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Seven-Year-Old Birthday Girl Asked for Donations to Benefit Non-Profit Instead of Gifts

Jack’s Helping Hand offers an easy way for all ages to raise funds for other local families in need.

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – A local seven year-old girl named Anastasia Poole celebrated her birthday on March 5th and helped raise money to assist local families in need.  Her birthday party guests of 50 family and friends collectively donated $700 to benefit Jack’s Helping Hand, Inc. (JHH), a local non-profit that assists families and children with special needs in San Luis Obispo County. Anastasia participated in the Jack’s Helping Hand Birthday Club program where she chose to request donations from her guests to benefit JHH instead of traditional birthday gifts.

The birthday party included a bounce palace, ladybug themed crafts, decorations and cake. “Jack’s Helping Hand has helped our family in the past, and we wanted the opportunity to give back to them to help other local families receive assistance to support their child with special needs,” said Anastasia’s mother, Rachel McSpadden-Tarver. “The party was also about bringing families and kids together to celebrate and have an amazing day.”

The Jack’s Helping Hand Birthday Club is open to all ages. There is an easy online sign up form on the JHH website to

Anastasia Poole

create a personal Birthday Club page where details of the event and pictures can be posted. Participants of the Birthday Club can request a package of JHH themed party invitations, favor boxes, accessories, balloons, and thank you notes. The participants also have the opportunity to choose how their party’s donation is used whether it be to help pay family medical bills, buy a piece of equipment, provide scholarships or purchase a new toy for

the adaptive toy lending libraries. JHH also welcomes sponsorship for events other than birthday parties including holiday or company parties, fraternity or sorority socials, or other special social events.

Jack’s Helping Hand, Inc., a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the families of children with special needs, has established andprovided community programs that enable and empower families, professionals and the broader community to meet the unique unmet physical, mental and medical needs of special children and young adults who have not attained the age of 21. Among its many other contributions, Jack’s Helping Hand, Inc. is currently working to establish a community park capable of serving all children including those with special needs.

To view photos from Anastasia’s party click here. Visit www.jackshelpinghand.org or call (805) 547-1914 for more information on JHH and how to participate in the Jack’s Helping Hand Birthday Club.


March 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Check Out SLO County in US Airways Magazine

Featured Article: Keys to the County of San Luis Obispo

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Local Credit Union Executive Receives State Level Appointment

Suzanne Leedale is appointed to credit union statewide advisory committee

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA― This past December, Suzanne Leedale, the CEO of the San Luis Obispo Credit Union (SLOCU) received appointment to serve on a statewide advisory committee for small credit unions in California. She was chosen from a pool of over 100 eligible candidates. The term is a 1-year commitment and requires attendance of bi-monthly meetings in Ontario.

“I’m honored to represent the SLO Credit Union and San Luis Obispo County at a state level,” says Leedale. The committee has already established seven strategic goals for the year. “One of our biggest goals is to facilitate communication between small credit unions to share ideas to help each other get through difficult times.”

Suzanne is rapidly gaining credibility and becoming a leader in her industry. Since 2008 she has successfully guided the SLO Credit Union to a position of strength and stability during precarious times. “For 2010, we reported a 7% improvement in member growth and 4% increase in asset growth since 2008 when we started the re-branding campaign,” said Leedale. “I’m happy to report that the credit union is now at a responsible level of growth.”  SLOCU has also received several awards for their branding campaign including Campaign of the Year in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Central California Chapter’s 2010 Image Awards and just recently received a Bronze Coastal California ADDY award presented by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) for their 2010 Holiday Card.

On June 2nd Suzanne will sit on a panel of small credit unions in Orange County to discuss issues facing small credit unions during the difficult economic times. The topics to be covered include cost reductions, maintaining loan portfolio by using creativity and growth during tough times.

To find out more information about the SLO Credit Union, visit www.slocu.com or call 543-5839.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Estate Planning Council of San Luis Obispo County has New Leadership



SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – The Estate Planning Council (EPC) of San Luis Obispo County welcomed the council’s new Board of Directors and Officers on November 16, 2010.  Following is the 2011 Board of Directors:

Adi Ringer, BridgePoint, President

Cindy Wolcott, Rabobank, Vice President

Barry VanderKelen, SLO County Community Foundation, Treasurer

Jon D. Pollock, Morris & Garritano Insurance, Secretary

Joan M.  Broadhurst, Attorney At Law, Past President

Adi Ringer, President

The EPC was initially organized in 1995 by Fritz Amacher who was affiliated with Wells Fargo Trust Department in Santa Barbara. The EPC of San Luis Obispo County includes trust companies, life underwriters, attorneys, certified public accountants, financialplanners and affiliated professionals. Their mission includes keeping current on estate planning law and techniques, ensuring the highest type of service is being provided to the public, developing a closer cooperation and better understanding of each member’s profession.

