“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” so read the iconic words etched at the base of the Statue of Liberty.
But during the past week of patriotic parties, one wonders if American poet Emma Lazarus, who penned the sonnet for the country’s beacon of freedom, could have imagined that 134 years later, the nation that is considered the world’s wealthiest also would be home to some 42 million people struggling with hunger, including 13 million children and 5.4 million seniors don’t have enough to eat, according to Feeding America. Perhaps Lazarus might take heart, however, that in communities across America, nonprofits such as Friends in Deed in Pasadena strive to combat that hunger and give dignity back to the working poor through food pantries.
Located at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Los Robles Avenue, the interfaith collaborative Friends in Deed food pantry serves as a little market, allowing clients to shop for the food they like and need, especially fresh produce and proteins such as meat and chicken.
“This place is a real life-saver — I’m super appreciative of these guys,” said Ife Sangode, who was shopping at one of the food pantry’s new Thursday openings. The pantry just expanded its hours to open three times per week from the longstanding two days. Continue reading “Friends in Deed Food Pantry Feeds Hungry, Gives Dignity”
In another life, East West Bank Chairman and CEO Dominic Ng, an avid fan of rock ‘n’ roll, might have made a living by strumming his guitar in a quaint Pasadena coffee shop.
But thankfully for the city, he instead became a financial guru for East West Bank, transforming the institution from a small savings and loan association with $600 million in assets in 1991 into a full-service commercial bank today with $35.3 billion in assets. He’s been named by Forbes as one of the 25 most notable Chinese Americans and one of the 100 most influential people in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Times.
But the arts have never been far from his heart, and as part of encouraging business ties between the U.S. and China, Ng has also made it his mission to bridge the cultural divide between the two countries, shepherding the bank to become a patron of Chinese art, music and culture throughout the region and the United States. Continue reading “Bank’s Leader Bridges Culture, Finance Across Pacific”
Life after retirement may seem a distant future filled with leisurely walks, sunsets and golf rounds, but the realization of the golden years also can be a rocky path of uncertain economic stability and feelings of futility, say those who have forged the path previously.
What should be years of joy and tranquility — oftentimes for married couples, in particular — also can morph into depression that comes with loss of purpose, changing roles and fear of change.
Those fears are what brought financial planner Mitchell Kauffman and his wife and partner, Joanne Moran, a clinical psychologist, to work together, creating workshops to help others manage the financial and emotional challenges for a successful retirement. Continue reading “Pasadena Duo Teaches Retirement Challenges, Joys”
Hillsides has partnerships with various schools in the Pasadena area, most notably Polytechnic. The union between the foster care organization and Poly began nearly 40 years ago and remains strong to this day.
Hillsides Tutor Coordinator Ian Lee praised Poly students for taking the time to tutor their clients, but working with an agency “dedicated to healing children and young adults, strengthening families and transforming communities through quality comprehensive services and advocacy,” he felt more could be done.
“I’m pretty sure I was the first one brave enough to ask, ‘Would you be open to hosting athletic clinics?’” Lee said. “We never really made a strong connection with an athletic student body group.” Continue reading “Polytechnic Football Scores Big With Hillsides”
Hundreds of supporters joined families and dignitaries at a moving Memorial Day ceremony to commemorate the unveiling of the Enduring Heroes statue in Pasadena.
The 8-foot bronze sculpture, stationed prominently in Defenders Park, on the corner of Colorado and Orange Grove boulevards, will serve as a tribute to the 11 area soldiers — including San Marino’s J.P. Blecksmith — who gave their lives over the past 15 years in Afghanistan and Iraq.
J.P.’s father, Ed Blecksmith, spoke as a representative for all 11 local Gold Star Families who lost a son or daughter in the War on Terror: “This was a title, Gold Star Family, that none of us sought,” he said. “Losing a child, especially one who has volunteered to serve his or her country during a time of conflict, is a prospect very few families have had to face.” Continue reading “Enduring Heroes Statue Unveiled on Memorial Day”
David Misch had watched his share of Rose Bowl games on TV, but his first one as a fan inside the stadium this year was one for the books.
Misch hopes to make sure people hear about this and every other game that’s been played at America’s stadium since the inaugural kickoff in 1922. And every concert. And every rally. And everything, really.
Misch, a member of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation Advisory Board and the CEO of Pasadena-based Community Bank, is a Cleveland native who earned both of his degrees from Penn State. He had settled in Pittsburgh and, quite naturally, became a Steelers fan. In 2006, he relocated to Southern California for work and was hired at Community Bank four years ago. Continue reading “Local Bank Helping to Bring Rose Bowl History in Focus”
John Strand’s “The Originalist” has finished its run at Pasadena Playhouse, but the show will go on when it returns to Washington, D.C., this summer.
The three-person act spotlights Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and his judicial philosophy of ardent originalism. The play debuted before Scalia’s death last year — lead actor Edward Gero even met with Scalia while preparing for the role — and remains as relevant as ever even after President Donald Trump replaced Scalia in his first 100 days. Continue reading “‘Originalist’ Still Relevant After Scalia’s Death”