Viejas

VIEJAS CASINO & RESORT DONATES 100,000 MASKS TO LOCAL SCHOOLS

Viejas Donates 100,000 masks to local schools

Source: Newswire.com

September 26, 2020 (Alpine) -- Viejas Casino & Resort recently donated 100,000 face masks to the Alpine Union School District. The donation, conceived by the Viejas Tribal Council, is focused on protecting the community and its children. Viejas has a long-standing tradition of community and isupporting local schools.

“It’s important to the Viejas Tribal membership and also to the Viejas Casino & Resort team that we understand and appreciate the importance of safety in the COVID-19 environment that we’re in,” Viejas Tribal Vice Chairman Victor Woods stated. “Safety and well-being of the students in class are of paramount importance to us.”

Alpine Union School District Superintendent Dr. Rich Newman expressed, “The impact that these face masks will have on our school district is huge. This is a year’s worth of supply for our students, staff, and our family members that are in need. It also is a huge cost savings to us and, as always, Viejas has been a fantastic partner with us through the years. This is one more example of how they step up for the community and support virtually every need that we have.”


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POTENTIAL FOR “DANGEROUS SITUATION” TONIGHT AS HIGH WINDS FORECAST TO FAN VALLEY FIRE WESTWARD

 

Update 8:37 p.m.: The fire is now 11% contained and has burned 17,565 acres.  20 habitable structures have been destroyed and 9 more homes damaged; 25 outbuildings have also been lost.

EVACUATION ORDERS:

Lawson Valley • Japatul Valley • Corte Madera Ranch • Lyons Valley • Carveacre • WiseCarver

EVACUATION WARNINGS:

Pine Valley • Descanso • Alpine • Viejas • Dulzura • Barrett Junction • Potrero

ROAD CLOSURES:

Japatul Rd. & Lyons Valley Rd./Japatul Rd. • Japatul Rd @ Tavern Rd/Dehesa Rd • Lyons Valley Rd & Honey Springs Rd •

Wisecarver Lane @ Wisecarver Truck Trail • Skyline Truck Trail & Lawson Valley • Japatul Rd at Via Asoleado (also at Sequan Truck Trail) • Corral Canyon at Buckman Springs (Buckman Springs is open) • High Glen Rd • Hidden Glen Rd

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Henri Migala and Miriam Raftery

El Capitan High School in Lakeside opened as new shelter for evacuees

Photo, left by Henri Migala: Cal Fire/County Fire Chief Tony Mecham briefs Supervisor Dianne Jacob and supervisorial candidate Steve Vaus after press conference today at Viejas

September 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – At a press conference today held at the Viejas events center in Alpine, fire chiefs and county officials warned the public that Santa Ana winds with gusts up to 50 miles an hour are forecast to hit starting at 8 p.m. tonight – with the strongest winds in the middle of the night. Though firefighters have been working tirelessly battling blames and bulldozing containment lines, prioritizing the fire’s western flank, leaders warn that the winds will fan the fire westward towards Jamul and San Diego.

“The potential is out there for a very dangerous situation,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob (photo, left), who added that she hopes and prays we don’t see another major firestorm like the destructive Laguna fire in 1970, Cedar Fire in 2003 or the 2007 firestorms.


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TRENDING: OUTDOOR ROLLER-SKATING

Story by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Miriam Raftery 

Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson:  Skaters stay cool with misters at the Viejas outdoor roller rink in Alpine

August 21, 2020 (Alpine) - Looking to change up your COVID-19 outdoor exercise routine? Consider visiting the outdoor roller-skating rink at Viejas Casino Outlets to burn off some of that quarantine-15 extra weight.  Or take a skate at the San Diego Derby United outdoor rink in Encanto to roll those pounds away—and have fun. 


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TWO MORE LOCAL CASINOS ANNOUNCE REOPENING PLANS, BUT COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER OPPOSES ACTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Sycuan Casino

Updated May 14 with additional information from County Public Health Officer Wilima Wooten

May 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Following Viejas’ announced plans to reopen its casino on May 18, Sycuan and Valley View casinos have unveiled plans to reopen on May 19 and 21. All are on Native American reservations, and each has detailed plans for modifications aimed at protecting safety of the public and guests including face masks, sanitation procedures and social distancing.

However in a press conference today,  San Diego County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten voiced concerns and indicated that the county does not agree with the casinos’ reopening plans.  “If. they do open and ignore our request not to open, then we would definitely have to ensure that they put stringent practices in place to help protect the public health. But opening up casinos will cause a risk to our public health. That is very clear; it creates gatherings of individuals,” she stated.

