Tag Archives: county

West Sac, Clarksburg women part of history program

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 18, 2015 —

By Al Zagofsky
Correspondent

“We are weaving the stories of women’s lives into the fabric of the history of Yolo County and also get young women interested in history by involving them in the program,” said Shipley Walters, Yolo County Historian  and Secretary for the Yolo County Women’s History Month Committee.

Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives is being presented by the Yolo County Women’s History Month Committee as part of their 28th annual Women’s History Month luncheon.

The event will take place on Thursday, March 5, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Woodland Community & Senior Center, 2001 East Street, Woodland. Reservations and payment must be received by Friday, February 27.  Reservations will not be sold at the door.

The committee will honor four women who are immigrants or descendants of immigrants who came to Yolo County from different countries and represent four areas of Yolo County.

They are Alice Carbahal, of Spanish descent from Winters; Bessie Anderson, of Irish descent from Zamora and Knights Landing; Frances Sakai, of Japanese descent from Clarksburg, and Tanya Volkers, of Russian descent from West Sacramento.

The lives of these individual women are important because they reveal exceptionally strong role models who share a more expansive vision of what a woman can do. Their stories and the choices they made, encourage girls and young women to think larger and bolder, and give boys and men a fuller understanding of the female experience. Knowing women’s achievements challenges stereotypes and upends social assumptions about who women are and what women can accomplish.

The late Tanya Volkers of West Sacramento was imprisoned when the Japanese took Shanghai. She later became active in a local Russian cultural society and historical society.  (courtesy photo)

The late Tanya Volkers of West Sacramento was imprisoned when the Japanese took Shanghai. She later became active in a local Russian cultural society and historical society.
(courtesy photo)

West Sacramento’s Tanya Volkers survived a prisoner of war internment camp when the Japanese invaded here home in Shanghai. In 1928, she immigrated to the United States and learned the embroidery business, and In 1945, Tanya built a highly successful embroidery business in San Francisco.  She settled in West Sacramento, and co-founded the West Sacramento Russian Cultural Society, was a member of the West Sacramento Historical Society, and an ardent supporter of the incorporation of West Sacramento. She greeted Russian ships when they came to West Sacramento.

While visiting Windsor, England, she took a tour of Windsor Castle, fell and injured herself and ended up in the Queen Mother’s wheelchair. Tanya Volkers passed away in 2008, in her home in West Sacramento at 99 years of age.

Each woman’s story will be presented by a female student from the Davis Senior High School Theater Arts Department. Gwyneth Bruch, drama teacher from the high school, is coordinating the program with Miriam Nansen as Alice Carahal, Sofie Brown as Frances Sakai, Geneva Duren as Tanya Volkers and Naomi Gerner as Bessie Anderson.

ABOVE: Former West Sacramentan Louisa Vessell is one of the organizers of next month’s celebration of women’s history  (photo by AL ZAGOFSKY for the News-Ledger)

ABOVE: Former West Sacramentan Louisa Vessell is one of the organizers of next month’s celebration of women’s history
(photo by AL ZAGOFSKY for the News-Ledger)

The committee encourages young people to attend the luncheon so they can hear about some remarkable women who may inspire them or have an impact on their lives.

The cost for the luncheon is $25. For reservations, make checks payable to WHM, and mail to WHM, P.O. Box 711, Woodland, CA 95776. The luncheon will be catered by Anderson Family Catering & BBQ of Winters.  Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit public libraries in Yolo County for the purchase of women’s history materials. The deadline for reservations for the Yolo County Women’s History Month Luncheon is March 5, 2015

To learn more about the luncheon, or to make reservations, contact Kate Mawdsley at 530-758-5093 / wfm-kfm@pacbell.net or Louisa Vessell at 916-451-2113 / 916-799-9932 / lvessell@sbcglobal.net or visit www.ycwhm.org.

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

MoneyGram can be used to pay support

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 28, 2015 —

From Beth Gabor
County of Yolo

Starting this month, parents will be able to pay their child support in cash at thousands of MoneyGram locations throughout California.

Previously, parents paying child support in cash could only do so by visiting a county or regional local child support agency that accepts in-office payments.  In Yolo County, the Child Support Services office is located at 100 West Court Street in Woodland.  Those who stand to benefit the most by paying through MoneyGram are the self-employed, those working seasonal jobs and those who don’t engage in traditional banking.

