Here is the Calendar of scheduled events for April 2022 here at the Center. This will also be posted under "Current Calendar of Events tab and eventually under past events as we will keep a running past Calendars there after a few months.
Come join us!
If you click the Calendar you can look at a larger version.
Just a few days ago we lost one of our regulars who had been a WWII Veteran, Manuel Saetes at 99 years young.
"Manny" was a regular attendee at the Center for years, and one of the most beloved at that. Born 11/17/23, he passed on 2/12/22.
Manny had served during WWII on the 359th Engineers Company F. They laid fuel pipeline for heavy artillery and vehicles during the war. He came to Omaha Beach on D-Day + 3 and they laid pipe from Omaha Beach to Cherbourg Normandy France. The vast accomplishment was dubbed "Operation Pluto". This operation allowed the Allies to march on German strongholds and eventually put down the powerful German army.
Manuel was married to Lois (who had passed before him) and they had 4 children. He is survived by 3 children, many grandchildren and great grandchildren, and even 2 great great grandchildren.
Below is a photo of a framed brief portfolio put together by his daughter Karen. Manny was quite a guy, and will be missed by all here at the Center.
THURSDAY - FEBRUARY 10, 2022
11:00 to 2:00 PM
Lunch 11:00 AM
K9-1 Roman and Officer Emerson
Elk Grove Police Department
Officer Emerson, a former Marine at Camp Pendleton, will be here to share the life of a Canine officer.
Officer Emerson became an officer with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in May of 2001. In 2006 Officer Emerson joined the Elk Grove Police Department. His assignments included Patrol, POP Unit, SWAT Sniper Team Leader, SWAT Operator, Canine Handler and Canine Unit Handler.
K9-1 Roman was paired with Officer Emerson in May 2015. K9 Roman is an eight-year-old male Belgian Malinois. K9 Roman holds a POST certification in patrol and narcotic detection.
Please join us for a wonderful informative demonstration. Guests are welcome.
Veteran Golf Park for Disabled Veterans
dba Veteran's Community Center of Citrus Heights
6921 Sylvan Rd, Citrus Heights, CA 95610
The Citrus Heights Sentinel, our local paper, just did a story on our building!
Here it is:
The History of Citrus Heights' First One Room Schoolhouse
January 16, 2022
By Mike Hazlip--
The year was 1862, and as the Civil War was raging in the eastern United States, William Thomas, a proprietor of the 15 Mile House, gave five acres of land to build a schoolhouse on the northwest portion of Sylvan Corners in what would later become Citrus Heights.
Records show the rural farmland of what was originally called Rancho San Juan had few settlers at the time. Gold Rush seekers had poured into California seeking fortune, but by the late 1850s many were raising families and working the land. As more families put down roots in the fertile soil, the need for a schoolhouse soon arose.
Citrus Heights Historical Society President Larry Fritz told The Sentinel in an email that local carpenter John Cross helped build the first schoolhouse, and his wife, Sarah, served as the first teacher. Their daughter, Lilian, described the history of the school in a 1943 document titled “Sylvan Recollections.”
The document recounts the early days of the school, with Cross saying her mother used a nearby cabin for a school room prior to the Sylvan schoolhouse being completed by her father, who was “assisted by some of the other men in the neighborhood.”
Also on The Sentinel: The tragic story behind Sylvan Cemetery’s first grave
There were about 20 students initially. The one-room schoolhouse was clapboarded and painted a light color, Cross wrote. Homemade desks were painted a blue-gray, and the desk surfaces were worn with “many a jackknife’s carved initials.”
Cross described that first modest schoolhouse as a “temple of learning,” and said it became the center of activity for the area.
“As was usual in farming districts, the schoolhouse was the civic, social and religious center,” Cross noted. “Here was the voting place, and where the men of the community met to talk over matters of neighborhood importance.”
She also wrote that dancing parties and other events were held at the schoolhouse, noting it was “a very long time before moving pictures or the radio, and people had to furnish their own entertainment.”
Related: Street names in new Citrus Heights subdivision rooted in local history
While at school, children were divided into a girl’s side and a boy’s side, Cross said.
“An imaginary line was drawn through the school property from north to south, dividing it into two parts, nearly equal,” she said. “The girls and boys were supposed to stay on their respective sides, but I recall no iron-clad rule requiring them to do so. The girls had the east side, along which the Roseville Road ran, and besides being the sunnier side of the schoolroom, it gave them the added advantage of seeing the occasional passerby.”
