Sacramento honors Johnson, raises funds
by Krista Noonan –
DIVISIONAL COMMANDER MAJOR Eda Hokom, Van Johnson, and Capt. Doug Riley.
The Salvation Army in Sacramento recently raised over $230,000 at its 13th Annual Community Luncheon.
With over 1,100 business and government leaders in attendance, the 2004 event honored Van Johnson, president and CEO of Sutter Health, Northern California’s largest network of hospitals and care facilities, with its Partners in Community Service award.
Every year, the Army in Sacramento gives the award to an individual or company in the local community who is truly making a difference to enhance and develop The Salvation Army’s programs and services.
Sutter Health and The Salvation Army have shared an outstanding partnership for over a decade. Beginning in the early 1990s, Sutter Health provided weekly traveling medical clinic services to the Army’s shelter and ARC residents. Sutter nutrition staff would also review the Army’s food service programs to ensure proper nutritional value. Plus, Sutter operates medical aid stations at many of The Salvation Army community events. In addition, Sutter Health has provided generous financial support over the years for the maintenance and expansion of Salvation Army programs and services.
During the luncheon, the Army’s programs and services in Sacramento were highlighted. A testimonial from a family involved in The Salvation Army basketball leagues at the Ray Robinson Oak Park Community Center was also included. Nakita Price, and her 9-year-old son, B.J., who was diagnosed with severe/profound hearing loss at birth, shared their heartfelt story about how welcome they feel at The Salvation Army. Nakita said, “Had it not been for The Salvation Army, my son would not have the self-confidence he has today. He loves playing on his basketball team!” B.J. is a dedicated player and takes direction from the coaches by watching his mother’s sign-language instructions from the sidelines. B.J. is a testament of what can be achieved regardless of a disability. Practically every luncheon attendee was shedding tears following this moving testimony!
The Salvation Army Annual Community Luncheon is the largest fundraising luncheon event in the Sacramento region. Since its inception 13 years ago, the Annual Community Luncheon has raised over $2.5 million to support programs and services of The Salvation Army in Sacramento.