Out and About Sacramento October 2019

By Jessica Laskey
October 2019

Proud Partner
Dignity Health gives back to the community

In addition to boasting a tremendous track record of stellar patient care, Mercy General Hospital, owned by Dignity Health, has made it a priority to give back to the community.

Mercy General Hospital, located on J Street, donated $10,000 to the recently completed East Lawn Children’s Park restoration project. The hospital is a longtime supporter (with a collective annual investment of $15,000) of Pops in the Park, Friends of East Sacramento—supporting the McKinley Rose Garden, Clunie Community Center and Urban Renaissance Home Tour—and, new this year, Screen on the Green.

Mercy also is a proud supporter of the Soroptimist of Sacramento’s annual Edible Gardens Tour, East Sacramento Rotary and Sacred Heart Parish School—providing opportunities for students to visit the hospital campus for events like trick-or-treating, Kindness Week (during which students provide patients and guests “prescriptions” for kindness) and caroling during the holidays.

In addition, the hospital partners with local officials like City Councilmember Jeff Harris and the East Sacramento Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to address community issues and make sure the neighborhood is moving in the right direction.

“Dignity Health is proud to be part of the East Sacramento community and to maintain our strong commitment to serving and supporting our neighborhood,” says Edmundo Castañeda, Mercy General Hospital president. “We have been fully engaged in this community and look forward to continuing to be a good partner for years to come.”


Shawna Chrisman, co-owner of medical spa Destination Aesthetics, has won this year’s Women Who Mean Business Award from the Sacramento Business Journal.

Chrisman, co-owner Dr. R. David Ferrera (a longtime family physician) and their talented team offer a variety of non-surgical procedures for face and body in their three offices in Sacramento, Folsom and Elk Grove.

Services include cosmetic injectables, Vivace microneedling, Ultherapy (a surgery-free facelift) and CoolSculpting for body fat elimination, among others.

Chrisman’s interest in the science of beauty comes from her 20-plus years in the health care field, primarily in critical-care medicine. She received her master’s degree in nursing from the University of California, San Francisco, and has worked as a nurse practitioner since 2002. But there came a point in her career when Chrisman decided she needed a change.

“I wanted patients to come see me by choice,” Chrisman says. “I like to exude a very happy, positive environment. Switching to the field of aesthetics was the best thing I ever did.”

Destination Aesthetics is located at 768 University Ave., 1731 Creekside Drive in Folsom and 9299 Laguna Springs Drive in Elk Grove. For more information, visit destinationaesthetics.com.


Enjoy gardening? Want to become a Master Gardener volunteer? The UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener training program for 2020 is now accepting applications through Friday, Oct. 18.

Fine-tune your knowledge with intensive instruction led by university advisers and horticultural experts, with online and in-class coursework. Trainees will study a wide range of home horticulture topics, such as the basics of soil, irrigation, fertilization, water conservation, insect identification and control, weeds and diseases, vegetable gardening, and fruit and landscape trees.

Training will prepare students to properly research and respond to questions from the public, and volunteer at Master Gardener community events, conduct workshops, diagnose plant problems and speak to community groups.

Training takes place every Wednesday from Jan. 15 through May 13, 2020. To apply, visit sacmg.ucanr.edu/master_gardener_training. Applicants must be residents of Sacramento County.


Join the American River Parkway Foundation for its annual Ride the Parkway bicycle event on Sunday, Oct. 6.
More than 400 riders will enjoy the beautiful views of the American River Parkway as they cruise along the paved Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail, stretching from Downtown to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery. The trail was recently designated as part of the pilot route for the U.S. Bicycle Route System.

Three distance options—5 miles, 12 miles and 26-plus miles—will allow cyclists of every ability to participate, beginning at 7 a.m. All routes start and finish at William B. Pond Recreation Area at 5700 Arden Way. Post-ride festivities begin at 11 a.m. with music by the Rod Stinson Band, lunch by Rossi Catering, a beer garden and raffle.

Proceeds benefit ARPF programs that remove trash and debris, maintain the multi-use dirt trail, restore habitat and conserve the parkway. For more information or to register, visit ridetheparkway.org.


Back by popular demand, California State Parks and California State Railroad Museum and Foundation will offer Spookomotive Train Rides in Old Sacramento every weekend in October.

