17 years. The 2019 food-fest packed the La Sierra Community Center with almost 450 supporters.

They sampled everything from pizza to seafood, burgers and salads. Italian, Chinese, Mexican and American cookery made the menu an international sampler. Desserts included fruits, cookies, candies, cakes and tidbits drenched from a chocolate fountain. Wine and beer flowed and scores of prizes were raffled.

In the center’s courtyard, live music and dancing aided digestion. Organizers hoped for a bottom line close to the 2018 net of $28,000.

Beneficiaries of this year’s proceeds are agencies that assist youth and community. These include the Kiwanis Family House, the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Shriners Hospital, the American River Parkway, Carmichael Park District, food closets, July 4 celebrations and many schools and arts programs.

“We always try to raise as much money as possible,” explained Kiwanian Donna Miller. “But the greatest thing about the event is how it brings our community together.”

Learn more about the festival and its organizers at

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