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Inspiring Stories from San Diego's Eastern Region

NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR EL CAJON CITIZEN OF THE YEAR; DEADLINE FOR NOMINEES IS DECEMBER 21

December 13, 2012 (El Cajon ) -- Since 1955, El Cajon's civic, service, and fraternal organizations have helped to select an El Cajon “Citizen of the Year” from the many people in El Cajon who contribute to the city through years of volunteer civic and community service. Anyone may make a nomination for this year's Citizen of the Year award by the December 21, 2012 deadline. This award is for volunteer (un-paid) service to the community which benefits the city and residents of El Cajon.  Applicants for El Cajon Citizen of the year need not live within the city limits of El Cajon, but must live in East County.

LOCAL TOT’S PARTY HELPS HURRICANE SANDY VICTIMS

By Staci Torgensen

December 7, 2012 (San Diego)--At the ripe age of two, Journey’s birthday party is making a difference in the lives of victims of Hurricane Sandy. This beautiful young girl is turning her second birthday party into an event to remember.

Journey’s family has chosen to ECHOage her upcoming birthday party.  Instead of receiving many smaller gifts, Journey has used a birthday service that allows guests to contribute online.  Half of the funds will go to Kids in Distressed Situations – helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy - and the other half will go to a pink vintage play kitchen - a fitting gift for a Cookies and Milk birthday party theme.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF EAST COUNTY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THREE-YEAR, $2 MILLION CAPITAL CAMPAIGN

$500,000 Gift from Philanthropist Conrad Prebys completes campaign which has modernized two Boys & Girls Clubs Facilities in El Cajon
 
December 3, 2012 (El Cajon) -- The Boys & Girls Clubs of East County Foundation announced today the successful completion of its three-year, $2 Million Capital Campaign that has repurposed two facilities in El Cajon’s Wells Park into a state of the art Boys & Girls Club and Teen Center for East County youth. 

GIRL SCOUTS SERVE AS FOOD BANK ELVES

December 2, 2012 (Alpine) -- On Wednesday, November 28, members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 6279 of Alpine worked like elves in the Alpine Food Bank workshop packaging bulk rice and pasta. The girls decorated and packaged over 200 one-pound bags of rice and pasta that will be distributed by the Alpine Food Bank to needy East County families.

 

 

Members of Girl Scout Troop 6279 with their Holiday staples packages at the Alpine Food Bank, pictured from left to right, Back Row: Julia Tompkins, Kate Duffy, Claire Doucet . Front Row: Gracie Wyse, Danika Dabbs, Carlita Coleman, Brinleigh Aland and Kenzie Wray. Not pictured: Rori McCarthy, Karlee Dillon, Carly Hodgson and Carli Sheker. 

SOLDIER SEEKS BLANKETS FOR AFGHAN WOMEN STUDENTS

By Miriam Raftery

November 27, 2012 (La Mesa)—ECM writer Kristin Kjaero has asked us to post a request from a friend stationed in Afghanistan with the Army Corps of Engineers.  He seeks donations of twin-sized blankets for 300 female students.  Below is his letter, which tells their remarkable story.

Please read it, and consider donating new or second-hand blankets to bring some much-needed comforts to these courageous and determined young women.

KEYBOARD ARTISTS CELEBRATE WITH PIANO PARTY

November 27, 2012 (Alpine)—Piano students of Suzie Steenbergen held their autumn piano party recital celebration on November 18 in the sanctuary at Christ the King Episcopal Church in Alpine.

“It was a fine afternoon and 50+ family members and friends gathered to hear piano music on the church’s lovely piano,” Steenbergen said. 

 

Photo caption: Left to right:Alex Speck, Rhianna Speck, Sophia Parsons, Ashley Hoffman, Mia Moran, Avery Howard, and Bella Nedjar.

KIWANIS JOINS EFFORT TO HELP SHOCKEY FIRE FAMILY

Donations needed to repair trailer for winter

November 26, 2012 (Jacumba) – Kiwanis Clubs in Campo and Crest have joined forces to assist a family with a two-year-old child.  The family, who lost their home in the Shockey Fire, has been living in a temporary arrangement but was able to purchase a fifth-wheel trailer thanks to community donations.

