People Power

Inspiring Stories from San Diego's Eastern Region

CASA DE ORO ALLIANCE AWARDED GRANT TO TRANSFORM AREA

 

East County community receives $500,000 toward effort

East County News Service

August 11, 2018 (Casa de Oro) -- The Casa de Oro Alliance has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to improve the Campo Road business corridor in the East County community.

DAUGHTER OF BRUSH FIRE PARTYLINE ADMINISTRATOR NEEDS KIDNEY TRANSPLANT: DONOR AND FUNDING NEEDED

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 5, 2018 (Lakeside) – Deb Carney Carlson is an administrator for the Brush Fire Partyline, donating her time to post fire alerts to keep others safe. Now her daughter, Tara, is fighting for her life – and needs help from the public.

STALKING A BUS STATION

 

A La Mesa writer finds a way to help families released from ICE detention

By Mimi Pollack

Photo:  Honduran man and his two sons

August 1, 2018 (San Diego) -- Helping others is not political. It is good for the soul. When you help others, you forget about your own problems for awhile. In addition, nobody should make you feel bad about who you decide to help. In my case, as a writer, I have interviewed many good folks assisting others -- be they two legged or four legged recipients – and ended up also giving to many charitable human and animal organizations.

WEST FIRE BENEFIT AND AUCTION AUG. 18

 

East County News Service

July 18, 2018 (Alpine) - A dinner and auction to benefit survivors of the West Fire in Alpine will be held on Saturday, August 18th from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center.

The Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce and Alpine Community Center are organizing the fundraiser. All funds raised will be donated to the Alpine Community Foundation to help and support those affected by the West Fire, which destroyed 34 homes and also destroyed many outbuildings, damaging other properties.

For tickets, visit http://www.AlpineChamber.com.

See details below:

ALPINE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION NOW ACCEPTING TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS TO HELP WEST FIRE SURVIVORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Drone video of West Fire devastation in Alpine: "Aftermath from above" by Joseph A. Acevedo, N6SIX

July 15, 2018 (Alpine) – People who want to help Alpine residents rebuild homes lost after the West Fire, and fill gaps that insurance companies and other agencies aren’t filling, can now make a tax deductible donation to the Alpine Community Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

A community recovery team will help the Foundation verify needs and resources. Money will pay bills directly, and will not be paid directly to individuals. Those in greatest need will receive help first.  The Foundation is run by volunteers in the community, so no fees will be charged and 100% of donations will benefit fire survivors.

HOW TO HELP WEST FIRE SURVIVORS IN ALPINE

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2018 (Alpine) – Many of our readers have been asking how to help people who lost homes in the West Fire in Alpine earlier this month.  Several organizations are helping out and GoFundMe pages have also been set up for some of the families.

Alpine Christian Fellowship has established a West Fire relief fund that is accepting financial donations.  You can also sign up to volunteer to help with debris clean up, supply distribution, food and water, pet care, child care, spiritual care, or transportation.

A Fire Victim Supply Post has been set up at Boulder Oaks Elementary (2320 Tavern Rd., Alpine) where you can donate and drop off supplies to help fire survivors such as clothing, clean-up supplies, non-perishable food items and household goods.  For more info please call or text Margo at 619-876-8713 or Stephanie at 619-573-5638.

Keller Williams Realty has started a fund to help West Fire survivors and is also accepting donations of immediate relief supplies at three locations in Alpine and El Cajon. Details are at their GoFundMe link.

Below are other  GoFundMe sites set up to help specific individuals and families who lost homes in the West Fire. While some have already raised tens of thousands of dollars, other have nearly no donations. Please help our neighbors in need.

ESTELA DE LOS RIOS: AN ADVOCATE FOR HER COMMUNITY

 

Human rights leader is an organizer of hate crimes forum July 17 in El Cajon

By Mimi Pollack

July 14, 2018 (El Cajon) -- As the executive director of CSA-Center for Social Advocates, Estela de los Rios cares about the well-being of the community. She also has a strong sense of justice, which she developed at an early age. As a human rights activist, she strives to make the world a better place and doesn’t want others to feel the pain of discrimination, something she herself has faced in her life.