Later she indicated the county has reached out to the federal government to potentially block the casinos from reopening, NPR reports. 

Tribal reservations are considered sovereign nations that make their own laws, however state and federal officials do have some powers to intervene if public health is at risk. It remains to be seen whether authorities will allow the casino openings to proceed, or take steps to require modifications or prevent openings.


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SHOPPING MALLS CAN REOPEN FOR PICKUPS: OTHER BUSINESSES TO REOPEN INCLUDE CAR WASHES, PET GROOMERS, GARDENERS AND OFFICES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine is among the local malls eligible to reopen for curbside pickups.

May 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County officials yesterday announced several more types of businesses that can reopen, with modifications, ranging from shopping centers to landscapers. All must prepare and post a safe reopening plan to protect employees and customers.

Shopping malls, including outlet malls and strip malls, can offer pickup service with clearly marked curbside outdoor pickup locations, but customers are not allowed inside stores.  In East County, malls eligible to begin offering curbside sales include Grossmont Center in La Mesa, Parkway Plaza in El Cajon, and the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine as well as smaller retail centers.

Other businesses allowed to reopen are car washes, pet grooming services, landscaping and gardening businesses, outdoor museums and offices, though telework is still strongly encouraged.


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ALL EAST COUNTY CASINOS TO CLOSE MARCH 21-31 DUE TO COVID-19

Barona, Campo, Jamul, Sycuan, and Viejas Jointly Announce Casino Closures in Response to Coronavirus crisis

Source: Kumeyaay Nation

March 18, 2020 (San Diego's East County)  — Tribal government leaders of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, Campo Kumeyaay Nation, Jamul Indian Village, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians today jointly announced that they are temporarily closing their casinos amid concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) beginning on Friday, March 20 at noon through the end of the month.

The Tribes are united in this decision to close for the health and well-being of the community, their guests and approximately 9,000 employees. Despite this closure, it is their hope that they can continue to provide emergency services for their respective communities.

 

In Campo, the gas station and convenience store will remain open for the convenience of residents.


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PASSAGES: TOM HYDE, VIEJAS TRIBAL ELDER AND LAST ORIGINAL RESERVATION MEMBER, 1927-2019

 

March 20, 2019 (Viejas Reservation) -- Tom Hyde, revered tribal elder, passed from this earth and his beloved Viejas community, March 14, 2019, at 92 years of age.  He is survived by a large family of 200, both blood and chosen.  Born Thomas James Hyde to Prudencia and Valentine Hyde, of El Capitan Village, he’s the last of the original Viejas Reservation members, and last to have personally witnessed destruction of El Capitan Village, at age five. Thus, he began life as a bridge between the past and future of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.


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TRIBES HOST NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTIES AT LOCAL CASINOS

East County News Service

December 20, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- East County's Native American-owned casinos will be ringing in the New Year with a variety of celebrations on December 31st  including parties, a gala with dinner and dancing, and an outdoor bash complete with fireworks and a ball dropping at midnight similar to the famed New York Times Square festivities.


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CALLING UPON THE WARRIOR SPIRIT, INSPIRED BY THE CREATOR, TO HEAL HISTORICAL TRAUMA AMONG NATIVE AMERICA THROUGH INDIGENOUS WISDOM: OCT. 7-10 AT VIEJAS

 

 

“Myself, I’m one of the generations.  My mother is one of the generations, wandering out there in alcoholism, and death, and murder and domestic violence, and thinking there’s no way out…like I tell my grandchildren, ‘You don’t have to walk the road of alchcolism and addiction. I walked that road. I took all those beatings for you guys. You don’t have to walk that road.’” -Verna Bartlett, Ph.D. Native American Elder and sexual abuse survivor.

September 17, 2018 (Alpine) -- For American Indian people interested in healing addictions, social and family relations, as well as other physical and emotional illness that infect native communities, and are resistant to Western healing programs, a conference entitled, “Calling upon the Warrior Spirit, inspired by our Creator, to Heal Historical Trauma among Native America through Indigenous Wisdom,” will offer presentations and ceremonies from the indigenous perspective.


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ALPINE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE: SAN DIEGO’S SOUTHEAST REGION, WILDERNESS GATEWAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top: Carrizo Gorge federal wilderness area

June 29, 2018 (Alpine) – Most visitors to San Diego County head to the beaches or the well-known mountain town of Julian. But the County’s lesser traveled southeast region, known as the Alpine Mountain Empire, includes vast tracts of wilderness, quaint mountain towns, a historic train, museums, Native America reservations, resorts, parks and lakes.