Chores were also divided, according to Cross, with boys being sent to retrieve water from a nearby well, while girls used brooms furnished by the district to sweep the schoolhouse. The children were not paid for the work, and they shared long handled tin dippers to drink the water.
“In the light of today that may not be a pleasant thought, but there were few illnesses among the Sylvan children, and certainly none that could be traced to those common drinking cups,” Cross said. An outhouse was also used.
Also on The Sentinel: The history behind those ‘Lincoln 40’ signs in Citrus Heights
Improvements to the original schoolhouse were added over the years, with pillars and a cupola added in 1903. A second building was added in the early 1920s to accommodate the growing student population, Fritz said.
When a third building was added in 1927, the old schoolhouse was sold as surplus property and purchased by the Citrus Heights Community Club, which moved the building a quarter-mile south from its original location onto land owned by the Van Maren family on Sylvan Road.
“I don’t know what they did to make it mobile, but a local farmer who had a tractor or a bulldozer hauled the schoolhouse to where it is now,” Fritz said. The club then operated the location for many years, with the building serving as the “center for social and civic activities.”
In 2013, the property was purchased by Jim Rounsavell, who opened the old schoolhouse as a veterans center. Rounsavell died in March of 2021, but the 160-year-old schoolhouse continues to operate in service of area veterans at 6921 Sylvan Road.
Like local news? Sign up for The Sentinel’s free email edition and get two emails a week with all local news and no spam, ever. (Click here)
Many thanks to the Sentinel and Mike Hazlip for this great article! There are active links within this article to see more stories on the Sentinel's website too.
Well folks, we are not only open again - hopefully this time for good - but we are fresh and new!
Thanks to Home Depot, we now have new paint on the hall walls, we also have brand new acoustic ceiling tiles and fresh LED lighting overhead! And the topper? It's the new vinyl plank flooring throughout that looks amazing and promises to last for years!
You know, in this 100+ yr old building, which often looked it's age, all of this is really a Godsend for both the regular Veteran attendees here, but also for the community, which held this building for over 40 years as it's primary Community Center in Citrus Heights.
After years and years of tired paneled wood wall covering, tile with pits and tears throughout the hall, and even a temporary but very inexpensive replacement vinyl floor in the kitchen, the Center has finally taken a real step forward to making this a visitor friendly building for both regular attender and visitor alike.
Check out the pics below:
Don't forget we offer lunch on both Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tuesdays is "Hot Dog Day" with top quality hot dogs the center of attention, grilled fresh on our professional grill cooker. On Thursdays we have a catered meal, featuring a variety of great eats, from soups to spaghetti and everything in between!
If you are a Veteran, we urge you to come by and meet fellow vets and enjoy the new Center with us! The pool table is ready too, with new covering and bumpers. Books, recordings, games, food and great coffee. It's all here!
Due to our rather extensive maintenance and update in progress at The Veterans Community Center in Citrus Heights, our main gathering place, it has been decided that the Center will remain closed through the Holidays and reopen the week of January 9, 2022.
What's going on? Well, a rather large project including painting of the main hall, replacing the acoustic ceiling tiles, and finally replacing the flooring. All are badly in need of refresh and update, so this is a great thing!
Look for pictures of this project upon completion....We Can't Wait!
In the meantime, Merry Christmas to you and yours, and Happy New Year from Veterans Community Center!
See you January 10th!
It has been a long time coming, but finally the interior of the Veteran's Community Center is getting a refresh!
As you probably know by now, this building is over a century old, and it's been decades since it got any updating in the main hall. We have added modern bathrooms to accommodate visitors and events held here, but the main hall has the same old paneling and suspended acoustic ceiling it's had for years.
With the help of Vince Robles, our main guy in charge of updates and maintenance around the Center, we are getting ready to give the interior a much deserved painting, and we should have a completely new look soon!
The work will be done the week of December 13 through the 17th, so the Center will be closed to visitors during that time. That means we will not be hosting lunch that Tuesday or Thursday.
To help show where we are beginning this project, here are some "before" photos of the interior. We will post the "after" pics as well, so look for those in a couple of weeks!
How she looks now:
Just a reminder that this Center is totally supported by donations. If you feel led, would you please consider donating to our goal of serving the community's Veterans? You can do that HERE or stop by the Center during open hours of 9am to 1pm, Monday through Thursdays most every week.
As mentioned above, we will be closed the week of Dec 13 - 17, 2021 for this refresh project.
Thank you and Happy Holidays to everyone!