CSA is a place where people can come and voice their concerns. It is made up of six agencies that provide community services to East County, including fair housing, immigrant and refugee rights, civic engagement, hate crimes, and human trafficking. It is a place that in her words, “embraces newcomers and community.”

DONATE GOODS TO HELP ALPINE FIRE VICTIMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 9, 2018 (Alpine)--A donation center has been set up  by Living Life Alpine for the pubic to drop off goods to help survivors of the West Fire in Alpine, which destroyed at least 35 homes as well as many outbuildings, also damaging other properties.  Donations can be dropped from from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Boulder Oaks Elementary School auditorium at 2320 Tavern Road, Alpine.

This location has changed from an earlier site opened last night, which has already provided relief supplies to several families. 

“Any donations are welcome,” the organization’s Facebook page states.  “Here are some ideas:”

EL CAJON SALVATION ARMY RUNS OUT OF FOOD

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Food donations are urgently needed at the Salvation Army in El Cajon, where supplies are at a “critical low point” after an annual holiday food drive fell far short.

Donations of canned, boxed or other nonperishable food items can be dropped off at the Salvation Army facility at 1011 East Main Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, the organization states on Facebook. For details, call (619) 440-4683. Financial donations are also welcome.

If the supplies are not promptly replenished within 30 days, the nonprofit will be forced to use funds to buy food items to feed the hungry, reducing money available for other important needs, an agency spokesperson has stated, NBC 7 reported.

PEARL HARBOR SURVIVORS JOIN THOUSANDS TO HONOR VETERANS IN EL CAJON

 

By Jesse B. Kendrick

Photo: El Cajon Councilmember Bob McClellan and granddaughter Jessica (left) join Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kendrick (center) to honor Pearl Harbor survivor Stu Hedley, 96 (right).

July 3, 2018 (El Cajon) – Nearly 10,000 community members gathered this weekend for Celebrate America, the annual Independence Day event hosted by Shadow Mountain Community Church. The event featured indoor fireworks and a surprise appearance from military personnel who rappelled down ropes from the ceiling.

HOUSING PROGRAM SAVES LAKESIDE FAMILY FROM ENDING UP ON STREETS

 

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

June 20, 2018 (Lakeside) - She survived them all. Violence. Cancer. Homelessness.

April found freedom after finally leaving her abusive and drug-addicted partner.

The 46-year-old is cancer free after going through rigorous chemotherapy sessions and multiple surgeries.

And thanks to the County’s rental assistance program, April and her three children now have a permanent place to live.

WASTE MANAGEMENT DRIVER TURNS FOUND KITTEN OVER TO NEWLY OPENED EL CAJON ANIMAL SHELTER, ADOPTS KITTEN

 

Source:  Waste Management

June 15, 2018 (El Cajon) - A kitten who narrowly escaped death is now safe and sound in his new home, after being adopted by the Waste Management driver who rescued him.

In March, East County Waste Management driver Michael Cabrera was ending his shift with his routine safety inspection of his truck, when he noticed a cardboard box stuck in the grate of the truck’s compactor blade. Inside was a tiny kitten, with his umbilical cord still attached.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: MASQUERADE BALL SEPT. 28 BENEFITS ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE’S CENTER

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

June 9, 2018 (El Cajon) – You’re invited to a magical evening of festivity and excitement at a masquerade ball titled “A Night To Remember.”

This black tie formal affair—masks mandatory—will be held on Friday, September 28 from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Crystal Ballroom (414 Magnolia Ave., El Cajon). 

LOCAL WOMAN’S QUEST TO CURE ALZHEIMER’S THIS FRIDAY IN ALPINE

 

By Annie Greenberg

June 7, 2018 (Alpine) -- Linda Cioffi is on a mission: to help find a cure for Alzheimer's in her lifetime.  Her annual fundraiser, Quest for the Cure, is this Friday, June 8, from 4 p.m. to8 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center Grand Ballroom. The community is invited to attend and enjoy opportunity drawings and a silent auction. The grand prize for the opportunity drawing will be a luxury staycation at a beach or bayfront home in San Diego with area theme park tickets. Other items include a Barona Casino package with spa and golf, and a Palm Springs getaway.

