Columnist—Supervisor Mary Rickert: One Safe Place fundraiser grows into a very sobering event

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The Shasta County Connection

By Mary Rickert

I’ve had to make several trips to Redding in the last week and never tire of the beauty of the fall colors on Highway 299E.  The weather has been warm, and I am hoping that we will soon start to see rain in our forecast.  I’m looking forward to a winter that has abundant moisture, yet perhaps not as much as last winter!

I recently attended a very sobering fundraising event for One Safe Place (OSP).  OSP is a unique model of a facility located in Redding that offers shelter and a wide range of services for women, men and children who are victims of abuse.  OSP past director Jean King was a visionary — a tireless advocate for those in abusive relationships and Shasta County owes much to her devotion to this cause.  Current director, Angela Jones is doing a great job of carrying on the vision of the organization. 

The featured keynote speaker at the fundraiser was Matthew Sandusky—the adopted son of the well-known football coach, Jerry Sandusky.  Matthew suffered many years of abuse at the hands of his stepfather and shared his very moving story.  For those in attendance, it is an evening we will not soon forget.

In the next week’s future columns, I will write about an event that I will be attending on Nov. 16th at Mercy Oaks in Redding that will feature award-winning author, Sam Quinones. 

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Mr. Quinones wrote an excellent book called Dreamland that chronicles the emergence of the opioid and heroin epidemic in this country.  I read Dreamland well over a year ago and have recommended this book to many.  I’ve asked our Shasta County District Attorney and the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency to team up with the Shasta County Board of Supervisors to host this event to help educate community members, law enforcement, healthcare professionals and teens about the horrific consequences of drug addiction.  This crisis contributes to our crime statistics and as a community, we need to equip ourselves to fight the spread of this very serious epidemic.  Please consider joining us at 6:30 pm at Mercy Oaks, located just east of the entrance to Simpson University.  It will be well worth your time.

Recently, I attended an afternoon session of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board meeting in Fall River Mills and board member Dr. Dan Marcum from Fall River Valley was in attendance.  The Board also met in Redding the next day.  Many topics were thoroughly discussed, and the board was open to hearing local ranchers and farmers concerns. I am a strong supporter of having the decision makers spend time on the ground to see first hand how their decisions impact so many of us.

State Senator Ted Gaines and his staff hosted the 11th Annual Community Leaders Breakfast in Redding.  It was an opportunity to meet some of the leaders from our neighboring counties and discuss the many issues we all are experiencing.  Senator Gaines held a question and answer forum and many of us asked questions about legislative matters that covered forest fires and volunteer fire departments, illegal marijuana grows, crime, taxes and much more. 

I was fortunate to be invited to the Shasta County Support Services luncheon recognizing their employees at their annual event.  Every year they pick a theme, and everyone dresses in costume.  This year was the “Roaring 20’s” and it was a lot of fun to see the many period outfits.  Under the direction of Teri Morelock, this department is responsible for ensuring child support payments are imposed and look out for the welfare of our children in Shasta County.  It was an uplifting luncheon and it was very touching when the staff turned the tables on Teri and honored her for her extraordinary leadership.

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Rickert at mrickert@co.shasta.ca.us.

In 2016, Mary Rickert was elected to serve as Shasta County District 3 Supervisor. A 42-year resident of Shasta County, Mary has lived near McArthur since 1988.  Attending California Polytechnic State University as a Dairy Science major,  Mary also holds degrees in Business & Human Resources Management and Psychology from Simpson University.  Along with her husband Jim, the couple are owners of Western Agricultural Services— a farm management, appraisal and real estate brokerage firm.  They are also the majority owners of Prather Ranch— a nationally recognized, vertically integrated beef cattle operation. Mary and her husband Jim have three grown children and five grandchildren.