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Jan Zylker makes Kids Day a community affair

Monday, August 4, 2014

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) – Jan Zylker has already marked his calendar for the first Tuesday in October. Thanks to his enthusiasm, 20 other volunteers have done the same. After all, it’s Kids Day, and on Tuesday, Oct. 7, Zylker and his team of volunteers will be out street corners raising funds for the Shriners Hospital in Sacramento.

Jan participated in his first Kids Day 10 years ago. Since then, he and his team of volunteers have raised more than $15,000 to support Shriners Hospitals for Children. They have sold a lot of Kids Day newspapers, too!

Sponsored by The Sacramento Bee in partnership with Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California and Ben Ali Shriners, Kids Day is a day when volunteers of all ages and all walks of life take to street corners and shopping malls to raise public awareness and funds for the hospital. Volunteers sell Kids Day papers for $1 each, and net proceeds benefit the Northern California Shriners Hospital. The first Kids Day took place in October 1997, and since then the event has raised over $1.1 million to support Shriners Hospitals.

“All the volunteers have fun during Kids Day, and we are always touched by the generosity of people,” says Jan.

Being a Shriner, Jan has seen first-hand how funds raised make a positive difference in the lives of children treated at Shriners Hospitals for Children. He knew he could help with the process so he began building his Kids Day team. Jan recruited fellow Shriners and turned to residents of the Roseville neighborhood where he and his wife live to build his Kids Day team.

Jan walks every morning with friends and neighbors in his neighborhood community, known as Springfield. It is over coffee with his Springfield pals that Jan has inspired many of his friends and neighbors to join the Kids Day celebration.

“Last year we had a woman donate twice, and she donated over $100. It’s the generosity of people and the stories that I always remember -- stories of  how Shriners Hospitals helped a friend’s child or a relative. The amazing thing is you get the story in one to two minutes, then the light turns green and off they go.”

This year you will see Jan and his team of volunteers, standing at three different intersections in Roseville -- Stanford Ranch Road and Sunset Boulevard, Park Drive and Sunset Boulevard, and Pleasant Grove Boulevard and Fairway Drive.

While the Kids Day volunteers are happy to share Shriners Hospital news with you, they look forward to hearing your stories, too.