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“A Night in Argentina” to Benefit Local Women’s Shelter

Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County to hold first ever-fundraising event

The Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County will hold a first time ever fundraising event, ‘ A Night in Argentina’ on October 23, 2010 at the South County Regional Center 800 Branch Street in Arroyo Grande beginning at 6 pm.

This event will be held annually selecting a different country / cultural focus each year. The ‘ A Night in Argentina’ event includes:

  • Tango Dancers with demonstrations & lessons
  • Authentic Argentine dinner with wine, appetizers and dessert
  • Complimentary wine tasting of Argentine wines.
  • Live music and dancing

The price for each ticket is $90 and a reserved table for 10 is $850. For tickets contact: Erin White, erinwhite.wsp@gmail.com or 805-781-6401, ext. 203

All proceeds benefit the Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County, South County Services.  The Women’s Shelter Program is committed to recognizing and responding to our community’s need for comprehensive multicultural domestic violence and child abuse services.  The Women’s Shelter Program (WSP) provides a wide range of programs available to victims of partner violence including emergency housing, transitional housing, advocacy and case management, legal services, counseling, community education and children’s services. For more information on the women’s Shelter Program, please visit the website at: www.womensshelterslo.org

September 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Peggy Peterson to be Honored with The President’s Volunteer Service Award

The Award is a Prestigious National Honor for Lifetime Volunteer Service

San Luis Obispo, CAMusic Director Michael Nowak and the San Luis Obispo Symphony today announced that it will present the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national honor offered in recognition of volunteer service, to longtime Symphony “Angel” Peggy Peterson. The award will be presented just prior to the Symphony’s Opening Night concert on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 8 pm at the Performing Arts Center.


Established in 2003, the President’s Volunteer Service Award is available on an annual basis to individuals, groups and families who have met or exceeded requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering.  The SLO Symphony submitted an application to the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation this summer, detailing the thousands of hours of time that Mrs. Peterson has donated to the Symphony over the past fifty years. The certificate, pin and letter from President Obama has been received and will be presented to Mrs. Peterson in a small ceremony immediately prior to the concert at 8 pm in Harman Hall at the Christopher Cohan Center in San Luis Obispo.  Mrs. Peterson will also be recognized at a post-concert reception immediately following the concert at Sage Restaurant.

“For more than fifty years, Peggy Peterson has shared her life, her love of music, her passion for education and her generous spirit with the community of San Luis Obispo. Peggy has played an integral role in making the San Luis Obispo Symphony what it is today” said Maestro Michael Nowak about the honor.

ABOUT PEGGY PETERSON
The former Peggy Winter grew up in Norton, West Virginia, the eldest of five children. She met dear husband Gerry while both were working at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center during World War II. In 1946, Peggy and Gerry relocated to San Luis Obispo where, in addition to raising three children, working full time as a teacher in San Luis Obispo and helping her husband Gerry to build a successful business (San Luis Phone & Wireless) Peggy always made it a point to give back to this community.  The Petersons were generous founders of the Symphony’s endowment, donating property and cash to leave a legacy of music for years to come and inspiring others to do the same.  Peggy served as President of the San Luis Obispo Symphony Guild and on the Symphony Board of Directors, earning the distinguished title of “Director Emeritus” in 1992. For more than twenty years, Peggy presented Autumn Apex, a concert benefiting Music Education and featuring acclaimed artists such as Edgar Meyer, David Kim and Maria Jette. Today, the Symphony’s annual Children’s Concerts bear the name “Apex for Kids” and serve as a living legacy to Peggy and Gerry Peterson. The Petersons also played an integral role in realizing the dream of this beautiful Performing Arts Center and have supported the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center for its entire 25 year history.

In addition to, and perhaps more important than, the above contributions, it should be noted that Peggy has always been notorious about sharing the Symphony wherever she is and whatever she is doing. She is well known for standing in the grocery line and getting people’s names and addresses to be added to the mailing list or purchasing blocks of seats for concerts and distributing them at the doctor’s office or the bank.  Peggy has singlehandedly increased the Symphony’s mailing list by hundreds of names, simply by sharing her love of music wherever she is with whomever she meets.

