October 28, 2013
I Care: Officers lost but not forgotten

LS I CARE SPCA VERHOEVEN 4.jpg American flags rustle gently in the breeze at a roadside memorial on Meiss Road in rural Sloughhouse, once the tragic scene of an "officer down." Retired Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff Don Judd takes a moment to honor a fellow officer, Deputy Jeffrey Mitchell, at a memorial along the desolate roadway where Mitchell was shot to death with his own weapon while conducting a traffic stop on a white Chevrolet van in the early hours of Oct. 27, 2006. The investigation remains open and detectives are still seeking for information about the case. As members of the Bruce Verhoeven Foundation, Judd and others personally deliver floral arrangements to Mitchell's memorial and the grave sites of 17 other local sheriff's deputies killed in the line of duty since 1850, on the anniversary of their deaths. Established in 1975 as the Widows and Orphans fund, the foundation provides financial assistance to local members of law enforcement and their families in crisis due to illness, death or other catastrophe. Judd says it's a good feeling knowing the flowers will be there for the families when they show up. "Whether you knew the guy or not, they're still part of your family," he said. "They gave it all for the job."

To learn more about the Bruce Verhoeven Foundation go to: verhoevenfoundation.org



October 20, 2013
I Care: Her birthday wish is to give rather than receive

2_LS I CARE PL SPCA ANGEL.jpg In a small visiting room with sage-colored walls, Kendall Schrader snuggles with a one-eyed rabbit named "Willy AKA Black Jack," which came to the Placer SPCA as a stray, requiring surgery. Black Jack is among the many animals helped by the center's Guardian Angel fund, a program supported by donations for animals in need of medical or dental attention to improve their lives and chances for adoption. Kendall wanted to help the animals, so for her ninth birthday party last week, the Roseville girl suggested that in lieu of gifts, her guests could bring a donation for the Guardian Angel program. With contributions from families of classmates, soccer friends and neighbors, Kendall raised nearly $500 at her party. But word got out, and donations kept coming in. Her mom's co-workers added to the pot, and even her 11-year-old sister, Eleece, gave $40 of her own money. On Friday, Kendall walked into the Roseville shelter, beaming with pride, and handed a wad of cash and checks totaling just over $900 to Tami Schmitz at the counter. "There's a lot more (animals) that I need to help," she said. "I'm going to do it every year now."

To donate to the Placer SPCA's Guardian Angel program, visit their website at: www.placerspca.org/angels.htm


October 20, 2013
I Care: 82-year-old is guru of senior computer classes

LS I CARE SENIOR NET 2.jpg Navigating through a crowded classroom, his voice resonates through speakers for those hard of hearing like a beacon guiding ships through the darkness. With patience and humor, Joe D'Alexander, 82, teaches basic computer skills to a silver-haired audience eager to bridge the digital divide. After the death of his wife 16 years ago, he looked for a way to keep busy and began volunteering at SeniorNet, an international non-profit aimed at helping older adults transition to the digital world. With a background in computers, he quickly became an instructor and the site coordinator. For a $30 fee, adults 50 and older can take a six-session course on computer fundamentals. Those wanting to continue, can take a course on using the Internet or $5 workshops on topics like buying and selling on eBay, making greeting cards, and using a digital camera. D'Alexander says it's rewarding to see the students at the Sacramento training site located behind Rio Americano High School filled with confidence at the end of the course. "As they're learning things, you can solely see the enlightenment on their faces," he says. "That's a real good feeling."

SeniorNet has two locations in Sacramento
(916) 485-0572 or (916) 264-5462



October 20, 2013
I Care: Woman rescues injured and orphaned fawns

Thumbnail image for LS I CARE FAWN RESCUE 2.jpg Holding a pink plastic pan, Diane Nicholas offers water to two wide-eyed fawns bound together by fate. The young buck stands with the help of a pulley system, his injured hindquarters supported in traction by an adapted dog wheelchair. The young doe lies on a bed of sawdust, her front legs wrapped in splints. Both hit by cars, their luck changed when motorists brought them to the Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue in Loomis, dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned fawns. Nicholas, an interior designer, says she watched as much of the rural landscape disappeared during the housing boom. Starting the rescue was her way of giving back to the displaced wildlife. Some of the fawns are found by animal-control or CHP officers, lying on the highway next to their mothers, who have been killed by cars. Some are injured in dog attacks or by unfriendly fencing like barbed wire. She now cares for 65 fawns rescued from this season. She says the feeling she gets on the day of release makes it all worthwhile. "When you see them take off running, kicking up their heels and munching on some grass, it's pretty amazing," she says. "It's like a gift."


The Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue is non-profit community supported organization licensed through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Rehabilitating injured fawns by members of the public is illegal. If you find an injured or orphaned fawn call their 24-hour service at (530) 889-5822 or go to kindredspiritsfawnrescue.org
The rescue serves Placer, Nevada, Sacramento and Yolo counties.

October 20, 2013
I Care: Cancer survivor helps patients look and feel better

LS I CARE LOOK GOOD 2.jpg Some wear hats to conceal their baldness; others are nauseated from chemotherapy treatment. Evelyn Holley, brings along two daughters, all three recently diagnosed with breast cancer. But Randy Smedley knows how to make them feel better. Women at the "Look Good ... Feel Better" makeover session, a free patient service provided by the American Cancer Society, receive bright fuchsia bags of cosmetics donated by the Personal Care Products Council Foundation. With help from the National Cosmetology Association, Smedley shares makeup tips specific to cancer patients, like how to cover dark circles under your eyes or sketch in natural looking eyebrows. Patients learn to make head scarves from cut off T-Shirts and where to find a wig bank. A cancer survivor, Smedley knows how feeling beautiful can have a profound effect on the inner healing process. "When you think you look well, I think it improves your whole outlook," she says.


October 20, 2013
I Care: Teen swimmer shares his love of the sport

LS I CARE YMCA SWIM 2.jpg It's not uncommon to find Noah Rescate swimming with eels, pike, rays and starfish. As a volunteer assistant swim coach at the YMCA, he helps kids of all skill levels learn to swim in groups affectionately named after various aquatic life. In a humid indoor pool room filled with chatter and the smell of chlorine, five-year-old Jack Fresia floats peacefully on his back, putting his trust entirely in Rescate, who gently reminds him to look to the ceiling. Rescate, 13, swims competitively with the Arden Hills USA Swim Team but his foundation came from lessons at The Y. Now he hopes his love of swimming will inspire others, giving one-on-one attention to those who need a little improvement, kicking with straight legs, learning new strokes or simply staying afloat. "Just watching them enjoy swimming, I enjoy it too," he says. "I hope to make them love the sport like I do."