Hundreds of Healthcare Workers Surprised at Mercy San Juan

By Yessenia Anderson, Dignity Health  |  2020-05-07

From left to right: Cecilia Sandoval, Human Resources Director; Kerri Dupray (the community member who coordinated it all); Michael Korpiel, Hospital President; Andrew Blaskovich, Drewski’s food truck owner; and Daryn Kumar, VP Chief Operating Officer. Photo: Dignity Health

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) – On Monday, April 27, a large hot rod themed food truck rolled onto the Mercy San Juan Medical Center campus to deliver an unexpected, but much appreciated, gesture of thanks.

Over 800 staff members were treated to lunch catered by Drewski’s gourmet food truck. It was all made possible through a collective effort led by Kerri Dupray, a neighbor of the hospital looking to give back to local health workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Dr. Lalchandani and your staff saved my father’s life 15 years ago! We are so grateful for all of you! You’re all our heroes!” said Kerri.

Kerri rallied family and friends to pitch in to be able to provide lunch for Mercy San Juan staff and worked with Andrew Blaskovich, Drewski’s food truck owner, who generously provided the meals at a large discount to support this cause stating, ‘It was the right thing to do.’

“Right now our home life is challenged through the shelter in place order and at work we’re confronted with a completely unprecedented crisis and so the support of our colleagues and leaders has been critical but we would’ve never expected an outpouring of community support like how we’ve received and we can’t thank everyone enough – it’s what keeps us going. We do it all for you,” said Virginia Owens, Mercy San Juan RN.

Verdi Requiem–A Concert Dedicated To Biba Caggiano

By Erica Castillo, Digital Marketing Public Relations  |  2020-03-05

Image of the well-known local Italian American restaurateur, the late Biba Caggiano. Photo: SCSO

A work of staggering beauty and enormous drama from start to finish.” – Johannes Brahms

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra (SCSO) with Music Director Donald Kendrick, and a roster of world-class soloists, are proud to present Giuseppe Verdi’s powerful Requiem in concert on March 21, at 8:00 PM in the recently-renovated Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. The performance will serve as a special tribute honoring the late Biba Caggiano. 

Italian American Biba Caggiano, a popular chef, author, and television figure, was the driving passion for the well-known Italian restaurant Biba in Sacramento, established in 1986. The Bologna-born chef graciously contributed to the cuisine life of many known figures, such as former SF mayor Willie Brown, as his personal chef for a time, and Patrick Mulvaney of Sacramento restaurant Mulvaney’s B&L. The Sacramento Bee quoted Mulvaney on Biba’s contribution: “The love that Biba and her crew put into food and hospitality have set a standard to which we should all aspire,” “Her influence on the cooking of Sacramento is deep and wide. Generations of cooks have looked up to her and she will continue to inspire us.”

Giuseppe Verdi, one of the greatest Italian composers of the 19th Century, was primarily known as a composer of opera.  To commemorate this special tribute to Biba, the City of Sacramento will present a Mayoral Proclamation to her family members at the concert. Following the performance, the SCSO Team will honor Biba’s family member at a reception in Sacramento Memorial Hall. This invigorating performance of the Verdi Requiem will feature a large chorus of 206 singers, along with soloists from the Metropolitan Opera and a robust professional symphony orchestra, all conducted by Donald Kendrick. Featured Soloists include: Othalie Graham (Soprano), Linda Baird (Mezzo Soprano), Robert Breault (Tenor), and Malcom Mackenzie (Dramatic Baritone).

Tickets to this unforgettable performance and tribute are still available online at or at the Memorial Auditorium Box office, call 916-808-5181.

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Ed Asner Makes Appearance at Cal Cap Film Office

By Ricky Borba, California Capital Film Office  |  2020-03-05

From left to right: Ricky Borba, Co-Founder of California Capital Film Office; Mark S. Allen, host of "Morning Blend" on ABC10; Ed Asner, American actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild; and Charles Lago, Co-Founder of California Capital Film Office. Photo by Rick Sloan

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - On Sunday, February 23rd, the California Capital Film Office in Rancho Cordova hosted its first public event, which was a book signing and autograph session with none other than Ed Asner! Mark S. Allen, the host of "Morning Blend" on ABC10, was the co-host, and scores of people sat and listened in as Mark and Ed discussed Ed's upbringing, his career and what's next for the ninety-year-old show business icon. When the question and answer portion ended, fans lined up to snap photos with Ed and get their books and memorabilia signed. It was a wonderful way to kick off the Film Office's presence here in the Sacramento region.

In the coming months, there are more celebrity book signing events coming to the film office, including Doug Hutchison, Tom Sizemore and others.

Check out for more info!

