Sylvia Macias and her son, Miguel, struggled since the day the young boy began battling a rare muscle disorder at just 1 year old. Not falling into any known medical condition, the mom fought for her son’s care, battling insurance red tape, countless appointments, misdiagnosis, unhelpful treatments, gaps in health care coverage and Miguel’s ever-changing physical disabilities and needs. Then she met Convalescent Aid Society. It was the one bright spot during a dark time, she said, recalling the nonprofit as the easiest stop on the healthcare circuit.
“They had us like a ball, bouncing back and forth, seeing so many different specialists, one after another after another without any diagnosis,” the single mom of five recalls. Her nearly adolescent son could barely squeeze into his childhood wheelchair, which was hurting his fragile frame. Continue reading “Convalescent Aid Society Gives New Life, Independence”
The other day, children’s librarian AnnMarie Hurtado was driving down Walnut Avenue when she spotted a little girl walking, proudly carrying her reading log, a few blocks away from the library.
“I thought, ‘She’s going to the library to get her prize!’” Hurtado said, warmly recalling the moment. “This is kind of like our summer Christmas; it’s our chance to give away books and get kids excited about coming to the library and excited about reading.”
The Pasadena Public Library’s Kids Summer Reading program has steadily gained elementary-age school readership over the years, but it got a big boost in 2016 when local Realtors initiated a massive book drive for 2nd-graders, giving away more than 1,700 books to Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre public schools. In the inset of each book, there is a sticker with a list of each public library location, phone number and hours, so that families have a go-to reference for more summer reading. Continue reading “Realtors’ Books Drive Kids’ Summer Reading Success”
“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”
A fairy godmother waved her wand recently over 60 teenage girls preparing for their spring prom at Pasadena Salvation
Army’s eighth annual Prom Dress Giveaway.
Clad in cut-off jean shorts, sneakers and ponytails, the young women filed in early, the birds still chirping, giggling excitedly among their friends, moms and guardians. Continue reading “Senior Girls Delight, Twirl at Prom Dress Giveaway”
Liz Rusnak Arizmendi is a lot of things to a lot of people.
She is Rusnak Auto Group’s vice president of public relations, philanthropist, athlete, mother extraordinaire, wife and partner to a high school sweetheart, loyal daughter, sister and friend.
Now, she is also a cancer warrior.
It’s not a title the former competitive water skier ever expected to hang from her hat, but one Rusnak Arizmendi embraces like almost everything: Full speed ahead. Continue reading “Pasadena Woman to Be Honored at Cancer Support Gala”
It’s hard to imagine the city of Pasadena without its rustic brick facades, historic alleyways and tree-lined streets of tucked-in craftsman bungalows, but those details might well have been paved over if it weren’t for Pasadena Heritage fighting passionately to preserve the past for 40 years. Continue reading “Pasadena Heritage Remains Faithful to Historic Homes”