Photo, left: Staff and mentors at Fostering Opportunities Scholarships
Part I in a series on foster youth programs
September 22, 2015 (San Diego)-- Half of all foster kids in the U.S. end up homeless as adults. Just 10% go to college, and of those, only 3% graduate. Although foster youths comprise less than 0.3% of the state’s population, 40% of the people in homeless shelters are former foster youths, as is a high percentage of the country's prison population. Over half (51% ) of foster youths are unemployed. Yet despite these staggering statistics, many foster youths are bright, talented individuals who have proven that they can thrive—with help from some local groups working to help them have a brighter future.
Photo: Maggie Espinosa in the Oxnard Strawberry Fields
September 25, 2015 (La Mesa)--In Spain, there is a famous pilgrimage/walk, called El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a 450 mile walk. Many people have that walk on their bucket list. La Mesa resident Maggie Espinosa has completed her own version of that peregrination by walking the 800 mile El Camino Real, up the California coast.
September 16, 2015 (San Diego)--A San Diego County program that helps safeguard vulnerable adults in dependent care has received the California Counties Innovation Award, the highest honor given in the California State Association of Counties’ annual awards.
Kylie Rowand Foundation founded by Alpine parents aims to help fight childhood cancer
By Janis Russell
September 11, 2015 (Jamul)—Luke and Bree Rowand lost their young daughter, Kylie, to neuroblastoma last February. Now they have started the Kylie Rowand Foundation in hopes of sparing other families from having to endure with such a devastating loss.
San Diego Military Veterans Volunteer at Garden As Part of National Service Project
September 12, 2015 (El Cajon)--The Water Conservation Garden proudly hosted more than a dozen military veterans from The Mission Continues as part of a national veterans service day on September 11. The volunteers planted trees in one of The Garden’s newest exhibits, the Native Habitat Garden.
September 4, 2015 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa Rotary Club invites you to a Comedy Hypnosis show with Marsha Starr –where the audience members are the stars—on Friday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. in the La Mesa Community Center. She’s performed on Broadway, in Vegas, and at the Comedy Store.
Photo: Craig McClain with his wife, Kathleen and daughter, Deanna
August 28, 2015 (El Cajon)--The Boy Scouts of the Heartland District in East County honored Craig McClain of Boys to Men Mentoring at a luncheon on August 26th at the Ronald Reagan Community Center in El Cajon.
August 21, 2015 (El Cajon) – The Haute with Heart fashion show held August 15th at the San Diego Hilton was a stylish success, raising over $116,000 net to benefit St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center in El Cajon, which serves developmentally disabled adults.
August 21, 2015 (San Diego)- Mary Lubey, division director of Behavioral Health Sciences from Volunteers of America Southwest, recently sat down with ECM to talk about Hawley Veterans Center and what the center has been doing to help veterans among other topics. Lubey is also in charge of overseeing the program manager at Hawley Veterans Center at 9980 Hawley Road in El Cajon.
August 14, 2015 (La Mesa) -- Applications are being accepted for several openings on the City’s Aging and Veterans Commission, Environmental Sustainability Commission, La Mesa Community Parking Commission, and Historic Preservation Commission.
“The Mayor and City Councilmembers value the input from our community volunteers,” said Mary Kennedy, City Clerk. “By bringing new ideas to the table and representing the community, you will be helping your City government make the best most informed decisions possible for the benefit of the entire community.”
August 14, 2015 (La Mesa) --Ivan Alba, Elena Lujan-Alba, Isabel Alba and Lily Alba are four Allied Gardens residents who are going on an amazing journey at the end of August. Read on and learn about their upcoming travels around the world. All four of them are members of the La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club.
East County Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hosts First Fundraising Event
August 11, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)--The East County Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting a first annual Wine & Beer Garden Fundraiser on Thursday, August 20 at The Water Conservation Garden from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
his premiere social event will help raise funds for some of the Foundation’s flagship business development and education programs, including the Ethics in Business Program, the East County Business Incubator Program, East County Business Resource Center, Business College Student Scholarships, and much more. The event will feature several local restaurants, breweries and wineries, as well as Garden tours and a silent auction.
August 6, 2015 (Alpine) – For Childhood Cancer Awareness month, the Kylie Rowland Foundation is hosting “Wine and Bunco Under the Stars” on Sept. 9 at 6 pm.. to raise funds for promising less-toxic cancer treatments for children. The foundation was started in memory of Kylie Rowland, who lost her battle to neuroblastoma at age two in February 2015.
August 5, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) –Last month we reported on community efforts to help Debra Zeldin, a foster mom with several special needs children. Thieves stole her van and crashed it, leaving her with no transportation since her insurance didn’t cover damage due to vehicle theft. Now we’ve received an update from Zeldin with both good and bad news.
July 29, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)--YMCA Camp McGrath in Rancho San Diego will celebrate its ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. The beautiful outdoor area, located at the McGrath Family YMCA - 12006 Campo Road, is in a position to provide a variety of recreation programs that allow camp kids and family members to enjoy a serene park atmosphere with numerous exciting features for the kids and the kids at heart.
July 30, 2015 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce was proud to host a gift giving activity in partnership with the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center. "Christmas in July” allowed toys to be given to the La Mesa City Employees Association, who will distribute them to deserving children during this year’s holiday season.
July 25, 2015 (Poway)—The Marine Reconnaissance Foundation supports past, present, future and fallen recon brothers and their families. On Friday, September 11, a day of remembrance, golfers and donors are invited to join in the 1st annual Marine Recon Foundation Charity Golf Tournament and auction.
