Tag Archives: club

Longstanding group passes out free Christmas meals to hundreds

Helena Helmold (right) accepts a $2,600 donatoin from Tim Carnahan of the Rotary Club of West Sacramento. The donation helped provide holiday meals for those in need. (Photo by David Kamminga/Rotary)

Helena Helmold (right) accepts a $2,600 donatoin from Tim Carnahan of the Rotary Club of West Sacramento. The donation helped provide holiday meals for those in need. (Photo by David Kamminga/Rotary)

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 1, 2014 —

From the Rotary Club of West Sacramento

For decades, a volunteer organization called the West Sacramento Christmas Basket Project has provided fixings for a Christmas meal to locals who need that kind of help.

The tradition continued this Dec. 21-22, when the group passed out canned goods; pastas; vegetables; fruit; soup; potatoes; bread; rice or beans plus a voucher for a free chicken or turkey.

Long-time organizer Helena Helmold started with the project at least 35 years ago. She said that cash donations, such as this year’s $2,600 check from The Rotary Club of West Sacramento, are a big part of making the project a success. Rotary’s donation paid for the vouchers families have been exchanging for their Christmas turkey or a chicken.

The Christmas Basket Project also distributed free toys this year.

The Yolo Food Bank this year contributed baskets to the Christmas Food Basket and also to Holy Cross and New Discovery Churches, Helmold said. She describes the well-intentioned help as “an experiment” that led to confusion for volunteers at the three sites due to “triple-dipping” by some recipients. “It meant a lot more work for us (to try to match a person waiting for a box to names of those who’d pre-registered),” she said.

Next year, Helmold said, the West Sacramento Christmas Food Basket project will go back to partnering with only Holy Cross.

This has been a tough year personally for Helmold, who is 78. Her youngest, a son, age 37, had a seizure and died eight months ago. She also lost her home of 25 years to foreclosure. The home was paid in full but not insured, she said, because her two Chow dogs – a ‘high risk breed’ – made the house uninsurable. A fire in 2006 caused by a problem with her stove meant she had to get a loan to repair the damage. Ultimately, she lost the house. But, she said, her current housing, a small temporary apartment in Bryte, “let me bring my cats.” Some days, she admits, it’s tempting to move cats and self to Honolulu for the balmy weather and to be near her grandchildren.

Work helps keep her here. This year, for example, 450 families received ingredients for their Christmas meal from the West Sacramento Christmas Basket Project.

The Food Bank of Yolo County also took 250 baskets each to Holy Cross and New Discovery, Helmold said. Helmold’s volunteers delivered boxes and vouchers to elderly and disabled residents in West Sacramento and Clarksburg, as well as to residents in local low-income housing.

Helmold expressed her gratitude to the West Sacramento Rotary Club:

“I can’t begin to tell you enough about those guys. These guys have been our life saver, they really have.”

Local businessman Frank Ramos (whose son, Dan, belongs to The Rotary Club of West Sacramento), stepped up on Dec. 20 to provide a last-minute warehouse from which the group could distribute the food boxes.

Rotary’s goal this year was to match last year’s $2,200 donation to the effort, an all time high, said Rotarian and volunteer club photographer David Kamminga. Club members exceeded that target this year by $400.

Tim Carnahan, Rotary’s 2013 Christmas Basket Project chairman, said, “No one is quite sure how long we’ve been (contributing to the West Sacramento Christmas Basket Project), but when I joined 20 years ago it was already a long-standing project for our club.”

Back then, he said, “We used to ask our members to just bring one or two cans of food to each meeting for four straight weeks leading up to Christmas. Over time it became clear that our random food purchases were hard to coordinate into the food baskets and so we began collecting cash instead. For many years (Rotarian) Dick Uno headed up this project and he still helps collect the dough when we pass the hat.”

  For more information about the West Sacramento Christmas Food Basket project, contact Helena Helmold on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/jXHaK or call (916) 804-3168. For more information about The Rotary Club of West Sacramento, e-mail Rotarian Tim Carnahan at tlcarna@pacbell.net or call (916) 997-9180.

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Horsemen bearing gifts:

West Sacramento Trail Riders Association riders line up in front of Station 45’s ladder truck in Southport during their 2011 toy drive (photo courtesy of W.S. Fire Department)

West Sacramento Trail Riders Association riders line up in front of Station 45’s ladder truck in Southport during their 2011 toy drive (photo courtesy of W.S. Fire Department)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 11, 2013 —

The West Sacramento Trail Riders Association – a local horse riding group – plans their annual “Trail Ride for Kids” beginning 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 15.

Above, club members are seen in a previous year’s “Toy Ride” (photo courtesy of West Sacramento Fire Department).

This Sunday, the horsemen and women will deliver toys to the “Toys for Tots” collection site at Fire Station 45. They’ll ride from the Tower Mart on Linden Road South to the fire station on Lake Washington Blvd. near Jefferson, and you’re welcome to come out along the Jefferson Boulevard route to wave hello. The route will take the riders past the Nugget Center to the fire station.

 

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Thieves hit West Sac rowing club, local store makes donation

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 27, 2013 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The River City Rowing Club was hit by burglars two weeks ago.

On Nov. 11, reports club president Bill Naddy, members discovered somebody had taken some equipment stored outside the boathouse at the Port of West Sacramento. The loss included a pair of motors used to drive boats for coaches.

“They took our older two-stroke outboards and three batteries,” said Naddy. “Since our newer electric-start motors are locked and bolted to the launches, they couldn’t get those, and they just cut the battery wires and took the batteries.”

The loss was about $2,000, said Naddy. But the blow was softened by help from a Harbor Boulevard auto parts store.

“The local NAPA store donated new batteries to us,” said Naddy.

The club has diverted some of its fundraising proceeds to replace the stolen, older motors with newer ones. The club needs a lot of coaches’ launches – and motors – because of the numbers of people it puts on the water. River City Rowing Club currently has about 120 members on its high school team (they come from various schools in the region) and about 170 adult members.

At about the same time as the boat club theft, the nearby training facility for the West Sacramento Fire Department also experienced a theft, said Naddy. Taken were some roll-up doors used for firefighter training.

 

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Tryouts for West Sac semipro soccer

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

Sacramento Republic FC will hold player tryouts on Oct. 5-6 and Oct. 19-20 at the Davis Legacy Soccer Complex on the frontage road near Davis. Players 18 and up will receive “full evaluation” from Republic FC coaching staff. Lunch and a T-shirt provided. $200 registration fee for each tryout. Pre-register online; visit www.SacRepublicFC.com.

The new United Soccer Leagues (USL) professional team will play at Raley Field beginning next year.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013