Lorraine’s Lowdown: Students honor vets for Memorial Day | TheUnion.com

Lorraine’s Lowdown: Students honor vets for Memorial Day

Lorraine Jewett
Lorraine’s Lowdown

In Honor of Veterans Day, two dozen Nevada Union High School FFA members spent hours this week placing American flags at military headstones in four local cemeteries. It’s a service FFA members have performed for at least a decade. Katie Alling, one of three FFA advisors, says, “Our organization prides itself on patriotism.” Hooper & Weaver Mortuary General Manager Debbie Prisk Olsen adds, “Sometimes we see too much negativity regarding our youth. These students are showing an incredible amount of respect, and are kids everyone can be proud of …”

A Brother and Sister are setting an example of generosity and goodwill. Seven-year-old Eli and his sister, four-year-old Evie, both donated their birthday gift money to Habitat for Humanity — more than $160. The siblings’ parents, Daryl and April, thought, “What better time than on their birthdays to teach them to give back?” Eli started the trend with a donation to Heifer International last year. This year, the parents explained to their children the missions of several charities, and both kids chose Habitat for Humanity (NCHabitat.org) …

Up Close and Personal. April, Eli, and Evie met Habitat families while visiting the nonprofit’s Heritage Oaks neighborhood, where families in need of permanent housing earn ownership through their sweat equity. “I really commend April and Daryl for cultivating a heart for philanthropy in their children,” says Habitat Executive Director Lorraine Larson. “Who knows? Perhaps this generation will be able to solve the big problems, like homelessness and housing …”

The Odds Are in their favor. Although students taking classes at the Nevada County Campus in GeeVee comprise only 10 percent of the Sierra College student population, NCC students receive about 25 percent of all scholarships: $58,000 this year! The Nevada County Campus Council hosted a lovely event at which student scholars were honored, professional photographs snapped, and scholarship recipients signed the Wall of Honor. That’s a banner displayed at the NCC Learning Center, where students receive free tutoring and inspiration to apply for even more scholarships …

Talk About a TeleCommute! Joan Nankuta is a 22-year-old aspiring graphic designer living in Uganda who gets hands-on, real-world experience working for this newspaper. While The Union staff is toiling in the office, Joan is sleeping since Uganda is 10 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time. But it all works out: Joan is assigned a project, and then works closely with The Union staff via email and Google Docs …

The Result Is a series of creative graphic designs and compelling advertisements that have graced these pages. It’s a paid internship for Joan, who receives what amounts to a generously fair wage in Uganda (who, like me, remembers working as an intern for free?). Says Advertising Director Julia Stidham, “This internship is about supporting a young woman who loves graphic design and wants to provide for herself and her family with this career …”

The 59th Annual Nevada City Classic Pro/Am Bicycle Race and associated festivities next weekend are labors of love for more than 100 volunteers. Some have assigned duties, and some invent their own. Jonathan Meredith offers free “showers” to bicyclists as they race by near the top of Main Street. It’s a tradition that’s especially welcome when temperatures reach 90 degrees or more. Back in the day, those staffing the garden hose wore out their thumbs creating the cooling spray. “So I invented The Drencher, a new fan-dangled sophisticated water drencher contraption with PVC pipe and a shower head,” says Jonathan. “The bicyclists can choose to receive a cooling shower or ride by on the dry side of the street. Most choose a shower and it’s become quite a thing …”

Young Entrepreneur and NevCo native Morgan Young is turning her calling into a career. The 27-year-old loves to crochet and has opened her own shop at Etsy.com/Dream9Design. Morgan also takes custom orders for everything from bikinis to blankets at Young Beauty91@gmail.com. The busy single mother of a four-year-old daughter also works two other jobs — office work during the day, and delivering The Union in the wee hours of the morning. Morgan says her delightful daughter dabbles with crochet, but the youngster’s favorite pastime is bragging, “My mom can make anything …”

There Is a New Fundraiser on tap June 24 at Alta Sierra Country Club. It’s yet another golf tournament with an auction, but organizers say they’ll make it fresh by adding closest-to-the-pin, canon-shot, and putting contests to the scramble format — there may even be a “Ball Drop” from a helicopter! Proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network. The tourney is the brainchild of local Realtors Steve and Susie Walker (510-910-0457), who encourage teams to sign up by June 10. “Children have it hard enough in this world, and then add an illness and it’s heartbreaking,” says Susie. “If we can make a small difference in one family’s life, it is all worth it …” 

Machen MacDonald, the Biz Whiz who writes a Monday column for these pages, uses acronyms more often than a texting teenager. Machen’s clients have given him his own acronym nicknames, such as “Mainly A Cool Helpful Expert Nudger.” Others recently created a wearable MACHEN acronym, with letters of his name written on name tags affixed to Machen’s shirt. Machen wore it proudly at a public event, and it speaks volumes that no one questioned why …

Over This Memorial Day Weekend, let’s reflect on the words of John F. Kennedy: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty…”

Please send your community news to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.


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