Habitat for Humanity Builds Bigger Goals, Broader Reach

Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity’s former Executive Director Sonja Yates handed off the reigns to new executive director Mark Van Lue in July. Van Lue is making a big push to dramatically increase SGVHH’s impact.
Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity
San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity’s former Executive Director Sonja Yates handed off the reigns to new executive director Mark Van Lue in July. Van Lue is making a big push to dramatically increase SGVHH’s impact.

When Katie Bradshaw gets the keys to her family’s newly built bungalow through the San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity in June, she knows exactly what she wants their first move to be.
“I know it’s super cheesy, but I hope my husband carries me over the threshold like in the old movies,” said Bradshaw, who along with husband Mark and two young children, are counting the days until they move into the sparkling new home from their rental, a small third-floor walkup.
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Wells Fargo Honors Veteran With a Car

Photo by Toni LeBel / OUTLOOK Wells Fargo Regional Bank executive Lisa Stevens and retired U.S. Marine Corps lance corporal Simon Kim enjoy their ride atop the Wells Fargo Stagecoach in the Rose Parade on Monday. Wells Fargo recently honored Kim by donating a home and a new Honda Accord to him.
Photo by Toni LeBel / OUTLOOK
Wells Fargo Regional Bank executive Lisa Stevens and retired U.S. Marine Corps lance corporal Simon Kim enjoy their ride atop the Wells Fargo Stagecoach in the Rose Parade on Monday. Wells Fargo recently honored Kim by donating a home and a new Honda Accord to him.

Wells Fargo exhibited its commitment to improving the lives of service members and veterans last month when Simon Kim, a retired U.S. Marine Corps lance corporal, recently received the keys to a two-story Moreno Valley home paid for by Wells Fargo. Then, last week, he received the keys to a new 2018 Honda Accord paid for by Wells Fargo and the Southern California Honda Dealers.
Kim thought he’d been invited to Irwindale to decorate Wells Fargo’s 2018 Tournament of Roses parade float at Phoenix Decorating Co.; instead he received a Honda Accord.
Wells Fargo collaborates with car dealerships and manufacturers to donate vehicles to Military Warriors Support Foundation for use in its Transportaion4Heroes program. Recipients also receive one year of family and financial mentoring with MWSF.
“It was a privilege and honor to represent our company in creating a life-changing event for Lance Corporal Kim and his family, who is a true hero who served our country,” said Lisa Stevens, Wells Fargo Regional Bank executive, West Coast.
Kim joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2006 and was deployed to Iraq in 2007. The lead gunner was awarded the Purple Heart commendation for injuries sustained during his deployment, including a bullet wound to his shoulder, shrapnel injuries and a concussion. In collaboration with the Military Warriors Support Foundation, Wells Fargo presented Kim and his son with a new mortgage-free home.
“Other than the birth of my son, this tops everything,” Kim said. “You’ve changed my whole life and given me a new life for my son.”
Wells Fargo has donated more than 350 homes, valued at more than $55 million, to veterans in all 50 states since 2012. The donations are part of Wells Fargo’s ongoing pledge to veterans, which includes employing 20,000 veterans by 2020 and providing homes, career-transition assistance, and financial education to veterans and their families.

Pasadena Stars on New Year’s Day

Photo by Toni LeBel / OUTLOOK Pasadena resident Bill Podley (center), president of the Valley Hunt Club, joins his wife, Kathy, and others on the club’s entry in Monday’s Rose Parade. The club founded the parade in 1890 as an effort to promote Pasadena and celebrate the new year.
Photo by Toni LeBel / OUTLOOK
Pasadena resident Bill Podley (center), president of the Valley Hunt Club, joins his wife, Kathy, and others on the club’s entry in Monday’s Rose Parade. The club founded the parade in 1890 as an effort to promote Pasadena and celebrate the new year.

At the celebrated start of 2018, the world focused its attention on Pasadena Monday morning with the 129th Rose Parade rolling past millions of television viewers and hundreds of thousands of people along the parade route.
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100th Rose Queen Revels in Timeless Tradition

Photo courtesy Tournament of Roses Tournament of Roses 100th Queen Isabella Marez is a senior at La Salle High School.
Photo courtesy Tournament of Roses
Tournament of Roses 100th Queen Isabella Marez is a senior at La Salle High School.

If 100th Tournament of Roses 2018 Queen Isabella Marez is not polished in her picture-perfect royal attire during this year of reign, you’ll find her in her other favorite outfit of choice: scuffed up softball cleats and dirty practice gear.
It’s a dichotomy that reminds those around her of the Royal Court’s transition to modern times, and that a girl these days can be, above all, all things.
“I love that about her and find it so funny,” said sister Alex Marez. “She’s either in full makeup or all grimy in practice gear.”
Either way, Marez is either coming or going, riding out the tail-end of a whirlwind year that will include about 100 public events as queen with her six Royal Court members, serving out the TOR’s choice of theme “Making a Difference.” Continue reading “100th Rose Queen Revels in Timeless Tradition”

President Draws on Deep Roots to Promote Rose Parade

Photo courtesy Tournament of Roses Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet is inspired by the ways in which so many bands make a difference in their communities.
Photo courtesy Tournament of Roses
Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet is inspired by the ways in which so many bands make a difference in their communities.

Lance Tibbet’s Pasadena roots are deep. This year’s Tournament of Roses president was born and raised in Pasadena; he graduated from Pasadena High School and attended Pasadena City College. His business — wholesale nursery Magic Growers, Inc. — is based in Pasadena.
“I went through all the schools, my business is here, I live here, a few years ago I said, ‘Maybe I’m a little too provincial, maybe I need to get out into the world?’” Tibbets said.
In the past year, he’s certainly accomplished that — in the most Pasadena role of all.
As president for the 129th Rose Parade and Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, Tibbet had the enviable task of visiting each of the parade’s marching bands, “traveling around the country and traveling around the world, spreading the good work of the tournament.”
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Royals Court Elizabeth House as Charity of Choice

Photo courtesy Janna Gould Rose Princess Sydney Pickering passes out candy canes to children at Elizabeth House’s recent alumni Christmas party.
Photo courtesy Janna Gould
Rose Princess Sydney Pickering passes out candy canes to children at Elizabeth House’s recent alumni Christmas party.

They may come from different walks of life, but the young women at Elizabeth House and the Tournament of Roses 2018 Royal Court have bonded recently in unexpected ways, eager to ask questions, learn from each other or just have a good giggle.
In its quest to realize this year’s theme of “making a difference” the Royal Court has begun a new tradition — selecting its own charity of choice. The court unanimously voted for Elizabeth House, a nonprofit that provides housing and support services for at-risk or homeless women who are pregnant.
“It was a group decision, but Elizabeth House was definitely the clear winner,” said Princess Lauren Buehner of Arcadia High School. “Once we all found out the mission of the charity and the incredible work they’ve been doing, everyone was on board.”
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Local Doctor Sends Healing Hearts Medical Care to Tijuana

Photo courtesy John Chaides Dr. John Rodarte attends to one of many babies he sees during the Healing Hearts Across Borders’ medical clinic in Tijuana, Mexico.
Photo courtesy John Chaides
Dr. John Rodarte attends to one of many babies he sees during the Healing Hearts Across Borders’ medical clinic in Tijuana, Mexico.

When a pharmaceutical representative casually asked Pasadena pediatrician Dr. John Rodarte if he had any leftover medicine to donate to a clinic in Mexico, Rodarte pretty much stopped in his tracks: “Tell me more.”
Anyone who knows the Huntington Hospital’s department of pediatrics chair knows that meant Rodarte would be riding shotgun on the very next medical mission to Tijuana, Mexico. He had to see for himself the work being done by the late Dr. Kevin Lake, a Pasadena pulmonologist and founder of an informal group providing medical care just across the border in one of the poorest neighborhoods built around a former landfill, called simply “El Dumpe.” 
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Royals of Pasadena Exhibit Extols 100 Years of Tradition

Photo courtesy Suzanne Ehrmann Longest living Rose Queen Margaret Huntley Main, crowned in 1940 and now age 96, meets 2018 Queen Isabella Marez at the Pasadena Museum of History’s Royals of Pasadena exhibit, showcasing 100 years of elegance and tradition.
Photo courtesy Suzanne Ehrmann
Longest living Rose Queen Margaret Huntley Main, crowned in 1940 and now age 96, meets 2018 Queen Isabella Marez at the Pasadena Museum of History’s Royals of Pasadena exhibit, showcasing 100 years of elegance and tradition.

When the Pasadena Museum of History began piecing together its “Royals of Pasadena” exhibit, curators felt they were on a bit of a fishing expedition, cautiously dipping into a century of archives that revealed bits and pieces of former royals, as well as years reflecting war, celebration and social change.
They reached out to all the former royals they could locate, asking for memorabilia and photos.
In return, they received a flood of loaned items and, more importantly, memories that tied all the pieces together. More than 70 former queens and princesses responded to the outreach, many personally bringing back the items to the museum. Continue reading “Royals of Pasadena Exhibit Extols 100 Years of Tradition”

Community Foundation CEO Says Pasadena Has a ‘Big Heart’

Outlook photo Pasadena Community Foundation President and CEO Jennifer DeVoll (center) is flanked by R-Lene Mijares de Lang and Dave Davis.
Outlook photo
Pasadena Community Foundation President and CEO Jennifer DeVoll (center) is flanked by R-Lene Mijares de Lang and Dave Davis.

On a recent Friday afternoon, Pasadena Community Foundation President and CEO Jennifer DeVoll was on cloud nine.
It’s not quite typical for the determined, hard-working CEO, but heading into her 15th year at PCF, DeVoll could safely feel she was coming off a big win.
The night before, PCF presented “Big Heart Small Film,” a culmination of a year’s planning and collaboration with Alibaba Pictures to produce short films about some of the most successful nonprofits the foundation represents. Nine films were featured, highlighting the critical work of Pasadena nonprofits meeting valuable needs in the Pasadena community. Continue reading “Community Foundation CEO Says Pasadena Has a ‘Big Heart’”