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Automotive Shop Driven to Provide Books for Local Children

Rizzoli’s Automotive donates 700 children’s books to Altrusa of the Central Coast


SANTA MARIA, CA – Rizzoli’s Automotive has partnered with Altrusa International, Inc. of the Central Coast to provide books to local children. The partnership has already resulted in a donation of 700 books for Altrusa’s annual Festival of Books giveaway.

Altrusa of the Central Coast’s main focus is literacy. This summer marks their fourth year of giving away books at the Santa Maria Town Center Mall. The organization will be gathering for the Festival of Books giveaway on Sundays, August 7 and August 21. Later in the summer on Thursday, September 8, Altrusa will celebrate International Literacy Day in the “Leisure Room” at the Santa Maria Town Center.  They will have an afternoon of board and card games while handing out as many books as possible. There will be door prizes every 30 minutes and free snacks. All ages are welcome.

Many families that are struggling financially in the tough economy are not able to afford books to have in their homes. Altrusa helps take some of the burden off these families with the community’s ongoing donation of books. “We want to make sure every child in Santa Maria has a book to read this summer,” said President of Altrusa Melinda Aguirre. “We have lots of kids attend our event and get so excited that they can have a book to take home and read.”

Last year, Rizzoli’s Automotive partnered with the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation for the Raising a Reader Program. A total of 600 books were collected at Rizzoli’s locations in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria. Recently, Altrusa expressed the need for books in Santa Maria and Rizzoli’s offered to continue collecting books throughout the summer to benefit the Santa Maria families in need. “The community and our customers continuously demonstrate generosity when we host the book drives,” said General Manager Kyle Rizzoli. “We plan to continue this important community outreach program along with our year-round food drive for the SLO Food Bank.”

Donations can be dropped off at 2584 Victoria in San Luis Obispo or 1149 W. Tama Lane in Santa Maria.

About Altrusa

Altrusa of the Central Coast’s mission is to administer contributions received from Altrusa Clubs to the needs of the community to support and maintain its traditional commitments to literacy projects and to ensure support to local service projects. Visit http://www.altrusaclubcentralcoast.org for more information.


About Rizzoli’s

Rizzoli’s Automotive has been a family run business for three generations, taking pride in quality care and customer service. Rizzoli’s is located at 2584 Victoria in San Luis Obispo and at 1149 W. Tama Lane in Santa Maria. For more information please call (805) 541-1082 or log on to www.RizzolisAutomotive.com.


July 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum Receives $25,000 Gift from the Piantanida Family

San Luis Obispo, CA – The San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum is the recent recipient of a $25,000 gift from the Edna Piantanida Trust, in memory of Paul Piantanida, who ran the auto repair business on the site where the museum stands today.

The Paintanida family has a long history with the Children’s Museum. Edna’s husband, Paul, owned the machine shop at the corner of Nipomo and Monterey Streets. Paul’s Garage opened in 1948 and eventually served as the original Children’s Museum, from 1990 to 2004. Paintanida was a well-loved and respected member of the San Luis Obispo community. As a child, he helped support his family through the Great Depression. As an adult, he founded and ran two successful companies, served in World War II, and mentored Cal Poly students.

Paul and Edna Paintanida lost their son, Gary, at the age of 15 to lymphatic leukemia. It is, therefore, that much more touching that his widow chose to support the children of the community through gifts to San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum.

The San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum, inspiring learning through play for children ages two to 10, is located at 1010 Nipomo Street in San Luis Obispo. Summer programming, Fins, Feathers & Fur, brings the animal world up-close. For more information call 805-545-5874 or visit http://www.slocm.org.

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

Fifth Annual Fundraiser Huge Success for Special Needs Children

Jack’s Helping Hand nets over $187,000 at this year’s BBQ fundraiser

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA― Another sold-out event, the fifth annual BBQ fundraiser for special needs children brought in the highest amount of donations ever received. Over $187,000 was raised at an Evening with Jack’s Helping Hand (JHH), which was held at the Santa Margarita Ranch on Saturday, July 9.  Tickets sold-out over a month before the event with close to 650 guests in attendance. The event included a traditional barbecue buffet, live music from a mariachi band and the Bangin’ 58’s, a live auction with seasoned auctioneer Jim Settle and the good company of others who share the passion for assisting special needs children in SLO County.

Many local individuals and businesses generously donated high value items from Mid State Fair concert packages, to wine and art, and to European vacation give-aways making the live auction an enormous success. More than $150,000 was raised from the live auction alone.

