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Santa Rosa Snippets - February 2015


Santa Rosa Snippets - February 2015

by Jo Anne Cohn

February is here and our hearts turn to love!  Well, it’s not quite the Valentine’s Day love that I have in mind, it’s more the Peace Corps kind. I was a Peace Corps volunteer back in the dark ages when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  That might be a slight exaggeration but it does seem like a lifetime ago. Back in the ‘80s, Peace Corps’ slogan was…”Peace Corps: the Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love.”   I think that their slogan was right on and appropriate for Valentine’s Day.  

I try to use Santa Rosa Snippets to write about community.  The Peace Corps has helped me participate in community both overseas and here in the States.  I have been very fortunate to be part of the community where I served as well as to be connected to the community of returned Peace Corps volunteers here in Sonoma County.  It so happens that Peace Corps is having an event here in Santa Rosa this month.  Maybe you’d like to attend and hear how Peace Corps today is making a difference in communities abroad, in the lives of volunteers and in the United States.

Peace Corps Information Session: Volunteer at any Age 

Whether you’re fresh out of college, mid-career or ready to retire, Peace Corps service is the opportunity of a lifetime. Hear inspiring stories from a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, have your questions answered and gain valuable tips to guide you through the application process.

Come to the Central Santa Rose Library, 211 E Street, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. on February 25th.  Visit for campus and community events in the Santa Rosa area. Contact regional representative Barbara Smith at for more information.

Paws for Love

Speaking of love, I just have to remind you all of the PAWS FOR LOVE auction and gala on Saturday, February 7th from 6:00-10:00pm at Finley Community Center.  Paws for Love is a super fun event which benefits animals of the North Bay.  (See for more information.)

I went to Paws for Love last year with Blanche, a senior Jack Russell terrier who I was fostering for Sonoma County Animal Services.  What a super event with lots of food, wine and auction items - all benefiting homeless and abused animals in our area!

By the way, I foster dogs for our county shelter and it has been a very rewarding experience for both me and the dogs!  Certainly, it does tug at the heart strings but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world.  Our county shelter needs all sorts of volunteers - everything from making blankets for the animals to socializing kittens to assisting in the mobile spay and neuter van.  Maybe you would like to volunteer also! The next volunteer orientation is Wednesday, February 11th from 6:00-8:00pm at Sonoma County Animal Services (1247 Century Court - off of Airport Boulevard) in Santa Rosa.  Contact Greg Mortensen at (707) 565-7116 to register and to find out more information.

Give Kids a Smile 

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.  In Sonoma County on February 6th and 7th, over 100 dental professionals will provide free dental services to more than 500 children from low-income families in the County.  GIVE KIDS A SMILE offers dental exams, kindergarten screenings, cleanings, fluoride applications and if needed, same day treatment of painful cavities.

For more information, contact Susan Cooper, DDS, Health Programs Manager, Community Action Partnership Sonoma County (707) 544-6911 x1064.

Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival 

There are just too many fun things to do on Saturday, February 7th!  The FREE (except for food or drink!) Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival will be held from 10am to 4pm at the Milt Brandt Visitors Center at Lake Sonoma.  

Adults and children will enjoy tours of the hatchery and watch one of nature’s most fascinating species - Steelhead - pushing upstream and leaping out of the water as they climb the fish ladder.  This festival is one of California’s biggest and best celebrations of the endangered Steelhead Trout, which return annually to the fish hatchery at Lake Sonoma to spawn the next generation of fish.

For more information on the Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival go to