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July 18, 2019
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Showing off rope tricks Skating during Cotati Kids Day parade Vehicle crashes into house Suicide leading cause of death in youths U10 Cal Ripken champions say Aloha Free school supplies Warnings weren’t enough! Rohnert Park City Council all about safety City of Cotati switches to 100% renewable electricity Trades Intro Program (TIP) leads to career Red flags fly at all fire stations during “Red Flag” warnings Alert resident foiled attempted burglary of neighbor’s home Wrong way bicyclist rides into path of SMART train School Year 2019-2020 for free and reduced-price meals Ca. Dept. of Justice announces ammunition regulations Promotions in the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Homelessness spikes in RP Home delivery changes Technology High School construction on schedule Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board 73rd Miss Sonoma County competition held at Spreckels Straus Family Creamery moving to RP TAG building grand opening RP City Council, not business as usual Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” RP Downtown project underway Schools, facilities and bonds: Plans but no money DUI driver crashes into 7-1 Teen arrested for shooting at RP RP votes to restrict fireworks Grand Jury recommends improvements for So. Co. Water Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE  RP swears in new council member 2018 local stories which made history ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center Holocaust piano now in Cotati CRPUSD seeking a new superintendent Superintendent search begins Cotati Council moves ahead Planning Commission approves hotel Happenings at Cotati City Council Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early Rohnert Park Station Ave. update Cuts suggested for school district The “Healing Wall” comes to Sonoma County Cotati memorializes victims Rohnert Park considers firework restrictions CHP to check motorcycle safety in local area Cotati honors and appreciates Undercover operation identifies prostitution at local massage parlors Dr. Dominguez and Hawkins named as director and co-director for Hanna Institute University Elementary School to host Maker World at SSU Animal Shelter League of RP receives grant Cotati Council reshuffles seats Help save lives by donating blood New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns Fencing in Sonoma County School district leaders tackle 1.9m deficit School district seeking new superintendent Cotati protests CASA compact School district balances budget More high density in Rohnert Park Put down your phone April is distracted driving awareness month SSU Police make arrest in sexual assault case CRPUSD district’s good news in May The long summer grinds The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU El Camino graduates Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency Rancho students excel in Poetry Out Loud  SC public safety heroes of the year Don’t drive with an open container Traffic concerns top RP survey SSU Equestrian looks to go national Brace yourself for mosquitos Station Avenue project An offer has been made and accepted on Rohnert Park’s corporate yard SMART to offer free rides... School district set to begin new year Frightful, fun, free Halloween activities Cougars crush Ukiah Election projected winners November 6, 2018  Sonoma Clean Power offers no-cost energy upgrades Rancho advances to semifinals RP’s n­ew Director of Public Safety A stand-off with barricaded, suicidal woman ends safely in RP RP has a new director of public safety Mackenzie leaves SMART RP officers spent Sat. car chasing A shimmer of hope against the angry heavy sky SSU to host North Bay Women of Color conference Rancho’s TAG building, now a reality Mayors of So Co write angry letter Dodd’s college student food bill passes Rohnert Park caregiver arrested Sheriff’s canine apprehends convicted felon Rohnert Park residents awarded law degrees Public invited to give input on Downtown RP Site School board candidates voice opinions Woman stabbed on west side of RP LandPaths connects people to protected land Tech High Girl's Soccer Undefeated champions! AG Becerra issues consumer alert on price gouging in fire-affected communities Learn to docent at the SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve New signs point in the right direction Where are the ski lifts? Is Cotati being targeted? New alcohol fees for Rohnert Park Sonoma State president testifies for tax relief for disaster victims Fixing Cotati’s roads RP driver identified Burglary suspect found with firearms Joint Legislative Wine Committee to meet at SSU State Farm property steams forward to Station Avenue Scrappers Steal Win RP Foundation issues grant Cotati allows second dispensary New residential building lands approved In Singapore Strait aboard a missile destroyer PG&E has a prediction model USCIS presents free training on how to apply for citizenship RP investigates new site for Corp. Yard Two arrested in RP motel for mail theft  Is Juuling the new norm? Cotati considers $15 min. wage No criminal charges filed against PG&E in northern Ca. wildfires  RP decides on west side Vintage race cars on Sonoma raceway track May CalFresh month celebration DMV offices will close for half day Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ Jessica Holman: Thirty-five years of Rancho Spirit Titans crush Mustangs Station Avenue gets final approval Cotati Council reviews trash plan Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber A Sunday afternoon with retired football players Injury collision closes Golf Course Dr. Giving Kids Smiles in Rohnert Park Neighborhood watch meeting scheduled New Executive Director at SSU Reckless vehicle ends in DUI arrest New interim superintendent Krispy Kreme Doughnuts comes to Rohnert Park  Cougars blow past Gauchos  Rohnert Park honors its Veterans and Servicemen CHP reminds all of increased crimes Cougars beat Bulldogs More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA White receives Matt Walsh Memorial RP and Sunday festivities SSU fraternity banned for five years Name correction: Grand Jury report on SoCo jail system Water Conservation Car washes and water waste Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Rancho crushes Analy CA Homemaker Association needs volunteers Active duty honorees at the RP Veterans Day program Santa now knows her secret CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation The Rancho Cotati Rotary Club hosts Humanitarian Award dinner SSU and SCOE offer high school internship Illegal robocalls and spoofing Stray sways the crowd RP’s new interim police chief Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon Rohnert Park road updates Sheriff’s Detectives arrest SR man after controlled delivery of ecstasy pills. Cotati comes out against CASA Llamadas ilegales y spoofing Music alive in Cotati Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Cotati approves tree lighting City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems Operators ordered to pay for false advertising violations Becerra urges Ca. businesses resources to help prevent human trafficking Possible change to parking rules Enroll in Transportation Security Administration Elder abuse rising in So Co Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth Rohnert Park City Council Candidates NHTSA reminds motorists to drive sober this season Cotati’s code of conduct School board follows its policy R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty Summit State Bank annual report FEMA awards Sonoma Water grant RP moves to curb false alarms Doggone hot days are here! March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming New laws take effect Jan. 1 Boards approve plan to offset proposed groundwater fee Groundwater sustainability fee adopted in Santa Rosa Plain Kids and firefighters compete in RP RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete SSU named one of the best universities Verity is hiring to work with survivors SweetPea celebrates 31 years Seawolves serve up a victory Students almost ready for kindergarten Would you make a great foster parent? Cardinals rout Cougars SSI and SSP recipients eligible for CalFresh benefits Five vehicle crash shuts down Golf Course Dr. How to help victims of wildfires Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival Fire storm anniversary New fire station gets final direction Plan approved for Station Ave. park Football in full swing, 3rd win Arrests and charges target Apple stores Cotati fills Planning Commission Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery SMART celebrates a year of service RP Public Safety report card Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Cotati votes opposition to oil leases SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years RP residents provide input in police chief search Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Supply giveaways lend a hand to families Police officers inspect inside of car Lowerys help with campaign Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open RP to host community forum for public safety director search Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Spreckels and Alchemia connects community It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Another tough break for roller derby RP waits to make update to emergency alert system Cougars slay Dragons Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Enjoying ribs Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP RP Health Center celebrates anniversary Imitating major leaguers Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program

A young child making a big difference

  • From left to right are Church of the Oaks Minister Patrick McCarty, Birthday girl and donor Sierra Lovoi, and The Living Room volunteer coordinator Katie Phillips Photo by Robert Grant

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
July 5, 2019

The Living Room, a day center in Sonoma County that serves homeless and at-risk women and their children, received a $400 donation and a pile of much needed sleeping bags, tarps, blankets and tents on June 27 thanks to 6-year-old Sierra Lovoi.  Sierra, a Cotati resident and member of Church of the Oaks, turned six on June 10. In lieu of receiving gifts, she decided instead to ask church members to give donations or items needed by the center. The church, a small tight-knit community of people who often strive to give back to those less fortunate, showed an overwhelming support for Sierra and her cause and within two weeks raised a sizable donation of both money and necessary items.

 According to Sierra’s mother, Heather, her daughter, like many her age, adores and looks up to the fairytale princesses in movies and story books and got inspired by their stories of compassion and kindness to others.

“She’s obsessed with princesses, and Patrick [McCarty, minister at Church of the Oaks], calls her the “princess of Cotati,’” says Heather Lovoi. “In each fairytale they all care about their family, or their community and want to help others…We’re always out and about in Rohnert Park and there are always homeless. She’s always telling me ‘Mommy let’s give them some money.’ She’s starting to really care.”

When Sierra and her mother give money to homeless they encounter in the community, they discuss how good it feels to help others. Over time this has fostered the feeling of empathy in 6-year-old Sierra. She was so happy to receive the donations and Heather believes she would like to make this an annual birthday tradition. 

Last Thursday Sierra was allowed to present her gifts in person to The Living Room, who were so thankful for the young girl’s dedication.

 “We have a women’s program and a mother and child program,” says Katie Phillips, Volunteer Coordinator for Santa Rosa-based The Living Room. “Especially for those in the women’s program who are chronically homeless, we often distribute these kinds of items to them. But the reality of living outside is that many of these things get lost or stolen. So, we always need more, and they are critical for the health, safety and well-being of these women.” 

The Living Room provides participants with a place to be during the day when overnight shelters are closed and provides a supportive place to heal while in transition.  A majority of the women have suffered from exposure to domestic violence and have experienced either physical or sexual assault.

Besides providing hot meals, on-site counseling, a computer center, a mailing address, phone access and community referrals to help with housing, health care and employment, the center also provides daily necessities such as hygiene products, clothing and diapers. Last year The Living Room provided services to 1,200 participants including over 900 homeless and at-risk women and over 300 children. 

Monetary donations are accepted anytime via mail or online at thelivingroomsc.org, and donations of needed items are accepted on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the center at 1207 Cleveland Ave. in Santa Rosa. Please check the website for The Living Room’s current urgent needs.