“In addition to the Council’s general tasks, this year we will focus on increasing awareness and ultimately increasing membership,” said newly elected President, Adi Ringer. “We greatly encourage other estate planning professionals to join and become part of our forums to exchange ideas, make new connections and learn about one another’s involvement in estate planning.”

For more information, please contact Adi Ringer at (805) 574-1005, or email him at adi@bridgepointslo.com.

March 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rotary de Tolosa Seeking Grant Applications for 2011 Charitable Giving Program

Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Local nonprofits serving youth in community eligible to benefit from Rotary grants

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – As the economy struggles to recover and donations continue to be hard to find for local nonprofit organizations, the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa announces that applications for its annual grantmaking program are available. Grants from $500 to $5,000 are available to organizations that benefit local youth. Programs can be countywide, but must have a presence within the city San Luis Obispo. Grant applications are due by 5pm on Friday, April 15th and are available online at http://giving.rotarydetolosa.org.

In recent years, Rotary de Tolosa has supported a wide variety of organizations, from basic needs and healthcare programs to arts and mentoring programs. Last year, more than $15,000 in grants was given out to organizations including Arts Obispo, the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, the SLO County Literacy Council, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Jack’s Helping Hand and the SLO County YMCA.

Rotary de Tolosa strives to build connections both within the community and internationally. The club was founded in 1984 with the focus of supporting the youth of the San Luis Obispo community.

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide, who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace.  There are approximately 1.2 million Rotary members, who are part of more than 33,000 chapters worldwide.

For more information on Rotary, please visit Rotary de Tolosa’s website at www.rotarydetolosa.org, or visit the Rotary International website at www.rotary.org.

March 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


The San Luis Obispo Symphony, now celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season, is pleased to announce the selection of Leslie A. McKinley, CFRE, for the position of Director of Resource Development for the San Luis Obispo Symphony.

McKinley brings almost 15 years of development experience to the Symphony.  Her resume includes owning a local newspaper, working with alumni and students at Cal Poly for almost 20 years, working with major donors alongside Barbara George at Cuesta College, and creating an advancement department and helping to institute a name change for the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo. As a volunteer, Leslie is active with the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, the Friends of the Performing Arts Center, the Central Coast Planned Giving Council, the Special Olympics of San Luis Obispo County, and the SLO Communities Bridging Poverty. She has been a dedicated member of the Monday Rotary Club for almost 10 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the French Hospital Foundation.

Ms. McKinley has lived in San Luis Obispo County for thirty-seven years. She has been a member of the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble for twenty years and all three of her children are San Luis Obispo High School and Cal Poly graduates.

As the Director of Resource Development for the Symphony, McKinley will develop, implement, monitor and evaluate all fund development activities in a manner that maximizes contributed income for the Symphony’s annual operating, capital, and endowment needs, while maintaining and developing donor relationships and maintaining an ongoing, active, and aggressive program to identify potential new donors.

Leslie McKinley

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season in 2010-11, the San Luis Obispo Symphony reaches audiences of 18,500 throughout the county,with support growing to 25,000 during this Anniversary year celebration. Featuring a

year-round schedule of concerts and events including the popular Pops by the Sea concert in Avila Beach, Classics Concerts and free dress rehearsals at the Performing Arts Center, smaller Chamber Music Concerts throughout the county and an extensive Music Education program, the San Luis Obispo Symphony can truly boast ‘Something for Everyone.”

Leslie says: “Join us for our Season Finale and Community Celebration on Saturday and Sunday, May 7th and 8th at the Performing Arts Center, featuring Beethoven’s immortal 9th Symphony and a world premiere by local composer Craig H. Russell, and see for yourselves why our San Luis Obispo Symphony is something to celebrate!”

To talk with Leslie about a donation to the Symphony, or for more information, please contact her at leslie@slosymphony.com or call 805.543.3533, ext. 104.

March 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SLO Youth Symphony and Cinema House Films “BOTSO” Film Project Accepted by Kickstarter

A theatrical film under the auspices of the San Luis Obispo Symphony has been accepted to one of the largest fundraising platforms for creative projects in the world. Kickstarter is a high-profile web site where donors from around the world can pledge money to projects that encompass music, film, design and other creative fields. The film, entitled BOTSO, is a non-profit feature-length documentary that explores the extraordinary life and philosophy of Wachtang “Botso” Korisheli.   Nearly 90 years old, Botso Korisheli is a beloved local teacher, musician and sculptor who also founded the San Luis Obispo County Youth Symphony.  His remarkable life story of human resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, and his legacy as an inspirational teacher to several generations of students on the Central Coast is the subject of the film.

