Some folks we know, or know of, are training hard with professional dancers as they prepare to compete in a show Saturday that should be a hoot — and will lift up some deserving lives to boot.
Among those who’ll sweep onto the dance floor and show off what they’ve learned are Collette Michaud, founder of the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County, Jack Tibbetts of the Santa Rosa City Council and county school board trustee Herman G. Hernandez.
They and another seven newcomers to ballroom dancing will perform with pros at Dancing with the Stars and Stripes, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Sonoma Country Day School’s Jackson Theater.
The serious but playful competition will benefit the Santa Rosa-based Veterans Resource Centers of America, a godsend to vets who struggle to get their lives back on track.
There’s lots more about the dance competition by clicking here.
Collette, from the Children’s Museum, practices the tango with pro Rafael Candalas and shares, “It’s been super fun finding out that at my age, I can still cut a rug.”
Jack, the young councilman, says his dance partner, April Karr, “has been doing her best to train my two left feet.”
BEST IN CALIFORNIA is what the state Youth Soccer Association says of Ricardo Oliva, who played professionally in his native El Salvador and now coaches two teams in Rohnert Park.
Ricardo attended a regional youth-soccer gathering in Pleasanton and was thrilled to be presented an award as the top recreational coach in the entire North Bay district.
But wait. Ricardo, a boys’ coach with the Rohnert Park Soccer Club, then was told he’d been selected as Coach of the Year for the entire state.
“Soccer is a beautiful sport for me,” he said, adding that the game can teach children so much more than how to chase and kick a ball.
“They have to make good decisions,” he said, and focus and be respectful of their team members, opponents and referees.
To be named California’s No. 1 coach, Ricardo said, “I never expected in my life.”
KIDS LEARN ALSO, and generally have their mouths agape in awe, as they watch great, steam-driven circular saws bite into a log at the lovingly restored and operated Sturgeon’s Mill, between Sebastopol and Occidental.
What a gift it is that the volunteers who maintain the early 20th century mill fire it up specially on three Fridays out of the year and invite in local school children in the third to 12th grades.
The first classroom day at the mill is May 5. Interested teachers should shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of many impressive things students will see at the mill is an end table made in woodshop by Ian Shine of Brookhaven Middle School. Last year Ian’s teacher, Rob Hanni, told mill volunteers he has a hard time coming up with wood for the class and asked if he might have some scrap lumber.
Help yourself, they said. Hanni’s students made nice tables from the wood. And Ian insisted on donating his back to Sturgeon’s Mill.