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Walking Sticks Club will be celebrating the ratio between the circumference of a circle to its diameter—approximately 3.14—on Pi Day, Saturday, March 14, 2020. We invite everyone to join in on our event, walking and eating “pie” with us before and/or after the walk.

The start/finish of our event will be Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery, 5622 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95822.                                                               

Registration for the walk will be from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon, finishing by 3:14 pm

Everyone will have their choice of walking either a 5k (3.14 miles) or a 10k (3.14 x 2) route that is rated a 1A. The routes are wheelchair and stroller friendly; the family dog will love the outing, but they cannot come into Marie Callender’s. Children are encouraged to come and walk on foot, use their scooters or skates and if they’re 12 and under—they can eat FREE at the last remaining Marie Callender’s in town.

Families are encouraged to come and walk. We walk for the fun and fitness of the event and to see new places along the way and hopefully meet some new friends as well. The walk takes people into little known areas of Sacramento—the Little Pocket neighborhood, Belle Cooledge and Bahnfleth Parks as well as walking by the Sacramento Executive Airport and the Sacramento Public Safety Center.  Everyone can walk for FREE or pay $3.14 for volkswalk credit. (The normal fee for volkswalk credit is $3.00 per walk—the extra 14¢ will be donated to a local food closet.

For more Pi information visit


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WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – The Sacramento River Cats have announced the renewal and expansion of their partnership with FanCompass, a premier digital destination for fan engagement. There will be a host of new ways for fans to interact with the River Cats through, social media, the MiLB First Pitch app, and throughout Sutter Health Park on game days. The platform will also be the latest component of the River Cats’ sustainability circle, with paperless forms and waivers that will cut down on waste at the ballpark.

The FanCompass platform will be integrated with, the First Pitch app, and River Cats social media channels, offering a seamless way for fans to participate in contests, River Cats baseball trivia, voting for players of the homestand or favorite food items, and even trying to predict things like the time the game will end or the total number of pitches thrown. Pushing the frontiers of engagement, FanCompass will further enable the River Cats to use the feedback from the digital platform to improve the overall experience of enjoying River Cats baseball.

“We are thrilled serve as an innovation lab for FanCompass and work alongside them to offer our fans even more ways to connect with the River Cats, both from inside and outside the ballpark,” said River Cats General Manager Chip Maxson. “Their interactive platform will help us further execute on making Sutter Health Park a destination for affordable, family fun, while also helping with green initiatives by digitizing many necessary forms and waivers.”

“It has been a pleasure to work with the River Cats, using our technology to continuously push innovation around the way the fanbase interacts with the team,” said FanCompass CEO Jamie Pardi. “A leader in Minor League Baseball, the River Cats have been a perfect partner, sharing our vision of enhancing fan engagement and the overall fan experience.”

FanCompass is a Northern-California based company, currently working with teams across 12 sports leagues globally, and offering unique and interactive campaigns, geared toward fans of every major sport around the world.

The River Cats kick off 2020 by taking on the San Francisco Giants in an Exhibition Game on Sunday, March 22 at Sutter Health Park in West Sacramento. The club’s PCL and Triple-A championship-defense will officially begin on Thursday, April 9 in Reno, with Opening Night at Sutter Health Park coming on Tuesday, April 14 against the Tacoma Rainiers. Information about season ticket memberships and packages is available now at Single-game tickets for the 2020 season will go on sale beginning Sunday, March 1 at the annual Preseason Party at Sutter Health Park.

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Effie Yeaw Appoints New CEO

Photo and story by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2020-02-12

Kent Anderson (center) has begun work as the Effie Yeaw Nature Center’s Chief Executive. His staff includes Heather Gabel (left), Rachael Cowan, Kimberly Rider and volunteer Bev Lewis. Winged ambassador is Swainson’s hawk Orion.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The Effie Yeaw Nature Center has begun a new year with a new executive officer. Kent Anderson (39) will lead staff and volunteers at the beloved Ancil Hoffman Park facility.

Anderson comes to Carmichael from a similar job on the Putah Creek Council – an organization with stewardship of more than 70 miles of waterways in several Northern California counties. The Roseville-raised executive earned his Natural Resource Management degree at Chico State University.

“My association with Effie Yeaw began as a child,” he recalls. “I came here for a program on bugs. I remember how the presenter really got the audience participating.  At end of the talk, the lights came on. We suddenly saw hundreds of nocturnal insects that had been attracted to the screen. The naturalist identified the bugs and carefully passed some of them around. For a kid, being able to touch and feel the creatures was the big takeaway. This is typical of how we like to educate at Effie Yeaw. It’s all about the people who’ve come to learn. We’d rather be guides on the side than sages on stage.” The naturalist likens Effie Yeaw’s 17 staff and 235 volunteers to a big family. “People here make you feel welcome,” he says. “It’s obvious they love the work they do. They’re amazing as individuals and as a team.”