ABOUT THE AWARD
The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities and encourage more people to serve. The Council created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to serve.

ABOUT THE SAN LUIS OBISPO SYMPHONY
Since 1961, the San Luis Obispo Symphony has been an artistic, economic, educational and community-centered force on the Central Coast.  Now celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season, the Symphony presents a nine-month season of concerts including a classical masterworks series in San Luis Obispo, a chamber music series in more intimate venues around the county, a seaside Pops concert in Avila Beach and a Children’s Concert at the Performing Arts Center. San Luis Obispo Symphony Music Education reaches more than 16,000 children and adults every year with a variety of programs providing a continuum of performance, outreach and experience activities for all ages.
For tickets to the Opening Night concert or for more information about the San Luis Obispo Symphony, please go to http://www.slosymphony.com www.slosymphony.com or call 805-543-3533.

For more information about how to qualify for the President’s Volunteer Service Award and to find out how to identify additional volunteer opportunities in this area, visit http://www.PresidentialServiceAwards.gov www.presidentialserviceawards.gov or call 1-866-545-5307.

September 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Michael Towbes Named Donor of the Year by Peoples’ Self-Help Housing

Santa Barbara Foundation and Wells Fargo Foundation Also Honored


Michael Towbes has been named Donor of the Year by Peoples’ Self-Help Housing. Towbes will be honored at the non-profit’s 40th Anniversary Taste of Hope event to be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 3, 2010 at the historic Rubin home on Mission Street in Santa Barbara. The Towbes Group and the Towbes Foundation have been generous supporters of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing since 2003.

The event features fine wine-tasting, gourmet, hors d’oeuvres and dinner, live music by Konrad Kono, silent auction, and short awards ceremony.  Reservations are $100 per person. Tickets are limited to 125 so early registration is recommended.

Michael Towbes is Chairman of The Towbes Group, Chairman of Montecito Bank & Trust, and Chief Financial Officer of The Towbes Foundation.  Since 1996 Towbes has served on The Duncan Group Board of Directors, an affiliate nonprofit board of Peoples’ where he has encouraged continued development of affordable housing, support services, and after school education programs at the organization. For example, Mr. Towbes paid for a surplus classroom to be transported from Goleta to the Dahlia Court housing complex in Carpinteria where hundreds of children have studied and been instructed at Peoples’ Youth Education Enhancement Program (YEEP).

He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton University and attended graduate school at MIT.  He has lived in Santa Barbara for 50 years and has built more than 6,000 housing units as well as shopping centers, office buildings and business parks throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties.  Hs is a Senior Life Director of the National Association of Home Builders.  He is the owner of Montecito Bank & Trust, a Santa Barbara based community bank with assets of over $900 million and eight branches from Westlake Village to Solvang and was one of the bank’s founders, which opened in 1975.

Towbes is one of Santa Barbara’s leading philanthropists, with multi-million dollar gifts to create the Granada performing arts center in Santa Barbara and to assure the continued presence of the full-time classical music radio station KDB in Santa Barbara.  He has been honored by his selection as Santa Barbara’s Man of the Year, and has been the recipient of the initial News-Press Lifetime Achievement Award, the UCSB Chancellor’s Medal and the Westmont Medal.  He has been selected as both Santa Barbara Philanthropist of the Year and Santa Barbara Volunteer of the Year by the National Society of Fundraising Executives.

Also being honored at the 40th Anniversary event is the Santa Barbara Foundation and the Wells Fargo Foundation.

