The Marin Art & Garden Center in Ross planned every fine detail of its fancy fall soirée. After all, it’s the nonprofit group’s most important fundraising dinner of the year, and it left nothing to chance. Except, oh no, who could control the darn tree down the street that decided to drop a limb on a transformer and knock out the center’s electricity just as the guests were arriving? (Even the best-laid plans o’ party organizers go awry sometimes.) “As the sun set, we were panicking because our donors were about to be plunged into darkness—hardly the festive outdoor gala we were counting on,” says Molly Anixt, the center’s development manager. This party needed a few heroes to walk through the garden gates. Enter the Ross Valley Fire Department, who saved the evening by delivering a generator that kept the lights on, the guests cheerful and the celebration going. Many thanks to the firefighters for making the fundraiser a bright success.
A call placed last week to a Marin mom demanded a ransom for the return of her child. To make the experience more terrifying, the mother heard a child screaming for help. Although distraught, she sprang into action and began to follow the kidnapper’s instructions to drive to a bank, withdraw as much cash as possible and then head to a Western Union branch. The kidnapper threatened to harm her child if she disconnected the phone call, received any calls or made any calls. Fortunately, the mother’s coworker called the Marin County Sheriff’s Office to tell them about the situation. As the sheriff responded, an alert security guard at the bank saw the troubled parent attempting to withdraw the money and spoke with her. In the meantime, the sheriff verified that her child was safe at school. The entire incident was a hoax. The sheriff advises that if you receive a similar call, ask someone to phone 911 immediately to verify that your loved one is safe.
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