Hug What You Love


Did you know that Monday, July 19, is Global Hug Your Kids Day? Yes, it’s true, I couldn’t make up that one. And folks in Red Bluff will mark the event for the third consecutive year with a high noon gathering at Cone & Kimball Plaza, at the corner of Main and Walnut streets in downtown.

Organizers are inviting parents, grandparents and their children – and especially parents who have lost children – to attend a 20-minute celebration that will feature lots of hugs and goodie bags. There will also be a release of pink and blue balloons to remember boys and girls who have passed on.

The Red Bluff gathering is organized by Faydra & Company (a life-coaching business) and the Botell family. One year ago, 9-year-old Tommy Botell perished in a freak rockslide while hiking with his family on Lassen Peak. His mother, Jennifer Botell, described the tragedy in an unforgettable story for A News Cafe.

Jennifer said Monday’s event “is all about taking time out of your schedule and celebrating the kids in your life.” It is also an opportunity to honor the children who died during the past year, she said.

The global event was started by Nevada mother Michelle Nichols, who, like Jennifer Botell, lost a young child unexpectedly. Since then, Nichols has become a well-known motivational speaker and author who urges parents not to take their kids for granted.

It sounds like an excellent excuse for a long lunch hour, parents. No tickets or reservations required.


• If you can get the whole afternoon off on Monday, consider taking the family to Turtle Bay Exploration Park, which is offering half-price admission July 19 through 23. At 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., you may watch trainers hand feed Turtle Bay’s trout. Of course, kids love the Wings of Summer butterfly exhibit, which will be around through late September. Read up on all of the week’s bargains and activities at the Turtle Bay website.

• Did you know that Saturday is national Hug Your Racecar Day? OK, I made up that one. Of course, every Saturday is Hug Your Racecar Day. (And every Monday through Friday is Pay For Your Racecar Day.)

Seriously, auto racing returns to Shasta Raceway Park on Saturday, July 17. Headlining the event will be the year’s first “street stock spectacular.” Promoter Rick Faeth canceled the late model stock car race originally on Saturday’s schedule because only four cars were likely to enter. So he shifted the focus to the street stocks, which, with their nearly unlimited engines, are not a whole lot slower than the more expensive late models. Several other classes share the bill, including school buses. And, no, I’m not making it up about school bus races.

• The folks at Whiskeytown Environmental School are ever so grateful to the Redding Breakfast Lions Club, which donated $3,200 earlier this year toward the acquisition of 28 new mattresses for the school’s camp. In addition, club members spent this past week at the Whiskeytown camp cooking for 100 kids who participated in a youth violence prevention program. Now that’s a service club.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and recommends hugging a shade tree next week. He lives in Centerville and may be reached at

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.
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3 Responses

  1. Avatar Michelle Nichols says:


    Thanks for helping to get out the word about the Annual One-Minute Hug event in Red Bluff, CA on Monday, July 19. I wish I could be there in person but I will certainly be there in spirit.

    Folks, if you're too busy to come by and hug your kids, maybe you're just too busy!


    Michelle Nichols, founder of Global Hug Your Kids Day

  2. Avatar Grandma Barbara says:

    I can't be there in person, but I will certainly be there in spirit for my grandson, Tommy Botell. He will be forever my heart. Grandma Barbara.

  3. Avatar gamerjohn says:

    Hug the one you love day? And violate the restraining orders? Again?

    Poor Tommy Botell. Any Cub Scout who is so full of life deserves to remembered. I hope Lassen Park puts up a Memorial Plaque when they finish fixing the trail wall.