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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January 13, 2016 (San Diego) – On Monday I got the incredible opportunity to audition for a really popular show in San Diego called America’s Got Talent. It was an amazing experience and I would like to share with you my journey through the process of auditioning.
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.
January 9, 2016 (La Mesa) -- The motto for the La Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club seems to be “How can we help?” There are actually two La Mesa Rotary Clubs, but the Sunrise group is for early birds, since meetings are held once a week at 7:30 a.m.
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.
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.
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.
December 28, 2015 (Alpine) – Heart attack survivor Randy Truax of Alpine has been selected to appear in the 2016 Rose Parade in Pasadena on January 1st. He will be riding on the “Union of Hearts” float for the American Heart Association and Union Bank.
December 24, 2015 (Santee)--Kellie and Dallas Coates-Legare had fleeting but frequent thoughts of opening a "serenity shop" sometime in their lives. They wanted to create a place focused on all of the anonymous recovery programs that would enhance the recovery journey of individuals while creating a supportive and compassionate environment for all seeking serenity in their lives; a place to buy tokens, books, cards and gifts of inspiration, celebration and healing.
This desire came from a long history of addiction and alcoholism in family members and friends which created a unique awareness of the disease of addiction in Kellie, both as a registered nurse and personally.
December 21, 2015 (El Cajon, CA) – Thirty local charities received over $75,000 in donations from Sycuan at a Gift Giving Ceremony on December 10th, an event that started back in 2006. Each member of Sycuan’s leadership team, comprised of elected tribal council members, the casino executive management team and the casino directors, had the opportunity to each select a charity of their choice to support. All 30 charities were present at the event that took place in Paipa’s Buffet, where they had the opportunity to speak to the group about their cause and receive their monetary donation.
December 14, 2015 (El Cajon) – Over 5,000 people attended Toys for Joy at El Cajon Valley High School on December 12th, according to Pastor Miles McPherson of the Rock Church. For many of the children in need present, these may be the only toys they receive this Christmas season.
December 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--The family of three—a couple approximately in their 40s, and their 17-year-old son and pet dog—slept in sleeping bags and blankets behind a Santee gas station last week. They were dressed in layers and were huddled or lying down on the concrete ground close to the building with their belongings in a few small carts. The family has been homeless since last December. Because the father works there five days a week, the gas station owner allows them to sleep on the property on occasion.
December 15, 2015 (San Diego) - During the holiday season, members of the Sheriff's Senior Volunteer Patrol work hard to make sure seniors who live alone feel extra special. Throughout the month of December, Senior Volunteer Patrol members will be delivering gift baskets or hot meals to seniors enrolled in the Sheriff's You Are Not Alone program.
November 30, 2015 Thanksgiving Day (Santee) – The fourth annual Waddle and Trot 5K Fun Run (that’s the waddle part) and race (for the trotters) took off from the parking lot of the Pathways Community Church at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Over 600 runners raced down Mast Boulevard and into Santee Lakes park.
The course took competitors around three lovely lakes while Egrets and Great Blue Heron watched with cautious curiosity. You cannot imagine a more eclectic group. There were people of all ages from 90 years old to the unborn and every color you can imagine.
But we all had one thing in common – to reach out and help someone in need, collectively do a good deed and in spread a little holiday cheer along the way. All proceeds went to benefit the Santee Santas and the Santee Food Bank.
Animals are safely en route, soon to find refuge at sanctuaries
November 24, 2015 (Alpine)--Bobbi Brink, Founder/Director of Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB) in Alpine, and her team are making a 5,000 mile round trip journey to rescue and provide transport to six exotic animals, including four tigers from Ohio. The animals are en route to reputable sanctuaries in Nevada and California.
Part 2 in our series on foster youth programs. Read Part 1 here.