The event will be held at the Maderas Golf Course at 17750 Old Coach Road, Poway, 92064. Lunches are available on the course followed by a dinner and awards ceremony with auction featuring fabulous prizes.
Proceeds will send San Diego’s WWII Veterans to Washington, D.C. memorials
July 23, 2015 (San Diego)--On Aug. 15 at 5:30 p.m., Honor Flight San Diego will host “Comedy for a Cause,” a fundraiser at the San Diego Yacht Club. The fundraiser aims to raise monies to send World War II veterans on the organization’s October 2015 honor flight to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials dedicated to their sacrifice.
Donate a van or repairs and East County Magazine will give your business a free ad on our site
East County News Service
July 19, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)—Last week we told you about a foster care family in need here in East County. (See our story). Debra Zeldin’s van was stolen and crashed by the thieves, and her insurance won’t cover the repairs. She’s helped over 60 foster kids including Russell, a 6-year-old who had a kidney transplant recently but “is still wheelchair bound with a tracheotomy. He is blind and developmentally delayed. See this Voices of Children video about his inspiring story: https://vimeo.com/76706300 .
Despite fundraising efforts the Zeldin family is still far short of what’s needed to repair or replace their damaged van.
San Diego family prepares for 10th annual “Grand Stand” to raise funds for childhood cancer research, family adds new stand location in 2015
July 17, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - Continuing their quest to end pediatric cancer, the Miller family of San Diego will host their 10th annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand on Saturday, July 25, 2015 from 10am-6pm. In addition to their home lemonade stand located at 3366 Adams Avenue in Normal Heights, the Miller family had added a second satellite location to their efforts this year in front of Thorn Street Brewery (3176 Thorn Street) in North Park. These “Miller Tribe and Crew San Diego Grand Stands”—led by team captain Amy Miller—will raise funds and awareness for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit that works toward better treatments and ultimately cures for all kids with cancer.
Photos, left: Three of the five special needs children in Zeldin's care.
July 11, 2015 (Rancho San Diego) – Friends describe Debra Zeldin as an “angel.” Twice named the County’s foster parent of the year, she has taken in over 60 foster children, specializing in those with special medical needs. She currently has five children in her care, including a blind, 6-year-old boy for whom she helped obtain a kidney transplant and a 10-year-old girl with muscular dystrophy who just came home from the hospital when Zeldin discovered her van had been stolen. Two of the children use wheelchairs and one is on a tracheotomy curently.
Now Zeldin needs help –and a friend has launched a fundraising drive to raise money for repairs, since the thieves who stole her van had no insurance or assets and Zeldin’s insurance company has informed her that her policy lacked comprehensive coverage.
July 9, 2015 (Descanso) – Once again, Camp Jack will offer a summer camping experience for at-risk youths. This year’s camp starts on July 26 with a Traditional Barbeque hosted by the El Cajon Valley Host Lions club.
July 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Some friendships take years to grow, but when Little Brother Juan-Antonio met his Big Brother Jay in 2012 through Big Brothers Big Sister’s Operation Big program, the pair hit it off immediately. Operation Bigs is a one-to-one mentoring program for military children ages 7-17, the first of its kind in the nation.
July 7, 2015 (San Diego's East County) – On July 1st, 300 people flocked to their local Barons Market to enjoy cold brews and gourmet appetizers for the local speakeasy known as Barons Backroom Beer Pairings. Beer lovers and foodies in Alpine, Temecula, Wildomar, Rancho Bernardo and Point Loma helped the family-owned business raise $3,000 for the San Diego Food Bank in just two hours. After almost two years of perfecting its Backroom Beer Pairings, last night Barons hosted the event at all five locations in Southern California for the first time.
July 3, 2015 (La Mesa)--Mama’s Kitchen, www.mamaskitchen.org, prepares and delivers nutritious meals to San Diego men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. Additionally, they provide pantry services (Mama's Pantry) and nutrition education to its clients.
The people of The Table: United Church of Christ of La Mesa invite you to join them in overfilling a collection barrel for Mama July 8 through July 28. She needs nonperishable food items (no expired food, please): canned tuna, chili, salmon, fruit and soup; peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti sauce, boxed cereal and dry milk (small boxes).
July 1, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Spring Valley resident Gabriella Martinez, 7, who goes by Ella, recently received a special haircut and found a way to give back to children needing hair replacement.
June 26, 2015 (El Cajon ) – From now through July 4, Coldstone Creamery in Rancho San Diego (2963 Jamacha Road, El Cajon) will donate 20% of all purchase to benefit the ACES Foundation, which supports the El Cajon Animal Shelter. Just mention “El Cajon Animal Shelter” when ordering, or present the flyer in this story.
June 22, 2015 (El Cajon) -- The new KaBOOM playground at Bill Beck Park in El Cajon is complete—thanks to about 200 volunteers who completed the customized playground in just five and a half hours. As an added bonus, the City also installed a new adult outdoor fitness located next to the playground.
Photo: KaBoom! Playground previously built at Wells Park in El Cajon
June 13, 2015 (El Cajon)--Once again, the City of El Cajon plans to build a playground in a day. Volunteers are needed to help with the assembly of a one-of-a-kind, customized playground at Bill Beck Park on June 18 and June 20. The existing playground at Bill Beck Park was over 50 years-old. So, a new playground is planned to provide youths with a better area to play and have fun. Some of the volunteers who have registered so far include off-duty Heartland Fire & Rescue Firefighters and El Cajon Police officers, along with other City personnel and members of local civic groups.