by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center
We rely on our community for so many things. All the food, clothes, and firewood distributed by the San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center are donated, as are many of our children’s books, art and office supplies. Children’s classes and summer camps are paid for with community donations, and led by very dedicated teachers and artists. The FRC is embraced and supported by a wide, diverse community of givers, as well as takers, and we are grateful for each and every one.
We are happy for the opportunity to thank a few very special people who not only support, but are responsible for our programs. Without them, the San Juan Ridge Community would be a much poorer place.
Many San Juan Ridge families depend on the Family Resource Center’s Food Pantry to supplement their diets. Although local farmers often drop by with fruits, vegetables, and eggs to share, most of the food that fills our freezers and lines our shelves is provided by the Nevada County Food Bank. However, the food does not journey here on its own. Every Friday morning, rain or shine, Nancy Lorenz makes a weekly run to the Food Bank in Grass Valley to fill her little red station wagon with as many cans, bottles, boxes, and bags as it can hold. She delivers, unloads, and shelves the items, often delighting over a particularly excellent score. Over the years she has brought hundreds (if not thousands) of pounds of beans, rice, cereals, and flours, as well as succulent delicacies such as caviar and chocolate truffles. Nancy also goes to the Food Bank’s monthly distribution in North San Juan, selects food items and directs their delivery and unloading at the FRC. Without Nancy Lorenz there would be no Food Pantry. We are grateful for her diligent and steadfast spirit. As she has often said, when thanked for her generous efforts, “It’s my job.” Thank you, Nancy!
Richard Stone has been providing a gateway to music by teaching weekly afternoon violin classes to children at the FRC. Not only does he provide instruction and encouragement, but sheet music, a music stand, and a violin for each student. All are free of charge. In addition to teaching violin to kids on the Ridge, Richard also teaches children at the PARTNERS FRC in Grass Valley and was the founder and original conductor of the Nevada County Youth Orchestra, now the Music in the Mountains Youth Orchestra. Richard Stone has deeply touched the lives of our youth and their families, instilling a love and understanding of music that will last a lifetime. Thank you, Richard!
When Playgroup parent, Rachelle Devlin, asked if she could teach Yoga as a way of giving to the community, we were thrilled. A professional and well organized teacher, Rachelle arrived early every Wednesday morning, a bundle of yoga mats and young son, Koa, in tow. Her kind and quietly confident manner welcomed students of all ages and abilities to her free weekly classes. For some, especially young mothers, Wednesday was an eagerly anticipated event. Although Rachelle has moved from the Ridge, she has made an indelible impact on those families who made Wednesday morning Yoga a part of their lives. Thank you Rachelle!
Lee and Lisa Renner and their two young sons, Theo and Arthur, had been regular Tuesday morning Playgroup goers when they approached us with a golden opportunity. The Renners offered to produce a series of Waldorf-inspired Eurhthmy classes for three to six year old children with expert teacher, Ruth Ann Skowronek. Meeting in the Oak Tree Lodge on Monday afternoons, the children and their parents were treated to the telling of a traditional folk tale and invited to join Ruth Ann in a graceful repertoire of movements that accompanied her sung and spoken words. Families who would not otherwise be exposed to such a beautiful art form were able to participate in these classes, compliments of the Renners. Thank you, Lee & Lisa!