“The funds that we raise at this wonderful annual event continue to support our programs that help meet the unmet physical, mental and medical needs of special children, and their families in our community including our Assistance Program, Teen Yoga, Little Swimmers, and our Adaptive Toy Lending Libraries,” said Mary Illingworth, charitable administrator.

In addition to all the great programs they currently offer, JHH continues to work tirelessly toward the dream of building the all access Jack Ready Imagination Park in Nipomo. “We are getting closer and closer as we now can apply for our building permits and we continue to apply for grants to cover the cost of constructing the park,” said Illingworth.  If all goes as planned the park will be completed sometime in 2012.

Visit www.jackshelpinghand.org or call (805) 547-1914 for more information on Jack’s Helping Hand’s programs and services.

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

Rotary de Tolosa Welcomes Incoming Board of Directors

Service Club announces new Officers and Directors for the 2011-2012 year

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – The Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa announced the club’s 2011-2012 Board of Directors on July 1. Incoming President, Ali Semon, will have a focus on “fun and funds,” adding, “I want members to have a good time raising funds to serve our community and world.” Semon brings a love of travel and world understanding to her new post.

Officers for 2011-2012 are as follows:

President:                             Ali Semom
President-Elect:                     Carl Dudley
Vice President:                      Jennifer Rhynes
Past President:                      Jeff Buckingham
Secretary:                             Doug Dalton
Treasurer:                             Laura Krueger
Sergeant at Arms:                 John Semon

Directors for 2011-2012 are as follows:

Club Service:                         Karen Libby
Community Service:               Susan Dressler
International Service:             Tim Williams
Vocational Service:                 Melinda Thomas
New Generations:                   Amy Kardel
Fundraising:                           Rick Owens
Club Parliamentarian:              Barry Karleskint
Programs:                              Adam Quaglino
Public Relations:                     Mary Verdin
Membership:                          Kris Kington-Barker
Club Awards:                          Bernadette Bernardi
Foundation Chair:                    Mark Furia

Rotary is an international organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace.  There are more than 1.2 million Rotary members, who are part of more than 33,000 chapters worldwide. The Rotary International theme for 2011-2012, under President Kalyan Banerjee is “Inner Strength.” Banerjee explains that, “Once Rotarians find their inner strength, they can accomplish great things in their communities and around the world.”

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.

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July 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rotary de Tolosa Names Donna Lewis as 2010-2011 Rotarian of the Year

Dedicated humanitarian is recognized by Rotary Club for “Service Above Self”

 SAN LUIS OBSIPO, CA – The Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa has named their 2010-2011 Rotarian of the Year.  Donna Lewis, principal of Central Coast Mortgage Consultants, is recognized as this year’s outstanding Rotarian.

Rotary de Tolosa 2010-2011 President Jeff Buckingham has selected Lewis for her “inspiring acts of ‘Service Above Self.’”  After suffering the loss of SLO City Fire Chief and Rotarian John Callahan, “Donna stepped in as the Community Service Chair with enthusiasm and the goal of honoring Callahan’s commitment to the club.” Buckingham commends Lewis for her capacity to plan and coordinate through the most trying times by organizing noteworthy community service events, including Rotary de Tolosa’s participation in the joint project by the three SLO Rotary Clubs to build an outdoor sheltered classroom at the Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School. Lewis was able to maintain the direction of the community service programs by carefully choosing her volunteers and encouraging the club to do great work.

In addition to being named Rotarian of the Year, Lewis will receive the ‘Paul Harris Recognition’ to honor her contributions to the club, a $1,000 donation made in her name to Rotary International.

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 over 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 to the Rotary International website at www.rotary.org

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

SLO Symphony’s 50th Season Ends with Many Successes and One Announcement

SLO Symphony Executive Director Brian Hermanson Resigns After Landmark Year

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA—The San Luis Obispo Symphony’s 50th anniversary season closed on June 30th after an impressive year filled with unprecedented successes and one big announcement. After a little more than a year with the Symphony, Executive Director Brian Hermanson has resigned his position for personal and family reasons, and to pursue other interests. He and his wife, Alice Ann, plan to return to the East Coast.

Under Hermanson’s leadership, the Symphony increased the number of Strings in the School classes county-wide, including a new school site in Santa Margarita. A new string instruction program called SuperBows was initiated; and Youth Symphony enrollment rose significantly. Attendance was high at every concert and event this season, but two concerts in particular are worthy of note:  a first-ever New Year’s Eve concert was held for a standing room only audience and the two Season Finale concerts, featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, were completely sold out.

“We are especially pleased to report that thirty percent of those in attendance at the Season Finale were new to the Symphony and to the Performing Arts Center,” said Symphony Communications Director, Patty Thayer.

