People Power

Inspiring Stories from San Diego's Eastern Region

A MOTHER’S COURAGE: THE STRUGGLE OF AN ASYLUM-SEEKER

 

By Jaime Rodriguez-Sosa

Photo: Adenike O sought asylum to protect her daughter from violence and genital mutilation. Now she works as a Certified Nursing Assistant after completing a licensing program, also volunteering to train prospective students at Nile Sisters.

May 11, 2016 (San Diego) -- The California State Refugee Service Bureau states that since 1975, California has provided refuge to 700,000 people, with San Diego County being the most notable recipient of refugees in the whole state. On average San Diego resettles 2,500 refugees per year, with areas such as City Heights among the most prominent areas for resettlement. These numbers are expected to increase in coming years, with refugees from Syria being accepted to resettle in the United States.

EAST COUNTY COLLECTOR TO SPEAK AT WORLD STAMP SHOW

 

By Betty Chafetz

May 10, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Fletcher Hills resident Donald Chafetz has been selected as a speaker and exhibitor at the 2016 World Stamp Show in New York. This prestigious event happens only every 10 years and is expected to draw an international crowd of 250,000 from every corner of the globe. Chafetz is an active member of the Philatelic 25 Club of San Diego, exhibit chair of the SANDICAL exhibition, a local show, featuring collections from across the nation and has won gold medals for his collections on Morris County, New Jersey and Holy Land printed matter exhibits. 

MOM, 91, SAVES TREE IN ALLIED GARDENS—FOR NOW

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County News Service

May 9, 2016 (Allied Gardens) – Marie Ostwald, 91, issued a Mother’s Day plea on Facebook asking San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to stop city workers from cutting down a tree that her husband planted back in 1957.  She included a photo of herself beneath the tree’s expansive shade and invited other mothers to come sit with her today, Monday, to help save her beloved tree.

LOCAL MOTHER-DAUGHTER TEAM RAISES ASSISTANCE DOGS

 

East County News Service

May 8, 2016 (Oceanside) -- Marilyn Fullen and her daughter Brittany have been volunteering together for over a decade. Together, they raise future assistance dogs for Canine Companions for Independence. Canine Companions is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Their shared hobby has brought them closer while providing a valuable community service.

MAN MISSING 10 YEARS REUNITED WITH FAMILY AFTER IDENTIFY THE MISSING EVENT

 

Source: County News Service

See video of reunion on KNSD

Photo: As a result of the region's first Identify the Missing event, Randy Gatewood, missing for 10 years from his family, has been found by his brother Gene Gatewood, at right.

April 30, 2016 (Lemon Grove) -- He once was lost, but now is found.

16 BABIES AND COUNTING

 

Spring Valley foster family hopes to raise awareness about joys of fostering

By Jen Coburn

April 24, 2016 (Spring Valley) -- Not everyone has the energy to care for 16 babies, but Ana and Dale Griffin say they are up to the task. The Spring Valley couple has a secret weapon – pacing. They serve as foster parents for one baby at a time through Angels Foster Family Network, a nonprofit that requires San Diego families devote their full attention to one young child (or sibling set) at a time.

MONTE VISTA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND STAFF TO PREPARE 40,000 PACKAGED MEALS TO ALLEVIATE GLOBAL HUNGER

 

East County News Service

April 23, 2016 (Spring Valley) -- Students and staff at Monte Vista High School know that Mondays are special.  They are faculty work days; classes begin two hours later than usual so students get the chance to sleep in.  But this coming Monday, April 25th, won’t be a typical one for the Monarch student body.  Instead of sleeping in, more than 200 students and staff members will work with “Stop Hunger Now” to package 40,000 meals for needy children in developing countries.  The students and staff are excited to be a part of this community service event hosted by their school and nearby Foothills United Methodist Church.

HELP THE HOMELESS AT FUNDRAISER APRIL 28 AT BNS BREWING IN SANTEE TO BENEFIT OPERATION SUPPLY

 

East County News Service

April 14, 2016 (Santee) – BNS Brewing & Distillery (10960 Wheatlands Ave)  in Santee will host a fundraiser on April 28th from 6-8:30 p.m. to benefit Operation Supply, a nonprofit which has supplied hygiene supplies and warmth to over 175 homeless people in San Diego over the past four years.

LAKESIDE HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOUNDER, 101, HONORED BY CONGRESS OF HISTORY AWARD

 

East County News Service

April 7, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – We wanted to share with you that Edna Swink Kouns, Class of 1932, received the Congress of History Ben Dixon Award in February 2016 for her preservation efforts in her hometown of Lakeside.  Edna’s acceptance speech emphasized and encouraged the importance of volunteering in your community,” the Grossmont High School Museum reports. “Edna has a lifetime passion for history, shown by her founding role in 1972 in the Lakeside Historical Society and is a driving force in its efforts to preserve, display, and celebrate the community’s history.  Edna at the age of 101 continues to volunteer weekly!”

