Eppie’s Race is Back On

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-07-11

Great American Triathlon organizers are business partners Ken McGuire (left) and Dan Niccum.

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Businessman Ken McGuire last year feared was the end of an era when the “final” Eppie’s Great race was announced.

Co-founder of Innovations Health Systems – a network of heath-centered services and facilities in the Bay Area – McGuire (52) never actually competed in the annual event.

“I felt it was too great a tradition to let die,” he explains. “People came here from all over the USA to compete. Eppie’s was a boost for our national profile. We Sacramentans talked about the great race in the same conversation as Kings Basketball games and the California International Marathon. It helped charities. For all sorts of good reasons, keeping Eppie’s alive seemed critical.”

Now, thanks to McGuire, the world’s oldest triathlon has not quite ended, after all. Steered by the Sacramento businessman, the contest that the late Eppie Johnston began in 1974 has new branding. From the starting gun July 20, and for future summers, it will be run as The Great American Triathlon. The endurance epic will again follow the American River Parkway in foot, bicycle and kayak stages. While benefitting charities, it will endure as one of our area’s great summer events.

Via many meetings and phone calls, McGuire persuaded major Eppie’s supporters to keep paddling. In January, Sacramento County gave approval for the new parkway event.

Capital City Road Management will continue to manage the race. Former volunteers have rallied, and more than 20 companies have agreed to co-sponsor. McGuire’s business partner, Carmichael resident Dan Niccum, is onboard for brand development.

The new race will continue restauranteur Eppie Johnston’s philanthropic drive that raised more than a million dollars for non-profits over 48 years. “Our fundraising for the American River Parkway Foundation and children’s health charities is important,” confirms McGuire. “We hope to write big checks for good causes. But above all, we want to maintain a community event that defines summer in Sacramento.”

The world’s oldest triathlon will set a cracking pace through the accustomed river stretches of Arcade, Carmichael, Fair Oaks and Rancho Cordova. Starting line is at William Pond Park. Athletes will follow a six-mile route to the Guy West Bridge near CSUS, and then grab bikes to pedal 12 miles to the beach below Sunrise Boulevard (Fair Oaks). There is no swimming stage; contestants will board kayaks, brave the San Juan Rapids and follow the river downstream to Rancho Cordova. Thousands of supporters, onlookers and volunteers traditionally cheer athletes through all stages. Après-race celebrations will include live music, food trucks and a beer garden beside the River Bend Park finish line.

Entry in the Great American Triathlon costs $40 for athletes 18 and under; $150 for adult competitors; junior relay is $110; adult relay is $225. Tandem water craft admission is $300. Contestants may use rented kayaks. For information, go to www.greatamericantriathlon.com

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain Prepares for Fall Opening

Story by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-07-11

A rendering of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. Image provided by Zimmerman Agency

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Opening this fall as Hard Rock’s first Vegas-style casino in California, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain recently announced its top-tier executives. “I’m very impressed with the caliber of experience of our executive team. They have over 200 years of combined gaming experience,” said Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain. “We attracted very capable individuals from around the country.”

“This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of in my entire career. They are all experts in their fields,” said Birtha. “We’re a beacon for the area. Wheatland might not have been on their radar, but now they are excited to build long-term interaction with the community.” The executives will all be relocating to the Greater Sacramento Region and will be working on site in Wheatland every day.

Christopher Balaban, vice president of finance, has an MBA and over 20 years of gaming experience in Las Vegas, Florida, and the Bahamas. In addition to prior VP of finance roles, he led hotel and food and beverage operations, giving him a diverse operational background.

Ryan Flieger, vice president of human resources, has worked with Hard Rock since 2012. He held leadership roles at hotels in San Diego and Las Vegas, and he worked on several Hard Rock expansions. Flieger has experience in talent acquisition and retention, training, and culture setting.

Anika Gaskins, vice president of marketing, has an MBA and was recently the VP of national marketing for MGM Resorts as they opened a new $1 billion casino property. Gaskins has worked in various marketing roles in casinos from Canada to Las Vegas, developing marketing initiatives and increasing revenue.

Paul Mollo, vice president of table games, has almost 40 years of gaming experience and has been working with Hard Rock for more than a decade. Mollo used his expertise to help HBO Productions create authentic scenes of casino gaming on “The Sopranos”.

Matthew Morgan, vice president of information technology, has more than 20 years of experience in gaming technology. He has an MBA, and he has worked in Las Vegas and in local casinos Red Hawk and Thunder Valley. Morgan focuses on bringing mobile products to the casino market.

Will Provance, vice president of slot operations, has more than 20 years of leadership experience in restaurants, entertainment, hotel operations, and casino gaming. He has an executive certificate in customer-driven marketing, an MBA in international hotel and tourism management, and a Master of Science in hotel administration with a concentration on gaming.

Kaywan Samadani, vice president of hospitality, has worked at casinos in Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Missouri, and Ohio. Samadani has extensive restaurant and casino hospitality experience — working as a chef, director of food and beverages, director of hospitality, and VP of casino services.

Birtha said they will be taking occupancy of the administrative offices, kitchens, security offices, and surveillance and storage areas in early July. Then they’ll start moving in the furniture, equipment, and gaming tables. “Everything is on schedule and on budget,” said Birtha. “Our company has had that vision to stay focused.”

Hard Rock also just launched a social gaming app: Hard Rock Social Casino. “It’s a way to engage loyal Hard Rock followers and allow them to interface with the casino before it opens,” said Birtha. The free “social casino” will give people a taste of the gaming experience on their smart phones, tablets, or computers. Payment is not required to play, and winners earn virtual credits. Players can select Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain as their casino for the chance to win real-world prizes and promotions to use when the casino opens this fall.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain advertising campaign is also launching soon, with large outdoor billboards, social and digital marketing, and TV and radio ads. Birtha said, “This will be our formal introduction to the region, from Tahoe to San Francisco.” Birtha was also proud to announce some of Hard Rock’s local partners: Toyota Amphitheatre, Sacramento River Cats, Sac Republic FC, and Golden 1 Center.

Birtha said that Hard Rock has a “philanthropy of social engagement” and is committed to hiring local people and building partnerships with local vendors to bring in produce, wine, and art. For information about upcoming hiring and vendor fairs, visit www.hardrockhotelsacramento.com.

 

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the proponents of a new initiative were cleared to begin collecting petition signatures today.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponents and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponents and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

EXPANDS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS’ AUTHORITY TO ENACT RENT CONTROL ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Amends state law to allow local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. Allows rent increases on rent-controlled properties of up to 15 percent over three years from previous tenant’s rent above any increase allowed by local ordinance. Exempts individuals who own no more than two homes from new rent-control policies. In accordance with California law, provides that rent-control policies may not violate landlords’ right to a fair financial return on their property. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Potential reduction in state and local revenues of tens of millions of dollars per year in the long term. Depending on actions by local communities, revenue losses could be less or more. (19-0001.)

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1862 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 19-0001.

The proponents of the measure, Michael Weinstein, Cynthia Davis, Jesse Brooks, Rene Christian Moya, & Susan Hunter, must collect signatures of 623,212 registered voters (five percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the November 2018 general election) in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponents have 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials no later than December 23, 2019. The proponents can be reached c/o Fredric D. Woocher, Esq. and Beverly Grossman Palmer, Esq., of Strumwasser & Woocher LLP, at fwoocher@strumwooch.com and bpalmer@strumwooch.com respectively. The address for Strumwasser & Woocher LLP is 10940 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2000, Los Angeles, CA 90024.

 

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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: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/.

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Carmichael Elks Lodge Presents 7th Annual Classic Car and Motorcycle Show

By Patrick Larenas  |  2019-04-26

One of the many great cars on display at last year

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - The Carmichael Elks Lodge will be hosting its 7th annual Classic Car and Motorcycle Show on Saturday, May 4 with free admission to the public from 8am to 2pm. Filled with DJ music and Hot Wheel games for the kids, the show will be hosted in the Elks Lodge’s Shady Backyard. Breakfast and lunch will be available to purchase in case you feel like tasting various foods.


“I have been to the Car Show just about every year and I am glad to see that it’s growing thanks to friends and family,” said Diane Bristow of the Elk’s Car and Motorcycle Show committee.
The annual show features classic vehicles from 1975 and older. “This year we’ve added the new category of motorcycles to the show,” added Bristow.


Trophies and plaques will be awarded for the following vehicle categories:
Best Mopar; Best GM; Best Ford; Best Rat Rod; Best Orphan; Best Engine; Best Under Construction; Best Long Roof; Best Exalted; Best of Show; and Best Motorcycle.
Registration for those who want to enter a vehicle will be $19.95; And, for those who want to use the occasion to display their products, the fee for vendors will also be $19.95.

The Carmichael Elks Lodge #2103 is located at 5631 Cypress Ave. Carmichael, CA 95608.
Interested in joining the Elks? If you join in this month of April only, the regular $49 application fee will be reduced to only $1.

For more information visit our website at www.carmichaelelks2103.org

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California’s Rich Pioneer History Will Be Celebrated May 4 in Coloma

By Gary Zavoral  |  2019-04-23

Free wagon rides will be offered in Coloma during the Pioneer History Day May 4. Photos provided by PHD

Family Activities, Stage Shows and Historical Reenactments Highlight Third California Pioneer History Day

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Before the famed California Gold Rush brought tens of thousands of gold seekers and others to Northern California, there were hundreds of pioneers who paved the way for them to arrive, already having constructed homes and businesses, started farms and even began building cities.
On Saturday, May 4, area residents can learn more about how they lived and their accomplishments during the California Pioneer History Day at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma.
This free family event features historic reenactments and displays, a parade with descendants of early California pioneers, stage shows and musical entertainment, and many activities for families and children, including a cannon that shoots candy, free wagon rides, pioneer games and children’s crafts.
“Few Californians know about the rich early history of our state,” said Michelle Jones of Placerville, who is heading the effort along with Robert and Peni Frew from Auburn. “The California Pioneer History Day will give them the opportunity to discover this inspiring heritage in a fun and interactive way.”
The event will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with the parade at 10 a.m. and an opening ceremony following. This is the third California Pioneer History Day, which is sponsored by the California Pioneer Heritage Foundation and organized by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra foothills. While the event is free, the state parking fee is $8. Food concessions will be available, or attendees can bring their own lunch.
During the Pioneer History Day, three-dozen interactive exhibits and activities organized into two “tent towns” will straddle Highway 49, the main thoroughfare into Coloma. Among the many historical exhibits are:
· The Buffalo Soldiers, an African American Army infantry unit that served in the West.
· The Pony Express, whose Western hub was Sacramento.
· Gold Rush Jewish Communities, highlighting the accomplishments of this minority group during the Gold Rush.
· Demonstrations with a sacred Indian grinding rock.
· Pioneer United Methodist Church, which had its start in Auburn in 1851.
· Chinese Cultural Club, exhibiting the culture and achievements of the many Asian men and women who traveled to the gold fields.
· The Ship Brooklyn exhibit, which recreates the cramped quarters of the Latter-day Saints who sailed in 1846 around Cape Horn to Northern California to escape religious persecution.
· Bear Flag Revolt, celebrating a small group of American settlers who, in 1846, rebelled against the Mexican government and proclaimed California an independent republic.
Tents will also feature many family-friendly activities that will give attendees a taste of pioneer life. These include:
· Brick, rope and candle making.
· Making and playing with pioneer toys.
· Pioneer doll making.
· Biscuit baking.
· Dutch oven cooking.
Among the reenactments will be cannon and musket firing, giving a detailed demonstration of how they were loaded and the safety precautions taken before firing. These will be held at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30.p.m. The Pony Express will also recreate a mail hand-off during those same times, and free wagon rides will be available from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. In addition, there will be historical demonstrations on pioneer medicine, frontier justice, blacksmithing, wood carving, and free old-time photos with pioneer garb will be available.
On the main stage will be crowd-pleasing musical acts as well as old-time stage musical shows.
The Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma features a museum and visitors center, a replica of John Sutter’s sawmill where gold was discovered in 1848, and many other buildings that recreate the town of Coloma during the Gold Rush.
It is located off Highway 49 between Auburn and Placerville; the museum address is 310 Back St., Coloma. For more information, go to www.californiapioneer.com/cphd/ or call the Gold Discovery park museum at (530) 622-3470.

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Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack  |  2019-04-08

For more information about the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car including stops and tour hours, please visit https://www.up.com/heritage/experience-up/index.htm

Available for Free Tours April 19-22

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - As part of a series of special events, activities and exhibits designed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation proudly invite the community to Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car that will be on display Friday, April 19 through Monday, April 22, 2019.


Free public tours will be available each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the visually-exciting rail car on display at Old Sacramento State Historic Park.


The Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car is a new, multi-media walk-through exhibition that provides a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading. Through sound, images and interactive technology, visitors will see how Union Pacific is building America in their communities and throughout the world. The Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car is part of Union Pacific's historic Heritage passenger rail car fleet going on a multi-stop tour that begins in Sacramento followed by a stop in Roseville before moving on to Sparks, Nevada and Ogden, Utah.


After entering the converted baggage car, guests will first learn about the investment, hard work and knowledge that went into building the Transcontinental Railroad. Moving forward along one wall they'll learn about the evolution of the locomotive, beginning with the world-famous UP No. 119 and leading to the modern-day diesel powerhouses. On the opposite wall, rail fans will trace how fresh apples are delivered from California and Washington to New York and understand every aspect of rail operations and innovation along the way. Next, exciting interactive technology will show how Union Pacific is using lasers, cameras and other detection devices to accurately inspect moving rail cars and railroad track. Guests will even be able to test their skills to see how they measure up as rail car inspectors. Before exiting, visitors will be able to communicate how they connect to the railroad using high-tech thermal reactive tiles. A final display celebrates the history of Union Pacific's Passenger Heritage Fleet through vintage photos.


