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 By Jessyka Heredia

April 19, 2023 (La Mesa) -- On Thursday afternoon, the La Mesa Village Association (LMVA) announced that it has reached full funding for the new La Mesa Downtown District sign and will enter the next phase of the project – tile painting. 

“We are truly grateful to the community for helping us raise the funds necessary for this project,” says Theresa Favro, LMVA President. “We know everyone is very excited to start painting their tiles and see them proudly displayed for years to come!” 

Individuals and/or businesses that have already purchased tiles can now paint them at CeramiCafe, which has partnered with the LMVA and the La Mea Park & Recreation Foundation (LMPRF) to help oversee the tile painting process.  

Lissette O’Regan and Rob Dill own the CeramiCafe, located inside Grossmont Center at 5500 Grossmont Center Boulevard in La Mesa. O’Regan told ECM that they have been “in business for 25 years” and are excited to welcome the over 1500 tile painters to their store. O’Regan said, “to go on their website and look for booking a reservation” in the La Mesa section of events. O’Regan said, “This is a family friendly event and to bring the family”. 

By partnering with CeramiCafe, we have one centralized location where individuals can go at their convenience to paint their tiles,” says Misty Thompson, LMPRF Executive Director. “CeramiCafe has helped us streamline this process by storing and labeling all the tiles and managing the painting process of those who have purchased tiles. We are extremely grateful to have them as a community partner for this important project.”  

In order to paint a tile for the La Mesa Downtown District Sign, individuals must have already purchased a tile(s). Those who have

 paid for their tile(s) are now invited to the La Mesa CeramiCafe location to paint their tiles. LMVA Vice

 President Wes Troy said, “If you paid for a tile, come and paint it.” Troy did confirm at the event that “there are a few brass plaques left for purchase.” Troy said, “This is a great example of when the community comes together, we can have a project like this that can actually benefit one of our local businesses.”

Elizabeth Ranta the LMVA Marketing Director, expressed excitement over the project saying, each town with similar signs “really showcases the feel of the community” and shared that this was an effort “completely fundraised by the community members” itself.

The LMVA entered a partnership with La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation to be the fiscal sponsor for the project, who provides fiduciary oversight, financial management (collecting and administering the funds) and other administrative services for the project.   

The La Mesa Village Association (LMVA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization run by volunteers made up of local businesses and residents. The primary purpose is to advocate on behalf of all local businesses, as well as work in conjunction with the City of La Mesa, its Fire and Police Departments. For additional information about the LMVA, or to become a member, visit 

“We would like to have all tiles painted by June 30, 2023,” says Misty Thompson. “We are currently working on the engineering phase for the District Sign, and once that is in place, we want to make sure the tiles are ready to be placed on the columns so that we are not holding up construction.” Once a solid date for the District Sign construction has not been determined, but LMVA is hopeful that they can break ground this fall. More details will be announced once the engineering phase is complete.  

The Downtown District Sign will be located in the heart of the Village at La Mesa Blvd. andPalm Ave. and will consist of two columns of brass plaques around the top and a total of 1,512 hand-painted 4”x4” tiles. 

In attendance were La Mesa City Councilmembers Laura Lothian and Patricia Dillard as well as City Manager Greg Humora to help celebrate the tile painting kickoff.  


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