More funds are needed, however, since the trailer needs “much repairs and appliances” before the family can call it home this winter in an area tha receives snow, says Lorrie Ostrander of Jacumba, who has been coordinating relief efforts for the fire victims. 

ECM READERS COME THROUGH TO HELP SHOCKEY FIRE VICTIMS

Cooking items, sheets still needed

November 10, 2012 (Jacumba/Boulevard) – Lorrie Ostrander, who has been coordinating efforts to help families who lost homes in the Shockey Fire, has sent the following letter thanking ECM readers for your generosity.  While many needs have been met, some remain. Please read her letter below, and help if you can.

SAN DIEGO JEWISH ACADEMY HOLDS “MOTHER OF ALL GARAGE SALES” NOV. 11 TO BENEFIT HURRICANE SANDY VICTIMS

School previously raised over  30 tons of supplies for Katrina victims and, over $100,000 worth of medical supplies for those affected by the Haiti earthquake

November 11, 2012 (San Diego)-- “People really want to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy however they can,” said Scott Brown, former San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA) parent and manager of The Mother of All Garage Sales.

On Sunday, November 11 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, SDJA will old the event,, with 100% of the proceeds going to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

ECM’S NONPROFIT PUBLISHER, HEARTLAND COALITION, HONORED BY U.S. DEPT. OF COMMERCE’S MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

Story and photos by I.C.  Jimenez

November 8, 2012 (San Diego)--Heartland Coalition has received the prestigious “Service Firm of The Year” award by the Minority Business Development Agency.  The award, presented October 25 in Riverside, recognizes individuals and organizations that have demonstrated leadership and commitment in advancing minority business enterprises.  The MBDA theme for this year is “Build it here-sell it everywhere.”

THE DRIVE TO "FEED ALPINE"

November 6, 2012  (Alpine) -- On Friday, November 2, Junior Girl Scout Troop 6279 of Alpine collected over 375 pounds of nonperishable food items for the Alpine Food Bank thanks to the Alpine Albertsons and their generous customers.

Over a period of three hours, the Girl Scouts greeted Albertsons shoppers, asking them to give to the drive and handed them flyers listing shopping items that were needed at the food bank. The positive response was overwhelming. The girls especially wish to thank an anonymous patron who purchased over $200 worth of groceries and had Albertsons personnel deliver them to the Girl Scout collection site in front of the store.

 

Pictured from left to right, Back Row: Carlita Coleman, Claire Doucet, Kate Duffy, Carly Hodgson and Front Row (seated) Kenzie Wray & Carli Sheker (not pictured: Julia Tompkins, Rori McCarthy, Gracie Wyse, Karlee Dillon, Danika Dabbs, Brinleigh Aland)

KENSINGTON COMMUNITY CHURCH WELCOMES NEW SENIOR MINISTER DARRYL KISTLER

November 3, 2012 (San Diego)—Kensington Community Church welcomes the Rev. Darryl Kistler as its new senior minister.  For the past five years, the Rev. Kistler, 37, served as pastor of Community Congregational Church in Kalispell, Montana, where he tripled average attendance, led the congregation through a vision process, prioritized the church’s online presence and use of technology in worship, and created and led a multi-faith youth group.

SDG&E TO DONATE MORE THAN $600,000 THROUGH "HELPING PEOPLE IN NEED" INITIATIVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

November 3, 2012 (San Diego)– With the holiday season approaching, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced that it will provide more than $600,000 in charitable donations to non-profit organizations in San Diego and Orange counties as part of its continuing commitment to help local underserved communities in need. 

HELPING HANDS ANIMAL SANCTUARY LAUNCHES VOLUNTEER DRIVE

Animal rescue operation announces push for volunteers, interns and grant writers to help continue mission of compassion to save animals in need. Sanctuary serves neglected population of animals.

November 3, 2012 (La Mesa) – The Helping Hands Animal Sanctuary of La Mesa announced on October 23 a unique holiday volunteer drive to help continue its mission of providing help to a neglected population of animals in need. The volunteer drive will seek individuals who are willing to assist with the rescue of dogs, cats, birds and other small animals in neighborhoods that may be overlooked by larger animal shelters.  The drive will begin immediately and continue through the end of the year.

