CELEBRATING THE SEASON: THANKS TO OUR READERS

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December 19, 2013 (Mount Helix) -- Our "Feasting and Merrymaking" party was a rousing success.  Thanks to all of you who joined in celebrating the holiday season as we continued our tradition of giving back to our community of readers.  (Note: If you wish to receive invitations for our future events, including our upcoming Mardi Gras party, be sure to subscribe--free--to our newsletter at the top right side of the homepage.)

Miss San Diego and Miss San Diego East County greeted our guests and were welcome additions to our party this year.  We also had visits from several elected officials including Congresswoman Susan Davis,  La Mesa Councilwoman Christine Alessio, and Jacumba Planning Group member Howard Cook.

Other community leaders present included Douglas Holbrook, chairman of the board at KNSJ radio, Mark Hanson, chief executive officer at Heartland Coalition, and Ben Kalasho, president of the San Diego East County Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce.

Our guests savored Chateaubriand prime rib generous donated by Pinnacle Peaks Steakhouse in Santee, which wants all of you to know that they are still open for business and won't be moving for a year or so. 

We also served up delicious sliders, wings and salads provided by Bridges Bar/Grill/Bay in the College area, as well as a delectable array of holiday goodies and more.

Maness Vineyards and San Pasqual Winery donated wines for the occasion as well. 

Guests also bid on silent auction prizes including a Golden Artistry jewelry gift certificate, vintage candlesticks and jewelry from Antiques in the VIllage, Hawaii vacation from JVC Golf & Promotions, Mission Trails Regional Park award-winning photograph, tour of Maness Vineyards, wines from California wineries, and much more. 

Talented guitarist Dave Bramley with the San Diego Performance Academy entertained our guests with wonderful live music.  In addition, each guest received a free ticket for door prize drawings--such as Viejas gift certificates, chocolates, jewelry, and Reina Menasche's acclaimed novel.

We also gave away a tower of chocolates and a Viejas gift certificate to winners of our East County Magazine trivia quiz, covering everything from the "Waddle and Trot" event to details in the Barona gingerbread village, as well as a few of our own accomplishments at East County Magazine this year -- with helping to reopen closed fire stations in rural areas at the top of our "wish list" that Santa (okay, the Supervisors) fulfilled.

Our dog, Ginger, was a big hit, too - lapping up all the attention at our party!

We thank our generous donors, chefs, volunteers, musician and guests. Without your support, we couldn't possibly have grown to be the second most widely read news organizaiton in San Diego County or won 55 journalism awards - powered by volunteers and talented freelancers with help from our parent nonpropfit, Heartland Coalition and Viejas, sponsor of our Viejas Wildfire & Emergency Alerts.

It's been a challenging year, and we do need funds for the future. Our holiday party broke even or just slightly more. We would be deeply appreciative of some year-end, tax-deductible donations to sustain us through the coming year -- or better yet, please consider a monthly pledge which enables us to budget ahead and make sure we are there to cover important stories like this year's Chariot Fire, changes in El Cajon's City Hall, the big energy projects in our region, the draining of Lake Morena and the lack of veterans' services in rural areas -- all stories where we've been there, bringing you news for and about East County. 

You can donate or make a sustaining pledge at the top of our homepage (donate button, top left) and be sure to choose East County Magazine from our publisher's list of options.

To you and your family, we wish you a joyous holiday sesaon and a successful New Year!