For more information about the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car including stops and tour hours, please visit https://www.up.com/heritage/experience-up/index.htm

For more details and updated information about events, activities and exhibits presented by the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation, please visit www.Railroad150.org; for more information about the Museum or Foundation visit www.californiarailroad.museum; and for more information about Waterfront Days happening over Memorial Day Weekend, please visit www.oldsacramento.com


The mission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation (CSRMF) is to generate revenue and awareness on behalf of its destinations, while supporting the preservation, interpretation and promotion of our railroad heritage. The Foundation provides funding for ongoing support of numerous programs, both at the museum's Old Sacramento location and at the historic park in Jamestown, Calif. For more information, please visit www.californiarailroad.museum.

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Terminally-Ill Man Receives NASCAR Dream

Special Dream Foundation Release  |  2019-04-08

Winston Cain (Dream Foundation Dreamer), Glory Ariche (Genentech), Rene Hamlin (Snowline Hospice), Jeremy Lansing (Snowline Hospice), and Janice Curtin (Snowline Hospice). Photo provided by Dream Foundation

Dream Foundation celebrates Winston Cain’s life with a final NASCAR Race

El Dorado Hills, California (MPG) - Despite being diagnosed with ALS, which has left him paralyzed from the neck down apart from the use of one arm and hand, 71-year-old El Dorado Hills resident, Winston Cain, hasn’t stopped dreaming.

Winston has always loved NASCAR and car racing, having attended many races throughout his life. Now bed bound, Winston watches NASCAR intently every Sunday. He loves to imagine himself as the announcer, “Start your engines!” and dreams of attending one final race with his family.  

With support from Autoclub Speedway and Homewood Suites, Dream Foundation fulfilled Winston’s final Dream. This past month, Winston, his wife, daughter, and son-in-law enjoyed VIP treatment and a special meet and greet with his favorite driver, Chase Elliot at the Fontana NASCAR race of March 16th. The foundation will also provide accommodations, a wheelchair accessible van rental and extra travel funds for the trip.

Glory Ariche from Genentech, one of Dream Foundation’s Mission Partners, served “Dream Host” at the intimate gathering of Thursday, March 14th delivering everything that Winston needed for his Dream journey. Also in attendance were Snowline Hospice’s Rene Hamlin, Jeremy Lansing, and Janice Curtin who referred Winston to the organization’s dream-granting program. Their commitment to Winston was instrumental in bringing his final Dream to life.

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 30,000 final Dreams over the last twenty-five years.

The Foundation is proud to maintain Charity Navigator’s four-star rating—its highest—for sound fiscal management, ensuring its donors and partners that their investment will be used wisely. Dream Foundation receives no state or federal funding—we rely solely on private donations. To support our mission please visit: DreamFoundation.org/donate.

Snowline Hospice serves the Sacramento, El Dorado, and Placer Counties, delivering end of life care and support to patients and their families.  Since 1979, Snowline has been dedicated to meeting the unique physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who are nearing the end of life's journey.  Our goal is to enhance living, comfort the dying and support the grieving with compassion and dignity.

 

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Hailing Volunteers

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-03-29

 Max McGregor (center), Dick Laursen (second from left) and other supporters were recently commended for volunteer effort at the Effie Yeaw nature Center. Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Effie Yeaw Nature Center recently honored top volunteers with an awards luncheon.

Located in Ancil Hoffman park, the non-profit facility lost County funding nine years ago. Its educational mission is now spearheaded by the American River Natural History Association. Center doors stay open with the assistance of supporter donations and 250 nature-loving volunteers.

One of two helpers surpassing 1000-hours of selfless service was 17-year-old Max McGregor from Sacramento. The home-schooled teenager has assisted in animal care for three years and is the youngest of many volunteers to reach the 1000-hour mark. ARNHA board member Dick Laursen (90) also passed the grand milestone. 
 

Located in Ancil Hoffman Park, the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and its 100-acre preserve see many thousands of visitors in all seasons of the year. For information, call (916) 489-4918.

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All Buttoned Up

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-03-29

Rancho Cordova button collector Barbara Alfidi (right) enjoyed a display of historic fasteners with fellow enthusiast Dawn Healy at the Button Bazaar in Carmichael. Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Dealers and collectors from three states recently assembled in Carmichael for the California Button Society’s bi-annual show. This year’s event was co-hosted by the Sacramento and Santa Clara Button Clubs.

The one-day bazaar drew 17 vendors and more than 200 aficionados to the la Sierra Center. “We’ve preferred Carmichael for 12 years,” explains Sacramento Button Society treasurer Sue Rhoades. “La Sierra Center is a great facility that affords lots of light – that’s very important for viewing – and it’s easily accessible from the Bay Area and the Foothills. Our vendors are experts from Washington, Nevada and California. A button show is a new experience for many people; we welcomed many new faces and everyone had a good time.”

The Sacramento Button Society is 65 years old. Its 25 members meet monthly. For information, contact fwolfe@surewest.net

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