More than 100-thousand visitors per year attend Nature Center programs and explore trails that traverse its preserve. Though the non-profit lost public funding nine years ago, operations continue thanks to community support, under the American River Natural History Association’s administration.

The new executive looks forward to 2020 fundraisers: two Bird and Breakfast programs are scheduled for March 28 and April 4; the annual spring gala and art auction will raise paddles on June 13; the fall NatureFest open day (October 11) will enable much animal and human interaction.

Upcoming center improvements include the construction of a new education area and outdoor aviaries. “It’s an exciting time for people to reengage with Effie Yeaw,” considers Anderson.  “And it’s an exciting time for me to join the team.”

Lean more about the Effie Yeaw nature Center at

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SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Capitol Pops Concert Band will wrap up its 23rd season with a free, open to the public holiday concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, at the Rusch Park Gym, 7801 Auburn Blvd., in Citrus Heights.

Under the baton of Director Judith Steinle, the CPCB will once again play traditional favorites, seasonal musical hits and carols in its "Holiday Celebration" program.

This performance, sponsored by the Sunrise Recreation and Park District and the City of Citrus Heights, is family friendly and a great way to usher in the holiday season. The two-hour concert includes a 20-minute intermission.

Various prizes will be on display for donation ticket drawings. The public also will have the opportunity to purchase a variety of colorful poinsettias after the concert concludes.  Longtime CPCB supporter Eisley Nursery of Auburn has donated a large poinsettia plant as a grand prize in support of the band's student scholarship fund.

Started in 1997, the CPCB has performed a diverse portfolio of high-quality, well-prepared music heard by thousands of concert-goers throughout Northern California.  Based in Citrus Heights, the self-supporting, nonprofit community band of about 50 musicians represents a wide cross-section of the Sacramento area. For more information on the Capitol Pops, visit or its Facebook page.

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Annual Operation Gobble Distributes Thanksgiving Turkeys

By Rachael Serrao, Randle Communications  |  2019-11-29

Rancho Cordova City Council, Rotary Club of Rancho Cordova, Grocery Outlet Rancho Cordova and Kiwanis Club of Rancho Cordova members are taking the turkeys to the streets. Photo courtesy Golden State Water

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – Golden State Water Company (Golden State Water) was pleased to partner with the Rancho Cordova City Council, Rotary Club of Rancho Cordova, Grocery Outlet Rancho Cordova and Kiwanis Club of Rancho Cordova to distribute turkeys this holiday season to local nonprofit organizations that serve families and individuals with limited resources through its annual Operation Gobble outreach program

Operation Gobble is a philanthropic partnership between Golden State Water, the California Water Association and local and state elected officials. This year, Golden State Water employees distributed more than 8,000 turkeys to local community-based organizations, churches, food banks, senior centers and other nonprofits in the communities it serves.

“Holiday memories are built around a warm meal with loved ones,” said Paul Schubert, Northern District General Manager for Golden State Water. “Golden State Water appreciates the opportunity to partner with local elected leaders and community organizations to deliver Thanksgiving turkeys to those in our community who need them most.”

Operation Gobble has been a Golden State Water tradition since 1990. Over the last 29 years, Golden State Water has donated more than 240,500 turkeys through the program.

“Operation Gobble is an important holiday tradition for all of our employees,” said Ronald Moore, Golden State Water’s Operation Gobble project leader. “We take great pride in serving more than 80 communities in California, and that service extends far beyond the water we deliver to homes. It’s also about giving back.”

To learn more about Golden State Water’s community partnerships and philanthropic activities, customers are encouraged to visit, or follow @GoldenStateH2O on Twitter and Facebook.

Golden State Water Company (Golden State Water) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American States Water Company (NYSE:AWR).   Golden State Water provides water service to more than 1 million people in over 80 communities throughout California, and distributes electricity to approximately 24,000 customers in the City of Big Bear Lake and surrounding areas in San Bernardino County, California, through its Bear Valley Electric Service division. American States Water Company also owns a contracted services subsidiary, American States Utility Services, Inc. (ASUS).  ASUS provides operations, maintenance and construction management services for water and wastewater systems located on military bases throughout the country under 50-year privatization contracts with the U.S. government.

