It is May, but there will be no Elk Grove Western Festival this year. Our traditional event has been with us since 1957, when it started as a fundraiser for Elk Grove Elementary School. The Mothers Club of the school had no idea that their event would continue for more than 60 years!  We all have wonderful memories of Western Festival, including the parade, the carnival, and the Cake Walk!

Scholarships - May is also the time when scholarships are presented to our high school seniors by the Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation. Students will receive their scholarships this year just as they have done since 1956. But, there will not be a great event with donors, community members, students and their families there to honor the scholarship recipients. The students will still receive their scholarships, and there will be many of them! Each year, 200 or more scholarships are awarded, and most of them are $1,000!

In May of each year, the Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation holds an evening of celebration, and scholarship recipients are formally recognized. Donors and recipients are paired at this event and given an opportunity to become acquainted with each other. Because of COVID-19, the Spotlight on Scholarships is cancelled for May. Scholarship recipients will be given their certificates when they pick up their diplomas at their high schools or they will be mailed to them.

People who are interested in starting a scholarship for students or volunteering for the foundation or getting more information, may check out the website,, or call (916) 685-7118.

These are the leaders of the Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation: Patrick Hume, President; Rebecca Davis, Vice President; Chet Madison, Vice President; John Shook, Vice President; Steve singleton, Treasurer; Arlene Hein, Secretary; and  Adreana Orosco, Katherine Albiani, Dru Bornhof, Faye Bundesen, Marie Coleman, Janet Hume, Mo Hashemyaun, Dan Lawrence, Merrilee Lewis Engel, Suzanne Kennedy, Natasha Moore, Elizabeth Pinkerton, Xanthi Pinkerton, Kevin Spease, Bryan Wiese, Pat Weaver, Warren Weaver, Frank Lucia, Nicole Brown, and Craig Murray.

They do a great job in supporting our students with their college and career plans! We also thank our many donors who make the scholarships possible!

Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) – We are finishing what has been a very strange and difficult year for students, teachers, parents and school and district staff members. But, everyone has made it work, and we look forward to a return to normal in the coming months!

From Robert Pierce, EGUSD: Here is the latest of what is taking place at the campus of Joseph Kerr Middle School: “Joseph Kerr just continues to be improved.  A massive new gym, a new state-of-the-art science wing, and all new site utilities are underway so we can continue our improvements of the campus after this phase is complete.’

Civil War Days is this weekend! And, today is the first day of the activities that will continue tomorrow and Sunday at the Mahon Ranch on Grant Line Road. I wrote about this event in last week’s HHH, so this is just a reminder about it. The event is sponsored by the Elk Grove Historical Society, The Native Sons of the Golden West, and the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation.

The Sky River Casino is coming! If you have been following the action on West Stockton Boulevard, north of Grant Line Road, you know that this area has a lot going on right now. We have often referred to that as the “Ghost Mall” because it was intended to be the site of a new shopping mall. The Wilton Rancheria has broken ground on what will be our very own casino and Boyd Gaming will develop the former mall property. The Wilton group has named the casino Sky River, and it is a great name for that area! They are looking at an opening date in 2022!

We send sad goodbyes to several well-known people! The will all be greatly missed and we send our condolences and prayers to their families and friends!

Gregory Kondos – Lance Armstrong wrote a great story about the long time teacher and artist who left us recently. He taught at Elk Grove High. His long-ago students have great memories of him. Kondos was inducted into the Elk Grove Hall of Fame in 2019.

Don Yount – The Younts have been a part of Elk Grove for many years. Don and his brother Lee both graduated from Elk Grove High and were very active in coaching youth sports.  We send our condolences to Don’s wife Neoma and all of the Yount families.

Irene B. West – This well-known teacher and principal in Elk Grove schools left us recently, and we send our condolences to her family and the students of Irene B. West Elementary School. Mrs. West was a teacher at Elk Grove Elementary, James McKee, Florin, and Prairie schools. She was principal of Cosumnes River and Franklin elementary schools. Much has been written about her in the Citizen and The Sacramento Bee, and I will write more in future HHHs.

Nguyen Saari – We send our condolences to Bob Saari and Nguyen’s family and friends. I will write an HHH story about this wonderful EGUSD Bilingual Teaching Associate.


History Happened Here, Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold

History Happened Here, Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools

We the People, a Story of Internment in America

All book proceeds go for student scholarships, and I thank the many purchasers who have made possible the 80 scholarships with each one $1,000. Five more will be awarded in 2021 to seniors at EGUSD high schools.  To purchase books, make your check for books payable to Laguna Publishers and send to me at 9227 Lamprey Drive, Elk Grove, CA 95624.  Books are $20 apiece and California sales tax is included. Add $3 for shipping of one book; $5 for 2-3 books. Call me at (916) 685-0606 or email me at