“We are pleased that we have been able to make the process easier for parents to pay their child support,” said Yolo County Department of Child Support Services Director Natalie Dillon in a press release. “This partnership with MoneyGram will benefit the parents who owe child support, and will translate into more payments for their children.”

There are approximately 30 MoneyGram locations in Yolo County, over 6,200 throughout California and 39,000 nationwide that provide bill payment services.  Payments can be made at 18 retail chains including CVS, Wal-Mart, Albertsons, Lucky, Raley’s/Bel Air, Food Maxx, 7-Eleven and others.

To make a payment through MoneyGram, parents will need their personal Participant Identification Number (PAR ID) and the group “Receive Code 14630.”  MoneyGram charges child support customers a $1.99 convenience fee.  For many, that is less than the cost of the gas needed to drive to a child support office.  Payments can take up to three days to post, so parents are advised to plan accordingly.

Child support payments may also be made online, by phone and by mail.  In-person payments are still available at the local child support office in Woodland.  Fees are not charged for using these payment options.

For information about payment options or to make a payment online, visit: www.childsup.ca.gov/PaymentOptions or call 866-901-3212.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

A message & invitation from Yolo Supervisor Oscar Villegas

West Sacramento’s OSCAR VILLEGAS (right) took the oath of office again last week. Administering the oath were his children, Vincent and Elena (courtesy photo)

West Sacramento’s OSCAR VILLEGAS (right) took the oath of office again last week. Administering the oath were his children, Vincent and Elena
(courtesy photo)

From Oscar Villegas
Yolo County Supervisor, District 1

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Yolo County Supervisor, District 1, representing West Sacramento and Clarksburg.  In February 2014, I was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown, to serve on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors in the seat vacated by the legendary Mike McGowan of which he held for nearly 20 years.  In June 2014, I was elected by the voters to retain this seat.  On January 5, 2015, it was a personal special moment to take the oath of office administered by our children, Elena and Vincent.

After thoroughly enjoying the honor and privilege of serving on the West Sacramento City Council for nearly 14 years, I have found it equally exciting and rewarding to have the opportunity to represent District 1 on the Yolo Board for the past 10 months.

I look forward to a new productive new year in 2015 by working with my colleagues on the Board to ensure that we continue to provide thoughtful stewardship over the many challenges ahead during our term of governance.    It is my intent to facilitate efforts to address the following:  restore our county reserves; seek avenues to  prudently restore  some of our basic services that were cut during the economic downturn; work collaboratively and productively with our local,  state and federal stakeholders on flood protection; finalize the integration of health and human services to provide a better system of safety net services for our residents; preserve the viability of Yolo agriculture while promoting the emerging Farm-to-Fork movement and expand our agricultural processing opportunities; continue to take bold and innovative steps to reduce the likelihood of homelessness, and to ensure that our community remain safe as we implement various aspects of the state’s realignment of offenders.

To responsibly address these issues, I humbly extend an invitation to residents of District 1 to assist by serving on various boards and commissions which serve as advisory to me and the Board.  It is critical that the residents have an opportunity to participate and provide input on those issues that impact our community.  As such, I would ask that you consider applying to serve on a board or commission where you believe you can make a positive contribution through your professional or life experience.  There are many topic areas ranging from aging, children services, both health and mental health services, etc.

To learn more about the boards and commission that service District 1, please visit my website at http://www.yolocounty.org/general-government/board-of-supervisors/district-1-oscar-villegas.  I also invite you to contact the district office located at 500 Jefferson Blvd., Suite C, West Sacramento, (916) 375-6440 or email:  oscar.villegas@yolocounty.org

Thanks again for bestowing me the honor of serving in this capacity.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Yolo County program can help local businesses pay for new jobs

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 17, 2014 —

From Beth Gabor
County of Yolo

Yolo County is linking up with employers to provide new job opportunities through the county’s Subsidized Employment Program.  This program, administered through the Yolo County Department of Employment & Social Services, incentivizes local employers by cutting employment costs when hiring Yolo County residents, while at the same time, assisting eligible low-income job seekers otherwise unable to find employment.