The Santa Barbara Foundation is a community foundation established in 1928 to enrich the lives of the people of Santa Barbara County through philanthropy. With an 80-year legacy of strategic philanthropy throughout Santa Barbara County, the Foundation is one of the oldest and largest of the more than 700 community foundations in the U.S. It is Santa Barbara County’s largest private source of funding for nonprofit agencies, having awarded $23 million to area nonprofits and $2.3 million to area students in 2006. The Foundation invests in programs that enhance the community in the areas of education, personal development, health, human services, culture, recreation, community enhancement, and environment. It has assets of approximately $250 million. Since 2002 the Santa Barbara Foundation has donated nearly $250,000 to Peoples’ with a grant focus on youth education and supportive housing programs.

Starting as far back as the mid-1800’s, Wells Fargo served communities in California by bringing settlers, safeguarding the arrival of their valuables, and delivering their mail. Today, Wells Fargo continues to serve the community through its broad range community support programs, including Wells Fargo contributions. The Foundation makes grants in three primary areas: community development, education, and human services. Wells Fargo provides grants to organizations that help people and communities of low and moderate income in affordable housing and community revitalization, as well as educational programs promoting academic achievement by low- to moderate-income K-12 students. Since 1994 the Wells Fargo Foundation has allocated $736,000 in grants to Peoples’ Self-Help Housing—a remarkable partner in furthering our mission.

Founded in 1970, the mission of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing is to provide affordable housing and programs leading to self-sufficiency for low-income households, seniors, and special needs groups on California’s Central Coast. With over 1,100 self-help homes completed and over 1,350 rental units owned and managed by Peoples’ Self-Help Housing in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties., it is the premiere affordable housing and community developer on the Central Coast. PSHH has offices in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

The mission of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing is to provide affordable housing and programs leading to self-sufficiency for low-income families, seniors, and other special needs groups on California’s Central Coast. For information on Peoples or the Taste of Hope event visit www.pshhc.org or phone (805) 962-5152 x220.

September 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rotary of Nipomo Lights up the Night

Gala evening planned to benefit Leukemia Lymphoma Society

Nipomo, CA—A gala evening has been planned to benefit the Leukemia Lymphoma Society on Sunday, September 26 at St. Joseph Church Hall in Nipomo. Rotary Club of Nipomo presents “Light the Night” that begins with cocktails at 4:00 p.m., followed by a barbecue dinner at 5:00, and a drawing to be held at 6:30. Tickets are $100 and include two dinners and dessert, plus a silent auction where guests can bid on such items as a hotel and casino getaway in Reno, Nevada; English High Tea for six; and more.

“There is a huge need for vital life-saving research, not to mention critical patient services for local residents,” said Rotarian Paul Teixeira, major supporter of the Society, and organizer for the event. “We are really excited about this special evening, and hope it will help not only raise needed funds but also educate people about this serious disease and the many who are affected by it.” The major event sponsors are Mike and Lisa Streator.

According to statistics provided by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, someone dies from a blood cancer every ten minutes. That’s one death six every hours. Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among young children and young adults. However, with research and new treatments, the likelihood of dying from many types of leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma decreased dramatically during the last ten years.

To purchase tickets to “Light the Night,” call Amie at (805) 441-2300; Cindy at (805) 550-3835; Paul at (805) 598-9454; or Deb at (805) 598-6083.

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Community Puts All Hands on Deck for the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum Annual Fundraiser

San Luis Obispo, CA— The San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum will hold its annual fundraiser, “Pirate’s Paradise,” Friday October 15, 2010. All proceeds benefit the Museum and its many exciting exhibits, programs, activities, and field trip scholarships for local schools.

Lemurs, parrots and palm readers will welcome aboard guests. Chef Mark Sahaydak will serve unforgettable grog and grub, which will be followed by a wildly entertaining auction, and dancing to the tunes of Unfinished Business – all in a fun Pirate theme.

