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Radio's Joey Mitchell to lead Patriot Day event

Second annual event will commemorate 9/11 and celebrate community heroes
By: Teresa O'Hanlon, Placer Herald Correspondent
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It must take something big to “wow” Rocklin resident and famous radio personality Joey Mitchell. For almost four decades the popular disc jockey, commercial actor, and former River Cats announcer has brought rave reviews and high ratings to the Sacramento media market. With big star interviews, such as a one-on-one with Oprah Winfrey and stints with the late Dick Clark, the host of the 92.1 K-HITS weekday morning show has been a syndicated superstar. On Sunday, Sept. 9, Mitchell is excited to make his city shine by honoring community servants and fallen heroes in the second annual Rocklin Patriot Day. “I went there last year and I saw all these fire trucks and helicopters and SWAT team trucks and I love all that stuff,” shared Mitchell. “I’m just a closet policeman and I told my wife, ‘We’ve got to see all of this!’ So we went in there and I’m climbing into hooks and ladders and the bomb squad is showing me how the equipment works and how they go on with the robots. Word got out that I loved last year’s event and they asked if I would host. It’s just a fascinating event.” Mitchell has worked side by side with the nonprofit Rocklin Public Safety Volunteers, Inc. to fill up the event lot surrounding the R.C. Willey home furnishings company with hundreds of community merchants, local entertainers, and amazing safety gear and equipment. “To me, the main draw is that we have all of the police and fire department equipment – the helicopter, the Jaws of Life, the K9, the motorcycles, all the things that we use and normally the public doesn’t get to see,” revealed Becky Kanowsky, Rocklin Public Safety Volunteers president. “It’s a family event where people will get to know their firefighters and police officers. We want to show everybody off. Plus we’ll have musical entertainment and nobody is better for that than Joey Mitchell. Personally I’ve listened to him since the 1970s and he is very at ease and knows a lot of people.” While Mitchell normally rises weekday mornings at 3:30 a.m. to play classic tunes and share stories of the day with K-HITS listeners, he’s also made his mark in the advertising market. Mitchell operates his own production company and has voiced and appeared in hundreds of television commercials. “In the ‘80s I was the guy for Safeway and there was one spot where I road a horse into a ghost town,” he chuckled. “And when the director asks, ‘Can you ride a horse?’ of course you say, ‘Yes,” and then you go take lessons. Well, my schedule was so packed I never got around to taking the lessons. And here I have this horse saddled and I have to ride him into town and finally after he crow-hopped across the highway with me screaming at the top of my lungs— if you saw the commercial, I’m walking the horse. Oh man, it got a lot of run. The director was fuming. …Within an hour (on the set) you really think you’re a gunslinger. But I can’t ride a horse!” Mitchell also had a few runs on the local ‘80s talk/comedy show, “TV Lite” and even filled in for former TV weather anchor Bette Vasquez on occasion. A Rocklin resident, Mitchell is thrilled to get involved with the community. “This is a great little town,” he said. “We’ll have our studio out there with the K-HITS van and a booth. Can’t wait for the K9 demos.” Rocklin Patriot Day is a free event funded entirely by donations. Children are encouraged to visit the petting zoo, check out the SPCA dogs, and learn about wolves with the Never Cry Wolf rescue organization. Event planners are anticipating 8,000 to attend this year with 130 booths, including food tents and catering trucks. Kanowsky said Patriot Day helps strengthen the community in many ways. “Any moneys that are left over will go to the nonprofit Rocklin Public Safety Volunteers and we raise money for things the city can no longer afford,” she noted. “For instance, we bought them a new K9 about a year ago. We bought a new child ID system. And so our purpose is to buy things the city needs that are no longer in the budget.” For more information about Rocklin Patriot Day visit www.rocklinpatriotday.com ________ Rocklin Patriot Day What: Event featuring police and fire department demonstrations, food, music, kids’ entertainment, Corvette Club, petting zoo. When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9 Where: R.C. Willey Parking Lot on Lonetree Boulevard Cost: Free Info: For more information, to be a sponsor or host a booth, visit www.rocklinpatriotday.com