The Subsidized Employment Program reimburses participating employers eligible employee wages and unemployment insurance costs for up to a year.  This reimbursement is made possible through the CalWORKs Employment Services Program.

Jobs made available through the Subsidized Employment Program are not meant to displace current employees.  These jobs may be, but are not limited to, entry-level positions.

Since the inception of the program, nearly 15 employers have qualified for the Subsidized Employment Program and are working directly with the Yolo County Department of Employment & Social Services to train, hire and, as a result, help get eligible low-income residents back into the working “mainstream” of the community.

“One of Yolo County’s strategic goals is to champion job creation and economic opportunities,” said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair Don Saylor in a press release for the program.  “The Subsidized Employment Program not only assists with employment opportunities – a challenge still for many – it also helps our local businesses expand their capacity and bolsters our local economy.”

For more information on the Subsidized Employment Program, call (916) 375-6252 or (530) 661-4311.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

West Sac Art Guild preps for art show & sale today near Nugget

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 17, 2014 —

Six members of the West Sacramento Art Guild took multiple awards at the Yolo County Fair over the summer, reports JoJo Gillies of the guild.

Among them:

Agnes Nilsen took a first-place award in cross-stitch, a third as “best overall” and a pair of second-place ribbons.

‘Polly at large,’ an acrylic painting of a macaw done by JoJo Gillies of the West Sacramento Art Guild, took a first-place award at the 2014 Yolo County Fair. The guild will have an art show and sale on Dec. 20 next to Round Table Pizza in Southport.

‘Polly at large,’ an acrylic painting of a macaw done by JoJo Gillies of the West Sacramento Art Guild, took a first-place award at the 2014 Yolo County Fair.
The guild will have an art show and sale on Dec. 20 next to Round Table Pizza in Southport.

Linda Bowron won for embroidery (with third in “best overall”) and took a second-place in embroidery.

Carol Hawkins took a first-place and two second-place awards in collage.

Vona Giese took place for a knitted baby set and second for a watercolor work featuring a fire truck.

Jerry Renno took first and “best of show” for a metal sculpture work, and a second-place in the same category.

JoJo Gillies took first place awards with a combined acrylic/collage painting and for an oil painting, as well as three “second place” awards in acrylic and two “third place” honors for acrylic painting.

Gillies and Renno also collaborated on three winners, after Renno fabricated art from steel plow discs and Gillies painting them. The results earned two first-place awards and a second-place, plus extra ribbons for first and third in “best of show.”

The art guild plans an art sale on Dec. 20 outside Round Table Pizza in the Southport Town Center. The public is invited.

For more information on the local art guild, call Agnes Nilsen at 374-1810. To inquire about purchasing metal sculptures, call 371-3165.

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Mike McGowan looks back: Part II

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 10, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

  EDITOR’S NOTE: Last week, the City of West Sacramento opened a bridge named after Mike McGowan, the city’s first mayor and later its longtime representative on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.
  Earlier in 2014, the News-Ledger had a lengthy chat with McGowan about his own window into the city’s history. We brought you the first part of that interview last week (you can find it here). We continue below, taking up roughly from the moment that local voters approved cityhood and McGowan became mayor of the first West Sacramento City Council in 1987.  

When you ask Mike McGowan what it was like to be part of the city council that took control over the fate of four newly conjoined neighborhoods in 1987, he can answer with a simile:

“It was like fixing a car while you’re driving it,” he has said in the past.

“So much was coming at us at the same time, it was like drinking out of a fire hose,” he explained much more recently. Either way, you get the picture.

MIKE McGOWAN got a ride in the ceremonial procession on Dec. 5 at the opening of the West Sacramento bridge named in his honor. Visible in front of him is his wife, Sue.   (News-Ledger photo)

MIKE McGOWAN got a ride in the ceremonial procession on Dec. 5 at the opening of the West Sacramento bridge named in his honor. Visible in front of him is his wife, Sue.
(News-Ledger photo)

You have to understand that West Sacramento was different then – the population was in the mid 20-thousands, or about half of what it is now. There was old West Sacramento and the less reputable Bryte and Broderick neighborhoods to the north, and the barely-developed Southport area, and a troubled downtown strolled by prostitutes and grifters.

