By Miriam Raftery
“We want you to have a good start in America, and for the rest of your lives.” – Dory Beatrice, president of La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club, speaking to Somali women at Project Refuge
February 17, 2011 (San Diego) – Dory Beatrice felt shocked to learn that people who fled persecution and have been granted asylum in America are being released on the streets of San Diego with no funds, no information on resources, and no place to go.
So she worked with local Rotary chapters to raise funds and open Project Refuge, a transitional housing program in partnership with Somali Family Services that now assists asylees who have no family or friends here to help them.
By Jeremy Los
February 12, 2011 (El Cajon)--On Monday, February 14, the El Cajon Citizen of the Year Committee will host its annual “Citizen of the Year” luncheon with the San Diego-East County Chamber of Commerce. This year, the committee will honor charitable auctioneer Steve Hamann as the El Cajon Citizen of the Year.
February 11, 2011 (La Mesa) -- Following a traditional Mardi Gras pancake meal at 5:15 p.m., Copper Creek Band will perform, 7 p.m. on March 2 at the Community Center of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, 8650 Lake Murray Blvd., La Mesa.
February 11, 2011 (La Mesa) -- The City is currently looking for a youth representative to serve on the Environmental Sustainability Commission. Applicants must live within the city limits of La Mesa and may not be more than 21 years of age. Applications may be obtained by accessing the City of La Mesa website, www.cityoflamesa.com or from the City Clerk’s office in La Mesa City Hall, 8130 Allison Avenue, during normal business hours.
2 EAST COUNTY WOMEN AMONG 5 TO BE INDUCTED INTO SAN DIEGO COUNTY WOMEN’S HALL OF FAME MARCH 12 AT SDSU
Honorees include Clara Harris of Lemon Grove and the late Midge Costanza with SDSU
February 1, 2011 (San Diego) – The San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame will host its 10th annual induction ceremony on March 12th from 5-9 p.m. at San Diegio State University’s Alumni Center. This year’s inductees include Lemon Grove resident Clara Harris. Other honorees include the late Midge Costanza, Judy Forman, Matha Longenecker, and Rita Sanchez. Reservations for the awards dinner must be made by March 1st.
January 31, 2011 (Santee) – Two-year-old Ethan Miller, son of Darren and Christie Miller in Santee, has neuroblastoma cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. A charity golf event will be held on Thursday, April 7th at Cottonwood Golf Course in Rancho San Diego to benefit Ethan Miller and his family.
Former dancer draws inspiration from La Jolla woman who created a written sign language, inspiring a global movement
January 30, 2011 (Poway) –Ballerinas Nancy Romero and Valerie Sutton met during their dancing careers—and soon turned their creative energies to helping deaf people read in sign language. “It happened by accident,” recalls Romero, a Poway resident who recently completed writing The Gospel According to John in American Sign Language (ASL).
By Miriam Raftery
January 29, 2011 (Alpine) -- Elected officials, tribal leaders, community members and veterans turned out this morning at a “Labor of Love” event to break ground for Alpine’s Wall of Honor.
Viejas tribal chairman Anthony Pico spoke movingly about his own military service in the Army and his memories of visiting the Viet Nam memorial in Washington D.C., where 13 of his friends’ names are inscribed. “For every friend who has fallen, there is someone who will remember them,” he said, expressing sorrow that his fallen comrades could not live into the autumn of their lives but instead, sacrificed their futures for our country. “They stayed forever young in my mind,” he said.
By Betty McMillen
January 26, 2011 (Lakeside)--Recently the Cub Scout pack #3 from Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Catholic School donated 20 bird nesting boxes to the Lakeside River Park Conservancy. The boys had built the boxes at their meetings with the help of their dads. While they were building , the scouts also learned about conservancy and animal habitat.
By Ron Logan
January 24, 2011 (Mt. Helix) – More than a year has passed since a massive earthquake leveled Haiti. While much of the country remains in shambles, there is one East County resident who has made a positive difference to the people of her homeland. That person is Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat.
When asked why she has given so much of herself to the people of Haiti, Murat replied, “My mother told me ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’ So, I am doing this, just because.”
Donations of cash, food also sought by rescue volunteers
January 19, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Nine-year-old Makena Sacks of Blossom Valley volunteers with her mother, Cate Sacks, to train dogs rescued from shelters. Now Makena asks help from ECM readers to save cats slated to be destroyed.
“I am hoping that I can save them but there are so many,” she writes. “The people at the shelter are putting cats down starting today, I need help taking these cats.”
January 19, 2011 (San Diego) – The San Diego Police Department and STAR/PAL invite the public to attend the 2011 Chief’s Challenge Indoor Triathlon on Saturday, January 22nd. Officers from SDPD and other local agencies will put their athletic ability to the test to help raise money to support underserved youth in our community. Proceeds will directly benefit inner-city youth who take part in STAR/PAL programs.
January 17, 2011 (Sacramento)--California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, urging all Californians to participate in local communities through public service. To find a service project in your community, visit: www.californiavolunteers.org.
“Our nation has made great progress, guided by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of advancing social justice and opportunity for all," said Newsom, "but I recognize that there is still work to be done."
By Billy Ortiz and Miriam Raftery
Photos by Billy Ortiz
Videos by Billy Ortiz and Ron Cook
January 10, 2011(Lakeside) –You could hear the rumble of big bikes for miles around yesterday in Lakeside, where the Saddle Tramps motorcycle club assembled a ride with other clubs from as far away as Phoenix, Arizona. The event was held to benefit Izaiah Wallis and his family. Izaiah, an Oceanside toddler, who was struck along with his grandfather, Abraham Verde, by a teen drunk driver on October 18th at 9 a.m. Yesterday's event raised $6,000 to help Izaiah and his family.
January 9, 2011 (La Mesa)--For the fourth consecutive year, youths at United Church of Christ of La Mesa (UCCLM) are active participants in the “Souper Bowl of Caring,” a month-long, nation-wide program in which donations of food, goods, and money are solicited to benefit local service agencies.
The collection of canned goods and other non-perishable foods, along with blankets, clothes and toiletries, will culminate on Super Bowl Sunday, February 6, 2011, with cash contributions accepted after worship.
January 2, 2010 (San Diego) – As winter temperatures locally dip below freezing, San Diego Veterans For Peace is distributing sleeping bags and ponchos to the homeless.
“So far we have distributed 145 sets, and are seeking donations to continue,” said Ramona resident Dave Patterson, Veterans for Peace spokesman. The group seeks donations of cash, sleeping bags and ponchos to help protect local veterans from winter storms and cold. Last year, more than 60 homeless people died on the streets of San Diego, many from exposure to harsh winter weather.
January 2, 2011—“New Year’s Day is a perfect day to celebrate Peace on Earth,” said El Cajon resident Norrie Robbins.
Perhaps you were among the people passing by who honked car horns or displayed the two-finger peace symbol throughout the day, as Robbins shivered on a sunny but cold mid-winter afternoon to bring her message of peace to East County residents.
January 1, 2010 (La Mesa) --Kids and Seniors Together (KAST) is looking for a few good volunteers! Jointly sponsored by the City of La Mesa and La Mesa Spring Valley School District, KAST is an intergenerational after-school program that matches mature adults with second through-fourth-grade students. It is designed to provide mature adults an opportunity to share their talents, skills and special interest with students who benefit from one-on-one mentoring.
January 1, 2011 (Alpine) – Hit by a double whammy of storm damage followed by thousands of dollars in veterinary bills, the Alpine-based big cat rescue facility Lions Tigers & Bears is seeking help from the public in both cash donations and a wish list of items needed.
By Cate Sacks
December 23, 2010 (Blossom Valley) – Just in time for the holidays, several former shelter dogs need permanent homes—including a litter of eight-week-old puppies and their mother, Momma, a 3-year-old dachshund-spaniel mix.
Christmas puppies have all been spayed/neutered, received shots and micro chips. Find additional “dream dogs” here:
KRC Rock Partners with Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy
San Diego, CA, (December 15, 2010) – KRC Rock, a San Diego natural stone and boulder provider, has partnered with the Lakeside’s River Park Conservancy to help them in their mission to preserve and restore the biological integrity and beauty of the San Diego River.