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VIEJAS CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING OF THE WILLOWS HOTEL AND SPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique lodging adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

 

 

February 9, 2018 (Alpine) – At the grand opening last week of The Willows Hotel & Spa, an adults-only luxury high-rise  at the Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, located in San DIego's inland region, tribal chairman Robert Welch reflected told the crowd to "put on your sunglasses, because the future of Viejas has never looked brighter!”

The entire facility is reserved for adults only (families may stay at the original Viejas Hotel nearby). Each suite is sumptuously appointed and attention to architectural and design details are evident in craftsmanship throughout.

The Willows features a tower with 159 suites, a saltwater swimming pool, spa and salon facilities, restaurants, fitness center, and business center.


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FIREWORKS EXTRAVANGAZA AT VIEJAS

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

February 9, 2018 (Alpine) -- The Viejas band of the Kumeyaay Nation celebrated the grand opening of  The Willows Hotel and Spa on January 31st with this dazzling pyrotechnics fireworks display.


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COMMUNITY MOURNS LOSS OF CHUCK HANSEN, CIVIC LEADER AND FORMER VIEJAS VICE PRESIDENT

 

Update: Services are scheduled for February 8 at 11 a.m. at Foothills Christian Church. 365 West Bradley in El Cajon.

By Miriam Raftery

January 18, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Charles “Chuck” Hansen passed away suddenly on Monday night, January 15th.  A civic leader active in many organizations for decades, Hansen mentored and befriended many people , leading numerous charitable efforts as well as promoting East County.

He is remembered by San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Eric Lund as a community icon whose “years of knowledge and experience has helped to make San Diego East County a better place to live, work and play.”


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HOLIDAY SHOW AT VIEJAS

 
East County News Service
 
December 8, 2017 (Alpine) -- Each year, Viejas Outlets in Alpine lights up the night with a holiday spectacular show at the show court.  Guests can enjoy a dazzling display of dancing fountains, lasers, firefworks and a gentle cascade of winter snow, choreographed to holiday music.

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VIEJAS ICE RINKS NOW OPEN: HOLIDAY ON ICE SHOW NOV. 11

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 8, 2017 (Alpine) – The largest outdoor ice rink in Southern California is now open for the season  (through January 28) at the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine, transforming the grounds into a winter wonderland.  On Saturday, November 11, the rink will feature a Holiday on Ice  show and lighting of a large holiday see.


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LOCAL TRIBES SEND CARAVANS TO AID STANDING ROCK SIOUX OPPOSED TO DAKOTA PIPELINE

Videos on social media show heavily armed police  arresting “water protectors” today; San Diego rally planned Oct. 30

Update Oct. 7, 2016: Hear our interview on KNSJ Radio with Bobby Wallace by clicking the audio link

By Miriam Raftery

September 28,2016 (San Diego)—“We must, we will, bring more supplies. Our number one goal is to help the people,”  Barona tribal member Bobby Wallace told East County Magazine.

Winter will soon bring bitter cold to the Standing Rock Sioux encampment in Cannnonball,North Dakota, where “hundreds of tribes” have sent thousands of people camp out and take a stand against the Dakota access oil pipeline.  Wallace has been organizing relief supplies gathered by local tribes to support  the effort.

Speaking last week at an Activist San Diego meeting in San Diego,  Wallace told of the reactions when he arrived with the first caravan of supplies for the three camps.”Men, people, had tears in their eyes.  People hugged us…just knowing people far away cared.”

Audio: 

Interview with Bobby Wallace of Barona on Standing Rock caravan

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COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION RELEASES EMF SURVEY RESULTS FOR ALPINE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

 

Viejas announces funding for EMF measurements at school

By Miriam Raftery

February 29, 2016 (Alpine) -- The San Diego County Office of Education on Friday released a draft Survey and Exposure Assessment  or electrmagnetic fields (EMF) for Alpine Elementary School.  The study concludes that  the Sunrise Powerlink transmisison line buried on Alpine Blvd.does not pose a significant safety or health risk to the school site." The study further finds that readings in and around buildings at Alpine Elementary "while not representative of a pristine EMF environment, were within a normal range of exposures one could expect in a society with electric power."

The County study examines 94 measurements taken inside and outside the school and  cites several reasons for concluding the site is safe.


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VIEJAS TOY DRIVE RUNS THROUGH NOV. 30

Party Dec. 9 for all toy donors

November 25, 2015 (Alpine)—For every toy donated to this year’s toy drive, Viejas Casino & Resort will match it one-for-one.  “We have a very ambitious goal and we need your support to achieve success,” a press release states.

Since the Toy Drive in partnership with The Salvation Army in 2010, Viejas has donated over 30,000 toys, giving back to our community and helping to make the holiday season brighter for children in need.


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FREE BOWLING FOR DADS JUNE 21 AT VIEJAS

 

Dads and their kids can enjoy a free game of bowling on Father’s Day, this Sunday, June 21st at the Viejas Bowl in Alpine.  You can also enjoy galactic bowling every Friday and Saturday night all summer long.


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READER'S EDITORIAL: ROY COOK FAREWELL

 

By Grey Feathers

March 12th, 2015 (Viejas) - A huge throng of people from all over came to say goodbye to Roy Cook in the gym at the heart of the Viejas Reservation on Saturday.  Roy died suddenly and we are overwhelmed with a sense of loss.  It was comforting to hear from so many friends how they were touched by his magic.  The prayers, the songs, the Honor Guard, the Soaring Eagles, the drums building up to heaven and the wailing releasing our anguish.  We cried in each other's arms.

The first day I met Roy Cook was at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Jamul Casino in 2005.  I was proud and happy for the Jamul Indian Village and perplexed by the angry faces marching with signs on the street.  Roy sensed the vicious opposition would eventually delay the project and he was right.  He told me some of the history of the Jamul Band.  He said they were the poorest of the poor.  Their little village had dirt roads, their homes had dirt floors.

That encounter changed my life because Roy spoke with such certainty and compassion I began reading everything he wrote.  The words lifted off the pages like they were written in my heart.  Being indigenous became more than a card I carried in my wallet.


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FEDERAL AGENCY POSITIONS FIREFIGHTING HELICOPTERS AT VIEJAS AS SANTA ANA WINDS, DROUGHT INCREASE FIRE RISK

 

 

View video:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3c8rQTaZqUCa3pHNUZJaUdNQkk/view

Source: Viejas

October 5, 2014 (Alpine)--The Bureau of Indian Affairs (B.I.A) has moved two of its firefighting helicopters from northern California to the Viejas Indian Reservation in San Diego County to position them for quick response as the wildfire threat increases across Southern California.

The continued drought conditions, extreme heat and Santa Ana winds forecast over the weekend have made San Diego County, and Southern California, ripe for wildfires and have prompted multiple agencies to be on high alert.


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BEST HAPPY HOURS IN EAST COUNTY!

 

 

 

 

Part 1 in a series

By the very happy East County Eaters at East County Magazine

Week 1: Terra American Bistro (San Diego/La Mesa area) and Viejas Resort & Casino (Alpine)

September 4, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Our intrepid team of East County Eaters have been on the road in search of the best Happy Hours across our inland region. (It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!) Each week, we’ll be featuring two locales offering diverse experiences. Whether your tastes run to sushi bars or cowboy bars, wine bistros or craft brew pubs, urban eateries or mountain taverns, you’ll find plenty to whet your appetite!

To kick off our series, we start by featuring two of our favorites:  Terra American Bistro, a bistro and bar that prides itself on farm-to-table fresh cuisine--right down to the fresh-squeeze passionfruits in our cocktails and the refreshingly tasty and affordable appetizers, plus we tried our luck at Viejas Casino and Resort -- a four-star vacation destination hotel with some great specials sure to make you happy. Cheers!


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HAVE A BLAST: VIEJAS AIMS TO SET WORLD RECORD FOR FIREWORKS SEPT. 12

 

August 30, 2014 (Alpine) – Viejas Casino & Resort will attempt to launch the world’s longest chain of fireworks—more than 10,000 – to celebrates its 23rd anniversary on Friday, September 12th at 8 p.m. You’re invited to the festivities near the Viejas Hotel pool to witness the sky come alive with fireworks during this Guinness Book of World Records setting attempt.


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FIREFIGHTERS’ CHILI COOK-OFF: JUNE 26 IN ALPINE

 

June 7, 2014 (Alpine) – Firefighters from the Alpine, Viejas and Sycuan Fire Departments will be cooking up their hottest dishes for a chili-tasting challenge during the fourth annual Firehouse Cook-Off. 

Who’s got the tastiest chili in town? You be the judge on Thursday, June 26 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Alpine Library, 2130 Arnold Way in Alpine.