This section of East Yolo had an inferiority complex. It did not compare itself well to, say, Davis or Sacramento. And local voters wanted change.

The new council members included McGowan – the top vote-getter and first mayor, along with Fidel Martinez, Ray Jones, Bill Kristoff (who is still on the council) and Thelma Rogers. The five met unofficially a number of times before they took their seats at city hall, which was then located on Stone Boulevard. They brought on a temporary city manager to serve as their C.E.O. – a college professor who had once worked for Governor Reagan’s administration.

“We hired him, and gave him this pamphlet we got from the League of California Cities on how to start a new city,” recalled McGowan. “And it quickly dawned on me that what he did was read one chapter ahead, then he would come into our meeting and said ‘Okay, now it’s time to hire our lawyer. . .’”

One of the city’s first challenges was deciding on a police force. Unhappiness with crime and law enforcement (provided before incorporation by the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department) was one of the reasons citizens approved cityhood in the 1986 vote.

“That was the platform – law enforcement, cleaning up West Capitol, and schools were important as well, and (providing more) shopping. Those were the issues,” said McGowan.

The new council had the option of creating a local police department or paying Yolo County to provide patrols by deputies. The county was obligated to provide interim service for six months either way.

McGowan said the new city leaders went to see Sheriff Rod Graham about a Yolo County contract.

“He said, ‘You’re going to have to do a long-term contract with me and you’re not going to tell me who I deploy over there.’ We literally walked out of that meeting and said, ‘Well, we’ve got to put our own police department together in six months. We did. I wouldn’t recommend doing it that way. . . There were some bumps along the way, but it turned out fine.”

In came the next city manager, Gene Roh, a former County official whom McGowan respected but with whom there were some “personality clashes.”

“When we hired him,” said McGowan, “he said ‘I’ve only got two conditions. One is that we agree on the (salary) number, and also I get to hire my number two.”

Roh chose as his “number two” another county employee – Carol Richardson. Richardson still remains as the assistant city manager, (although city managers have changed several times in the past 27 years or so.)

“Carol is another one of those people, in my opinion, who I would call an unsung hero,” said McGowan. “So much of what we put together at the professional level has come through her.”

One of the first big tasks for the new city was to come up with a “general plan” – a state-mandated document that includes land use zoning and other big, long-term policy choices.

The general plan contained broad outlines that have mostly endured and in some cases been fleshed out by succeeding “specific plans” and in some cases, actual development.

The early council developed this plan, “grandfathering” into it some existing plans for a major Southport industrial park near the port (championed by local developer Frank Ramos and his partners) and plans for what was then the Lighthouse Project (with a proposed marina) in the north. Lighthouse later morphed into “The Rivers” gated subdivision, and plans for the marina were dropped.

The industrial zoning for Southport became controversial and bred an opposing ballot initiative in 1990. The city council majority – including McGowan – took a strong stand against the initiative. The ballot challenge barely failed, and the Southport Industrial Park kept its zoning.

Does McGowan have any regrets on the general plan?

“The general plan was good,” he said. “Looking back, I’m not very good at looking at specific things because that’s not the way I approach the work to begin with. The work is the work. It’s about how we work together to get stuff done. It’s also more about building the team – I won’t dare say ‘leadership’ – and figuring out how to put the pieces together to accomplish the goal.”

Did the developers have too much influence over McGowan and the early city council?

“I don’t think so,” answered McGowan. “I think it’s a subtle distinction to make. I think we agreed with what they wanted to do. I don’t think we were doing it because it’s what they wanted to do.”

“Take (Frank) Ramos, for instance,” McGowan continued. “And I think we were fundamentally in support of Lighthouse, the other big project. . . We were a little naïve, there’s no question about that, I’m not going to over-defend it. Could we have been more knowledgeable about what to ask for, or looked at things more carefully? Of course.”

At the same time, said McGowan, this city was fighting its reputation as a dumping ground. Sacramento’s then-mayor, the late Joe Serna, famously vowed to keep state offices from moving to this side of the river, for example.

“This is the same environment where Mayor Serna is saying that we’re only good for truck stops and warehouses and he’ll put the kibosh on any state governing facilities coming over here,” recalled McGowan.