BOATS, BODIES AND BETRAYAL BRINGS MURDER ON THE HIGH SEAS TO LA MESA, ABOARD KIWANIS’ BENEFIT EVENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 5, 2018 (La Mesa) – It’s not every charity dinner that starts off with  cruise director Sue Nami (played by Janette Mills) welcome you aboard a 1949 cruise ship--or with a wine bottled labeled “rat poison” as the centerpiece.  Not to mention a billionaire bikini designer turning up dead – with a boatload of suspects and the entire audience helping to solve the crime.

That was the scenario at “Boats, Bodies and Betrayal,” a murder mystery dinner theatre produced by Kiwanis Club of La Mesa and Kiwanis Youth Development and Support Club of San Diego (KYDS) last Sunday evening at the La Mesa Community Center.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT HONORS 2018 HEALTHCARE HEROES AWARD WINNERS

 

East County News Service

Photo:  (Back Row, left to right) GHD board members Virginia Hall and Randy Lenac, Jan and Chuck Vermillion, GHD board member Michael Emerson, Shawn Kelley. (Front Row, left to right) Rick Doremus, Dee Davis, Ally Kellogg, GHD board member Bob Ayres and Gloria Chadwick.

June 4, 2018 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in the East County region recently honored local volunteers with its 2018 Healthcare Heroes awards. Now in its 12th year, Healthcare Heroes is GHD’s annual awards program honoring volunteers helping to advance the delivery of quality health services in the East County region.

PAGEANT WINNER ORGANIZES DRIVES FOR STUDENTS TO SUPPORT MILITARY AND TEDDY BEARS TO COMFORT CHILDREN OF DEPLOYED SOLDIERS

 

East County News Service

June 3, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – El Cajon resident Kristin Cohn, who attended Valhalla High School, was recently crowned Mrs. San Diego Woman of Achievement 2018. Her platform is titled One Nation one heart. A few months ago, she had noticed a video that was circulating via the Internet and showed a little boy that was very sad when his deployed father was not going to be able to make it home for his birthday. This really hit a nerve in Cohn as she realized that not only does the stress of a deployed parent affect the member of the military and the spouse but also the amount of stress it places on the children left at home.

LEMON GROVE NATIVE SERVES WITH NAVY STRIKE FIGHTER SQUADRON

 

By Kayla Turnbow, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Miller

May 31, 2018 (Lemoore, Calif.) - A 2003 Mount Miguel High School graduate and Lemon Grove, California, native is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron which flies one of the world’s most advanced warplanes.

CHANGE THE WORLD ONE STUDENT AT A TIME! NON-PROFIT SEEKS VOLUNTEER HOSTS FOR HIGH SCHOOL EXCHANGE STUDENTS

 

Also offering referral fees and hiring local representatives

By Deann Rios

May 22, 2018 (San Diego) -- International Education Student Exchange Program (INTER-ED) is committed to making the world a better place by offering opportunities to break down cultural barriers and bring our world closer together. This non-profit, in association with the United States Department of State, is seeking volunteer hosts to help them achieve this goal by serving as American ambassadors.

SAN DIEGO DREAM HOUSE RAFFLE NAMES FINAL PRIZE WINNERS, INCLUDING JAMUL RESIDENT

 

 

 

More than $2 million in prizes awarded; over $3 million raised for San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House

East County News Service

May 20, 2018 (San Diego) - Raising more than $3 million for Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego® to support families of hospitalized children, the 14th Annual Dream House Raffle with more than 2,300 prizes awarded, including  grand prize winner Anthony Strom from San Diego, who receives his choice of $1.3 million paid as an annuity over 20 years or $900,000 as a one-time cash payment. 

HEARTLAND FIREFIGHTERS FOUNDATION HOSTS FUNDRAISER TONIGHT FOR FAMILY MEMBERS WITH CANCER

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

On Friday, May 4, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. a fundraiser at the San Diego Firehouse Museum will offer an opportunity to see the museum and to raise money for cancer patients Glenn Stewart and Paula Hamma. The Heartland Firefighters Foundation is holding a fundraiser at the museum to help these family members of the men and women who fight our wildfires and other fires in East County.

The museum, founded in 1962 and located in San Diego’s Little Italy, houses steel from the World Trade Center, firefighting equipment from the late 1800s, La Jolla’s first fire engine and more. Besides seeing the museum, the taco plates ($10) and beer ($5) offered will be a great way to contribute to monies to help Stewart and Hamma. There is no entry fee.

EAST COUNTY TEENS FIND PROM DRESSES THANKS TO PRINCESS PROJECT

 

Nonprofit plans fundraiser May 19-20

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

May 2, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The Princess Project, an organization that matches up the right high school prom dress with the right high school student for free, came to the County of San Diego-El Cajon Library branch on April 30th.  The nonprofit provides free dresses and accessories to high school students who cannot otherwise afford them.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ANNOUNCES 2018 HEALTHCARE HEROES AWARD WINNERS

 

East County News Service

April 24, 2018 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) is proud to announce the honorees for its 2018 Healthcare Heroes awards. GHD officials said the recipients are volunteers of all ages and walks of life who serve in health care in San Diego’s East Region community.

This year’s honorees include a family practice physician who helps those not able to afford health insurance, two volunteers who provide one-on-one comfort following crisis events, a 23-year-old who spends part of her weekends in a hospital emergency room, a couple who drives people to their cancer treatments and a non-profit board member who has volunteered for the past 20 years.

“The purpose of the Healthcare Heroes Awards is to recognize volunteers whose unsung work in healthcare might not otherwise be celebrated,” said Michael Emerson, GHD board president. “We are proud to recognize the 2018 winners and their inspiring commitment to caring for others.”

Here are the heartwarming stories of this year’s winners:

DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION DEDICATE HISTORIC MARKER FOR KNOX HOUSE MUSEUM IN EL CAJON

 

Article and photos by Robert Gehr © 2018

April 23, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The Letitia Coxe Shelby Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter in La Mesa held a dedication ceremony for a Knox House Museum historic marker on Saturday at the Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Art Gallery in the heart of downtown El Cajon.

COUNTY SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR PARKS CHAMPION AWARDS

 

 

East County News Service

April 18, 2018 (San Diego) -- The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking nominations for the third annual Parks and Recreation Champion Awards. 

The program recognizes local champions for their work in environmental education and ambassadorship at parks and public centers across San Diego County. The winner will be awarded at a banquet in July in celebration of National Parks and Recreation Month. 

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT AWARDS $90,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS TO HEALTHCARE STUDENTS FROM 21 LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS

 

East County News Service

April 17, 2018 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) recently awarded $90,000 in scholarships to 40 high school seniors who have expressed interest in a career as a healthcare professional.

`BLESSED WITH A DRESS,’ FREE PROM DRESS GIVEAWAY IN EL CAJON, SATURDAY, APRIL 21ST

 

East County News Service

April 16, 2018 (La Mesa) – Foothills Christian Church, 365 West Bradley Ave., El Cajon, will host “Blessed with a Dress,” a free event for young women needing high-quality, fashionable formal wear for school dances and other special occasions. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, girls can visit the church campus and select a free dress, pair of shoes and jewelry for upcoming formal events.

WOMAN WHO SURVIVED DOUBLE HIT AND RUN ON I-8 IN LAKESIDE NEEDS HELP WITH MEDICAL BILLS—AND HOPES TO THANK TRUCKER WHO SAVED HER LIFE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2018 (Lakeside) – “My life changed forever during the early morning hours on Memorial Day, May 30, 2017,” says Korren Knapp Grada.  That’s when she suffered horrific injuries after being struck by two hit-and-run vehicles in I-8 near the Lake Jennings exit in Lakeside. 

How she got there remains a mystery, though she believes she was drugged by a man and was seeking to escape harm when she scaled a fence onto the freeway.

She’s shared her story with East County Magazine in hopes that someone can shed light on what happened, perhaps recognizing strangers in photos taken on her cell phone the night before. She also hopes to thank a good Samaritan who stopped and saved her life. 

Most of all, she needs help with staggering medical bills for multiple surgeries needed to save her life and help her on her long road to healing; you can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/helpkorren.

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