News Briefs
January 19, 2018
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News Briefs, January 5

January 5, 2018

Dunham School PTO 11th annual crab feed and auction

The Dunham School will hold their annual crab feed and auction Saturday, Jan. 27, at 5:30 p.m. at the Hermann Sons Hall, 860 Western Ave, Petaluma. The cost is $55 per person There will also be a silent auction, as well as live auction items.

Tickets may be purchased by check or cash in the school office, located at 4111 Roblar Rd, Petaluma. You may also purchase by credit or debit card by going to the school website ( and following the link to the PTO SquareUp Store.

For questions, please contact the school office at 707-795-5050.

All proceeds directly benefit all of the students at Dunham School and Dunham Charter School. The Dunham School PTO provides enrichment programs, including drama, gardening, music and art to all of their students, TK/Kindergarten through 6th grade.


Assist with fire relief calls

Sonoma County 211 is looking for volunteers to help its call center answer fire-relief calls, update its database and process Season of Sharing Fund applications, which looks to provide financial assistance for low-to-moderate income people in need. For more information, call 707-565-2280.


Volunteer needed for a peer counselor

West County Community Services is looking for volunteers interested in becoming senior peer counselors. A 35-hour training is provided to give participants the tools to assist fellow seniors in managing the stresses of aging with better emotional balance. Trainings are given in Santa Rosa. For more information, contact or call 707-823-1640, ext. 301.


FISH needs volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help FISH Santa Rosa (Friends in Service Here) with picking up grocery donations from donors. For more information, contact John Dennison at 707-494-1150.

Helping the local senior community gift trees

The BASTAS program is a non-profit program and in Sonoma County is administered through the efforts of Home Instead Senior Care’s Rohnert Park office which is a branch of the national firm. The recipients of the BASTAS program are seniors that are residents in Residential Care and Memory Care Facilities and Senior living communities throughout Sonoma County. 

The seniors who received gifts from the “Community Trees,” such as the tree in Oliver’s/Cotati were given to us on confidential lists from the Administrators and Activities Directors of the 13 facilities. The seniors were given the opportunity to choose gifts from a selection, we transferred those items to the “ornaments” and the gifts came in. We wrapped them, matched them to the master lists and returned them to the facilities for the seniors to be personally delivered. The staff that had set up the annual program, made the ornaments, delivered the trees, picked up the gifts, wrapped and delivered were all volunteer. The seniors that received gifts are not “clients” of Home Instead.

It is very controlled administratively and we followed the required HIPPA rules.  

The seniors that received the gifts were male and female, veterans were especially identified, they are all facility bound, permanent residents, in memory care, in hospice, some have family close, most have family that is far away or none at all. All the gifts were distributed and every year we will have to expand the program just a little more; this year we had over 400 seniors in 13 facilities and also identified seniors burned that were burned out by the fires. 

Oliver’s completely embraced the program. 

Next November they will start asking for the 2018 Christmas list. Thanks so much for being a part of BASTAS!

For more information, call 707-586-1516 or stop by the office at 6050 Commerce Blvd., Suite #107 in Rohnert Park.


Family-To-Family Educational program by NAMI

Family-to-Family is a 12-session course created by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and taught by local volunteer family members who have been trained for its presentation in accordance with best practices established by NAMI.

The instructors offer knowledge, insights, resources, coping strategies and genuine support – along with the unique understanding that comes from having lived the journey. The course meets for 12 weekly sessions, each for 2.5 hours; the course and all instructional materials are free.

Course topics include:

• Current information about mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder and other major mental illnesses

• Co-occurring brain and addictive disorders

• Medications, side effects and strategies for adherence

• Current research related to brain disorders and evidence-based treatment options to promote recovery

• Problem solving, coping and communication techniques

• Strategies for handling mental health crises and relapse

• Guidance on identifying support and services within the community

Based on the quality of research behind this program, NAMI Family-to-Family has been listed on the U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Mental Health Programs and Practices since 2013.

If you are interested in taking Family-to-Family, please contact our office at 707-527-6655 x10 or email A Programs staff member will answer any questions, let you know when and where the next 12-week course will begin and add you to the registration list, as you wish.


Forestville’s Fun Run coming up

Forestville Youth Park’s Skate Spot will be holding its second annual Fun Run Sunday, April 22. Volunteers are needed to help with marketing and social media. If interested, contact Jacque Brazieal at 707-887-8260 or for more information.


Help support seniors

A unique volunteer role involves leading older adults in an eight-session program, the Sonoma County Council on Aging’s “A Matter of Balance.” The program addresses physical and mental risks and hazards for falls to build strength and confidence. Training is provided. Contact Dana Jacoby at 707- 565-5936 or for more information.