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Couple honors Ventura Music Festival

“Mark and I are proud and happy to underwrite the artistic director position”

The Ventura Music Festival is pleased to announce that a distinguished philanthropic couple has agreed to “name” the position long held by Nuvi Mehta. Henceforth the director and the position will be known as: “Nuvi Mehta, the Janet and Mark L. Goldenson Artistic Director of the Ventura Music Festival.”

According to Mrs. Goldenson, “Mark and I are proud and happy to underwrite the artistic director position of a Festival that has long brought the joy of world-class music to the community along with wonderful education programs. Through the years we’ve grown to know Nuvi and there could not be a more deserving person for us to support.”

Commenting on the gift, Executive Director Susan Scott said “the Goldensons’ generous gift comes at a particularly exciting time for us. Planning is underway not only for a 2018 Festival that matches or exceeds this year’s wonderful success, but we’ve also started planning for a special year-long, community-wide celebration of our 25thanniversary in 2019. These next two years are a big deal, and Janet and Mark’s gift adds to the momentum beautifully.”

Founded in 1994, the Ventura Music Festival is one of Ventura County’s signature arts events, presenting a genre-spanning mix of world-class music in an annual July Festival, and an array of programs year-round, including a Student Jazz Competition in January and Rising Stars concert in May.

“Teaming Up Against Domestic Violence”

A powerful evening was held at the City Center’s domestic violence event.

It was an amazing night at The City Center’s 3rd Annual Domestic Violence event – “Teaming Up Against Domestic Violence” held in The River Community’s main auditorium.

The evening was filled with heartfelt music by Kris Simeon, Jermarie Dizon, Monse Casmiro, Charleen Morla and Unko Henry.

Words of support from dignitaries and local celebrities included Ventura City Councilmember Mike Tracy, Ventura County Assistant Sheriff William Ayub and KVTA radio celebrity Tom Spence.

There were powerful testimonies by domestic violence survivors and City Center residents Andrea Farfan, Trisha Willard, and Maria Lopez and Special Guest Erica King

Master of Ceremony’s Jim Duran and Jeanne Benitez thanked the event sponsors: Title Sponsor Oxnard Monday Club, Event Sponsors: Community Presbyterian Church, Jill Olivares Insurance, Aloha Steakhouse, Missy’s Cupcake Creations and The River Community Church

The City Center Mentor Coordinators Rick and Cheri Carney stated “Thank you to all of you that were able to attend the “Team Up Against Domestic Violence” event. It was a very powerful, moving evening with several of our residents speaking and sharing. It brought to light many of the horrors of domestic violence, but it also highlighted the courage, strength and hope that many of our residents possess. Just surviving and being able to move away from their abusers is a tremendous step in their recovery.”

The City Center Transitional Living
837 E. Thompson Blvd. 628-9035

Kids & Families Together celebrating new center with ribbon cutting

The new center houses children’s therapy rooms, training facilities and room to grow.

Kids & Families Together and the Ventura Chamber of Commerce celebrate the opening of their new center with a ribbon cutting and open house at 864 Santa Clara St. This celebration is on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 4:00-5:30 pm.

In addition to the headquarters for Kids & Families Together operations, the new center houses children’s therapy rooms, training facilities and room to grow. Some of the services offered by Kids & Families Together include support groups, individual and family therapy, workshops, training, therapeutic visitation and kinship care. With this extra space, Kids & Families Together will be able to expand their programs and serve more families.

Kids & Families Together is a not-for-profit support, education and counseling resource center that provides services for individuals and families in foster care, kinship care and adoption, for the preservation of families and the physical, emotional and mental health of children. Kids & Families Together provides services through its collaboration with the Ventura County Human Services Agency and Ventura Behavioral Health Agency as well as other family serving organizations throughout Ventura County.

Their mission is to strengthen relationships by providing safe, supportive help that keeps family members emotionally connected to one another. Parents and caregivers need specialized education, and support that will enhance their ability to raise safe, and healthy children.

In addition to the new Santa Clara Center, Kids & Families Together has a Training Center in Camarillo and a Therapeutic Visitation Center in Ventura.

The celebration will also include tours of the center. Wine and appetizers will be served.

For more information about how to get involved with Kids & Families Together or utilize their services please contact: David Friedlander, President/CEO & Co-founder (818) 643-1446 x 100 or email

Over 100 military veterans ride San Francisco to Los Angeles to benefit veterans and first responders

Photo by Murray Robertson

More than 100 military veterans road from San Francisco to Los Angeles during the 2017 United Healthcare California Challenge, benefiting veterans and first responders with PTSD and other injuries. Veterans, community leaders, supporters cheered cyclists during the sixth-day ride features including a 72-mile route from Solvang to Ventura.