Trains depart hourly from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Each weekend will boast a special theme, including Superheroes & Villains (Oct. 5–6 and Oct. 26–27), Pirates & Princesses (Oct. 12–13) and Witches & Wizards (Oct. 19–20). Guests are encouraged to dress up.

Staffed by a “skeleton crew” and whimsically decorated, each diesel-powered train ride offers a 45-minute, six-mile roundtrip along the Sacramento River. Guests will be treated to a special Halloween cookie. First-Class/VIP includes additional entertainment and refreshments.

General tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for youth ages 2–17. First Class/VIP tickets are $29 for adults and $19 for youth. Children younger than 2 ride free. Museum members receive discount pricing. Advance booking at californiarailroad.museum is recommended.


Three years after United Way California Capital Region launched its Square One Project, more students at its partner Robla School District are attending school consistently and improving their reading, according to the nonprofit’s recently released annual report. Square One Project aims to end poverty by increasing the number of kids graduating from high school ready for success in college or career.

“If we are to make progress on this audacious goal of ending poverty in our region, then we need to work together to address the systemic issues that our communities face,” says Stephanie Bray, president and CEO of United Way California Capital Region. “Schools often are the center of communities, so Square One starts there. But our work and support go beyond education and the school campus to address the whole family.”
Kids who are not reading at grade level by fourth grade are more likely to fall behind in all subjects, including math and science. Last year, United Way and its partners helped 415 students with reading—62 percent of those students who were reading below grade level improved their reading and literary performance. In 2018, Robla School District reported that more students were meeting and exceeding standards in English language arts compared to 2017. The rate of annual increase was three times higher than state and county averages.

For more information on United Way California Capital Region and its Square One Project, visit yourlocalunitedway.org.


Jenson Brooksby and Katie Volynets—two star players from the JMG Tennis program at Arden Hills Athletic & Social Club—competed in this year’s U.S. Open in New York.

In the qualification first round, 18-year-old Brooksby beat Kaichi Uchida in straight sets, then went on to beat Yuichi Sugita of Japan in a hard-fought, second-round match. Brooksby qualified for the main draw by defeating Pedro Martinez, then managed the biggest win of his career by defeating Thomas Berdych—currently ranked 101 in the world and a former top-five player—in the first round. At the U.S. Open in August, he was defeated by No. 17 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.

Seventeen-year-old Volynets won the Girls 18s National Championship at the Billie Jean King Junior National Championship in San Diego and earned a 2019 U.S. Open Wild Card spot in the main draw. At the U.S. Open, she was defeated by No. 15 seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada, who went on to win the tournament.

“I’m incredibly proud of these young players and their amazingly supportive families,” says Joseph Morris Gilbert, owner of JMG Tennis. “As a coach, I believe success is a true team effort and that we all rise together.”

For more information on the Arden Hills athletic program, visit ardenhills.club/athletics.


The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and Elk Grove Police Department have partnered with the nonprofit Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation through the Pink Patch Project, a national public-awareness campaign.
When you purchase a $10 pink patch, pin or coin, 100 percent of the proceeds will go to fight breast cancer. The program raised $30,000 last year for Albie Aware, which provides education, testing and support for men and women who have been diagnosed with—or are at risk for—breast cancer.

“I lost my mother to cancer when I was 18 years old,” Sgt. Dan Mendoza says. “I really like and appreciate the fact that Albie Aware is local and helps individuals with a breast cancer diagnosis.”

To purchase a patch, pin or coin, visit albieaware.org/programs-and-services/elk-grove-pd-pink-patch-project.


Sacramento Regional Transit has partnered with the city to allow K–12 students to use RT services free of charge.

Students who attend K–12 schools in the greater Sacramento region will receive a small sticker for their student ID card entitling them to free rides on RT trains and buses for the school year.

For route information, maps and tips on etiquette and safety, visit rt4students.com.


Operation Backpack—Volunteer of America’s annual drive to raise funds and collect backpacks and school supplies for students in need—was a smashing success this year. The local drive collected 7,812 backpacks and more than 152,000 school supplies, thanks to a collaborative effort among 73 local businesses, 11 corporate sponsors, 465 volunteers and 818 donors.

VOA distributed the backpacks to 65 partner agencies, nonprofits and school districts, including Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance and American Indian Education Program, as well as to students recovering from the Camp Fire in Paradise.

“Having a backpack and school supplies provides confidence and helps a child’s self-esteem,” says Ana Bankert, VOA development officer, foundations and corporate giving. “Feeling prepared alongside every other child in the classroom is crucial to their ability to thrive.”

