Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

    The youth members of the City’s Community of Character Committee are sponsoring a Casino Night for other young people next week.  Does it seem for a moment there is a paradox between vice and virtue in that announcement?

    Perhaps the ends justify the means, however, since the event is a fundraiser for the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life charity.

   The casino event is geared toward eighth graders and older and will include poker, blackjack, bunco and other popular games along with prizes, snacks and much more. Adults are welcome. Admission is $10 and includes playing chips and snacks.  The fun happens May 29 from 6:30 to 10 pm.

    The gig will take place at City Hall.


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Mission Viejo residents donated 10,000 pounds of food—five tons—for the National Letter Carriers Food Drive on May 9. I got this total from no better source than my own carrier, who was proud of the accomplishment.

The US Postal Service, postmasters and carriers worked extra hard, and the general public also responded equally to the increased need for donations in the recession. The sponsoring Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County collected about 300,000 pounds of food through the mail carriers—150 tons. That was 60,000 pounds more than the prior year, a 20-percent increase. Based on population, Mission Viejo’s contribution was right on target with the county haul.

With the recession and high gas prices affecting everyone, people were more generous in realizing that the working poor, seniors on fixed income and the unemployed middle class were in greater need than every for food. The Register frequently reported on this growing need coupled with declining receipt of overstock from grocery stores, food manufacturers and government surplus.

While the federal government is expanding its social net, the American public replied loudly and clearly on May 9, “We can take care of our own.”

For the last year I have been one of thousands of volunteers at Second Harvest, which supports 400 civic and religious organizations that distribute the food directly to the needy. For more information, go to www.feedoc.org.

Allan Pilger

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Dylan Moore

Gerry Schiphorst(L) & ER Jim Humphrey(R) present to scholarship winner Dylan Moore

    The Mission Viejo Elks recently presented their annual Youth Appreciation Awards to several boys and girls who excelled in scholastics, sports and scouting during the past twelve months. Elks Exalted Ruler Jim Humphrey welcomed the guests and read a decree from the Mission Viejo City Council proclaiming the week of May 4 to 10 as Elks Youth Week.

    Elks Scholarship Chairman Gerry Schiphorst presented achievement certificates and scholarships to Morgan P Sheldon, Daniel C. Yi and Ryne L. Contreras of Trabuco Hills High who were among six Saddleback Valley winners. The other recipients were Jenny V. Le, Dylan J. Moore, and Gabriella Hoffman.

Vincent Nicandro

Vincent Nicandro

    Elks are second only to the US government in the amount of scholarship dollars awarded annually. Schiphorst advised the next round of scholarships applications will be available in September.

    Elks Americanism Chairman Irene Romero presented essay awards to  5th, 6th, & 7th grade students: Vincent Nicandro, Scott Bartolucci, Aidan McDaid, Ariell Spencer, Andee Higgins and Melissa Rogers. The essay topic was, “What freedom means to me.” Sixth grader Vincent Nicandro received a standing ovation for his winning essay.

Irene Romero presents to Melissa Rogers & parents

Irene Romero presents essay award to Melissa Rogers & parents

    Elks National Hoop Shoot awards were presented by Youth Activities Chairman Pat Martino. Recipients were: Connor Haskell, J.T. Pugliese, Brendan Rankine, Ali Mohtashami and Chris Sims. Winners advance to district, state and national competitions. The 6 national free-throw finalists have their names inscribed on the Elks Hoop Shoot recognition plaque at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

    Two of the most coveted awards in Girl Scouting, the Silver and Gold awards, were announced. Silver award recipients were Hannah Gaines, Christine Girolamo, Andi Hougland and Daniella Legan. Scouting’s highest Gold awards went to Kelsey Bongo, Marissa Girolamo, Alyssa Masters, aubra Rauchwerger and Krista Rodriguez.

    Youth activities are among the top priorities of the Elks. Elks National President Paul D. Helsel set key goals for the more than 1 million men and women who make up the Order of Elks: to champion community services; provide help and hope to underprivileged and the disabled; encourage family involvement in the Elks; provide for the needs of the nation’s veterans; and increase sponsorship of youth activities and programs. The local group is very active in accomplishing that goal.

