Taste of Citrus Heights Fundraiser to Support Police PTSD Training

Citrus Heights, CA (MPG)  |  Story by Jacqueline Fox
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More than 30 eateries, wineries and craft brewers from across the city, as well as some heavy-hitting talent are preparing to serve up an evening to remember at this year’s Taste of Citrus Heights Fundraiser, with the bulk of the proceeds going to serve the city’s police force.

The first Taste of Citrus Heights event produced by the GFWC Women’s Club, the event is set for Friday, April 28 at the Citrus Heights Community Center. Restaurants from all corners of the city will be dishing out samples savory and sweet, including Sammy’s Restaurant and Bar, Taste of Tuscany, Crepes & Burgers and Ben’s Huli Huli Chicken and Hawaiian Café. There also will be wine tastings and craft beers on tap from Direct Cellars, Hoppy Brewing Company, Wildside Hard Cider, and Knee Deep Brewing Company, among others.

“I’m very excited about this event,” said Darla Buechner, GFWC Sutter district president. Buechner explained that, as president, she was given the opportunity to create a fundraiser of her choosing and a beneficiary. As the wife of a retired police officer and mother of two daughters now in law enforcement, the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder for officers, first-responders in particular, is one that hits close to home. She decided on a “taste of” event for the fun, but also knew it could generate the funds needed to support the costs of a professional P.T.S.D. training program for officers, which the Citrus Heights department was already planning.

“I know what it’s like to have a family member impacted by what happens as a first responder and I wanted to do something to help other officers,” said Buechner.

The first $5,000 generated from the fundraiser, she said, will pay for a planned mandatory training program for Citrus Heights police officers and their family members on P.T.S.D. It will be facilitated by renowned trainer Dr. Kevin M. Gilmartin, PhD, author of “Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement.”

In addition to sponsorships and ticket sales, costs for the training will be offset by a $1,000 grant the club received from the Citrus Heights Rotary Club, which will be used to pay for the barbeque meal the department will be cooking up on the day of the training.

In addition to the food and drink, there will be some stellar entertainment on tap, including a performance by local comedienne Kristen Frisk, and Angelique Bianca, resident DJ and musical director at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Bianca’s brother, explained Buechner, is a Citrus Heights police sergeant.

“Obviously, it’s a very important cause for her too,” said Buechner.

Tickets for the event are $35 per person and include all you can eat and drink. There also will be a silent auction and raffle prizes.