One year ago, the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House bore witness to a miracle.
Actually, two miracles.
Mary Reynolds, who’d been a guest at the house, gave birth to twin boys after doctors initially gave one of her babies a less than 1% chance of survival in utero. Oliver and Elliot suffered from a rare disorder known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, in which one baby receives more blood flow and nutrients than the other, even more than it should.
Early on, doctors gave Reynolds the choice to terminate the pregnancy, or one baby to save the other, a choice that, as impossible as it seemed, still did not guarantee viability as the death of the first child could also trigger stroke in the second. Continue reading “Ronald McDonald House Gives Patients All the Comforts of Home”
Although youthful chatter typically fills the halls at Hillsides Education Center, a different sound recently emanated from the foster care facility’s lush grounds — a golden harmony that enraptured some 30 elementary school students, who leaned in, chins in hands, to listen.
An alto’s clear voice rang out, setting the tone for “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and ever so gently, in came the soprano, the tenor, bass and, yep, percussion in the form of a beatboxer. Echoing the song’s title, the a cappella group Ember Vocals deftly transported the kids on a musical journey, the performers surprising them with their unique twist on the original tune’s instruments, made only with their voices. The kids swayed and hummed, tapping the floor to the beat, some displaying their awe of the bass beatboxer who projected percussion so deeply that the vibration bounced off the small library’s walls. Continue reading “Muse/ique Mission Grows Along With Audience”
For someone so young, Phoebe Bridgers has been working at music a long time, pretty much since she picked up a kid-sized guitar at age 10 while a student at Sequoyah School.
Now a mere 24, the Pasadena native has become a bona fide rock star who this week dropped her second album, “Better Oblivion Community Center,” a collaboration with Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes fame) on the Dead Oceans label. The band, named the same as the album, was scheduled to make its first appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Wednesday night. Continue reading “Sequoyah Songstress Turned Star, Bridgers Styles Singular Sound”
Got a stool with a broken leg? A beloved lamp with a faulty switch? At Repair Café Pasadena, they can fix it.
And if they can’t? Well, you can both have fun trying.
This past weekend, about 200 local neighbors did just that, lugging in an item in need of repair despite the rain, buzzing with good cheer and chatter that filled the first floor of the Armory Center for the Arts. Some 30 people at a time stood in line to sign in and register their item, and while waiting, browsed the “Really, Really Free Market,” picked up a free plant and saw all the other items they might bring for repair in the future, like a shirt with a torn sleeve or some knives to sharpen. Continue reading “Repair Café Restores Items, and Good Cheer, for Free”
This time of year the cold, wet nights might present misery for Pasadena’s most vulnerable, but Union Station Homeless Services long has provided comfort with hot meals and temporary refuge, becoming the leading homeless services agency in the San Gabriel Valley.
With the help of more than 3,000 community volunteers, Union Station has evolved over four decades to coordinate with more than 40 social service agencies in an effort to end homelessness in the region. Not only do volunteers here serve hundreds of meals daily,
but the nonprofit also maintains five permanent supportive and emergency housing facilities in Pasadena. Continue reading “New Union Station Board Chair Leads Mission to End Homelessness”
If you really want to get to know someone, take them golfing.
The First Tee of Greater Pasadena has put that advice into practice over the years, teaching thousands of youth the skills, integrity and positive values that are connected with the game. And now, it is providing something no other chapter of its kind has done before — a program that conveys to veterans the same goals it has taught to local youth. Continue reading “The First Tee’s Work With Youth, Veterans Comes to the Fore”
Parades have always made Gerald Freeny smile. When he was a small boy growing up in Pasadena, it was tradition for him and his family to camp out the night before the iconic Tournament of Roses parade to score the best viewing spot possible, waving to all the floats and ringing in the New Year with the entire city.
Little did Freeny know back then that one day, he would become the first African American to lead the Rose Parade on Tuesday, Jan. 1, as the Tournament of Roses’ 2018-19 president.
“I’m incredibly honored and very humbled to be leading this great organization,” said Freeny, who has volunteered for the TOR for 30 years. “When I joined way back when, I never thought to be president — I never even dreamed of it or had goals to be president. I just joined to have a good time, give back to the community and bring in the new year.” Continue reading “Tournament of Roses President Helps Parade Inclusive New Era”
It’s been said before, but Pasadena Meals on Wheels really is much more than a meal.
Yes, the nonprofit organization has brought affordable, healthy meals to local residents for 54 years, but it has also become a vital cog in helping those confined to their homes to stay there and out of institutionalized care for as long as they like. Whether its clients are homebound because of illness, accident, disability, convalescence or age, the meal service helps those who are unable to shop and cook for themselves to remain among the comforts and memories of their own homes. Continue reading “For Homebound, Meals on Wheels Nourishes Body and Spirit”
Local folklore has long claimed Pasadena to have one of the largest numbers of nonprofits per capita in the nation.
And for anyone living here, it would be difficult not to be touched by one, whether it be on the soccer field with AYSO, through efforts to achieve a carbon-free city, at a university like Caltech or Pasadena City College, the local theater, museum, church or even Huntington Hospital. Continue reading “Champions of Change: Nonprofits Reflect City’s Culture”
When it came to leading the Tournament of Roses Association, Executive Director and CEO David Eads knew from the get-go his strategy for guiding one of Pasadena’s oldest and most cherished organizations to new heights would have to be more evolutionary than revolutionary.
“Change was never meant to be a revolution,” said Eads, nearly two years into the top spot. “What we do — the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game and all the related events — are already great. They are world renowned. So all we are doing is some updates and improvements around the edges with the goal of improving the entertainment value of the parade.” Continue reading “Tournament of Roses CEO Safeguards Traditions While Seeking Younger Fans”