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Letters to the Editor: 08/15/2020

Letters to the Editor

A lesson in love, from a dog

Dear Editor,

I remember reading once that dogs exist to teach us how to be better humans. Our experience with our lost dog is just that. Our lab mix Oso, eight months and a rescue, loves to follow his truck-driving friends. He probably thought he was following a friend down the road around noon on Saturday, which took him to Highway 12, where his adventure took a turn.

After driving around on the mountain and in the valley for hours… no Oso sightings... racing thoughts... darkness... the usual overactive mind and sleepless night, I asked my husband if he went to the homeless residence down below and he said he drove by but didn’t stop or go inside.

I decided to visit that morning, and sure enough, there was Oso, smiling, bone in mouth and with a sweet man. He had been well-loved and cared for and even went into Santa Rosa the night before for dinner with his new buddy! Oso probably followed a pickup coming down from the park, but when they turned on the highway, he became confused. Then a young woman from the camp found him and brought him into the camp. He spent the night with them. I think they were sad to see him go. But everybody was so involved, and they were so happy to help. I think Oso knew he was in good hands. Where the love is... isn’t that where we all want to be? The sweet young woman who had him on the leash and brought him to me that morning, said that she had called the county offices, which are closed on the weekend, so we would have caught up with him on Monday. But, had it not been for these caring and loving individuals, this story could have been quite different!

The complex at Los Guilicos is clean and tidy, a beautiful setup down there. You can bet I’m going to be making a bunch of brownies and cookies! It takes “villages” and lost dogs to remind us of the thread of compassion and humanity that binds us all.

Laura Benward

Overcoming together

Dear Editor,

The incoming board of the Kenwood Education Foundation (KEF) held its first meeting in July, a month early. The skill and optimism of our new board belied Yours Truly as its incoming president. Kenwood’s kids are lucky to have such a dynamic team.

KEF raises funds for Kenwood Elementary School. Before joining KEF, I presumed that the State funded all of the school’s needs. I was wrong. Physical education, art, music, STEAM, teacher aides, enhancements to our culinary program – the State funds none of these. They are 100 percent funded by KEF. In other words, without KEF donations, the programs that make Kenwood school so special do not exist.

Unfortunately, donations to KEF plummeted. Historically, KEF raises about half of its budget from our famous Lights, Camera, Auction event. This year, COVID cancelled it altogether.

The cost to retain all KEF-funded programs, in full, is $110/month per student – about the same as a cellphone bill. If 120 people responded to this letter with a monthly donation in that amount, KEF would be rock-solid, Kenwood’s kids would be better positioned for distance learning, and no one would receive a fundraising solicitation from me again.

Since that may be unrealistic, KEF will ask all Kenwood families for whatever help they can provide – both monetary and non-monetary – in the months to come. For those who wish to help our school right away, a donation of any size can be made at The school year is starting very soon.

KEF has no paid staff members. Donations to KEF go directly to school programs. KEF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Thanks to KEF’s terrific past leadership, and the contributions from Kenwood families and our community, the school avoided cutting a single program despite two wildfires and a pandemic. But this is a very important year, and we will need everyone’s help.

We are in this together, and will emerge from it together even stronger. Thank you for supporting our kids, our teachers, and our community during this exciting year.

Stay Safe,
Chad Wyatt

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