The California Challenge is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and Project Hero, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders affected by injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives.

After spending the night in Ventura on Saturday, Oct. 21 they continued their ride from Ventura to Los Angeles.

Ventura College helping our veterans

Ventura County Community College District Vice Chancellor of Educational Services Rick Post, VCCCD Chancellor Greg Gillespie, 26th District of California Congressmember Julia Brownley, and VCCCD Vice Chair Arturo Hernández at Student Veteran Expo.

Twenty-sixth District of California Congressmember Julia Brownley, member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, recently joined Ventura County Community College District Chancellor Greg Gillespie, VCCCD Board Vice Chair Arturo Hernández, and Ventura College President David Keebler for the Ventura County Student Veteran Expo held at Ventura College.

The event was hosted by Ventura College and the California Transition Assistance Program (CalTap), Veterans Services Division, CalVet.

For more information on the organizations that participated in the Ventura County Student Veteran Expo, please contact Ventura College Veterans Resource Center Program Advisor Bruce McFadden at 289-6060 or

In an effort to improve the college-going rate among veterans and active duty military in Ventura County, the Ventura College Foundation is helping Ventura College students who are U.S. veteran and U.S. active duty military offset the cost of tuition through the William and Helen Scarpino Veterans Promise Program. For the 2017/2018 academic year, the William and Helen Scarpino Veterans Promise Program will award approximately $1,200 to 16 veterans. Applications are accepted until Oct. 31.

Designed to eliminate economic barriers to higher education, the Promise grant encourages students to further their education and reach their academic goals.

In addition, the Veterans Resource Center at Ventura College offers a supportive environment and a welcoming campus culture for all veteran students.

For more information, contact Anne King at 289-6160 or, or visit

Family to Family to honor pioneer Pat McLean

Pat established Family to Family to provide meals to needy families.

Pioneer Pat McLean will be honored for her 35-years of service to Family To Family. Funders Leanne McSorley and Pat McLean initially established Family to Family to provide meals to needy families at Mission San Buenaventura in 1983. Today Family To Family is a nonprofit, nonsectarian, all volunteer organization that serves five meals weekly (48,000 meals annually) supported by faith communities and other organizations throughout the greater Ventura area. This must attend event is scheduled for Friday, October 27 at the Poinsettia Pavilion.

Family to Family is a unique collaboration of many churches, temples, clubs and friends coming together to serve the neediest of Ventura. Family to Family is a shining example of the community in action. Family To Family depends solely on gifts of food, time and monetary contributions from individuals, churches and organization. Each meal is prepared and served at 303 N. Ventura Ave., in the Catholic Charities Community Center Building, Suite G.

To learn more or make a reservation or if you are unable to attend and would like support to Family To Family please visit

Three Ventura clubs join forces to sponsor Rotary Plaza at Ventura Botanical Gardens

Over thirty conference-goers took a lunch excursion to the Ventura Botanical Gardens.

Recently the City of Ventura hosted representatives from 73 Rotary clubs in the organization’s Central California district. Ventura’s three clubs are part of Central coast.

“It was a great opportunity to showcase Ventura as a place for business and pleasure”, said Mario De La Piedra, the event organizer and Past President of Downtown Rotary.

Under sunny, clear skies, over thirty conference-goers took a lunch excursion to Ventura Botanical Gardens above City Hall. Bruce McGee, past President of Ventura East Rotary Club, arranged the trip.

“We wanted to share the unique joint investment our three Ventura clubs are making in the Gardens, a spectacular viewpoint to be called Rotary Plaza. It is situated at the heart of VBG, where the trail crosses Summit Drive. Rotary parks dot 200 towns across the U.S., but we have none in Ventura. We wanted to deliver something of lasting impact to the community and we knew this was the right project for us.”

Visitors learned about Rotary’s values, history, global and local projects, and membership information via the mobile app that VBG is installing.

Bruce added, “Rotary Plaza is our public endorsement of Ventura Botanical Gardens, a decades-long project that has the power to transform our city. This world-class destination in the making for Ventura County is expected to bring millions in new tourist revenue for hotels, restaurants, and other services. We are proud to be among their first large investors, raising $250,000 to build Rotary Plaza. We are past the halfway mark and are looking for additional Rotarians or other donors who believe in this legacy project. Groundbreaking for Rotary Plaza is anticipated next spring with completion by year end 2018.”

