February 2014    
Harrison Driver's Surprise Gift to Autistic Boy Touches the World
Boy with Autism Gets Surprise Gift from Trash Man
Video - Boy with Autism Gets Surprise Gift from Trash Man
Manuel Sanchez, an Ojai recycle route driver for longtime Whisenhunt Communications client Harrison Industries, recently surprised Daniel Mulligan, a 5-year-old boy with autism, with a gift of a toy trash truck. Little did Sanchez know that his simple act of kindness would touch hundreds of thousands of people across the nation - and the world.

Manuel Sanchez
Daniel's mother, Robin Newberger, recorded Sanchez's thoughtful gesture on her phone and posted it on Facebook. In just days the post had over 90,000 "shares" and was picked up by the video website www.rightthisminute.com, CNN Headline News, ABC News and several other news outlets and Internet sites. The video is now on YouTube, with over 700,000 views. It is even on a Chinese- language website.

The response has been so overwhelming that Daniel's mother created a separate Facebook page, "The Gift," as a place for parents of children with autism to share uplifting stories.
Daniel's mother wrote on her post, in part: "One man, one moment, touching the life of an autistic child. Our hearts are overflowing... Daniel loves trash trucks. He waits all week for Monday morning pickup. He knows exactly which cans are being picked up each week. Our recycle man, known only to us as Manuel, is his favorite. He always has a big smile for Daniel, who is faithfully waiting for him every Monday. This morning threw him off a bit! He asks me if Manuel is going to get back into the truck
Daniel Mulligan
Daniel Mulligan
because the routine has suddenly changed. To him, trash pickup is like a symphony. You hear me on the video explaining to (Sanchez) that Daniel had his truck and it broke. It makes it all the more amazing."
Check out this video because it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face and even bring a tear to your eye. We extend our gratitude to Manuel - and Harrison - for making Daniel's - and our - day!

St. Patrick's Day Parade
Comes to Ventura March 15


2014 St. Patrick's Day Parade poster The annual Ventura County St. Patrick's Day Parade will march down Main Street for the 26th time in downtown Ventura on Saturday, March 15, beginning at 10 a.m. The theme is, "The Irish Thru the Ages."

Richard Rush, who has served as the president of California State University Channel Islands since it opened in 2001, is this year's Grand Marshal.

Parade entries are being accepted until March 7. Parade organizers are inviting bands, dancers, acrobats, clowns, horses and organizations to participate in the county's greenest event.

Entry forms can be downloaded from the parade's website, www.venturastpatricksdayparade.com or by calling Jim Monahan, parade chairman, at 643-4275.

ARC Foundation of Ventura County Welcomes New Board Members

ARC Foundation Board Members
Board members, group photo: Left to right, front row: Gay Conroy, Steve Smead, Paul Powers. Left to right, back row: Andy Soter, Brian Donovan, Michael Powers, Lance Eaton. (Not pictured: Steve Carter)
The Arc Foundation of Ventura County is pleased to welcome two new members to its Board of Directors. Joining the Board this year are retired Ventura County Superior Court Judge Gay Conroy and Ventura County Executive Officer Michael Powers.

The other Board members of The Arc Foundation are: Steve Smead (President), Steve Carter, Brian Donovan, Lance Eaton, Paul Powers and Andy Soter. Ron Paul is the Executive Director.

The Arc Foundation of Ventura County was established in 1989 as a not-for-profit organization with the sole mission of raising funds to support its sister organization, The Arc of Ventura County, and its many programs and services. To raise funds for The Arc of Ventura County, The Arc Foundation operates two thrift stores in Ventura County, located at 265 East Main Street in Ventura and at 625 North Oxnard Blvd. in Oxnard. The Arc Foundation gives 100 percent of the net income from the thrift stores to The Arc of Ventura County to benefit Arc programs and clients in Ventura County.

Established in 1954, The Arc of Ventura County celebrates 60 years as a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc serves hundreds of Ventura County residents in a variety of programs and helps them to enjoy a life of dignity, respect and inclusion.  Opportunities include gaining life skills to live independently, participating and volunteering in the community, as well as receiving training and skills to obtain employment.

The Arc Foundation is among the few charities and/or nonprofits that will send a truck to your home to pick up your donations. To arrange a pickup, please call (800) 228-1413.

Sheeler Moving and Storage Earns New Top Industry Awards  


Mel Sheeler
Mel Sheeler
Sheeler Moving and Storage in Ventura ended 2013 - the company's 10th year in business - by earning national recognition for providing top service.

Sheeler Moving and Storage, founded in 2003 by Mel Sheeler and a longtime Whisenhunt Communications client and friend, was recognized with a Bronze Level Hauling Medallion Award based on shipments distributed between Sept. 1, 2012 and Aug. 31, 2013. Sheeler is an agent for Indiana-based Wheaton World Wide Moving. Wheaton presents this award annually to agents who hauled between $250,000 and $499,999 during this period.

Wheaton also recognized and thanked Sheeler for 10 years of service with Wheaton. The new Wheaton awards were presented at the partnership conference in Orlando, Fla., late last year.

Sheeler has earned several top industry awards for high-quality services and high bookings over the last decade, including awards for bookings and top quality service. Sheeler Moving and Storage also has been honored as a Business of the Year by the Ventura and Oxnard Chambers of Commerce, and the Ventura City Council has recognized the company as the Business of the Month.

Sheeler Moving and Storage is located at 6020 Nicolle St. Sheeler's services include moving and storage for residential, commercial and industrial clients, including moves out of state or out of the country. Visit www.sheelermoving.com.
Ventura Water Asks Customers to Cut Water Use by 10 Percent  
The Ventura City Council is supporting Ventura Water's call for a voluntary water use reduction of 10 percent from its customers.

"Ventura River water levels are very low and Lake Casitas, another of our primary water sources, is at 60 percent capacity," Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann said. "It is a sensible step to reduce water use now by raising awareness of the need to conserve water." In addition to Lake Casitas and the Ventura River, the city of Ventura's third water supply is groundwater. A number of wells are currently undergoing urgent maintenance, which is limiting management options.
Ventura Water is monitoring its water supplies and will bring an action plan to the Ventura City Council this summer if further restrictions are necessary. Officials from the Casitas Municipal Water District have alerted the city that if the water level in Lake Casitas drops to 50 percent, then Casitas will issue water allocations. Without rain, this may occur as soon as August or September.

Whisenhunt Communications has assisted Ventura Water with many efforts to inform the public about water-related issues and we help with the publication of Ventura Water's regular monthly e-newsletter, Pipeline. An e-newsletter is a simple and cost-effective way to inform many people via email about news of your business, nonprofit or agency. Pipeline newsletters can be viewed at www.cityofventura.net/water/pipeline.

CMHS Celebrates Healthy
Heart Awareness Month


February is National Healthy Heart Awareness Month. Community Memorial Health System has been spreading the word about the facts that heart disease is the nation's top killer of both men and women, and much can be done to prevent it.

On Feb. 7, CMHS held a daylong event at Community Memorial Hospital to celebrate National Wear Red Day, part of the Go Red for Women campaign to raise awareness of heart disease. Participating women were provided a free blood pressure check and a free body composition analysis. Registered nurses, physical therapists and dietitians also were on hand to answer questions from guests.

"This was a great opportunity to reach out to the community and educate about the reality and dangers of heart disease," said Andrea Ricketts, director of CMHS's HealthAware office. "Being aware is sometimes the difference between life and death."

CMHS's mission to prevent heart disease continues. For more information, call the HealthAware office at (805) 667-2818.
Issue: 55
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Press Releases Yield Results   

"Ventura Harbor will Upgrade Boat Ramp," read the headline in the Ventura County Star newspaper on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

The article discussed how the public launch ramp at the Ventura Harbor remains closed through June as the launch ramp undergoes its first major renovation in 50 years. Included in the article was information about ways boaters can be accommodated during the closure period and the phone numbers for people to make boat launching reservations.

Whisenhunt Communications previously wrote and emailed a news release to various local media outlets and regional boating magazines about the launch ramp renovation, on behalf of our client, the Ventura Port District. The information about the launch ramp and the improvements underway also was included in an article in the Port District's quarterly newsletter, Harbor Views (you can read the latest issue of Harbor Views online at www.venturaharbor.com).

Still think that press release isn't worth the effort?

The media and others often pick up press releases that announce your company news, awards, events and other points of community interest. Not only can you send the press release to the media, you can re-purpose the same material and images and post them on your Facebook page or other social media account. You can also email a copy of the press release to work colleagues or friends.

So yes, it's worth the effort. If you have news to share, let us help you spread the word with a press release. We'll make sure the right information gets to the right places.
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Client News In This Issue
Harrison Industries
Ventura St. Patrick's Day Parade
The ARC Foundation of Ventura County
Sheeler Moving and Storage
Ventura Water
Community Memorial Health System (CMHS)
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