People Power

Inspiring Stories from San Diego's Eastern Region

WATER FOR CHILDREN AFRICA PRESENTS THE 12TH AFRICAN TRADE AND BUSINESS CONFERENCE NOV. 22

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2008 (San Diego) -- The twelfth Annual Africa
Trade and Business Conference sponsored by Water For Children Africa will be
held November 21-23, 2008. 

Inspired after a visit to Africa with her mother, El Cajon resident
Vickie Butcher founded the nonprofit organization to create infrastructure
for bringing clean, safe water and medical supplies to help children in rural
African villages.

EAST COUNTY FAMILY YMCA `URBAN BRANDING' A SUCCESS RAISING FUNDS TO HELP YOUTH AND FAMILY PROGRAMS

Hundreds of East County residents and YMCA members attended event,
which raised $176,000

Halle Aiken serves food to Branding guest, Phil Conard.
Picture taken by Brian Blue.

November 1, 2008 (Rancho San Diego) - East County
residents shined their belt buckles and donned their best pairs of jeans
for East County Family YMCA’s annual fundraiser, The Urban BRANDING
on September 27. More than 450 attended the event, which raised $176,000
for the East County Family YMCA to make more resources available for programs
that continue to build strong kids, families and communities throughout East
County. This includes the East County YMCA’s 10 childcare sites, more
than 30 specialty day camps, swim lessons, a variety of teen leadership programs,
youth sports, family events and the capital campaign for the new McGrath
Family YMCA, which will begin construction in a few months.

HUNDREDS FLOCK TO ELKS OKTOBERFEST

By Miriam Raftery

October
20, 2008 (El Cajon) -
Over 800 people flocked to an Oktoberfest celebration
hosted by El Cajon’s Elks Lodge 1812, a tradition that dates back to
1975.

“I started the Oktoberfest,” said Giselle Howard (photo, left),
who was also the festival’s first Oktoberfest Queen.   “This
is why every year, they honor me.”  Still radiant at 86, Howard
wore her original dress and tiara as a fellow Elk pushed her wheelchair in
the Oktoberfest Parade.  The aromas of steak and bratwurst simmering on
a barbecue filled the air, along with scents of potato pancakes and other traditional
German fare.

FUNDRAISER TO HELP HOME OF THE GUIDING HANDS  OCT. 12: CARE FACILITY FOR DISABLED FORCED TO BORROW $1.25 MILLION DOLLARS DUE TO STATE BUDGET GAP

By Miriam Raftery
Residential ServicesOctober
6, 2008 (El Cajon) -
  A wine-tasting event to benefit Home of the Guiding
Hands (HGH) will be held Sunday, October 12th at Mangia Bene Restaurant in
El Cajon.   HGH provides residential, healthcare and training services
for over 160 children and adults with developmental disabilities at 27 facilities
in San Diego County. But now the program faces financial hardship because
all MediCal and MediCare funds were cut off while the Legislature wrangled
to pass a budget that was 83 days past due.

PEOPLE POWER - WORLD'S LAST CASES OF POLIO?

Local Rotary Members Strive to End Global Scourge

By Miriam Raftery
October 1, 2008 (San Diego’s East County) -- Polio,
once the most dreaded childhood disease which killed or paralyzed millions
of people, may soon be eradicated worldwide – and members of local Rotary
chapters are eagerly pitching in to rid the globe of this silent killer.

People Power - On the Trail With the Rock "Doc": Bringing Natural Science to Reservation Children

By Miriam Raftery


October 1, 2008 (Mesa Grande reservation) - Bouncing down a dusty dirt road with hairpin turns so narrow that we have to
honk our horn to warn oncoming drivers, we descend past Lake Sutherland into
a deep gorge.   We emerge in a hidden valley—home of the
lower Mesa Grande Indian reservation.  The most remote tribal village
in East County, Mesa Grande’s American Indians survived 19th century
attacks that decimated more accessible tribes. 

We park in front of the tribal tutoring center, which doubles as a fire station.   A
throng of smiling children quickly surrounds us, eager to greet Eleanora “Norrie” Robbins,
PhD—better known as “Doc.”

People Power - Magic Horse Miracles: Therapeutic Riding Program Benefits Disabled Kids

By Miriam Raftery

 

September 2008 (Lakeside)--Ten-year-old Avery Titus squeals with delight, pressing his face against the sun-warmed backside of Iggy, a quarterhorse at the Magic Horse Therapeutic Riding program in Lakeside.



"Before, he couldn't sit up on his own," recalled Avery's father, Clay. "Now he can sit and not fall over."



Avery has cerebral palsy, brain damage and learning disabilities. But his older brother, Chandler, observed, "That doesn't stop him from being this happy kid."



Magic Horse founder Robin Pawl has Avery demonstrate the exercises he's learned to do on horseback. Motions of the horse beneath him simulate pelvic movement, helping Avery to improve his coordination skills, strengthen his back muscles and improve his sense of balance.

 

"Delana's Dirty Pizza" Wins Charity Cook-Off at New Sammy's in La Mesa

If
you're a fan of Sammy's Wood-fired Pizza,  check out "Delana's Dirty
Pizza" featured on the menu through mid-September. 

The creation concocted by Delana Bennett of Star 94.1 radio’s  “Jeff
and Jer Showgram”  was judged the winner during a charity cook-off
held August 13th to kick off the grand opening of Sammy's newest location in
the La Mesa Trolley Center on Fletcher Parkway. 

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