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By Miriam Raftery

Stoney Stone and his Wife.
Photo Credit: Leon Thompson

December 10, 2008 (Alpine) — Community members from throughout East County
gathered at the Viejas Dreamcatcher Lounge for a holiday party and auction
to help needy families locally.  In addition, community leaders paid tribute
to B.W. "Stoney" Stone, founder of Stoney's Kids and long-time organizer of
the East County Toy & Food Drive.

"We have over 1,400 families who need help this year," Salvation Army Captain
Darren Norton told East County Magazine, adding that the need is greater
than ever this holiday season.  More people need help because of the economic
downturn, which has led to more people locally losing homes and jobs.  In
addition, a flood at a San Diego facility earlier in December destroyed about
1,000 toys already donated to the Salvation Army.

Joe Browning from Congressman Duncan Hunter's office
presents Stoney Stone with flag flown over U.S. Capitol.

The evening's most emotional moment was the arrival of Stone, now wheelchair-bound
following a recent severe illness.   Assemblyman Joel Anderson presented
Stone with a Legislative proclamation honoring his long-time service to the
community.  A representative of Supervisor Dianne Jacob announced that
San Diego County officially declared the date Stoney Stone day.   In
addition, a representative from Congressman Duncan Hunter's office gave Stone
an American flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol.

Founded in 1991, Stoney's Kids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping
children of East County. Originally known as the East County Youth Development
Advisory Council, the organization has given away money for reading, recreation,
music, parent education, school banners, and juvenile justice diversion programs
in addition to the annual holiday toy drive. 

For more information, visit