So West Sacramento fought for progress, and “the attitude was that we’re not going to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

Did West Sacramento focus too much on developing industry at a cost to homes and other commerce?

“Well, only because that was the project that was in front of us, and it was so controversial – Ramos’s piece,” answered McGowan. “But we were even then looking at the riverfront and (removing its) tank farms, even though we didn’t know how to deal with that.”

Businessman Bill Ramos, for example, tried at one point to change his petroleum facility along South River Road to a commercial complex with a marina, McGowan recalls. While McGowan supported it, the early effort didn’t work.

Part of that riverfront and its oil tank farms along South River Road now seem to be finally at the beginning of a transition to higher, urban-style uses. The bridge named in McGowan’s honor last week has just connected that road to Southport, with related infrastructure changes on the drawing board. Together, they may help bring to fruition the dream of changing riverfront oil tank farms into riverfront restaurants, shops and condos.

Other proposed projects came and went. Frank Ramos tried to bring an auto mall to the area where Ikea now stands (McGowan favored the proposal because of the sales tax revenues it would bring). Later, when McGowan had moved on to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, Ramos championed building a tribal Indian casino at the same spot. The casino idea gained a lot of traction and drew a lot of controversy – arguments included jobs and economic growth, versus sin and social costs.

“I was vehemently against it,” said McGowan. “It was one of the few times in my 20 years on the board of supervisors where I came over (to the council) and said ‘This is a stupid thing and you shouldn’t do it.’”

McGowan credits City Councilman Oscar Villegas and other allies for doing the work that eventually defeating that proposal.

Later, the same developers succeeded with a far more popular project – the shopping center that includes Ikea, Walmart and surrounding retail stores.

One of the big changes that West Sacramento has experienced since 1987 is an invisible one – a change to its psyche.

“Being in West Sac is a blessing and a curse,” said McGowan. “Part of it is having an inferiority complex and the other part of it is having a chip on your shoulder. A part of you says, ‘Hey, I had to fight my way back across the bridge when I was in high school coming back from a teen dance, and I’ll fight you again.’ It’s the baseball-bat-in-the-trunk syndrome, and that was very much a part of who we were when we started out.”

Did this inferiority complex cause city officials to lower their standards or give away too much when dealing with developers?

“I think that’s partly true, but like any other generalization, it’s not completely true,” answered McGowan. “I’ll give you a case in point. When we incorporated, there was a developer and he owned a property just about where Nugget is, and he wanted to develop it. I was mayor. He came in and said ‘I want to develop this and that,’ and it was zero-lot-line cookie-cutter homes. Thousands of them.”

McGowan recalls telling him “that’s not what we want here.” The developer asked, “Well, what do you want?”

“Estates, million dollar places,” said McGowan. “He laughed and said ‘The market here won’t support that.’ I said, “Well, we’ll just wait for the market.’ He sold and left town.”

Was there an inflection point – a time when West Sacramento seemed to shed its inferiority complex and become a proud little can-do community?

McGowan points to the evening of May 15, 2000 – opening day for the River Cats minor league baseball team at Raley Field.

“The River Cats were the game-changer,” he said. “Opening night was the proudest moment I had since I got sworn in on the first council. . . All of a sudden, other than having nice communities, and Pheasant Club, and Whitey’s and their peach shakes, and the new homes being built, all of the sudden, there was a really gosh-darn good reason to live in West Sacramento.”

“People were sitting there (at the game), and they’d look at the panoramic view. . . and literally, people would say, ‘Honey, this is really nice over here. Why don’t we think about this? We were going to move to Roseville, but why don’t we look at these homes they’re advertising?’ It was amazing.”

Raley Field got built after West Sacramento essentially had to arm-wrestle with Sacramento for it. Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna, McGowan believes, was behind a lawsuit that tried to block construction.

But building it, McGowan said, “has done more for us than virtually anything else.”

The early council decided to grow and develop the city’s way out of its problems, said McGowan. There was a possible downside to that:

“I had a concern that along the way – because I grew up with such a strong sense of community – we’d lose that. We’d become, you know, Natomas. But in fact – and I don’t understand this part – I think it’s only enhanced this sense. People who move to West Sac don’t have an inferiority complex. They think it’s great and they love the community atmosphere.”

