Community & Clubs:

Here is an e-mail our family received Tuesday from Someone Cares Soup Kitchen. We are sending in our contribution and encourage others to do so as well:

“We’re writing this emergency letter because we are in dire need of help in order to keep the soup kitchen and tutoring program open.

“Times are extremely hard, both for nonprofits and for the people they help. Right now, we are down to less than two months operating funds in the bank when normally we have at least six. We are cutting costs in every way possible, from rewashing sorely used mop heads instead of replacing them, to having our small staff, from dishwasher to director, agree to a pay cut. Next will come reducing the number of hours we are open.

“We desperately need your help to keep from cutting services. It was Someone Cares founder Merle Hatleberg’s dream to one day open her doors and find no one waiting there. She knew then her mission would be accomplished. It would be so very tragic to have to stop helping our community for lack of funds.

“Someone Cares is unique in that over 89% of each donated dollar ‘goes into the soup pot.’ Annually we are serving over 120,000 nutritious meals, in addition to passing out crucial hygiene and child care items, and making numerous other human needs referrals. A gift of $25 feeds eight meals and much more. For electronic payments through PayPal, please visit the website —”

Signed, Shannon Santos, executive director

Santos can be e-mailed at


Vacations for Barbara and me the past several years have been on cruise ships in the Caribbean or around Italy. Last year, we also got a four-day vacation in over Labor Day weekend in Avalon.

The Avalon vacation was so enjoyable that we just finished an eight-day vacation there this past week with daughter Stacy and Kyle, her fiancé, who joined us for three days.

For some 20 years, our family has vacationed in Avalon, for it is easy to get to, affordable and safe for the daughters when they were growing up.

Many of the faces of those who we have met over the years on our annual trip are the same. Bob Black at the Catalina Flyer office ( on Balboa sold us the round-trip tickets to Avalon while Captain Steve Forbath skippered the Catalina Flyer during the hour-and-15-minute trip to Avalon.

To our surprise, Gretchen and Jim Simpson, whom we met many years ago on the beach, were also in Avalon.

Our daughter Jodi and their daughter Christy share the same birth dates, while daughter Stacy was born two days before their daughter Kelly.

Our two families spent the last week of August for more than 15 years having fun together. The Simpsons are back in Avalon, building a beautiful home on the hillside with a panoramic view of Avalon Harbor to use as a summer residence.

Wayne Griffin, chief executive of the Avalon Chamber of Commerce (, says the number of visitors is off this year and notes there are plenty of hotel rooms and quaint homes for rent.

The sandy beach was not crowded with sunbathers, and the water was warm and clean.

Only on Saturday night did we encounter a line at a restaurant. One restaurant on the island that was new to us was the Lobster Trap, with great service and excellent food at reasonable prices.

We enjoyed the view from the Inn at Mt. Ada along with a relaxing two-hour, fixed-price lunch that included salad, an entrée, wines, beer, soft drinks and some great cookies.

The Catalina Island Museum ( has an informative exhibit titled “Hollywood in Catalina,” which provides the history of the hundreds of films shot in Catalina.

I even made a Rotary Club meeting at Avalon’s Country Club, where the new Los Angeles County Sheriff Commander for the Avalon Station was introduced to a number of community leaders and heard the club’s plans for the “Welcome Back BBQ” for all the teachers at the Avalon kindergarten-through-12th-grade school in September.

Barbara and I have already calendared our Catalina dates for the summer of 2010 on the Island of Romance!


Thought for the Day as provided by Greg Kelley of the Newport-Mesa-Irvine Interfaith Council…“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

— John F. Kennedy

COMMUNITY & CLUBS is published Saturdays. Send your service club’s meeting information by fax to (714) 921-8655 or by e-mail to .

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