SALVATION ARMY TO BUILD NEW FACILITY IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

March 31, 2016 (El Cajon) -- As part of a Capital Campaign that will improve the lives of thousands, The Salvation Army in El Cajon will build a $5.4 million social services facility that will help to assist 1,500 families in East County every month. In a community where the poverty rate is approximately 30%--and 7,395 children living within two miles of our corps qualify for free or reduced price meals--the Salvation Army is there offering hope and a hand-up.  More than 40,000 are served from our El Cajon Corps annually with programs including: 

CAPABILITY RANCH PLANS FUN ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED

 

By Janis Russell

March 30, 2016 (Ramona) - Capability Ranch: Special Needs Activities and Events Center for Youth and Young Adults located in Ramona has been open for over a year. Nicola Bridges, founder of the ranch, and her husband, Tony Oxley, have been operating this ranch along with volunteers who teach activities. The ranch is geared towards young people who are 16-27 years of age, with the average being 21 years. ECM participated in an exclusive interview with Bridges.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB ANNOUNCES UPDATE ON LA MESA CAPITAL CAMPAIGN



 

East County News Service

March 18, 2016 (La Mesa) -- The Boys & Girls Clubs of East County (BGCEC) has announced more than $5.6 million has been raised towards a goal of $9.4 million for its fundraising effort called the “La Mesa Capital Campaign” that includes construction of a new 25,000-square-foot clubhouse on the campus of La Mesa Arts Academy, previously known as La Mesa Middle School.

ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE’S CENTER RECEIVES MILLION DOLLAR GIFT FROM KRAEMER-KLEINBUB FAMILY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Angel and Fred Kleinbub

March 17, 2016 (El Cajon) -- St. Madeleine Sophie's Center in El Cajon, which serves developmentally disabled adults, announces a $1 million gift pledged over five years Angel and Fred Kleinbub.  The gift will be used for a new Aquatics Complex at St. Madeleine’s as part of a $3.5 mlilion capital campaign for campus-wide facility improvements.

LA MESA SUNRISE ROTARY HONORS FOUR ALTRUISTIC WOMEN

 

By Donald H. Harrison

Photos by Donald H. Harrison and Leon Thompson

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network.

Photo:  Manuela Bump, president of the La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club, left, and honorees Kathi Anderson, Estela De Los Rios, Mimi Pollack, and Bobbi Brink.

March 12, 2016 (Spring Valley) – La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club honored four women on Saturday, March 5, for their advocacy in behalf of Syrian refugees, victims of sex trafficking, survivors of torture, and abused wild animals. Besides a certificate of appreciation and half the proceeds from the tea for them to donate to their favorite charities, the women were honored with Paul Harris Fellowships, named for one of the founders of Rotary International.

73-YEAR-OLD LAKESIDE RESIDENT WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE IS INSPIRATIONAL EXAMPLE OF EXERCISE BENEFITS

 

 

By Steve Lauria

March 10, 2016 (Lakeside) -- A great place to get a good workout is Lakeside’s Lindo Lake exercise path. There is a great assortment of stationary workout equipment for every part of the body. It is located right on the lake, next to the skateboard park.

NEW QUEENS CROWNED IN LA MESA AND SANTEE

 

By Sierra Billock, pageant director 

March 6, 2016 (La Mesa/Santee) - On Saturday, March 5, 2016 the city of La Mesa and the city of Santee held one of their most grand traditions, the Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee Pageants.  The programs have been a tradition in the cities since the late 1960’s and are an outstanding mentoring program for young women.  Mayor Voepel from Santee and Mayor Araposathis from La Mesa were in attendance to formally present Miss La Mesa 2016 Susanna Wiggins, Miss Teen La Mesa 2016 Jennifer Barillas, Miss Santee 2016 Marrissa Lawrence and Miss Teen Santee 2016 Kaylyn Rambo.

CAMPO FUNDRAISER MARCH 19 TO BENEFIT CANCER AND KIDNEY TRANSPLANT PATIENTS

 

By Lynn Neff

February 9, 2016 (Campo) - Come on out and join the fun at the Community Fundraiser in Campo on Saturday, March 19, 2016 from 2-6 pm at 976 Sheridan Rd.  The reason for this event, however, is no laughing matter.

SANTEE MAN WILL WALK ACROSS NATION TO BENEFIT ALS PATIENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 8, 2016 (Santee) – Carol Wahl died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease on March 1st, 2010. To honor her memory and raise money to help other ALS patients have better lives, her son, Mark Solz, will embark from Petco Park in San Diego on March 1st for a 3,200 mile walk across America. 

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS OF EAST COUNTY TO HOST 50TH ANNUAL CHILDREN’S BALL FEB. 20

 

East County News Service

February 4, 2016 (San Diego) - The Boys & Girls Clubs of East County will present its 50th annual Children’s Ball on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Omni San Diego Hotel, 675 “L” St., Downtown San Diego. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit programs, activities and services provided annually to more than 3,000 children, ages 5 to 18, who attend the five facilities operated by the Boys & Girls Clubs of East County. Cocktail reception and drawing will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner beginning at 7 p.m.

EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE WRITER AMONG WOMEN HONORED AT LA MESA SUNRISE ROTARY TEA MARCH 5

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 30, 2016 (La Mesa) – the La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club invites you to a Spring Tea fundraiser honoring four distinguished San Diego women. The honorees are Kathi Anderson, director of Survivors of Torture International, Bobbi Brink, founder of Lions, Tigers and Bears, Mimi Pollack, a writer for East County Magazine, and Estela de los Rios, executive director of CSA of San Diego County.  The tea will be held on Saturday, March 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Noah Homes, 12526 Campo Road in Spring Valley.

COUNTY OFFERS FREE TAX PREPARATION AND HELP FOR LOW INCOME PEOPLE TO CLAIM TAX CREDITS

East County News Service

January 29, 2016 (San Diego) -- If you are a low-income family or individual, save your money. The County can help you file your taxes completely free—and assist you in receiving federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits that could amount to thousands of dollars in your pocket.

NATIONAL “TRAIN YOUR DOG” MONTH: FREE TIPS FOR TRAINING YOUR FURRY FRIEND

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 20, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- According to the U.S. Humane Society, bad behavior is one of the top reasons people give up their pets. January is National Train Your Dog Month and to help promote responsible pet ownership to help pets stay in their fur-ever homes, Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, the nation's largest pet care franchise offers tips for training your dog. Training not only helps to build a strong owner-dog relationship, but it gives you a reason to spend quality one-on-one time with your pet.

CHP OFFICER WHO SAVED KIDNAPPED KIDS IS NOW IN NEED: DAUGHTER DIAGNOSED WITH LEUKEMIA

 

By Liz Alper

 

Photo courtesy of ECM news partner 10 News

 

January 19, 2016 (San Diego) – California Highway Patrol Officer Jared Mikulsky helped save the lives of four kidnapped children in a dramatic rescue on a Santee freeway overpass back in 2014.  Now his own two-year-old daughter, Kaylee, has been diagnosed with leukemia.  She is undergoing chemotherapy treatments at Rady Children’s Hospital.  Officer Mikulsky and his wife, a nurse, are asking for the public’s help to pay for costs their insurance does not cover, 10 News reports. They have set up a GoFundMe page here where you can donate.

ANIMAL TALES: LABS AND MORE OFFERS SECOND CHANCE FOR DOGS

 

By Mimi Pollack

January 12, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The motto for California Labrador Retrievers and More is “Dogs + Families = Love”. Thanks to all their hard work and dedicated volunteers, this local group, also known as Labs and More, has found homes for 3,900 dogs in five years. Just last week, Labs and More volunteers found homes for 60 dogs, an impressive record to start 2016.

DOGS HAVE GOOD LIFE WITH KIND PHILANTHROPIST DEVOTED TO HELPING ANIMALS

 

 

By Mimi Pollack

January 9, 2016 (La Mesa) — Recently, I interviewed five ebullient German Shorthaired Pointers. Their owner, George Juchum, was there, too, clearly relishing giving his dogs the run of his large home and garden  near Mt. Helix in La Mesa.

CAMP ONWARD HELPS TEENS WITH ASPERGER’S SYNDROME GAIN SOCIAL SKILLS

By Janis Russell

Hear a podcast of our interview aired on KNSJ  radio:  click here

January 8, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - Camp Onward is designed for teens with Asperger’s Syndrome to help with social skills. East County Magazine recently sat down with founder Nancy Hagan, director Kathy Gerstenberg, and parent of a kid with Asperger’s Syndrome, Laura Preble. We asked them questions about how the camp got started, its impact on the kids and parents, and what the camp is like among other topics.

LA MESA AND SANTEE SEEK PAGEANT CONTESTANTS

 

 

East County News Service

 

January 1, 2016 (La Mesa and Santee) -- On Saturday, March 5, 2016 the cities of La Mesa and Santee will hold one of their most grand traditions, the Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee scholarship pageants.  The pageants are currently seeking outgoing residents ages 12-26 to participate in a program that has been a tradition in the cities since the late 1960s and is an outstanding mentoring program for young women.  The pageants are sponsored by the local Chambers of Commerce and focus on community service, networking, improving public speaking and interview skills and overall personal growth.

 

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