RALLY & HIKE TO STOP THE QUAIL BRUSH POWER PLAN NOV. 3

November 1, 2012 (San Diego) – SaveMissionTrails.org is organizing a Stop the Power Plant rally & hike at Cowles Mountain on Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.  The meeting place is the Cowles Mountain staging area at the intersection of Navajo Rd. and Golfcrest.  Attendees are asked to wear orange and bring (or borrow) a sign.

SEMPRA ENERGY FOUNDATION DONATES $50,000 TO ASSIST EAST COAST STORM VICTIMS

November 1, 2012 (San Diego) – Sempra Energy Foundation today pledged $50,000 in disaster-relief assistance funds to East Coast storm victims. In support of Sempra Energy companies’ employee giving efforts, the Foundation also will be matching up to an additional $50,000 in employee donations, bringing the total potential donation to $150,000 by the Foundation and company employees.

Sempra Energy Foundation will direct the funds through the American Red Cross National Relief Fund.

A TRIBUTE TO GLORIA PENNER OCTOBER 30

October 26, 2012 (San Diego) – KPBS is hosting A Tribute to Gloria Penner on October 30 at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 700 Prospect Street, La Jolla, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Gloria Penner was a San Diego broadcasting pioneer who was part of KPBS for nearly half a century.  She lost her battle with cancer on October 6 at the age of 81.

To RSVP for this event, please visit http://www.kpbs.org/gloriatribute.

AN EVENING OF POETRY AGAINST NUKES & FOR GREEN ENERGY NOV. 1 IN LA MESA

October 26, 2012 (La Mesa) – Space Bar Internet Café is hosting an evening of poetry against nuclear energy and for green energy on November 1 from 7:30 – 10:00 p.m.  All are welcome to participate by writing a poem expressing whistleblowing, wishes to stop nukes, a dream of green. 

Write a poem or just attend the event at 7454 University Ave., La Mesa.

UNION BANK AND KPBS HONOR LOCAL HEROES IN CELEBRATION OF DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH

October 26, 2012(San Diego) – As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and responsible banking, and in commemoration of Disability Awareness Month, Union Bank, N.A., has  partnered with KPBS to recognize two local heroes who are making a positive difference to improve the lives of others. 

The 2012 Local Heroes campaign is designed to celebrate and pay tribute to extraordinary members of the community who are making a difference by improving their workplaces, neighborhoods, region and the world.  The 2012 Disability Awareness Month honorees are: Louis Frick and Laurel Moorhead.

ROTARY HOSTS GARAGE SALE FUNDRAISER OCT. 27 IN SAN CARLOS

October 20, 2012 (San Diego) -- La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club is having a Garage Sale Fundraiser on October 27th, 7:30 am – 2:00 pm. at 6210 Lakeshore Dr. San Diego 92119 (San Carlos area). Merchandise available includes household items, electronics, quality clothing, children’s equipment and clothing, garden plants and cuttings, sports equipment, furniture and much more.

BREAST CANCER WALK AT LAKE MURRAY OCTOBER 28

October 18, 2012 (La Mesa) – The Debbie Berton Walk to end breast cancer will be October 28 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Lake Murray, 5540 Kiowa Drive, La Mesa.  The public is welcome to participate in this community event.

The walk is a relaxed 1.5 miles starting from the baseball fields at Lake Murray.  Admission is not required, but with a minimum $20 tax deductible advance donation a T-shirt is provided.  Two additional registration levels are also available.  Register online at www.TheDebbieBertonWalk.com by midnight October 25.  Walk-in registrations and donations are welcome the day of the event.

SPORT CLIPS HAIRCUTS IN SANTEE LAUNCHES 2012 CAMPAIGN TO HELP HEROES CALL HOME

Local sports-themed hair care provider challenges team members and clients to make calls home possible for deployed and hospitalized U.S. service members through VFW’s Operation Uplink™

October 16, 2012 (Santee) -- Beginning October 15, Sport Clips Haircuts in Santee at 9349 Mission Gorge Road will join more than 950 of the franchise’s locations across the country in launching its annual “Help A Hero” fundraising campaign to support the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ (VFW) Operation Uplink™.

LAKESIDE WOMAN WINS 2012 COX CONSERVATION AWARD

October 17, 2012 (Lakeside) -- Cox Communications and The Trust for Public Land announced Sally Nelson as the 2012 Cox Conserves Hero (click to see video).  Sponsored locally by Think Blue San Diego and radio partners KYXY 96.5 and Energy 103.7 FM, Cox Conserves Heroes honors volunteers who are creating preserving or enhancing outdoor spaces. 

