In addition to daily patients and the special circumstances of COVID-19, one local health care organization is working to bring more positivity to the county.

To boost morale during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Mark Twain Medical Center (MTMC) has launched the “Celebrate Calaveras” movement, where they share the community’s fondest memories on social media.

Hospital President and CEO Doug Archer and Marketing and Business Development Manager Nicki Stevens have started the program to help the community in a different way, outside of the hospital.

People of Calaveras County are encouraged to submit photos commemorating happier times and moments in the county. Photos can cover everyday activities or past family adventures. Comments should include where you are, what you are doing, and why you love doing it in Calaveras County.

“We want to be flooded,” Stevens said. “We want to flood social media with goodness. Let’s saturate it.”

There is currently no deadline for submissions. Everyone is encouraged to submit to celebrate what makes Calaveras, Calaveras.

“The response has been great,” Stevens said. “The fairgrounds and the Calaveras Chamber of Commerce have helped advertise the movement. We’ve been getting many submissions daily already.”

MTMC will be posting submitted photos on their Facebook page frequently, and they are hoping people will share those posts to further boost the momentum and together “celebrate Calaveras.”

MTMC has been serving the San Andreas community since 1951.

“COVID-19 is going to be here for a while, and if we can keep something simple and beautiful moving, to keep spreading the goodness, we will,” Stevens said.

MTMC has already started posting submitted photos on their Facebook page and the online community has begun to share each memory about Calaveras.

“We chose the open space,” Archer said. “We chose the camaraderie of a small town. We have to sacrifice some things to gain some things. We sacrificed the convenience of a Costco, but appreciate the value of local business. It’s not about (Mark Twain) – it’s about the community.”

To submit a photo with a comment or caption, contact Robert Lema at


Holly has a degree in anthropology and will receive a bachelor’s degree in English soon, with an emphasis in creative writing. She has moved to the area from southern California and shares her life with a Siberian husky and three rescue cats.

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