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It’s “Adopt a Grandparent” Time for the Holidays

By Natalie Miller  |  2019-11-29

Ladies of the Shine Unit and Fire Unit gear up to bring Holiday cheer to our local “grandparents.” Photo courtesy of Hayley Coury

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - It’s time for our annual “Adopt a Grandparent” Fundraiser. Local Mary Kay Sales Directors and Beauty Consultants use their businesses as a way to give back to seniors with a program we started calling “Adopt a Grandparent”. It breaks my heart that each holiday season, many residents of long term care homes are "forgotten". Nearly 3 million go without visits or gifts. This is where we come in! We put together small gifts to deliver to the residents of care centers that we have chosen to sponsor. Last year our unit sponsored residents at Park Place, Mission Carmichael Health Care Center, and Almond Avenue Residence Club. Such a small gesture can bring so much joy.

A big thank you goes to our previous sponsors. Because of you, over the last few years, we have been able to gift between 500-800 residents in Sacramento County. This year we would like to gift 500 residents, but we can’t do it without you! It’s $17 to sponsor 2 seniors. Each resident sponsored will receive a pair of fuzzy socks or mittens, a hand or foot cream and a hand written card on your behalf!

Thank you all so much in advance. If you decide to donate, please call or text Natalie Miller at 916-621-0833 or email


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Food Locker Ribbon Cutting Coincides with Holiday Food Drive

Story and Photos by Margaret Snider  |  2019-11-29

City of Rancho Cordova Mayor Robert McGarvey (right) presents a $10,000 check to CCFL Executive Director Walter Little as a donation for the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas food giveaways.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Since its inception in 1987, the Cordova Community Food Locker has provided food for over 17 million meals for residents in our community. On November 8, 2019, the Food Locker officially commenced its holiday season food drive, along with a ribbon cutting, sponsored by the Rancho Cordova Chamber, for the launch of its new website. “We’re going to have the ribbon cutting ceremony,” Executive Director Walter Little said at the event, “and I would like all Very Important People to come on this side of the ribbon. If anybody remains standing on that (other) side, you don’t understand how important you are, so get over here on this side while we take a picture.”

The website, developed by Susan Dakuzaku, has a lifetime hosting license contributed by Beth Walter of McNellis Partners. At, the website allows donations to be made online and gives information about the Food Locker and its programs, patrons, and partners.

Sacramento County District 5 Supervisor Don Nottoli attended the event. “It is just tremendous that they continue to build on that really strong foundation of community service here in helping people put food on the table,” Nottoli said. “The whole operation is a real credit to the community.”

After the ribbon cutting, Mayor Robert McGarvey presented a check of $10,000 on behalf of the City of Rancho Cordova, consisting of $5,000 each for food for the Thanksgiving and Christmas food distributions. The City previously this year provided a $49,000 grant to the Food Locker from the Community Enhancement Fund for purchase of a commercial freezer, creation of the website, and other program operations and maintenance.

After that, a parade of enthusiastic donations followed:  Catholic Charities, Diocese of Sacramento donated $2,500; Franklin Templeton regional Rancho Cordova office $2,500; River City Christian Church $2,000; EMEC $1,000; KP Market $1,000; Father Dan Madigan $1,000; Golden State Water $1,000; Ross and Sandy Johnson $1,000; Optimist Club of Rancho Cordova $350.

In addition, Ron and Julie Belka – Roth Staffing Companies, will be donating 1,500 turkeys, equivalent to $15,000. “Their turkey drive is a big thing for us,” said Ross Johnson, who serves on the Cordova Community Food Locker Board.

Sean Twilla, Water Distribution Superintendent, pledged 200 turkeys for Golden State Water, equivalent to $2,000, besides their $1,000 dollar monetary donation.

The donation goal is $50,000 for this holiday season, enough to provide Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for 2,000 families, an estimated 8,000-10,000 people. To date, $26,000 has been raised. Donations can be made and information obtained online at the new website or in person at the CCFL, 10497 Coloma Rd., Rancho Cordova, next to St. John Vianney Catholic Church.

In the 1980s when Coloma Road was called church row because of the abundance of churches there, the Rev. Walter Little sat down with church leaders and asked, “What is it that you need that we can provide?” The food locker came up at that time, though Little said his idea of a food locker was about the size of a small garage. “We told (Father Dan Madigan) what we wanted, and the first words out of his mouth were, “Walter, you’re thinking too small.”

As he closed his talk at this event, Little spoke of a meeting he attended recently with the Interfaith Service Bureau. City Councilman Garrett Gatewood also attended. Gatewood took Little aside, saying that because of new laws and the importance of this project to the City and its people, they needed to find a way to increase the food locker’s capabilities. “I gave him a few ideas,” Little said. “Then he looked at me and he said, ‘Walter, you’re not thinking big enough’.”

At the ribbon cutting event Little said that the Food Locker will be working with the City as well as churches, fraternal organizations, and every level of government. “When you go inside you’re even going to find that the Pope himself has blessed this operation,” Little said.

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