For more information, visit voa-ncnn.org/operation-backpack.


On Fairytale Town’s 60th anniversary this year, Sacramento’s favorite play park announced a $4.5 million capital campaign, Timeless Tales: For Generations of Play, to support the first phase of a half-acre expansion.

The initial phase of the project—the first time the park has undertaken an expansion—will include a story center (a flexible, indoor space allowing for all-weather programming), new admissions building and entry plaza, and outdoor classroom area.

Planning for the expansion began in 2013 and a quiet capital campaign kicked off in late 2016, raising $2.3 million from 154 individuals, corporations, foundations and government. Through the Timeless Tales campaign, Fairytale Town seeks to raise the additional $2.2 million needed to complete the first phase.

Subsequent phases of the plan include installing new playsets, gardens and additional restrooms.

“This is the most ambitious project Fairytale Town has taken on since it was built 60 years ago,” says executive director Kathy Fleming. “Fairytale Town is a beloved local institution that has served four generations of children well. We hope the public comes out in force to support this project so Fairytale Town can remain as magical for the next four generations of children as it is today.”

Donations can be made online by visiting fairytaletown.org/timeless-tales, calling (916) 808-5233, mailing a check or visiting Fairytale Town at 3901 Land Park Drive, or texting the word “tales” to 41444.


The nonprofit organization KultureCity has partnered with the Sacramento Zoo to make all programs and events hosted at the zoo sensory inclusive.

To be officially certified by KultureCity, staff at the Sacramento Zoo were trained by medical professionals on how to recognize guests with sensory needs and handle a sensory-overload situation.
Sensory sensitivities or challenges are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise. With its new certification, the zoo is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities.

Sensory bags—equipped with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads—will be available to guests at the Member & Visitor Services office.

“Within 24 hours of posting our sensory-awareness signs in the zoo, we had our first request for the backpacks,” says Ann Geiger, zoo director of education. “Making the zoo experience more accessible is so
rewarding for all of us.”

Prior to attending an event, families can download the free KultureCity app to view available sensory features and a preview of what to expect at certified locations.

Since its inception, KultureCity has created more than 200 sensory-inclusive venues in three countries. For more information, visit saczoo.org or kulturecity.org.


A collaborative art exhibit that pairs local artists with writers living with mental health challenges will be on view this month at three venues throughout the region.

The purpose of “Journey of Hope: Real Life Stories of Living with Mental Health Challenges Portrayed Through Art” is to raise awareness, and inspire insight and understanding by sharing stories of hope and recovery.

The project was initiated by the Sacramento County Department of Health Services’ Division of Behavioral Health Services in 2012 to reduce stigma and discrimination, and promote hope for people living with mental illness.

The event will kick off with a public reception at the Elk Grove Fine Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. when participating artists and writers will meet in person for the first time. The exhibit will be on display in Elk Grove from Oct. 5–23; at Sacramento Fine Arts Center in Carmichael from Oct. 29–Nov. 17; and Crocker Art Museum from Nov. 28–Jan. 5. For more information, visit stopstigmasacramento.org.


The Atrium Project will present View+Think+Solve!, an event where artists, nonprofit advocates and the community come together over art to discuss issues important to the Sacramento area, such as homelessness and environmental sustainability.

The walls of the Atrium 916 gallery will be filled with works by artists Esteban Villa, April Ford, Richard Feese, Natana Rose, Marsh Wildman, Randy Pauley, Darya Ryan, John Pemberton, Gale Filter, Suzon Lucore, Ryan Angel Meza and Karlos Rene Ayala.

A reception will be held at the gallery at 7300 Folsom Blvd. on Friday, Oct. 11, from 6 to 9 p.m. The gallery will be open for viewing Oct. 12 from noon to 9 p.m. and Oct. 13 from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, visit artniumproject.com.


As the new school year gets underway, St. Ignatius Loyola Parish on Arden Way celebrates the grand opening of its new elementary school and parish offices, which serve more than 400 students, 4,000 parish families and numerous community programs supporting the homeless, immigrants and elderly.

The $12.2 million construction project—funded entirely by private donations—replaces aging structures (the parish and school were founded in 1954) with 42,000 square feet of state-of-the-art classrooms and spacious meeting centers for the parish and community. The new facility is approximately 35 percent larger than the previous building.

Jessica Laskey can be reached at jessrlaskey@gmail.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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