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.
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.
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.
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.
June 3, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – El Cajon resident Kristin Cohn, whoattended 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 1, 2018 (San Diego) – A New Orleans Casino Night fundraiser on May 18th will benefit La Maestra Community Health Centers’ programs for victims of human trafficking. The programs are offered countywide including at East County locations.
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:
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 Galleryin the heart of downtown El Cajon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.