2017 Community Connection Event

 Purple Stride Walk/Run benefiting The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCan)
November 11, 2017

PanCAN, established in 1999,  is a United States based charity that raises funds to fight one of the world’s toughest cancers. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer with a five year survival rate of 6 percent. PanCAN’s urgent mission is to save lives and attack pancreatic cancer on all fronts from ongoing research, clinical initiatives, patient services and advocates for increased federal research funding for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer. This network has created a fundraising walk-a-thon called PurpleStride [Wage Hope]. PanCAN representatives across the country organize these walks which are among the largest source of fundraising for the organization.


I have become aware of this organization due to a family connection. In April of 2016 a very close “family” friend came to me with the devastating news that her beloved mother (Flora) had shockingly been diagnosed with advanced stage pancreatic cancer. Going through all of this with the family made us all aware of PanCAN. Last November was our first PurpleStride walk and it was so inspiring to see and hear all the stories and meet other people dealing with this devastating disease. It was also a very nice, casual and fun walk.


So, how can SVALA help? Here’s how…Sacramento will be hosting a 5K family-friendly  PurpleStride walk/run on November 11, 2017 at William Land Park. Registration starts at 8:30 and the walk begins at 10:30.  SVALA has created a walking team called “SVALA Strides for Flora” (I have uploaded to our team page a picture of Flora walking in last year’s event with her husband, and several family members and friends behind her). Participation is easy, just click on the http link below and it will take you straight to our team page. From there you can do the following: Register to walk with our team ($25 registration fee) and/or make a donation to PanCAN through our team. If you are interested in volunteering on walk day, please let me know. This is a great and fun way to raise some $$ for a desperately-needed resource. I registered with our team to test it out, and it was really easy. AND, I can also go back in and make my personal donation and make my Firm’s donation as well! Super easy!


Another way to help is by asking your Firms to make a donation to this very important organization, as they will be helping to fight this devastating disease. Credit card donations can be made through our team link below.




Donations can also be made by check. Here’s the link to print the form and mail in a check. Registration/Donation Form

Please make sure you write in our team name where noted on the form so our team will be credited the donation dollars. Please be sure to let me know if you have sent a check so I can track when it has been added to our team donation amount. I’m also happy to collect your form and check and mail it for you.


I have set a conservative goal of $3000.00 for the team but would love to blow past that number! Please feel free to extend these links to you family, friends, neighbors, etc. to get the word out. The more donations our team receives, the more PanCAN can do to fight Pancreatic Cancer!


Any questions? If so, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.


Thank you for your support!



2016 Community Connection Event

 Walk to End Alzheimers

2015 Community Connection Event

 Walk to End Alzheimers
October 3, 2015

This year we volunteered our time and energy staffing the Walk to End Alzheimer’s registration tables. We had 23 volunteers including: 12 members; 8 guests; 2 business partners (Jenoa with U.S. Legal and Richard with Pacific Storage), and; 1 business partner’s spouse (Richard’s wife Lora). Along with a few other event volunteers we registered just under 3,000 walkers!!!

The Walk started at 10:00, we arrived at 7:00 and began registering walkers at 8:00. A very busy 2 hours!

As I registered each walker I tried to be in the moment and thank each participant, maybe that’s why our table had such a long line! Silliness aside, the warmth in each participant’s eyes was extraordinary.  Some families walked together and several young people proudly said they were walking because a family member has/had Alzheimer’s.  There were also smiles from teenagers when thanking them for getting up early.

Law firm donations totaled $2,150 and the chapter added $600 for a total donation of $2,750!

Whether by donating time or money or both – thank you participants!!



