Serving the communities of Valley Springs, Burson and Wallace
Matthew Maddox displays a Quilt of Honor he received from Gail Belmont at the July 27 Valley Springs Community Blood Drive held on his behalf.
Blood drive on behalf of injured soldier a record
The Wallace soldier seriously injured in an accident May 26 while at home on leave from Afghanistan was on hand for a portion of last week’s Valley Springs Community Blood in his honor.
Matthew Maddox, 20, the son of Mike and Suzy Maddox, said he was grateful for the show of community support demonstrated at the blood drive.
Maddox sustained multiple injuries after being run over by a
grader on Camanche Parkway South just south of Olivera Court. He is
recovering at home and recently began taking steps with the assistance
of a walker.
The outpour of support at the blood drive was tremendous.
“It was heart warming to see the number of people who came to
the drive to support Matt,” said
Kresse of BloodSource, which along with the Mother Lode Council of the
Knights of Columbus sponsored the blood drive at the Valley Springs
Health and Fitness Center.
“For such a seemingly unpopulated area there were so many
people who came from all over your region to show their support,” she
added. “I had calls and emails from people in surrounding
communities looking for blood drives or centers to donate for Matt. I
spoke with two women who said they had been teachers - preschool and
elementary school - of Matt’s and mentioned what a wonderful child he
had been. They both wanted to donate blood.”
BloodSource and the Mother Lode Council of the Knights of
Columbus hold the Valley Springs drive every other month and Tuesday’s
effort reached new records.
“We registered 140 people, collected 117 units of life saving
blood and had 66 new donors - people who had never donated with
BloodSource before,” Kresse said.
“Kudos to our community, they never seem to disappoint,”
said Bob Mariani of the Mother Lode Council of the Knights of Columbus
and the local blood drive coordinator.
“Holly and Lesley Potter did an impressive job of getting the
word out and recruiting participants,” Kresse added.
Maddox plans to return to his Army duties upon recovery.
“The townspeople have been very nice to me,” he said
following the presentation of a Quilt of Honor from Gail Belmont,
director of the non-profit organization that makes the quilts to comfort
injured and wounded service men and women.
Carolyn Edwards, president of the Loose Threads Quilt Guild, made
“I hope Matt enjoyed this special day,” Kresse said. “It’s obvious that he has touched many lives and has such great
Maddox is a graduate of Calaveras High School and an Eagle Scout.
Assistant Sara Caywood, left, and Dr. Tim Park at work during Friday’s free dental clinic.
Giving back to the community
Dental office provides free treatment
By Nick Baptista
Dr. Tim Park of La Contenta Dental and his staff provided free dental treatment to more than two dozen patients on Friday.
It was the fourth time in the past two years Dr. Park and his
staff have set aside part of a day to treat patients from the community
“We all live here, shop and go to school here and know times
are tough and want to give back to our community,” said Frances Siria,
La Contenta Dental’s office manager.
Patients were treated on a first-come, first-served basis and 25
were seen in the morning and afternoon hours. The treatment included
free cleanings, fillings and extractions.
Five of the patients were children and the free service is
provided with them in mind so they can go back to school in good dental
health, Siria said.
Dr. Park was unable to see several other patients within the time
period, but their names were taken and they will be called back later.
In all, Dr. Park and his staff provided $8,188 in free treatment
and he plans to do similar clinics in the future, Siria said.
Pfc. Matthew Maddox was on leave from Afghanistan when
he was injured in a May 26 accident.
Blood drive Tuesday to help injured soldier
West Calaveras County residents have an opportunity to help a
young man who has already made numerous contributions to his community
and country when they participate in the Tuesday, July 27,
blood drive sponsored by BloodSource and the Mother Lode Council of the
Knights of Columbus.
Nineteen-year-old Matthew Maddox of Wallace – a graduate of
Calaveras High School and an Eagle Scout - sustained multiple injuries
after being run over by a grader May 26 on Camanche Parkway South just
south of Olivera Court.
Maddox, who was on leave from his duties with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan to attend his older brother Michael’s college graduation, was running along side the grader helping a friend move when he lost his footing in the rain. Maddox fell and was run over by the tractor. Among his injuries, he sustained a fractured femur, tibia, pelvis and tailbone, and an orbital blowout fracture to the right eye.
He was airlifted to the trauma center at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael where he underwent four surgeries. He received more than nine units of blood after the accident and was given more blood/platelets for the next several days while in ICU.
In all, Maddox was in the hospital for more than three weeks and was home for 10 days before having to be re-admitted due to an infection in one of his wounds.
Maddox, the son of Mike and Suzy Maddox, is now back at home and doing well, said his mother.
“Matthew is expected to make a full recovery, but that may take approximately a year,” she said.
More surgery is scheduled and he will go to the UCSF Medical Center in September for his next operation.
Maddox is a private first class and was due to be promoted to Specialist upon his return to Afghanistan after his leave.
He graduated from CHS in 2008 and began his basic training in August of that year. He is a member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, currently deployed in Afghanistan, but stationed in Vicenza, Italy.
While a Boy Scout in Troop 302 of Valley Springs, Maddox his Eagle Scout community project completed a monument in front of the Jenny Lind Cemetery honoring those who served our county.
Earlier this week, he stood up with assistance from his physical therapist for the first time since his accident. His 20th birthday is July 25 and he is planning to walk by then.
He is also looking forward to eventually rejoining his Army unit, his mother said.
The Tuesday, July 27, blood drive is from 2 to 7 p.m. at the
Valley Springs Health and Fitness Center, 145 Mangili Road, off Highway
In addition to helping Maddox, blood drive participants will
receive a coupon for a pint of Baskin and Robbins ice cream.
Giving blood is easy, safe and takes less than one hour. All
walk-ins are welcome and childcare is available.
To give blood, a donor must be in generally good health, free
from cold symptoms for at least 48 hours, at least 17 years old (16 with
parent’s consent) and weigh 110 pounds or more. There is no upper age
limit for donating blood. Prospective donors must bring a photo ID.
In addition to possibly helping Maddox in his upcoming surgery,
blood donations are used to treat burn victims, transplant patients,
people who must undergo surgery, those injured in accidents, patients
with leukemia, and much more. BloodSource also provides blood locally to
Mark Twain St. Joseph’s Hospital in San Andreas.
For more information about the Valley Springs Community Blood
Drive, call Stephanie Kresse at 1-800-995-4420, extension 60039. For
donor eligibility questions, call BloodSource at 1-800-995-4420.
Tom and Ann Plusko, new owners of Villa Bakery.
Villa Bakery re-opens under new ownership
One of Valley Springs’ favorite food establishments has
re-opened under new ownership.
The Villa Bakery, located at The Terrace shopping center off
Highway 26 at Vista Del Lago, resumed operations July 1 under the
ownership of Tom and Ann Plusko of Valley Springs.
They took over the business from Moses and Linda Escalante who
opened the bakery in February 2008.
Tom, who grew up in the bakery and pastry business, is the chief
pastry chef and manager. He was 12 years old when he began working with
his father Bud, a popular baker in Simi Valley and Oxnard.
Tom had his own bakery in Oxnard, Heavenly Cakes and More,
specializing in special order cakes, before going to work with Safeway,
starting in the bakery department and spending 20 years in management.
Approaching retirement from Safeway, Tom saw an opportunity to
resume his passion to bake and a year ago was hired as the pastry chef
at Dancing Fox Bakery Winery in Lodi.
Within the year, Dancing Fox won the prestigious “Best of
Lodi” award in the bakery division, surpassing long-time winner
Cottage Bakery, Tom said.
Ann ran a Family Fun Center for a couple of years before selling
it to their business partners and moving to Valley Springs.
Plusko’s Villa Bakery is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday
through Saturday. In time, they may open earlier for early morning
The response to the re-opening of Villa Bakery has been good so
far, Tom said, and they have had to hire some extra help to meet the
The bakery this week is holding its grand opening. To mark the
occasion, there will be samples of some of the bakery’s specialties.
Cheesecakes will be featured on Wednesday, chocolate moose cake on
Thursday, Champagne cake on Friday and sourdough and focaccia breads on
Many of Tom’s creations are based on recipes from his father,
such as the Champagne cake, which his father originated, and carrot
The Villa Bakery menu also includes bagels, several types of
filled croissants, a variety of muffins, quiche, scones, baguettes,
shepherd’s bread, chocolate almond delight, seasonal fresh fruit
cakes, a wide variety of cookies, assorted Danish, turtle brownies,
rocky road brownies, éclairs, cream pies, turnovers and calzones for
here or to go. Coffee, lemonade and tea are also served.
Wedding, birthday and other specialty cakes are available with at
least 24-hour advance notice. Smaller cakes, a perfect dessert for two,
are sold daily.
“We don’t sell day-old items, we only sell fresh,” Ann
They donate their day-old items to the local food bank.
Some of their baked goods are beginning to appear elsewhere.
Common Grounds and Marido’s Beyond Juice Deli are using their breads.
“That’s an area we want to expand in,” Tom said. “We plan
on connecting with other local businesses in the future.”