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Make a difference every day

By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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Know and Go:

What: Fifth annual “Be the Change” winter music festival

When: 5 to 10:30 p.m. Dec. 3

Where: Blue Goose Event Center, 3550 Taylor Road, Loomis

Admission:  $55 and free for children under 10.

Info: 230-8129, www.bethechange.cc or

Sometimes, I am introduced to someone who unexpectedly makes me want to be kinder and more community-minded.

This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for meeting Nancy Price. 

Price is my reminder to follow those goals.

The magnanimous Loomis resident is an example of someone who continuously makes a difference in the lives of strangers who need our help.

 The last few months, Nancy has volunteered the majority of her spare time to ensure that the fifth annual “Be the Change” music festival fundraiser on Dec. 3 is successful.

All “Be the Change” proceeds, 100 percent, go to the nonprofit The Gathering Inn and the nonprofit Gold Country Wildlife Rescue that respectively help area homeless and sick or hurt animals.

I met Nancy two weekends ago when I wanted quotes for the “Be the Change” fundraiser.

And I was amazed by her generosity and commitment to help others.

Especially since I blew our interview date and I felt like a flake. I spaced out the Saturday appointment until Nancy emailed me 10 minutes after I missed the interview to make sure I was OK.

Instead of complaining that I wasted her Saturday morning, Nancy graciously squeezed me in Sunday morning for an hour before she and her husband, Steve, had another “Be the Change” appointment 60-plus miles away.

Not only did Sunday’s one-hour interview turn into two hours but Nancy was friendly and warm, making sure I had enough coffee and cake during the interview.

After our meeting, Nancy picked up a smoker in Plymouth for the annual fundraiser and then hung event banners.

“There are a lot of details. We start working on sponsorships throughout the year,” Nancy said. “By Oct. 1, it takes all Steve’s and my spare time. That’s all we do. I take a week off of work before the event to make sure everything’s done.”

Working as a regional HR manager, Nancy doesn’t have extra hours to spare.

Yet Nancy is involved in all facets of the fundraiser. That means printing banners, hanging and then replacing 200 posters from Grass Valley to downtown Sacramento, making tickets, buying the fundraiser’s food and alcohol, finding raffle and auction items, to setting up and then cleaning the venue.

Although volunteering is time-consuming, Nancy is happy doing so.

 “The organizations need the support and it makes you feel good that you’re doing something. Our time on this Earth is so short and I want to be able to look back and see that I contributed,” Nancy said, “that I helped, that I did something, that I gave back. When more and more people get involved, we really can make a difference.”

Besides heading up the annual fundraiser that includes a performance by her husband’s band, Pablo Cruise; Nancy also volunteers at the wildlife rescue.

And that’s volunteering for the rescue organization in a non-glamorous way. Nancy feeds the animals, scrubs their cages and takes a dirty peacock and other critters to Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic for checkups.

 “I love it. I love helping the wildlife. They’re so innocent,” Nancy said. “We don’t think of them but they’re struggling to survive. We’re taking over their habitant. It’s very grounding. I could have a bad day and I go to the shelter and it brings me joy to work with them.”

I want to be more giving like Nancy.

That means I can not use long work days as an excuse to go home directly from work and turn on the TV or reach for a book. I need to push myself to spend more hours in my community after my work day is over. I have to make every minute of the day count.

I’m so impressed by Nancy’s kindness and dedication to be part of the “Be the Change.” Community service is a high priority for Nancy, wherever she is and whatever day of the week it is.

So in honor of the Thanksgiving holidays, I hope that we are all more like Nancy and volunteer for the organizations and causes that are dear to us.

And buy a ticket for the all-ages Dec. 3 “Be the Change” fundraiser. Besides having fun, you’ll do something nice for two of our most needed nonprofits, The Gathering Inn and Gold Country Wildlife Rescue.

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for helping whatever groups you choose!