People Power

Inspiring Stories from San Diego's Eastern Region

HOUSING PROGRAM SAVES LAKESIDE FAMILY FROM ENDING UP ON STREETS

 

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

June 20, 2018 (Lakeside) - She survived them all. Violence. Cancer. Homelessness.

April found freedom after finally leaving her abusive and drug-addicted partner.

The 46-year-old is cancer free after going through rigorous chemotherapy sessions and multiple surgeries.

And thanks to the County’s rental assistance program, April and her three children now have a permanent place to live.

WASTE MANAGEMENT DRIVER TURNS FOUND KITTEN OVER TO NEWLY OPENED EL CAJON ANIMAL SHELTER, ADOPTS KITTEN

 

Source:  Waste Management

June 15, 2018 (El Cajon) - A kitten who narrowly escaped death is now safe and sound in his new home, after being adopted by the Waste Management driver who rescued him.

In March, East County Waste Management driver Michael Cabrera was ending his shift with his routine safety inspection of his truck, when he noticed a cardboard box stuck in the grate of the truck’s compactor blade. Inside was a tiny kitten, with his umbilical cord still attached.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: MASQUERADE BALL SEPT. 28 BENEFITS ST. MADELEINE SOPHIE’S CENTER

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

June 9, 2018 (El Cajon) – You’re invited to a magical evening of festivity and excitement at a masquerade ball titled “A Night To Remember.”

This black tie formal affair—masks mandatory—will be held on Friday, September 28 from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Crystal Ballroom (414 Magnolia Ave., El Cajon). 

LOCAL WOMAN’S QUEST TO CURE ALZHEIMER’S THIS FRIDAY IN ALPINE

 

By Annie Greenberg

June 7, 2018 (Alpine) -- Linda Cioffi is on a mission: to help find a cure for Alzheimer's in her lifetime.  Her annual fundraiser, Quest for the Cure, is this Friday, June 8, from 4 p.m. to8 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center Grand Ballroom. The community is invited to attend and enjoy opportunity drawings and a silent auction. The grand prize for the opportunity drawing will be a luxury staycation at a beach or bayfront home in San Diego with area theme park tickets. Other items include a Barona Casino package with spa and golf, and a Palm Springs getaway.

BOATS, BODIES AND BETRAYAL BRINGS MURDER ON THE HIGH SEAS TO LA MESA, ABOARD KIWANIS’ BENEFIT EVENT

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 5, 2018 (La Mesa) – It’s not every charity dinner that starts off with  cruise director Sue Nami (played by Janette Mills) welcome you aboard a 1949 cruise ship--or with a wine bottled labeled “rat poison” as the centerpiece.  Not to mention a billionaire bikini designer turning up dead – with a boatload of suspects and the entire audience helping to solve the crime.

That was the scenario at “Boats, Bodies and Betrayal,” a murder mystery dinner theatre produced by Kiwanis Club of La Mesa and Kiwanis Youth Development and Support Club of San Diego (KYDS) last Sunday evening at the La Mesa Community Center.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT HONORS 2018 HEALTHCARE HEROES AWARD WINNERS

 

East County News Service

Photo:  (Back Row, left to right) GHD board members Virginia Hall and Randy Lenac, Jan and Chuck Vermillion, GHD board member Michael Emerson, Shawn Kelley. (Front Row, left to right) Rick Doremus, Dee Davis, Ally Kellogg, GHD board member Bob Ayres and Gloria Chadwick.

June 4, 2018 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in the East County region recently honored local volunteers with its 2018 Healthcare Heroes awards. Now in its 12th year, Healthcare Heroes is GHD’s annual awards program honoring volunteers helping to advance the delivery of quality health services in the East County region.

PAGEANT WINNER ORGANIZES DRIVES FOR STUDENTS TO SUPPORT MILITARY AND TEDDY BEARS TO COMFORT CHILDREN OF DEPLOYED SOLDIERS

 

East County News Service

June 3, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – El Cajon resident Kristin Cohn, who attended Valhalla High School, was recently crowned Mrs. San Diego Woman of Achievement 2018. Her platform is titled One Nation one heart. A few months ago, she had noticed a video that was circulating via the Internet and showed a little boy that was very sad when his deployed father was not going to be able to make it home for his birthday. This really hit a nerve in Cohn as she realized that not only does the stress of a deployed parent affect the member of the military and the spouse but also the amount of stress it places on the children left at home.