The Children’s Museum is grateful to all of its event sponsors, including Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes, AT&T Yellow Pages, iii DESiGN, CauseMedia, Sungevity, Heritage Oaks Bank, San Luis Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Cindrich & Company, First Bank, Cal Poly, DiBuduo and DeFendis, Phil & Tina Bailey, PrintPal, Monart, and Central Coast Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

The adventure begins at 6 p.m. in the big tent at Avila Beach Resort. Buccaneer and lass attire encouraged.  For more information and tickets call 545-5874 or log onto www.slocm.org.

September 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Three Locals Honored for Contributions to Equal Access for All in SLO County

The Paul Wolff Accessibility Advocacy Awards Ceremony

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA― Three winners were announced at the Paul Wolff Accessibility Advocacy Awards (PWAAA) Ceremony presented by the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation and Access for All, held on August 28, 2010. Now in its 9th year, this gala evening honored an individual, a business, and a community organization for their outstanding efforts to create a more accessible San Luis Obispo County.

Recognized for their efforts this year, were:

  • Individual: Jill Heuer – Heuer is currently the Director of the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) for San Luis Obispo County. She was instrumental in bringing NPR’s StoryCorps Project to San Luis Obispo County in order to record for posterity the stories of nearly 150 people with disabilities. Heueris highly respected within the special education community in San Luis Obispo County for her commitment to meet the accessibility needs of students with disabilities.
  • Business: Trader Joe’s – Since 2006, Trader Joe’s has demonstrated initiative through employment of people with developmental disabilities. In both their Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo stores, employees with disabilities benefit from the interaction with their colleagues and from the opportunity to demonstrate their skills

    From L to R: Sharlene Agrusa-Executive Director Of Parents Helping Parents, Victoria Carroll-wife of Rev. Doug Carroll, Jill Heuer, Mark Edwards-Store Manager at Trader Joe's.

    while being employed in a paying position.

  • Organization: Parents Helping Parents –This organization has hosted several workshops on dealing with the challenges of raising a child with a disability and in 2009 hosted, “Creative Housing Options Workshop.” Parents of children with disabilities greatly benefit from connecting with other parents with similar questions and gain valuable information from Parents Helping Parents workshops.

Also a distinguished advocate, Reverend Doug Carroll was given a special certificate of recognition for his advocacy in educating the community about multiple sclerosis.

Winners were announced at the event which featured entertainer Josh Blue, 2006 winner of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” Blue, who started his stand-up comedy career in college, celebrates the fact that he has cerebral palsy, breaking down stereotypes about disability with every joke he makes.

Access for All is dedicated to breaking down physical, attitudinal, or informational barriers to equality for people with disabilities. Visit www.sloaccessforall.org to find out more. Established at the Community Foundation in 2000 by Bryan and Beverly Gingg, PWAAA honors local architect Paul Wolff for his contributions toward accessibility for all. For more information about the Foundation, call (805) 543-2323 or log onto www.sloccf.org.

September 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Photographer’s Photo Session to Benefit Local Non-profit

Lisa Maksoudian to hold photo session in efforts to raise funds for Jack’s Helping Hand, Inc.

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA— On Sunday, September 26, local children’s portrait photographer, Lisa Maksoudian presents Fall Mini Sessions. Every year, Maksoudian donates her talent to photographing children for a good cause. This year’s Mini Session will benefit local non-profit, Jack’s Helping Hand, Inc..

The Fall Mini Session event features a 20-minute shoot and includes a $100 print credit. The cost is $250 for up to 3 children. Parents may also be included in the images. This event is expected to fill up quickly, so email lisa@lisamaksoudian.com or call the studio at 805-459-9228 to reserve your spot. For more information, please visit Lisa Maksoudian’s blog, blog.lisamaksoudian.com.

Founded in 2004, Jack’s Helping Hand, Inc. is an award-winning non-profit organization that assists children with illnesses and disabilities, providing special treatments, services, equipment and transportation not provided by other sources, or that exceed family financial capabilities. For more information, please call (805) 547-1914 or visit www.jackshelpinghand.org.

September 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One Hero, Two Hospitals, Many Lives Saved

September 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment