Elsie Lodde grew up on a farm surrounded by her own menagerie. She bottle-fed her first homeless kittens and bunnies at a young age and began bringing home and caring for strays in her free time as an adult. She started working for a national rescue group but grew unhappy with the group's restrictions and decided to rescue dogs on her own. Elsie founded Recycled Pets Norcal to give homeless animals a chance they might not otherwise get in shelters. The entire staff consists of volunteers, who foster many animals in their own homes before finding adoptive families for them in Northern California, vowing to follow up with each adoption to ensure the animals don't return to shelters. The organization also spays or neuters homeless animals and assists dogs' adoptive families with training, food, and transportation to veterinary appointments.
Roseville Home Start began as a transitional housing corporation in 1995, but could not afford to continue its services due to the rent it owed at its location—a motel in Roseville. With the aid of donors, Home Start bought the location and renovated it. Today it’s 27 housing units and 99 beds shelter families with children who are experiencing homelessness for one-year periods. During that year, these families work with case managers to gain GEDs, learn about financial planning, acquire work, and find permanent homes. They can also attend therapy sessions to help them overcome any trauma they may have experienced. For the next year after families leave the transitional housing, Home Start maintains contact to ensure they undergo a stable transition into their new lives.
Run or Dye is making race running a little more colorful, one major city at a time. This 5K is divided up into four separate courses of varying lengths, each designated by a separate color––which also reflects the color of safe, eco-friendly powered dye the participants get splashed with. At the end of the race, they'll cross into the aptly-named Dye Zone—a polychromatic free-for-all, where fluorescent color is thrown freely from all sides, allowing runners to splash their fellow runners or get colorful revenge on their friends, family members, and any cranky art-history teachers that happen to be walking by.
Unlike some races that rank runners by time, Run or Dye only measures success in color and fun. While the safe-to-eat dyes should wash out of clothing, runners are encouraged to wear things they don't mind getting dirty, preferably in white, grey, or another neutral color to allow give the dyes maximum visibility.
The growl of lions and tigers will be replaced by the growls of guitars as the Sactopalooza Spring Party lights up the Sacramento Zoo with music from tribute bands and DJ Rigatony. No Duh blasts a high-energy pop set based on the music of No Doubt with a number of visuals, costumes, and props from the band’s music videos. Nominated for Best Tribute Band at the 2010 San Diego Music Awards, the Red Not Chili Peppers fill the air with classic funk-rock melodies and the four-chord password that grants entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to the concerts, attendees can partake in hands-on activities such as mechanical bull riding and gladiator jousting with foam poles.
The Sactopalooza Spring Party is the largest annual fundraising event for the Active 20-30 Club of Sacramento. This group of 20- to 30-year-old volunteers works year-round to improve the lives of local children with special needs. In addition to raising funds for children, the group organizes hands-on events to interact with children at an annual picnic, winter clothing drives, and a holiday party at the UC Davis cancer center. Proceeds from the party helps support these events and the organization’s work with children throughout the region.
Yellow and blue signage near the parking lots of shopping malls, offices, and entertainment centers indicates the presence of ProntoWash Eco AutoSpa, a car wash and detailing powerhouse that boasts more than 350 operations worldwide. Its business model revolves around accessibility—ProntoWash sets up shop where cars already are, saving drivers time and preserving all the gas and corn dogs that engines would have otherwise consumed during a trip to a traditional car wash. Helming special yellow Washing Karts, the company's technicians use biodegradable detergent and about a pint of low-pressure water to render each car clean. They also care for cars by vacuuming carpets, restoring headlights, stuffing multivitamins inside ailing glove compartments, and making arrangements to hit the road with their mobile car-wash service.