LEMON GROVE NATIVE SERVES WITH NAVY STRIKE FIGHTER SQUADRON

 

By Kayla Turnbow, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Miller

May 31, 2018 (Lemoore, Calif.) - A 2003 Mount Miguel High School graduate and Lemon Grove, California, native is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron which flies one of the world’s most advanced warplanes.

CHANGE THE WORLD ONE STUDENT AT A TIME! NON-PROFIT SEEKS VOLUNTEER HOSTS FOR HIGH SCHOOL EXCHANGE STUDENTS

 

Also offering referral fees and hiring local representatives

By Deann Rios

May 22, 2018 (San Diego) -- International Education Student Exchange Program (INTER-ED) is committed to making the world a better place by offering opportunities to break down cultural barriers and bring our world closer together. This non-profit, in association with the United States Department of State, is seeking volunteer hosts to help them achieve this goal by serving as American ambassadors.

SAN DIEGO DREAM HOUSE RAFFLE NAMES FINAL PRIZE WINNERS, INCLUDING JAMUL RESIDENT

 

 

 

More than $2 million in prizes awarded; over $3 million raised for San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House

East County News Service

May 20, 2018 (San Diego) - Raising more than $3 million for Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego® to support families of hospitalized children, the 14th Annual Dream House Raffle with more than 2,300 prizes awarded, including  grand prize winner Anthony Strom from San Diego, who receives his choice of $1.3 million paid as an annuity over 20 years or $900,000 as a one-time cash payment. 

HEARTLAND FIREFIGHTERS FOUNDATION HOSTS FUNDRAISER TONIGHT FOR FAMILY MEMBERS WITH CANCER

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

On Friday, May 4, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. a fundraiser at the San Diego Firehouse Museum will offer an opportunity to see the museum and to raise money for cancer patients Glenn Stewart and Paula Hamma. The Heartland Firefighters Foundation is holding a fundraiser at the museum to help these family members of the men and women who fight our wildfires and other fires in East County.

The museum, founded in 1962 and located in San Diego’s Little Italy, houses steel from the World Trade Center, firefighting equipment from the late 1800s, La Jolla’s first fire engine and more. Besides seeing the museum, the taco plates ($10) and beer ($5) offered will be a great way to contribute to monies to help Stewart and Hamma. There is no entry fee.

EAST COUNTY TEENS FIND PROM DRESSES THANKS TO PRINCESS PROJECT

 

Nonprofit plans fundraiser May 19-20

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

May 2, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The Princess Project, an organization that matches up the right high school prom dress with the right high school student for free, came to the County of San Diego-El Cajon Library branch on April 30th.  The nonprofit provides free dresses and accessories to high school students who cannot otherwise afford them.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ANNOUNCES 2018 HEALTHCARE HEROES AWARD WINNERS

 

East County News Service

April 24, 2018 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) is proud to announce the honorees for its 2018 Healthcare Heroes awards. GHD officials said the recipients are volunteers of all ages and walks of life who serve in health care in San Diego’s East Region community.

This year’s honorees include a family practice physician who helps those not able to afford health insurance, two volunteers who provide one-on-one comfort following crisis events, a 23-year-old who spends part of her weekends in a hospital emergency room, a couple who drives people to their cancer treatments and a non-profit board member who has volunteered for the past 20 years.

“The purpose of the Healthcare Heroes Awards is to recognize volunteers whose unsung work in healthcare might not otherwise be celebrated,” said Michael Emerson, GHD board president. “We are proud to recognize the 2018 winners and their inspiring commitment to caring for others.”