By Tasha Matthews
November 25, 2015 (San Diego)--Just in Time (JIT) is an organization that helps foster youth receive necessary resources in finance, education, basic needs, and life skills. Just in Time for foster youth was a part of the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation in 2003 (now known as Promises2Kids). Since then, Just in Time has vastly expanded, dedicated to helping foster youths through their early adult years. Just in Time has eight programs and is growing more along the way:
November 25, 2015 (Alpine)—For every toy donated to this year’s toy drive, Viejas Casino & Resort will match it one-for-one. “We have a very ambitious goal and we need your support to achieve success,” a press release states.
Since the Toy Drive in partnership with The Salvation Army in 2010, Viejas has donated over 30,000 toys, giving back to our community and helping to make the holiday season brighter for children in need.
On the drive home to San Diego from an event in Los Angeles, USA Today best-selling author Jennifer Coburn and Adventure by the Book owner Susan E. McBeth came up with an idea to throw a fundraiser benefiting the French Red Cross. The two women had recently taken trips to Paris and wanted to do something to help the victims of the November 13 attacks.
By the time they arrived home, they already had four authors of Paris-themed books on board, according to Coburn. Eight days later on November 22, the Je Suis Paris fundraiser was realized and proceeds exceeded the initial goal of $5,000.
November 11, 2015 (La Mesa)- On November 6th, the Caregiver Coalition of San Diego with the city of La Mesa had an event for caregivers of military veterans called “Finding the Balance in Caregiving- Caring for Veterans.” The event took place at the La Mesa Community Center with resource booths, free lunch provided by AARP, and a drawing. Respite care was available, provided by Heritage Senior Care.
East County Magazine was there- and below are details on many important programs and services to help our local veterans.
November 9, 2015 (San Diego)--Members of CAL FIRE Firefighters, along with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, will celebrate their 61-year partnership and kick off the fire fighters' annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to benefit children and adults affected by muscle disease throughout the San Diego area.
More than 300 members of CAL FIRE will fan out across San Diego County with boots in hand for this year’s drive during the week of November 9 through 13th at intersections throughout the San Diego region.
November 7, 2015 (San Diego)--The San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Teddy Bear Drive is putting out an all-points bulletin on new, tagged, huggable stuffed bears and they are asking the public to “turn them in” at law enforcement stations and San Diego County Chick-fil-A restaurants. The stuffed animals will be donated and delivered on Dec. 8 to Rady Children’s Hospital to comfort sick and scared children.
The 25th annual drive is coordinated this year by the San Diego County Probation Department and the Coronado Police Department. Chick-fil-A, a corporate supporter, is hosting the kickoff event from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 10 and will donate a free chicken sandwich meal or nuggets kid’s meal to those who bring in a brand new stuffed bear with tags still attached to any of its nine area stores during the special event. Area law enforcement will have representatives there and emergency vehicle displays as well as Chick-fil-A’s “Eat Mor Chikin” Cow for photo opportunities with the public.
November 5, 2015 (El Cajon)--About 30 military veterans, now students at Cuyamaca College, enjoyed a barbecue and received school supplies at a Veterans Week commemoration hosted on campus Wednesday by the El Cajon Elks Lodge. The event, which also included a raffle for prizes including T-shirts, gift certificates from merchants and a pair of tickets to a Chargers’ football game, marked the second year that Elks Lodge 1812 joined the college in honoring student veterans.
November 3, 2015 (Lakeside)- Nearly $5,000 was raised at an October 23rd benefit event to help fund search efforts to find Elijah ‘Bear’ Diaz, who has been missing since August 29th. The event, which drew 218 guests, was held at the Loretta Quitae LaChappa Clubhouse near Barona Resort and Casino in Lakeside. The funds will help the family hire a private investigator.
November 1, 2015 (La Mesa) - The La Mesa Chamber is beginning to gather items for the 22 seniors that the Chamber adopts each year during the holidays. It is the goal of the Chamber to collect, purchase and assemble items and place them in large gift baskets. These gift baskets are delivered along with a hot turkey dinner, with all of the trimmings to the selected seniors by the La Mesa Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol.