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From the News-Ledger, Dec. 29, 2010

By Steve Marschke

News-Ledger Editor    

West Sacramento evidently has a Christmas candy thief.

  The local Kiwanis service club chapter has been selling See’s candy as a fundraiser, at a storefront in Southport’s Town Center Plaza near Nugget. On Wednesday night, the shop had an unwelcome visitor with a sweet tooth and no scruples.

  “They broke the lock on the back and pried their way in,” said Robert Buck, secretary/treasurer for the West Sacramento Kiwanis. “They took about 40 boxes of candy worth about $400. There was also some change missing, worth about $20. They took our cash register – I don’t know why they took that.”

  The landlord said he would take care of damage to the rear lock, sparing the club some additional expenses.

  Through Christmas Eve, the Kiwanis volunteers were at the store selling candy to support their charity efforts.

  “We took in a total of about $48,500,” said Buck, “and I think we netted about $14,000 after expenses. That’s about a thousand better than last year. The primary objective of the fundraiser is to support our kids’ camp. Last year, it cost about $13,000. The camp lasts about a week for 60 children, and it’s free to them. The costs include busing them up, providing clothes in some cases, and providing camp for a week.”

  The summer camp is called “Donner Mine Camp,” along Highway 20 on the Bear River, said Buck.

  “The money also goes to scholarships and to Kiwanis Family House,” he explained, saying that the house is similar to the Ronald McDonald House and is sited on the UC Davis Medical Center campus.

  “They have 55 rooms. It was built by Kiwanis Clubs all over the region. The university essentially took over payments, but Kiwanis operates it. It’s for families who have children in the hospital, so they can visit. The charge is according to need – sometimes it’s free, sometimes $10 or $20 per night, and I don’t think they ever charge over $30 per night.”

  So even though the thieves got away with some merchandise, said Buck, the candy fundraiser remained a success.

  “We were fortunate that way,” he said.

  Anyone wanting to support the club’s efforts can call Robert Buck at 371-4918 or send a check to Kiwanis Club of Sacramento West, PO Box 2062, West Sacramento, CA 95691. 

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