Here are the heartwarming stories of this year’s winners:

DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION DEDICATE HISTORIC MARKER FOR KNOX HOUSE MUSEUM IN EL CAJON

 

Article and photos by Robert Gehr © 2018

April 23, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The Letitia Coxe Shelby Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter in La Mesa held a dedication ceremony for a Knox House Museum historic marker on Saturday at the Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Art Gallery in the heart of downtown El Cajon.

COUNTY SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR PARKS CHAMPION AWARDS

 

 

East County News Service

April 18, 2018 (San Diego) -- The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking nominations for the third annual Parks and Recreation Champion Awards. 

The program recognizes local champions for their work in environmental education and ambassadorship at parks and public centers across San Diego County. The winner will be awarded at a banquet in July in celebration of National Parks and Recreation Month. 

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT AWARDS $90,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS TO HEALTHCARE STUDENTS FROM 21 LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS

 

East County News Service

April 17, 2018 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) recently awarded $90,000 in scholarships to 40 high school seniors who have expressed interest in a career as a healthcare professional.

`BLESSED WITH A DRESS,’ FREE PROM DRESS GIVEAWAY IN EL CAJON, SATURDAY, APRIL 21ST

 

East County News Service

April 16, 2018 (La Mesa) – Foothills Christian Church, 365 West Bradley Ave., El Cajon, will host “Blessed with a Dress,” a free event for young women needing high-quality, fashionable formal wear for school dances and other special occasions. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, girls can visit the church campus and select a free dress, pair of shoes and jewelry for upcoming formal events.

WOMAN WHO SURVIVED DOUBLE HIT AND RUN ON I-8 IN LAKESIDE NEEDS HELP WITH MEDICAL BILLS—AND HOPES TO THANK TRUCKER WHO SAVED HER LIFE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2018 (Lakeside) – “My life changed forever during the early morning hours on Memorial Day, May 30, 2017,” says Korren Knapp Grada.  That’s when she suffered horrific injuries after being struck by two hit-and-run vehicles in I-8 near the Lake Jennings exit in Lakeside. 

How she got there remains a mystery, though she believes she was drugged by a man and was seeking to escape harm when she scaled a fence onto the freeway.

She’s shared her story with East County Magazine in hopes that someone can shed light on what happened, perhaps recognizing strangers in photos taken on her cell phone the night before. She also hopes to thank a good Samaritan who stopped and saved her life. 

Most of all, she needs help with staggering medical bills for multiple surgeries needed to save her life and help her on her long road to healing; you can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/helpkorren.

FORMER CUYAMACA COLLEGE PRESIDENT DONATES $1 MILLION TO COLLEGE DISTRICT

 

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

March 28, 2018 (Rancho San Diego) -- From his own experience as a community college student to his time as president of Cuyamaca College, Sam Ciccati knows firsthand the transformative value of education. 

PRINCESS PROJECT TO GIVE AWAY 1,500 PROM DRESSES: LOCATIONS INCLUDE EL CAJON LIBRARY ON APRIL 28

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2018 (El Cajon) – The Princess Project will be giving away over 1,500 prom dresses to high school teens across San Diego County at events in April. In East County, the El Cajon Library will host a prom dress giveaway event on April 28th.

GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT CONTINUES TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY CLINICS SERVING EAST COUNTY REGION RESIDENTS

 

East County News Service

March 11, 2018 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) is continuing its support of community healthcare clinics who serve low-income, uninsured and underserved residents of the East County with recent grants to the La Maestra Family Clinic, Family Health Centers of San Diego and Vista Hill Foundation.

GOWN GIVEAWAY FOR TEENS IN NEED

 

East County News Service

March 10, 2018 (San Diego) -- Have a formal dress that you don't need anymore?  Help a teen in need and donate it to the library's gown giveaway program anytime between now and April 22.

Dresses must be clean and in pristine condition, preferably on a hanger. All sizes are welcome. The program is also accepting accessories (no shoes).

Drop off at any San Diego County Library branch or at the COC Library office at 5560 Overland Ave suite 11.

