Lake Wildwood: One person makes a difference abroad |

Lake Wildwood: One person makes a difference abroad

One person can make a difference. I would like to introduce you to Trish Stokell, a single mother of three teens who has lived in Lake Wildwood for 14 years.

Trish saw a TV interview with Greg Zaller, a local builder, who went to Pakistan to help build houses for some of the more than 2 million people still homeless after the October earthquake. The next day, she saw an article in The Union and realized that Greg was from Nevada City. If Greg could build a simple, sturdy shelter in two days for less than $375, then she wanted to help.

Trish hates being cold and can not imagine sitting in a freezing tent and watching her own three children shiver for even a couple of hours. The question for her was “How could she not do something to help mothers who have been doing just that – since October!” Many of these mothers also lost children when the earthquake buried a number of schools. In addition to their heartaches and the constant cold, the temporary tents are collapsing from the weight of the snow and there is still a shortage of food and blankets.

Trish has been inspired by Mother Theresa, who responded to human needs by putting “love into action” With a marketing background, Trish decided to create an event to raise money to help Greg. This will be her first “event” and she is both determined and creative.

Along with a core group including Don DeWolf, Sussanna Dimmitt, Cathy Haglund Dave Husak, John Meyer and Marie Reed, they are sponsoring a fundraiser from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at St. Patrick’s Church hall in Grass Valley.

Admission is $12 at the door and there will be live music, appetizers, desert, team trivia, a silent auction and prizes. Many people have come forward to help make this a great community event. The Knights of Columbus are helping with the open bar, Lions Club members are attending the weekly planning meetings and are helping with donations for the silent action, and the Nevada Union High School Leo Club is helping with posters.

A highlight of the event will be a video of Greg updating everyone on the project. In the last three weeks, Zaller has come up with a plan for building a straw bale house so the people will have insulation from the cold. He left Saturday morning for Pakistan to check on materials and get the first straw building up. If all goes as planned, Greg estimates that he can build a small straw bale house for less than $100 and a local team will be able to go over to train families to build their own home. Men from our own community will help Pakistani men form the bales and do the building and women volunteers will teach the women and children how to make and apply an adobe mix to the walls.

Professionally, Trish is Marketing Director for Best Sanitizers Inc. in Penn Valley. Partnered with a Japanese company, Best is noted for hand sanitizers and touchless dispensers for businesses and families ( ). They are on the cutting edge of helping companies prepare for a potential flu pandemic. The day I interviewed Trish, she had just finished quoting an order for 15 million pandemic masks for a large chain store and discussing the pandemic issue with an agency of the Department of Defense.

Trish is an inspiration to all of us. But it is clear that her kids come first. Her oldest son, Spencer, is a senior at NUHS and working on his own independent film for his senior project. Michael is on the JV Volleyball team at NUHS and is a songwriter and musician. Daughter, Maddy, is on the seventh grade volleyball team at Pleasant Valley School and is looking forward to helping mom at the event.

Please contact Trish at 210-1163 if you have a donation or would like more information about the event. Contact me if you want to help build houses in Pakistan.

Got a tip about someone or something in Lake Wildwood? Contact Shirl Mendonca at 432-3787 or via e-mail.

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