On the lovely evening of September 26, CRC members and friends gathered to celebrate Sacramento Valley Reinvestment. Almost one hundred filled the Firehouse Restaurant in old Sacramento to honor the important work of community heroes, networking and enjoying fine food and drink.
Alan Fisher, CRC Executive Director, welcomed the crowd and thanked those present for supporting CRC and reinvestment in the Sacramento Valley. Every year, CRC honors individuals and groups who have made a significant impact in the communities they serve with CRA Panther awards. CRC presented three CRA Panther awards at the event.
Honorary Host Committee members Pam Canada, Rachel Iskow, Stanley Keasling, Bill Powers, Shamus Roller, Greg Sparks and Rob Wiener were in attendance. The many sponsors were thanked for their generous support for the Sacramento area and CRC.
Shamus Roller of Housing California gave the CRA Panther Award to Stephan Daues, Regional Director of Housing Development for Mercy Housing. Stephan led the effort to create 7th and H, a mixed-use mid-rise building with 150 apartments, including 75 formerly homeless, and a full time health clinic. The project broke new ground in delivering the highest quality supportive and workforce housing, with cutting edge sustainable design, deep and wide affordability, and intensive onsite services. Construction was completed in January and reached full occupancy in June.
Noah Harris, Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) was given the CRA Panther Award by CRC Board member and President of California Capital, Clarence Williams. Under the leadership of Mr. Harris, the VBOC has been an aggressive advocate for veteran entrepreneurs. The VBOC provides entrepreneurial services including: business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans considering starting a small business. One out of twenty Californian veterans lives in Sacramento County and many of them are seeking to start a business. VBOC is dramatically reaching out and offering opportunities for them.
Lao Khmu Association
Paul Ainger, CRC Board member from the Rural Community Assistance Corporation gave the CRA Panther Award to Steve Toal, Director of the Center for Employment Opportunity at the Lao Khmu Association (LKA). LKA has been serving San Joaquin County for more than a quarter century. It grew from a volunteer association of Lao and Khmu residents that banded together to address the needs of their small community in Stockton, to a center for all Southeast Asians. LKA recently opened its Refugee Resource Center to provide translation, mediation, and advocacy programs for refugees. LKA is a critical provider of social services for Southeast Asians through empowerment, capacity building, social work, and community health programs.
Thanks to all those who turned out and all those who sponsored the event for making it a wonderful evening and celebration of community.