JULIAN WOMAN’S CLUB: AN EXTRAORDINARY ORGANIZATION OF EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN

 

By Pat Landis, President

Photo, left:  Julian Women's Club president Pat Landis, past president Marion Moore and California Federation Area Membership VP Stephanie Stark

March 8, 2018 (Julian) - On March 5th at a Scholarship Luncheon, the Julian Woman’s Club honored eleven women who have been members of the club from twenty to forty years. Eight are past presidents of the club and several others have served as officers at the District and State level of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs. These are truly exceptional women.

NEW QUEENS CROWNED IN LA MESA AND SANTEE

 

By Sierra Billock

March 8, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- On Saturday, March 3, 2018, the city of La Mesa and the city of Santee held the annual Miss La Mesa and Miss Santee Pageants. The programs have been a tradition in the cities since the late 1960’s and are an outstanding mentoring program for young women. Mayor John Minto from Santee and Mayor Mark Araposathis from La Mesa were in attendance to formally present Miss La Mesa 2018 Kelli Loper, Miss Teen La Mesa 2018 Kennedy Dirkes, Miss Santee 2018 Laurene Vouaux and Miss Teen Santee 2018 Jordan Bockert.

FAMILIES CALL FOR JUSTICE IN POLICE SHOOTING CASES ACROSS CALIFORNIA

 

By Maridian Broadus

Photo: Shane Harris and Rev. Al Sharpton with victim’s families at press conference

March 8, 2018 (San Diego) – National Action Network founder and President Reverend Al Sharpton visited San Diego on February 21st.  Sharpton, along with NAN’s local chapter president, Shane Harris, held a news conference at NAN San Diego’s House of Justice Headquarters in southeast San Diego.  The civil rights icon publicly voiced his support of victim family members who have lost loved ones to police shootings across the state of California.

VOLUNTEER LAWYERS PRESENT WOMEN AND FAMILIES RESOURCE FAIR: MARCH 24 AT JACOBS CENTER

 

East County News Service

March 5, 2018 (San Diego) -- On March 24th, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program's 29th Women and Families Resource Fair will provide free legal, medical, and social services to women and families in need - on one day, under one roof.  The Fair is an annual one-day event which will be held at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, located at 404 Euclid Ave., San Diego, CA 92114, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Free refreshments will be provided.  The purpose of the Fair is to provide women and families with free access to a wide range of essential services.

FEBRUARY IS AMERICAN HEART MONTH: DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR NEAREST AED IS?

 

East County wife and mother says the life-saving devices should be easier to find than a gourmet cup of coffee

 By Lora Watters

February 27, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- Something caught Susanne de La Flor's eye as she strolled through Grossmont Center last spring. It was not a display for a best-selling author in the Barnes & Noble window, nor a life-size cardboard cutout promoting a funny animated movie at Reading Cinemas. It was an Automated External Defibrillator on a plain gray stucco wall, between the post office and CVS Pharmacy located adjacent to the popular East County mail.

 Ever since her husband of 26 years, George de la Flor, suffered sudden cardiac arrest and subsequent brain damage in 2011, Susanne has always made note of AED devices in public places. But there was something special about this AED. It was located outside.

RETIRED FIREFIGHTER BECOMES HIGHWAY “HERO” IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Jose Estrada from Cal rans presents Dan Russell with an award in appreciation of his tireless efforts

February 15, 2018 (Pine Valley/Campo) – Dan Russell worked 27 years for the San Diego Fire Department. Now he’s a local hero for a different reason – working tirelessly to clean up trash along Interstate 8 and other roadways in East County.

“I’ve been doing it now for 12 years,” says Russell.  “I would say I average five hours a day, six days a week.  I pick up just under a thousand pounds a month…real close to 10,000 pounds a year; over 100,000 pounds since I got started.”

UNDERPRIVILEGED GIRLS IN ENCANTO RECEIVED NEW "IN STYLE" DRESSES FOR VALENTINE'S DAY DANCE

 

 

 

East County News Service

February 14, 2018  (Encanto) -- Brand new 'in style' Valentine Day themed dresses have been provided underprivileged girls around the country by the Believe in Yourself Project for Valentine Day's dances—including in east San Diego’s Encanto community.

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