Nelson was nominated by Lakeside's River Park Conservancy because of her commitment to the local environment, education and community awareness. Nelson has been volunteering for over 10 years. She has been active in every event  the River Park has had, from the first purchase of land to the trail opening.

2012 EAST REGION OBESITY AWARENESS FORUM: FOOD DAY OCTOBER 26

October 13, 2012 (El Cajon) – The East region community will celebrate Food Day on October 26 at The Palms, 143 East Main St., El Cajon from 9:30 am. To 1:00 p.m.  The forum will address what is being done in East Region schools, businesses and communities to increase healthy eating.

WHY DIDN'T SHE JUST LEAVE?

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

October 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Picture a serene summer night in Phoenix, Arizona, circa 1982.1

I lay on a crinkly table in a cluttered ER, joking with the doc, bribing him with a promise of homemade shortbread if he could fix my face without leaving scars, looking anywhere but in his eyes, and I noticed a police officer nearby.

KIDS AND ADULTS LEARN HOW TO BULLY-STOP

By Janis Mork

October 6, 2012 (Spring Valley) -- In a class last week, 5th degree black belt martial arts master Scot Conway taught kids different techniques of how to handle physical bullying by showing by example at the Bully-Stop Seminar at the Guardian Academy. Adults learned just by Conway explaining it. ECM participated in a few of the techniques with the kids.

First, Conway handed out a sheet of paper to the parents. The kids lined up in a line across the mat and properly greeted Conway as their sensei (teacher) by clasping their hands and bowing.  Then, the kids gathered in a circle around Conway on the mat. Conway explained that one of the biggest problems of bullying is when parents are in the school office and claims are made that the bully and victim are just friends, that they’re just having fun.

"ROY RICHARDS RECOVER FUND" GOLF TOURNAMENT OCT. 5 TO AID BRAIN INJURY VICTIM

October 2, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Keller Williams Realty El Cajon will be a "Gold Sponsor" for the upcoming "Roy Richards Recovery Fund" golf tournament being held on Friday October 5 at the Carlton Oaks Golf Course in Santee. The office is helping to raise funds to help Richards recover from a life-threatening accident that resulted in a skull fracture with major brain injuries. He also suffered a broken rib and broken nose.

STARS SHINE AT SAN DIEGO BRAIN INJURY FOUNDATION "FRIENDRAISER" AT MISSION TRAILS

October 2, 2012 (San Diego, CA) -- On Saturday, September 22, the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation (SDBIF) sponsored a “Friendraiser” at the Mission Trails Visitor Center. Over 200 guests attended the event that raised funds for the foundation. Susan Hansen, the Executive Director of the SDBIF, stated, “…it was a great success. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They were having such a good time at the Mission Trails Visitor Center, nobody wanted to leave.”

PURCHASE A COMMEMORATIVE TILE TO SUPPORT ALPINE'S HISTORIC TOWN HALL

October 4, 2012 (Alpine)--The Alpine Woman's Club invites you to participate in a program to help maintain and preserve the historic Town Hall building. It was built in 1899 and is one of Alpine's most significant treasures. In 2006 it was designated an historic site by the San Diego County Register of Historic Places. As Alpine's original Town Hall, it has housed every type of event imaginable - graduations, movie nights, dances, weddings, funerals, Red Cross events during World Wars I and II, and much more.

FUNDRAISER FOR FAMILIES WHO LOST HOMES IN SHOCKEY FIRE: FRIDAY, OCT. 12 IN JACUMBA

October 1, 2012 (Jacumba) – “There is hope for the families who were affected by the wildland fire,” says Lorrie Ostrander, who has been organizing a fundraiser to help the 11 families who lost their homes in the Shockey Fire.  “With the help of Alpine Albertsons, Jacumba Women's Club, Jacumba Lounge, Manzanita Diner and other local residents, we are having a dinner." Donations will benefit the families who lost everything, she added.

The benefit dinner will be held on Friday, October 12 from 4-8 p.m. at the Jacumba Highland Senior Center, 44681 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba 91934.  A $5 donation at the door is requested.  

Donations can also be sent to:  

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