2014 Community Connection Event

 Sip-N-Paint to Benefit the Sacramento County Animal Shelter


2013 Community Connection Event

 Gather Up Fruits and Veggies – Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services

September 14, 2013


2012 Community Connection Event

Diabetic Youth Foundation

SVALA’s Community Connection Event to support the Diabetic Youth Foundation was held at Dave and Buster’s on November 10, 2012. The event was well attended and the raffle and silent auction were successful. The goal was to raise enough donations to cover new signs and long distance radios for DYF’s Bearskin Meadow Camp. Diane Tofft, Event Chair, reported that we far exceeded our goal. We raised $8,234 for this event. The event cost was $1,276.87, $220 for power cards, and our cost for the signs was $245 (the labor was donated by David Carlson Construction) leaving a total cash donation to Diabetes Youth Foundation of $6,492.13! The funds remaining after the purchase of the long distance radios, approximately $4,600, will go toward scholarships for children who would not otherwise be able to attend Bearskin Meadow Camp. Thank you for everyone’s support for this special cause!

2011 Community Challenge Weekend

Central California Labrador Retriever Rescue

“To have six usable kennels is like gold to us,” – Jackie Gilson, President of the CCLRR

On November 5th, 35 members, vendors and friends of the Sacramento Valley Chapter got together to repair and clean up kennels for the Central California Labrador Retriever Rescue (CCLRR). All labs rescued from shelters must be quarantined for kennel cough before going to foster homes. CCLRR had six roofed kennels they could not utilize as they were in need of major clean up and repair to the roof and exterior fences. There was a lot of hard work and lots of goat poop to be cleared!! We filled a whole dumpster with debris, cleared the area, power washed the kennels, and repaired the roof. We then put mesh around the kennels to cut down the cold breezes and affixed barriers between the kennels. The transformation was amazing.

The CCLRR is an all volunteer organization which was founded in 1998 to find loving homes for abused, abandoned or unwanted Labrador Retrievers in the Central Valley. In 2010 they brought in 426 labs in need of new homes; this year they’ve had a lab with a broken leg, one with a disconnected kneecap, three dogs with ACL injuries, two heartworm positive dogs, a dog hit by a car with a severely lacerated leg, several females used for breeding who were dumped because of age and a pregnant lab left at the shelter where she gave birth to 7 puppies (only 1 survived and mom is fighting for her life).

In addition to making the kennels habitable, we were able to donate $3,000 to the rescue thanks to our business partner sponsor, SourceCorp, as well as donations from several law firms and the Chapter, so the CCLRR can continue to help our four-legged friends who cannot help themselves.

Please consider the CCLRR for your adoption needs. They have so many adorable labs available that would not be with us if not for their dedication.

Go here to see an article about SVALA on their website and the labs they have available: http://www.ccabrescue.org/available_list.php .

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2010 Community Challenge Weekend

For the October 2010 Community Challenge Weekend, the Sacramento Valley Association of Legal Administrators wanted to reach out to a local school with needs in light of cuts in education.  Camellia Basic Elementary School was chosen from a number of school applicants explaining why they should be the beneficiary of the Chapter’s funds and labor.  This year, Camellia School celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.  Fifty years ago, Camellia was among the worse elementary schools in the State.  As a result of dedication by its principal, teachers and parents, Camellia proudly supports numerous banners of achievement.  Of particular pride is the Distinguished School Blue Ribbon Award earned in 2003 and again in 2010.  This award only goes to five schools in California and about 200 schools Nationwide.  This is considered to be an outstanding accomplishment, given that 70% of the students are English language learners.

Given the wish list the school presented, we made our theme fighting childhood obesity through physical activity and fitness.  We were able to help a well-deserved school install shelving in the athletic equipment room to more efficiently implement their P.E. program, beautify the school playground areas with flowers, shrubs and cedar bark and participated win getting them ready for their Halloween carnival.  The school’s desire and this year on of the missions of Sacramento City Unified School District is to make the school grounds neighborhood-friendly and accessible to kids on weekends and during summer vacation.  We were able to contribute to that goal by planting flowers, shrubs, spreading cedar chips around trees, painting sidewalks and build shelving.  Many of the volunteers had fun painting Halloween carnival game booths and organizing prizes for the event. Altogether, it was more than rewarding for those of us who attended.

The slogan on our T-Shirts created by Smarter Images captured our heart’s desire:  “Community Challenge Weekend Brought to You By Many Who Care.”



We could not have accomplished this without the monetary donations, labor and enthusiasm of our Chapter volunteers, firms and vendors Gallaway Commercial Inc., John Woodall of Lyon Real Estate and Jim Pinter of First Legal Network.

We specifically chose to link Community Challenge Weekend with the School’s gardening day.  All totaled with parents, students and our wonderful volunteers, we have over 60 people attending to the school ground needs.  Thanks to the generous hearts of some local businesses (Safeway, Starbucks, Welco Market and Sierra Springs Water), we had coffee and ate a healthy breakfast of fruit, yogurt and granola bars (compliments of Jim Pinter at First Legal Network) and had a delicious Chinese lunch (with vegetables, of course).  As an added treat for the parents and children, Starbucks donated a gift bag for which we had a drawing.

With monetary contributions from local firms and the Chapter, we accomplished our goals!  Special thanks to Cynthia Fulkerson, Cindy Cintas Pilon, Kathy Davidson-Brown and Dottie Noble for serving on the CCW committee this year.  It was also a pleasure working with Kathy Kingsbury, Principal, and John Avila, School Plant Manger, of Camellia School.  Of course, we cannot emphasize too much that we could not have done this without the donations from Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard, Somach Simmons & Dunn, Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP, Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, Best Best & Krieger, Boutin Jones Inc. and Resources Law Group.  Thank you to all who came out and gave your time, energy and smiles to the day.

2009 Community Challenge Weekend

ccwOn October 10, 2009, SVALA members and their co-workers, family and friends came out for our Community Challenge Weekend (CCW) in support of the Sacramento Ronald McDonald House (RMDH). RMDH is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help children and their families by providing a place for them to rest, reflect, and find mutual support while their children are receiving medical help. Families who stay at the Sacramento RMDH have children staying or having treatment at local hospitals such as Shriners or UC Med Center. The House provides for them a refuge from the hospital setting.

ccw1The weather was wonderful, making it a perfect day for outside work. To get fueled up and ready-to-go, volunteers started off by enjoying great coffee donated by Starbucks and delicious pastries. This year, part of CCW was the collection of Pop Tabs, which were donated by local firms, family and friends of SVALA members. Pop Tabs were taken off the top of aluminum cans and dropped into Ronald McDonald donation containers. Two pounds of Pop Tabs were collected! RMDH earns up to $10,000 annually with the donation of Pop Tabs. What an easy and fun way to help out; every Pop Tab helps!

ccw3After meeting with Christina and Vince (two very special people who donate their time working each week at RMDH), the volunteers broke up into groups to perform various gardening tasks, from weeding, raking, and trimming to anything and everything else needed at the House. After completing their gardening tasks, volunteers were given a tour of the inside facility where families stay as their “home away from home.”

Lunch was served, and delicious sandwiches were provided by Mirepoix Catering. Fruit and chips were donated by Jeaninne, and to top it off, beautiful and very tasty cupcakes were donated by Cupcake Cravings.

ccw2This year, SVALA collected $2,325.00 in donations from local firms, businesses and private individuals, which will be presented to the Ronald McDonald House.

I want to personally thank all of you who took time out of your weekend to join our team in support of this wonderful cause. Thank you to Ron Ross who did a great job on our team t-shirts. A big “thank you” to the following businesses that made monetary contributions: Abbott & Kindermann LLP; Anwyl, Scoffield & Steep, Boutin Gibson Di Giusto Hodell Inc.; Hardy, Erich Brown & Wilson; Kirk Arthur Royal Hair Design; Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP, Resources Law Group LLP; and Trainor Fairbrook.

The 2009 CCW was a great success and we look forward to seeing you next year!