Interface works to prevent the effects of child abuse, neglect and abandonment

Interface board members Terri McGray, Spencer Garrett, Tom Pecht and Kathy Hartley, and Interface Director of Fund Development and Marketing Catherine Kort are “Painting it Purple.”

Interface Children & Family Services’ volunteers armed with purple nail polish, are participating in dozens of scheduled and pop-up events in every major city of Ventura County and adjacent to support Domestic Violence Prevention Awareness Month – their most public event was at ArtWalk Ventura. On display was Project Hope Healing Art Exhibit – a travelling display of artwork created by domestic violence survivors, their children and Interface advocates to highlight their journey and healing process.

Interface’s west county regional advisory board co-led by Ojai’s Lavender Inn owner, Kathy Hartley, and Ventura County Credit Union CAO, Linda Rossi, are spearheading the effort with a highly energized small group of local professionals. The concept started last year and with little formal planning volunteers hosted 29 events reaching over 600 people.

In addition to ArtWalk Ventura, dozens of schools, businesses, non-profits and government leaders are participating including Foothill High School in Ventura, Kirby Auto Group at Ventura Auto Mall, St. Bonaventure High School, Ventura City Council and Ventura County Board of Supervisors .

With help from Kaiser Foundation Hospitals Woodland Hills, texting for help from 2-1-1 Ventura County, a program of Interface Children & Family Services, is available 24/7. Anyone can call 2-1-1, text 898211, or click to be connected with information about all the health and human services available to them in Ventura County.

Founded in 1973, Interface works to prevent and heal the effects of child abuse, neglect and abandonment; domestic violence; family conflict and mental health issues. For more information please contact Interface Children & Family Services at 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd, Suite I, Camarillo or at 485.6114 or visit

School on Wheels provides for homeless children

Maggie Wells is a volunteer tutor for School on Wheels.

School on Wheels is a non-profit organization based in Southern California. Whose mission is to enhance the educational opportunities for homeless children living in shelters, motels, group foster homes, cars, or on the street. They do this by providing homeless children with one-on-one volunteer tutors, who work with them individually to improve their academic skills. The children and youth in their program are also provided with school supplies, reading materials, and are eligible for scholarship programs that allow them to participate in extracurricular activities they may not otherwise have access to. Each year they reach over 3,500 students across Southern California. This mission could not be achieved without volunteers like Maggie, who work tirelessly to encourage, educate, and motivate the children and youth in our communities.

Every day, School on Wheels serves children who are eager to learn and succeed, but who may not have had the same resources and support as their peers. Education not only helps break cycles of poverty, but success in school can mean increased confidence for children on an individual level. Margaret speaks to these effects: “A year ago, Savannah had no reading skills. Whenever she came across a word she did not understand, instead of sounding it out, she looked up at me timidly. It made my heart cry out to sound it out for her. She had no confidence and when frustrated, tried all the tricks in the book to derail her hour of tutoring. Little by little, as I gained her confidence and found ways to make our time together appealing, this started to change. Now, I realize the value of tutoring. “

“When I was in grade school, I was very behind in my reading. One day, a teacher embarrassed me in front of the class when I was asked to stand and read my own story and stumbled over words. My low confidence plummeted further. Fortunately, the next year I had a very kind teacher who took time with me and helped me to get back on track and on grade level. When I became a teacher, I vowed to be like the second teacher.”

School on Wheels is always looking for positive role models like Maggie to work with students experiencing homelessness. If you have an hour or more a week to spare and have a love of learning you can make a difference in the life of a kid today, visit to find out more and apply online.

Ventura Harbor Village hosts Kids Seaside Trick or Treat and “Thriller”

Zombies will roam the promenade. Photo by Richard Lieberman

Ventura Harbor Village is getting into the spooky spirit with lots of Halloween happenings this month and there is no better place to be than seaside on Saturday, October 28, from 1-3pm for Kid Seaside Trick or Treat and Thrill the World.

Dress up the kids and navigate through the waterfront village with over 20 treat stops at participating Harbor boutiques and restaurants. It will be an afternoon full of Halloween sweets, face painting and family fun! Participation for the Trick or Treat is complimentary.

That very same day, Zombies will roam the promenade and come together for a world record breaking dance to “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. Spectators be sure to show up by 3pm to catch the dance in action. However, if you want to participate, it takes some preparation! Learn the dance, by joining Molly at FitZone in Ventura for classes. Ages 6 and up are welcome to join in on the fun. To sign up, email or call 766-4480. There is a $20 Dancer Registration fee – all proceeds go to “Make a Wish Foundation”.