The city has always been a city of different neighborhoods and of people who live “across the tracks” from each other In McGowan’s eyes, has the City of West Sacramento come together from the communities of Bryte, Broderick, “old” West Sacramento and Southport?

“Probably not,” he allowed. “It used to be the freeway and West Capitol Avenue that were basically the dividing line. I would say (the line) is shifting further south, and it’s now around the deep water channel. It continues to be the big challenge for the community, how to integrate. People try. The farmer’s market is a great example.”

But in general:
“West Sac has been fortunate or blessed, lucky or smart, whatever it is, that there’s been an agreement between elected officials, the professionals who run the nuts and bolts, and the community. There’s more concurrence about the direction of the community than there is disagreement.”
  Next week: problems at the port, and more.

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Hundreds get help at ‘giveaway day’

Moises Castillo, a second grade student from Bridgeway Elementary School, volunteered to help give away clothes at the Children's Alliance 8th Annual Community Give-Away Day (Photo by Lori Aldrete)

Moises Castillo, a second grade student from Bridgeway Elementary School, volunteered to help give away clothes at the Children’s Alliance 8th Annual Community Give-Away Day (Photo by Lori Aldrete)

NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 26, 2014 —

From Lori Aldrete
Aldrete Communications
for the Yolo County Children’s Alliance

It’s a long way from Detroit to West Sacramento.  But for 37-year-old Latina Taylor and her daughter Jamaica Rayne, a student at Westfield Village Elementary, they are feeling the love of the West Sacramento community and the Yolo County Children’s Alliance.

As Latina collected her free turkey dinner, a blanket, toys for “Maka”, and clothes for herself and her mom, she repeated over and over, “Thank you.  Thank you!” to the volunteers helping more than 600 people needing a helping hand at the 8th Annual West Sacramento Community Give-Away Day on Saturday, November 22 at Westfield Village Elementary School.

Life hasn’t been easy for Latina the past few years as the single mom gave up her dream of finishing college at Sacramento State to care for her 6-year-old daughter with serious health issues.  She says she feels stereotyped when people look at her “outer shell” and “Coming here today made me feel good.  I like to help people, and for people to help me right now….” She paused as tears welled up in her eyes and added, “I’m blessed, so blessed.”

Latina Taylor and her daughter Jamaica (both at right) pick up a holiday turkey at the Community Giveway Day held in West Sacramento over the weekend. (Photo by Lori Aldrete on behalf of Yolo Children’s Alliance)

Latina Taylor and her daughter Jamaica (both at right) pick up a holiday turkey at the Community Giveway Day held in West Sacramento last weekend.
(Photo by Lori Aldrete on behalf of Yolo Children’s Alliance)

Latina and Jamaica aren’t alone.  For some children it will be their only coat to keep out the winter cold.  For 400 families it now means having a real turkey dinner instead of an empty refrigerator at Thanksgiving. And for hundreds of children who may not get many holiday presents, the annual event sent them home with new toys.

Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas and West Sacramento City Council member Chris Ledesma joined numerous student volunteers from River City High School to greet residents and help them navigate through the large multipurpose room and the walkways outside to fill bags full of free food, clothes, toys and blankets.

Yolo County Children’s Alliance Executive Director Katie Villegas expressed her gratitude for the many people and organizations that donated their time and resources. “We need a lot of help to make this give-away day happen.  Each donation, no matter the size, helped send someone home knowing their community cares about them.”

Thousands of dollars were donated.  Two local community leaders, Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas and Marty Swingle, owner of Cap West Realty teamed up for a two-tiered match challenge that resulted in $2,000 being raised.

In addition to hundreds of small individual contributions, “YCCA Children’s Champs” Tim Stewart and Sierra Health Foundation each donated $2,500.   Dr. Dick Huang, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 447, and the Northern California Construction Training donated at the “Helping Hands” level of $250.

The community give-away was hosted by the Yolo County Children’s Alliance in partnership with the Yolo Food Bank, First 5 Yolo, West Sacramento Foundation, St. Joseph’s Mobile Mall and West Sacramento Grocery Outlet.

For more information about the event or to find out how to help with it next year, call the Yolo County Children’s Alliance at 530-757-5558 or 916-572-0560.

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2014