The new season will kick off with the 20th Annual Pops by the Sea concert on Labor Day Weekend, Sunday, September 4th at the Avila Beach Resort. Tantalizingly titled “Summer of Love,” this event and all other concert listings and ticket information will be available July 15th in the 2011-2012 season brochure, and online at www.slosymphony.com.

“It has truly been a landmark year,” said Thayer. “Brian [Hermanson] did a wonderful job for us and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors. Our board will begin the search for a new executive director immediately, and will list the job both locally and nationally.”

July 5, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Local Doctor of Optometry Receives Certificate of Excellence

Dr. Joe Horne receives outstanding reviews from his MES Vision Patients

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – Doctor Joe Horne, of San Luis Obispo Eye Associates has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from MES Vision for providing exceptional vision care in 2010. The Certificate of Excellence is awarded based on feedback received from MES Vision patients who rated Dr. Horne’s practices as “Excellent” on all surveyed categories. Dr. Horne provides primary eye care including eye exams, contact lenses, and the treatment of ocular diseases. He focuses on making sure that all visual problems of every patient are perfectly corrected. “I am honored to receive this recognition and grateful for the wonderful patients I have,” said Dr. Horne. “Ensuring my patients receive the greatest quality of care in a relaxed environment will continue to remain my first priority.” Earning his Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern California College of Optometry, Dr. Horne is board certified in the treatment and management of ocular diseases. Before earning his doctorate, Dr. Horne received a Bachelor of Science in pre-medicine from the University of Nevada. Established in 1995 by the merging of three successful ophthalmology subspecialty practices on the central coast, San Luis Eye Associates offers a full range of eye care services, experienced specialists who are leaders in their fields, state-of-the-art equipment, and the latest techniques in eye care. Visit them online at www.SloEyeMD.com.

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

Grants to Avila Beach Sea Life Center Provide Opportunities for Students

$13,000 in grants will provide scholarships to underprivileged school groups

AVILA BEACH, CA – The Avila Beach Sea Life Center’s mission to educate people about the ocean and its inhabitants has received a boost in the form of two grants from the Avila Beach Community Foundation and PG&E. The center will use the $13,000 received to create scholarships for local school groups to participate in the educational programs that would otherwise be out of reach. Over 1,150 K-12 students from local schools will benefit from the grant money.

“Both the Avila Beach Community Foundation and PG&E have been wonderful supporters of the Sea Life Center,” said Executive Director Priscilla Kiessig. “It’s their continued support that has enabled us to make our educational outreach efforts bigger and better than they’ve ever been before.” Kiessig adds that, in this past year alone, more than 2,600 students from 91 classes took part in the hands-on marine science programs such as the Discovery Lab and the Floating Lab tour of Avila Bay.

The Avila Beach Sea Life Center is a nonprofit organization committed to inspiring the community to learn about the life within the ocean. To learn more, contact Priscilla Kiessig at (805) 595-7280 or pkiessig@sealifecenter.org.

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

Significant Artifacts Found and Added to Northern Chumash Tribal Council Collection

American Perspective Bank transfers ownership of newly found artifacts to Chumash tribe

 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – A team of archaeologists working during the Nacimiento Water Project unearthed a large collection of Chumash artifacts, ranging from bowl mortar and pestles, a milling stone slab, and a number of other stone tools, bone fragments and shells. More than 500 pieces were found and are estimated to be 5,000 – 10,000 years old. The property excavated is located on River Road in Paso Robles, and is owned by American Perspective Bank (APB).

The archaeologists, working on the site for the County of San Luis Obispo, cleaned, sorted and catalogued the artifacts, which were then given to APB. The artifacts were turned over to the Northern Chumash Tribal Council as the caretakers for the Chumash Nation. Though technically the bank is considered the owner of the findings, APB President/CEO Mark Crawford explains, “It is our belief that we were simply holding the artifacts as trustee for the benefit of the Chumash Nation.” Crawford adds that APB management and employees were excited about the finding and about learning more about the Chumash.

“These artifacts are significant enough to qualify for the National Historic Registry,” said Northern Chumash Tribal Council (NCTC) Tribal Administrator, Fred Collins. “As caretakers of our ancestry, we greatly appreciate the County’s Public Works Department for their understanding and cooperation, and also thank American Perspective Bank for giving us these important pieces of history.” Collins said that the artifacts will be safely stored until they can be displayed in a Native American Chumash Interpretive Center, which the NCTC hopes to build in the near future. For more information about the Northern Chumash, log onto http://www.northernchumash.org.

NCTC Tribal Administrator, Fred Collins, explains the significance of the artifacts found to the management and staff at APB.

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