Firefighters challenge first responders to support domestic violence program 

 

Colusa Rural Firefighters have pledged their support to help build Karen’s House, a planned domestic violence program and shelter in Colusa County. 

Firefighters donated $1,000 to Karen’s House at the Sacramento River Fire Department last Thursday as an example for others to follow. 

“We would like all local first responders to donate the same amount,” said Firefighter TJ Gomez. “It’s sort of a challenge.” 

Karen’s House is a non-profit organization that formed after the murder of Williams native Karen Garcia, on Jan 8, in the Colusa home she shared with Salvador Garcia Jr., the police’s primary suspect in the case.  

Garcia Jr. had been arrested for domestic violence less than a month before Karen’s battered body was found in her car in a Woodland parking lot on Jan. 14. 

Karen’s friends and co-workers at Granzella’s, in Williams, said they owed it to Karen’s memory to establish a domestic violence program and shelter where anyone who is endangered or at risk of endangering others could receive help. 

Karen’s House organizer Tootie Hackett said the group launched their non-profit organization after learning Colusa County Behavioral Health provides support and counseling services only to Medi-Cal recipients and not the general public. 

“Right now, there is no domestic violence program in Colusa County that serves everyone, and there is no domestic violence shelter,” said Hackett. “The closest shelter is in Yuba City.” 

Colusa Rural Firefighters will also compete in the first Karen’s House BBQ Rib Cook-Off at Redinger Park in Williams on Pioneer Day, June 2. The event is the organization’s first major fundraiser. 

Teams will start cooking around 6 AM and begin serving the public around 12:30 PM. Tickets are $20. 

“We are planning on feeding about 300 people,” said Margaret Harlow. 

The barbecue event is also a family fun day for everyone to enjoy after the Pioneer Day Parade. Events include face painting, rock painting, and cupcake decorating. All proceeds will go to the first domestic violence shelter in Colusa County, organizers said. ■