The film has been in production for four years and is nearly completed, but the producers are in need of additional funds to finish the project. The filmmakers hope to raise $20,000 in the next 73 days via the kickstarter.com website.  Those who contribute receive various rewards, including tee-shirts, autographed copies of Botso’s recently published memoir, and listings in the movie credits. The project will only be funded if at least $20,000 is pledged by May 19, 2011. To support the film, go to kickstarter.com and type “BOTSO” into the search bar at the top of the home page. A preview of the film and details on the project can be viewed here, and making a pledge of support can be done quickly and securely. All donations made toward finishing the film are tax-deductible. All proceeds earned by the film will fund music education scholarships and the educational programs of the San Luis Obispo Symphony.

“I’m very encouraged by our acceptance to Kickstarter, and by its successful track record,” says BOTSO director/co-producer Thomas Walters.  “This is just what we need to not only complete this project, but to let millions of people know about it.”

Dozens of projects highlighted on Kickstarter have reached their goal, including The Banjo Project, a documentary narrated by Steve Martin, and Ride with Larry, a film about one man’s journey with Parkinson’s Disease. During the past year, Walters and writer/co-producer Hilary Grant have screened a 30-minute version of BOTSO to enthusiastic audiences at Columbia University in New York (where the filmmakers heard about Kickstarter), the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and the Fallbrook Film Festival, where the cut received the coveted Audience Choice Award.

Botso is being produced by the San Luis Obispo Symphony in partnership with Cinema House Films and Aspect Studios, two local companies based in San Luis Obispo County.

For more information about the film, visit http://www.botsomovie.com. For interviews and other information, please contact Patty Thayer, Communications Director for the San Luis Obispo Symphony at (805) 543-3533 or email patty@slosymphony.com.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Action Hero: Avila Beach Sea Life Center

March 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Local Nonprofits Have Opportunity to Win New Roof Valued at $7,000

Quaglino Roofing announces nonprofit giveaway

San Luis Obispo, CA— Quaglino Roofing will be giving away a roof valued up to $7,000 to a local non-profit organization.

San Luis Obispo County non-profits are eligible to send Quaglino Roofing a letter nominating themselves by sharing their organization’s story and the reason why they should win a new roof. The winning non-profit can have the new roof, or they can pass it on to a business affiliate who may be in need or use as an auction donation to raise funds.

“We are very excited to read the stories,” said Quaglino Roofing President, Matt Quaglino. “There are so many organizations in our community doing great things, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to give something back.”

The winner will be announced in April, with construction starting anytime during 2011.

James A. Quaglino founded Quaglino Roofing in San Luis Obispo in 1922. The company works statewide on commercial, industrial and residential projects. Quaglino Roofing and Quaglino Properties are located online at www.Quaglino.com. All letters can be mailed to 815 Fiero Lane in San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 or emailed to mq@quaglino.com.

March 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Owner of BridgePoint Custom Strategies Earns The Charted Life Underwriter® (CLU®) Designation

Adi Ringer is accredited with the most respected designation of insurance expertise

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – Adi Ringer, owner of local financial and insurance services firm, BridgePoint Custom Strategies recently earned the Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) professional designation from the American College Byrn Mawr, PA. BridgePoint also relocated their offices to San Luis Obispo.

To earn this credential, Ringer had to undergo a minimum of eight courses, 16 hours of supervised examinations, and fulfill demanding experience and ethics requirements. The CLU® is the world’s most respected designation of insurance expertise.  The prestigious course of study provides professionals with in-depth knowledge on the insurance needs of individuals, families and business owners.  Once the program is completed, a CLU® can provide expert advice on a broad range of financial topics including life and health insurance, pension planning, insurance law, income taxation, investments, financial and estate planning, and group benefits.

“It was an extremely intense course, but the benefits it will provide my clients is invaluable,” said Ringer. “I will continue to take courses that help me solve clients’ financial challenges more effectively.” Ringer has also taken steps over the years to receive a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) Designation, Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation, and Charter Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) designation. All of these certifications bring a level of knowledge and credibility to Ringer, and enhance his ability to create customized financial strategies for his clients.

Additionally, BridgePoint Custom Strategies has left their Grover Beach office of 10 years and have relocated to 444 Higuera Street, Suite 100, in San Luis Obispo.  “Our clients span across the central coast, and we felt it was essential to be more centrally located,” said Ringer.

BridgePoint Custom Strategies is an independent firm with a dedicated team of seasoned professionals and an extensive network of alliances and resources. They provide comprehensive financial planning solutions to both individuals and businesses including exit planning for business owners and key employees, customized wealth management, investments and insurance.  Contact Adi Ringer of BridgePoint Custom Strategies at (805) 574-1005, or visit bridgepointslo.com for more information.

March 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment