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Hometown News 6-25-13

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O’Haras greet daughter

Bo and Karen O’Hara announce the birth of Keeley Elizabeth O’Hara on April 10, 2013. She weighed 8-pounds, 10-ounces and measured 21-inches long.

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Sonoma Hills gives to pets

Residents and staff at Sonoma Hills Retirement present the Nancy King, the executive director of Pets Lifeline, with the proceeds from their May 25 rummage sale, a total of $1,500.

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New baby Loftus

Kylie Brooke Loftus was born June 4, 2013,?at Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa to proud parents Megan (Arner) Loftus and John Loftus of Sonoma. She weighed 8-pounds, 12-ounces and measured 20-inches long.

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Fair honors Valerie Brown  

The Sonoma County Fair recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations for their support with the prestigious Western Fairs Association Blue Ribbon Award. This year, the fair board honored former 1st District Supervisor Valerie Brown, as an educator, community leader and devoted advocate for Sonoma County.

Brown was appointed to the Board of Supervisors by the governor in August 2002 to fill the seat vacated by Mike Cale. After collecting more than 4,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot, she won the election in November, and was re-elected to her seat by the people of the 1st District in March 2004. During her term in office, she supported the Sonoma County Fair in many ways. She worked directly with the board on the annual budget and every year made contributions to the Junior Livestock Auction.

Brown’s dedication to Sonoma County is vast. She has been actively involved in all aspects of county government serving on numerous boards, commissions and committees such as Health and Human Services, the California State Association of Counties and the Sonoma County Methamphetamine Prevention Task Force.

It is for these reasons that the Sonoma County Fair board recognized Brown with the Western Fairs Association Blue Ribbon Award, along with recipients Dr. Fred Groverman, Gaye LeBaron, Exchange Bank and Guenther Hofen, who were all honored at a awards dinner on May 16.

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Survivor gets scholarship

The Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation (AA&MDSIF) has awarded Sonoma resident and aplastic anemia survivor Jennifer Ullman a $1,000 Matthew Debono Memorial Scholarship for the 2013-14 school year.

This fall, Ullman will begin the first year of her master’s degree program in occupational therapy at San Jose State University.

“We congratulate Jennifer (Ullman) on her outstanding application and academic achievements,” said John Huber, AA&MDSIF executive director. “Most of all, we recognize the enormous effort and courage involved in overcoming bone marrow failure disease. She has every reason to be proud.”

Ullman has twice overcome her aplastic anemia diagnosis. The first time was in 2000 when she was 18 years old, the summer before her sophomore year of college. She started school that fall but had to withdraw because her blood counts dropped dramatically. After moving back home, she started successful ATG immunosuppressive treatment and within five months, her counts were close to normal. Ullman returned to college in the spring of 2001.

During that year, she also attended her first AA&MDSIF Patient and Family Conference and found support as part of a community of patients. She was able to complete her college education in 2004 and studied abroad in Chile during her junior year graduating with a bachelor’s degree in international studies. One year later, she had a relapse. She said, “This was a difficult blow to my confidence. I had convinced myself that aplastic anemia would never come back.î  But again, she received successful ATG treatment.

Ullman is now 31 years old and has been in remission since 2006. Her experience with aplastic anemia created an interest in the healthcare field. For the past two years, she has been working part-time in the field, volunteering and taking pre-requisite coursework at local colleges to prepare for obtaining a masters degree in occupational therapy. Her goal is to work in a hospital or outpatient rehabilitation setting. With her degree in international studies and facility with Spanish, she hopes to have the opportunity to work with patients within the Latino community.

“Occupational therapists help patients to regain function and movement after they have suffered from illness or injury,” said Ullman. “They also work with patients to make adaptations to their lives and environment to achieve a maximum amount of independence. I am pursuing this career because it is a good fit for my personality and interests. I am very creative, and have always enjoyed helping people find the tools they need to accomplish their goals. I enjoy working one on one with others.”

Aplastic anemia, MDS, and PNH are rare life-threatening bone marrow failure diseases that can strike anyone. Bone marrow contains special cells called stem cells which grow and mature into the three types of blood cells: red blood cells which carry oxygen to tissues and organs; white blood cells which help fight disease and infections; and platelets which help blood clot to stop bleeding. When the bone marrow fails to keep up with the body’s needs and doesn’t produce enough red cells, white cells or platelets; or when those blood cells that are produced are damaged or defective, bone marrow failure occurs causing one or a combination of these diseases. There is no perfect cure for these diseases although many patients are successfully treated through drug therapy or a bone marrow transplant. Please visit the website (AAMDS.org) to learn more about bone marrow failure diseases or the Matthew Debono Memorial Scholarship Program.

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FISH volunteers honored

More than 80 volunteers attended the annual FISH Volunteer Potluck held at Faith Lutheran Church on May 31. The event brought together some old friends. New to Sonoma 40 years ago, Rev. Alan Piotter met Jean Mumme at the FISH sponsored Clothing Closet held each Friday at Faith. The two enjoyed talking about the “good old days” and his weekly visits with the FISH volunteers. Mumme continues to volunteer each week and manage the Clothes Closet at FISH Central, 18330 Highway 12.

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Gold-Diamond gets multiple scholarships  

In late May, junior Delaney Gold-Diamond of Sonoma Valley High School won the Lions Club Area 2 Speech Contest, making her one of only four finalists in California, and she became eligible to compete at the statewide-level in Torrance earlier this month. So far to date, Gold-Diamond, who is the captain of the Sonoma Valley High School (speech and debate) forensics team, has won $22,000 in scholarship money from local and regional Lions Club student speaker contests. This year was the Lion’s Club 76th annual contest and the speech topics was “How do we create and keep jobs in America?” Sonoma Valley High teacher Janet Hansen coaches the high school’s team (as well as its successful Mock Trial team). Pictured here at the San Martin Lions Hall are Area 2 Chairperson Dennis Miller, Delaney Gold-Diamond and Paul Morrison, current president of the Valley of the Moon Lions Club.

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DAR honors Valley students

The Vineyard Trails Chapter of the DAR is proud to announce the students who received the Good Citizenship Award at the recent promotions and graduations. Requirements for the award is based upon the five qualities of honor, service, courage, leadership, and patriotism.

Sonoma Valley High School Good Citizenship Awarded to Mathew Charleston. The Esther Young Memorial Music Scholarship awarded to Sarah Stanley. Sassarini, Kaylie Barrera and Elizabeth Hidalgo; El Verano, Ava Burke and Emma Kelly; Presentation, Elena Golubouich and Ryan O’Hara; Flowery, Andrew McKale and Alondra Martinez; Prestwood, Derek Armstrong and Giovani Hernandez; Dunbar, Kurtis McIntyre, Yolanda Figueroa-Gaona and Emily Decker; Adele Harrison, Randy Son and Lauren Johnson; Altimira, MacLain Goertzen and Louisa Lopez; Hanna Boys Center, Brian Huezo and Cameron Halkovich; St. Francis, Alyssa Bonfigli and Campbell Martin; Kenwood, Kassi Aronson and Caleb Collins; Sonoma Charter School, Maggie Luque and Nicco Sloop.

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