On Thursday, September 23, 2021, the Veterans Center held a lunch and memorial service honoring two of our long time attendees. These two were Douglas Duane Ellington and Gene Paul Cornthwaite. Both men were loyal and helpful regular attendees of the Center, and were among the most active in helping out whenever needed.
Doug was active in most events, often handling announcements at luncheons (which we conduct twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays) and as an accomplished musician, he provided music at special events and sometimes just to lift the spirits of whoever happened to be around. Doug was a quick wit as well and humor was a part of his everyday demeanor. He will be sorely missed.
Gene was a quiet man, but extremely sincere and helpful with projects here at the Center and was a driving force in helping to facilitate the new bathroom project we took on a couple of years back. His extensive knowledge of construction played a very helpful part in planning as well as execution in making that endeavor a success. You couldn't ask for a better friend to the group, and he will also be very missed.
Below are two tributes, written by loved ones as noted. Each will give you greater insight into the two men. You can click on the pictures to enlarge and make it easier to read.
A poem loved by Doug:
I'm Free, Author Unknown
"Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free,
I'm following paths God made for me.
I took his hand I heard him call,
Then turned, and bid farewell to all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to sing, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I found my peace...at close of play.
And if my parting left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened...deep with sorrow,
I wish you sunshine of tomorrow.
My life's been full I've savored much.
Good friends, good times, A loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don't lengthen it now with grief.
Lift up your hearts and share with me,
God wants me now...He set me free"
The service and invocation was conducted by Veterans Community Center Chaplain, Pastor Brad Gunter of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Roseville.
About 25 were in attendance for the ceremony which was catered by Hewlett Packard volunteers who brought in BBQ lunch prepared by Back Forty BBQ in Roseville. It was both popular and much appreciated.
"Missing Man Table"
Also present for the ceremony was the traditional "Missing Man Table" presentation, also narrated by Pastor Brad. Below are photos of the table and the meaning of everything present on the display.
The meaning of the set up on the table is as follows:
The TABLE is small and set for one to show our everlasting concern for our missing men.
The TABLECLOTH is white symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.
The SINGLE RED ROSE (two for both men in this case) displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and their loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting their return.
The VASE is tied with a yellow ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing.
The CANDLE is lit reminiscent of the light of hope, which lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, to the open arms of a grateful nation.
A SLICE OF LEMON is on the bread plate to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.
A PINCH OF SALT symbolizes the tears endured by those missing, and their families as they wait.
The BIBLE represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.
The GLASS is inverted to symbolize their inability to share this afternoon's toast.
The CHAIRS are empty - they are missing.
Another of our talented Vets, J.R. Evans, played his harmonica to a couple of tunes to honor the two as well and to lift the spirits of all in attendance.
It was a nice tribute to these two men, a Celebration of their Lives, and they will both be missed and remembered for their contributions to this group and this place, our Veterans Community Center.
In an effort to organize our approach better in 2020, and to let all of our Veterans know our plans so that they can adjust their own calendars if necessary, we have produced our first yearly Events Calendar for this year! This is a collaboration of the ownership and management staff at the Center and we feel will greatly aid us in focusing our efforts appropriately throughout the year.
Since this is January and there are some plans in flux, this Calendar is a "work in progress" and a rough draft, if you will, for the year. The dates listed are solid dates, but many "details" of the events will be added at a later date. Check back or watch this blog for the latest news!
Would you like to help with any of these Events? If so, please contact us!
Last Saturday the Veteran's Community Center of Citrus Heights hosted a "Luau" for both charity and to raise money for the Center. Tickets sold for $35/each and there was Hawaiian music, dancers and of course FOOD!
The setting was out on the back patio and set up in the amazing horseshoe courts at the Center. There was also a silent auction with donated baskets containing different goodies, from soaps to wines to events to even a Walmart card!
Fun and great fellowship was had by all and while the final tally isn't known to this author, as I was in attendance it seemed to be a wonderful success! Next time we'll have a flyer up ahead of time and do a better job of promoting the event.
Thank you to all who worked to make this successful, and contributed their time and efforts to make the Center ready for this event. And thanks to all who came and bought tickets, and goodies through the silent auction. We appreciate all of you!
James Newton Rounsavell was the Founder of Veterans Golf Park for Disabled Vets, dba Veterans Community Center. Jim was a life long golfer and began to realize that golf could help disabled vets with PTSD and TBI, two very degrading but all too common syndromes that affect our Vets.
©Veterans Golf Park for Disabled Vets
Website by GAP Consulting