    For more information on Elks Charities or membership call (949) 830-3557.

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    Mission Viejo High School will be the location for the Kiwanis/PlyoCity all-Star basketball games this weekend.  The best players from South County will compete on Saturday against the best from North County in six games:

  • Small schools senior girls’ game at noon
  • Small schools senior boys’ game at 1:30 p.m.
  • Elite underclassmen girls’ game at 3 p.m.
  • Large schools senior girls’ game at 4:30 p.m.
  • Elite underclassmen boys’ game at 6:30 p.m.
  • Large schools senior boys’ game at 8 p.m

    Mission Viejo players selected to the all-star teams are: Ben Hayes (Mission), Elite Underclassmen Boys; Gabrielle Kaiser (Mission), Elite Underclassmen Girls; Kaitlyn Peterson & Ashley Fajardo (Mission), Senior Big Schools Girls; and Marcellus Pullum (Trabuco Hills), Senior Big Schools Boys.   

    The games are a charity event to raise funds for charitable and youth organizations in Orange County. Over $500,000 has been raised for charity, including the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, Orange Coast College Scholarship Fund and CHOC Hospital.

    Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and children.

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    A local woman was sentenced to 20 days in jail and three years probation for a DUI accident which caused minor injuries to a 17-year-old passenger.  Kathryn Wilcox, 23, walked away from the scene after hitting a light pole in January on Live Oak Canyon Road. She was later found at her home by CHP officers. She was sentenced after pleading guilty to the DUI, according to the OCR.  

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    On Saturday, May 9th – the day before Mother’s Day – postal service  letter carriers in Mission Viejo will team up with Second Harvest Food Bank to collect food for hungry children, seniors and  families during the 17th annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Residents can help feed the hungry by placing a bag of non-perishable food items (cans of tuna, soup or hot & cold cereal) next to their mailboxes that morning. Their mail carrier will pick up the donated food.

    “John” is a senior in his 70’s who resides in a small apartment in north Orange County. Like many seniors, “John” depends on Social Security to make ends meet.  But after rent and utilities are paid, “John” is often left with the difficult choice: does he buy food or refill his medicine prescription. John has two daughters who occasionally help with basics. But the current economic situation has left them struggling as well. Too often, at the end of each month, he just went without.

    A little over a year ago “John” learned about the Caring Hands Food Pantry. Operated by the First Lutheran Church in Fullerton, Caring Hands, in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, passes out nutritious food twice a week for those in their community at risk of going hungry. The food “John” receives from the Pantry often serves to bridge him to his next Social Security check. This allows him to get the neede medicine or check-ups he needs to stay healthy.

    “John” is so thankful for the food he receives that he often gives back by helping unload food or stock shelves at the Pantry. One in six Orange County residents is like “John” – at risk of going hungry, half of which are children. While “John” lives at the northern end of the county, those at risk live all over Orange County, including Seal Beach, Lake Forest, San Clemente and Irvine. They could include neighbors struggling with a layoff, the parents of a softball teammate struggling with an illness, or a member of a local church, like “John,” living on a fixed income.

    For more than 25 years, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County has led the effort in eliminating hunger in Orange County. It partners with more than 400 charitable organizations like Caring Hands Food Pantry to provide nutritious food donated by businesses and individuals throughout Orange County.  Tragically, with the economy continuing to decline, donations to local food banks are greatly needed.

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baskin-robbin-31    Baskin  Robbins  stores  are  holding  a promotion this evening only, Wednesday, April 29, from 5-10 pm.  Scoops of ice cream will sell for only 31 cents each – a triple cone for less than a buck!

    There are three stores in Mission Viejo at 22922 Los Alisos (at Trabuco), 27690 Santa Margarita Parkwy (at Los Alisos), and 25276 Marguerite Parkway (at LaPaz). 

   The special promotion is a nationwide event. In conjunction, Baskin Robbins will make a $100,000 donation to the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) National Junior Firefighter Program, which encourages youth education about the vital, life-saving work done by volunteer emergency services and helps to establish a pipeline of future firefighters to keep our communities safe.

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