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THE THRILL IS BACK: MOVIES IN THE PARK AT VIEJAS

 

 

May 29,2014 (Alpine)- Movies in the park return at the Viejas Outlet Center in Alpine, where you can enjoy watching the latest action thrillers and other blockbuster films while lounging under the stars in a serene park setting. 

Admission is  $5, which includes a regular-size popcorn, plus a 12oz. soda and preferred seating. Children 12 and under are free but must be accompanied by an adult. Movies start at 8 p.m. Movies run from late May through August 22.

To download and print the 2014 schedule, please click HERE or click "read more" and scroll down. 


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WAS IT FRAUD? EXPERTS RAISE SERIOUS QUESTIONS AFTER LOW FIRST-YEAR ENERGY PRODUCTION AT OCOTILLO WIND PROJECT

 

Elected officials suppressed key report, failed to halt project or recover taxpayer dollars

“It was heartbreaking to see this project desecrate such a historically and culturally significant landscape, and it’s even worse when you find out that it was built on false claims by the developer, and with the assistance of the BLM. "-- Anthony Pico, Chairman, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

An East County Magazine special investigation

By Miriam Raftery

April 30, 2014 (Ocotillo) – An international wind energy expert has concluded that Pattern Energy appears to have defrauded the federal government in order to obtain lucrative tax subsidies for a wind energy development in southern California that has failed to live up to the developer’s claims.

“I believe we have a clear case for the False Claims Act,” Nicolas Boccard told East County Magazine, after reviewing full first-year wind production data for the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility on U..S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public land.  The project produced only about half of the energy that Pattern claimed it would produce—far below levels deemed viable for a wind project, a second expert confirms. 

These dismal results are no surprise to Boccard, who predicted in a report written before construction of the project was  completed that Ocotillo lacks sufficient wind speeds to sustain a viable wind energy project.

So were Pattern's lofty wind speed claims nothing more than spin?


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EAST COUNTY COMMUNITY LEADERS TURN OUT TO HONOR BRADYS AT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS ANNUAL CHILDRENS’ BALL

 

 

 

Photo, left:  Guests at Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians table at the Children's Ball

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

April 2004 (San Diego)--More than 400 people from throughout San Diego and East County attended the 48th annual Children’s Ball.  Held at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego, this elegant gathering benefitted the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County. 

 

This year, the event honored Mary Alice and Ron Brady (photo, right), founders of the Brady Companies which recently donated $3 million to the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County. A new  Brady Family Clubhouse on the campus of La Mesa Middle School will be named in their honor.  The Boys and Girls Clubs of East County serve over 3,000 children every year.


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BINGO HALL OPENS AT VIEJAS OUTLETS IN ALPINE

 

Believed to be the first bingo hall located in a shopping center in California

 

April 5, 2014 (Alpine)--What is believed to be California’s first-ever bingo hall to be located in a shopping center opened to the public today at Viejas Outlets, following a sneak preview and ribbon cutting yesterday. To celebrate the opening of the new Viejas Bingo at Viejas Outlets, there will be more than $45,000 awarded in April and a chance to win one of two new FIAT 500s.


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CHILDREN’S BALL MARCH 29 TO BENEFIT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 19, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The elegant U.S. Grant Hotel will be the site of the 48th annual Children’s Ball on March 29 at 6 p.m. This event benefits more than 3,000 children served each year by Boys & Girls Clubs of East County—and you’re invited.

Guests will enjoy the ambiance of the cocktail lounge complete with combo, designer drinks, silent auction, three grand drawing prizes and the ever famous seafood buffet.  In addition admission includes dinner, a live auction, dancing and an opportunity to meet some very special Club members. 

This special event honors Ron & Mary Alice Brady for their commitment to build The Brady Family Clubhouse & Teen Center and improving the lives of the children in La Mesa. “It’s better to build kids than try to mend adults” is not only Mr. Brady’s mantra, but has inspired the theme of this year’s Children’s Ball; Building a Better Future.


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ALPINE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR LEADERSHIP AND PUBLIC SERVICE AWARDS

 

 

 

January 28, 2014 (Alpine)—February 5 is the deadline to submit nominations for the 2014 Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce Leadership & Public Service Award. You can phone, e-mail, fax, go online or mail the names of the Alpine and Mountain Empire people, organizations or businesses you think deserve to be recognized for outstanding leadership or public service last year. Hosted by the Chamber, the awards will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Viejas DreamCatcher Lounge in Alpine.


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Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.

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