December 17, 2010 (La Mesa) – “Food, wine, art and a chance to talk with local people who are going about making the world a better place, one village at a time…what could be more in the holiday spirit?” asks an invitation from Shannon O’Dunn, owner of O’Dunn Art in La Mesa. Tonight from 5-7 p.m., she will host a wine-tasting event to benefit H.U.G.S. (Helping Ugandans Grow Stronger). The organization is raising funds to build a bakery in western Uganda that will provide jobs for women and girls in this impoverished area.
ASSEMBLYMAN BLOCK HOSTS "HOLIDAY HELPING HANDS" DEC. 16 IN SPRING VALLEY TO ASSIST FAMILIES AND EXPECTANT MOMS
December 15, 2010 (Spring Valley)– To help make the holiday season brighter for low-income families in his district, Assemblymember Marty Block (AD-78) will sponsor the “Holiday Helping Hands” Event on Thursday, Dec. 16 from 12-1:30 p.m. (while supplies last), at the Family Health Centers of San Diego at 8788 Jamacha Road, Spring Valley.
In partnership with the Barona Band of Mission Indians, Block will distribute toys to children and families at the health center. He will also donate baby clothes and supplies to the health center’s Holiday Baby Boutique Program to assist expectant mothers and newborn babies.
Dec. 16, 2010 (San Diego) – For the second consecutive year, Sempra Energy Foundation today announced $1 million in charitable donations to non-profit organizations in California and the U.S. Gulf region to help people in need. The contributions also include a grant-incentive program to support the Sempra Energy family of companies’ employee volunteer efforts.
December 13, 2010 (La Mesa) -- State Senator-elect Joel Anderson, County Supervisor Diane Jacobs and other community leaders will join Skyline Church this Wednesday, December 15, at 10 a.m. to celebrate the start of construction for a new Worship Center at Skyline Church in La Mesa.
December 10, 2010 (La Mesa)-- La Mesa Police Department seeks donations of teddy bears and other stuffed animals for the 20th Annual Regional Law Enforcement Teddy Bear Drive, which benefits children at Rady Children’s Hospital. The public is encouraged to donate new and unused teddy bears (with tags still affixed) or other stuffed animals, which can be dropped off in the La Mesa Police Department lobby in the designated barrels.
By Caleb Trainer
December 10, 2010 (Blossom Valley)--Puppies are popular gift choices this time of year. But, it’s all too common for pets to become discarded holiday presents left at shelters as Christmas morning becomes a distant memory, according to dog rescue groups.
Cate Sacks, in the Blossom Valley area of El Cajon, works hard to turn around the fortunes of those puppies and hundreds of other shelter dogs. Through her dog-adoption program, “Shelter Dogs to Dream Dogs,” Sacks places animals with qualified adoptive owners -- but only after both dog and person receive a dose of intense attention and training.
December 8, 2010 (Lemon Grove) -- They make a difference everyday and they do it for free. Volunteers play a vital role in building a community. On December 7th, Sheriff Bill Gore and the County of San Diego honored Lemon Grove Senior Volunteer Patrol member Dale Kephart, 93, with a “Volunteer of the Month” award.
December 7, 2010 (San Diego) – Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) aims to load up ten buses with 8,000 pounds of food for hungry families this Saturday, December 11, at ten Vons stores across San Diego County.
“So many hard-working San Diegans, many of whom are members of our military, are struggling...Let’s all pitch in and share in the true holiday spirit,” said Councilwoman Marti Emerald at a kick-off for Metropolitan Transit System’s “Stuff the Bus” campaign today. “The need this year is unprecedented. Within the City of San Diego alone, requests for meals have increased by 72% over the past two years, with equally stunning numbers from other cities in San Diego County."
Breast cancer rehab center can now receive tax-deductible donations
December 7, 2010 (Alpine)--Just in time for the holiday giving season, Dream Rider Equestrian Therapy received approval this month from the IRS to operate as a non-profit. Newly established last summer, Dream Rider seeks donations to improve facilities and to provide therapy to more breast cancer patients and survivors. Those diagnosed with cancer often lose their ability to work and therefore, cannot afford the rehabilitation they sorely need.