Volunteer Appreciation

Ramona Rotary and Kiwanis and their supporters brought music to Dos Picos County Park

Ramona Music Fest

People enjoyed five hours of music on two stages at Dos Picos County Park on March 31, 2012 at . The event was a fund raiser for and , two service organizations that support high school scholarships, as well as Ramona Senior Center and a host of other charitable work locally and internationally. The following volunteers helped produce the Fest.

Kiwanis Members:

Walter Ainslie

Pat Bell

Kelley Bayne

Kevin Bell

Jessica Hickman

Mary Halliday

Tom Taylor

Paul Tarr

Darrell Beck

David Gaines

Suzanne Gaines

Bob Hailey

Richard Wade

Michael Bonner

Charlie Teichert

Carlos Murcia

Alberto Reyes

Carol Bazinet

Dotty Cronin

John Whiteman

Jim Cooper


Kiwanis Spouses:

Pat Hailey

Jeanie Bell


Rotary Members:

Greg Chick

Sharon Greene

Joan Renaud

Lori Woosley

Anita Gentry

Pete Schiff

Vern Hazen

Carol Kinney

Bob Vaughn

Craig Jung

Marta Zarrella

Russ Ann Zazas

Maureen Robertson

Pete Casalegno

Bill Vernier

Bob Murray

Thad Clendenen


Rotary Spouses:

Jane Tanaka

LaDawn Jung

Darrel Kinney

Jill Casalegno



Jon Hasz (Music)

Bill Palmer (Webmaster)


Ramona Pony Baseball

Games got under way again for the 2012 season at Community Park. If you'd like to acknowledge volunteers who have been contributing to the success of this season, please add their names and photos, with captions, to this column.

Friends of Ramona Library Trivia Bee

San Vicente Valley Club (Maxine McNamara and Penelope Fox) took first prize in the trivia bee at Ramona Library. Berna and Doug Robb were awarded second place and Ramona Rotary (Sharon Greene and Joan Renaud) took third place.

Friends of Ramona Library wish to honor these volunteers who made the evening a success: Joan Gansert, Vern Hazen, Chuck Lemenager, Judy Nachazel, Mary Jo Adamske, Edie Hazen, Betty Lemenager, Darlene Fick, Karyn Smith, Elyse Kuhn, Marlene Rollins, Doris Stone, Anna Mitchell, Claudia Weringa, Dick Wayman, Hal Gansert, Dr. Grant Mayne, Bill Tamburrino, Arvie Degenfelder, Patrick Meskell, the Chamber of Commerce, the Staff of the Library, and the Friends of the Ramona Library Book Store.

VFW Post 3783 recognizes Mariann Prassel

Commander VFW Post 3783, John "Pontiac" Hine, and Ladies Auxiliary President Post 3783, Rose Busang, would like to express gratitude to an "outstanding volunteer," Mariann Prassel.

"Mariann took over and leads our team which provides for the Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD.net)," Hine and Busang wrote in a news release. "Every winter VFW Post 3783 provides “Ditty Bags” to the VVSD so those homeless that take part in VVSD Winter Village will have a head start. Included in each “Ditty Bag” is shampoo, soap, wash cloth, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors and shaving cream and of course a netted bag to hold all the items securely which can be repurposed and used for laundering of their personal belongings. While these little items may seem everyday consumables for most of us, for someone coming off the street it could be their first opportunity in months to use real personal care products.

"Mariann makes countless phone calls with suppliers of toiletry products to negotiate the best price for bulk purchases. The monies used for the assembling of our ditty bags come directly from the community of Ramona. When you see us in front of the local businesses on Memorial Day and Veterans Day weekend with our Buddy Poppies, those funds must and do go directly to veterans' aide.

"Once Mariann receives all the products, she and a team of ladies spend an afternoon assembling 150 bags. She organizes a delivery team and they actually hand out the ditty bags directly to those at the Village. Even though it’s scheduled, the Village does not announce or advertise the day the delivery happens. Those that come in for lunch are handed these bags directly from Mariann and her crew. Any bags that are left over are later distributed by the Veterans Village.

"Mariann says it’s the response of those in the Village that drove her to head this project. It’s not the plethora of thanks they all receive; it’s the look in the veterans' eyes that shows that a simple gesture and a simple item truly and greatly impact those in need."

Ramona H.E.A.R.T. Mural Project

The first of many planned murals has gone up on Main Street. Volunteer project board member, Bob Krysak told Patch:

"Our goal is five a year for several years. We have already identified numerous buildings which would be appropriate for murals and have certain ideas for themes. We have or will reach out to businesses and organizations to fund future murals, including the Ramona Chamber of Commerce, Barona, the various casinos, the equestrian segment of our town, etc.  Each of the board members have put in some of their own capital to get the organization off the ground. Fund raisers such as the recent event at Milargo Farms Winery raised thousands for the cause. 

"As board members, we have seen the organization grow from a sparkle to the point at which we are now unveiling our first of hopefully many murals," Krysak stated by email. "We undertook not only formation issues, but then researched similar mural projects in other locales, identified potential mural locations, drew up contracts, spoke with numerous owners of potential mural sites, decided upon certain mural themes, sent out artist calls, married an appropriate artist with the appropriate theme at the appropriate location, raised money to fund the project, and shepherded it through to completion. The entire board is coalescing and pulling together as an enthusiastic engine to drive this project to a explosive future."

Board members include:

Elaine Lyttleton
Judy Nachazel
Stephanie Norvell
Chris Anderson
Rob Lewallen
Donna Zick
Bob Krysak

-- Feb. 2012

Town Hall Renovators

The lights have been on in some evenings as volunteers work night and day to complete the renovation of the West Wing in time to celebrate the 118th anniversary of the landmark.

On Feb. 26, the portraits of the two benefactors of the hall, Augustus and Martha Barnett, will be placed over a fireplace in the West Wing. They were done by local artist . The public is invited to take tours of the town hall from 1 to 4 p.m. and enjoy refreshments and entertainment.

Among the current volunteers and donors working to put the West Wing together are:

Darrell Beck

Sharon and Ken Davis

Bob Hailey

Woody, Dawn, Riley and Madison Kirkman

Bob Krysak

Kenny McKown

Christine Pratter

Darrell Ryker

Sandee Salvatore

Dave Stewart

Donna and Gordon Zick

-- Feb. 2012

Fund raisers for Baby Liam kidney transplant honored

Sen. Joel Anderson recognized several Ramona organizations, businesses and individuals for helping to raise money for a local boy, , to have a kidney transplant. Anderson issued official senate commendations to local people who showed outstanding volunteerism at an event at Ramona Library on Jan. 21.

The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) has been helping the Houcks spread the word and raise funds.

Liam's mother, Vanessa Houck, told Patch, "Liam's COTA celebration was such a wonderful opportunity to thank the community of Ramona for choosing to make a difference in Liam's life. We have exceeded our fundraising goal, and more importantly, are fortunate to have met many incredible people that are now like family to us."

The total amount raised was $147,486.55 at the time of the celebration. It's not clear how much of that Ramona raised.

"The latest with Liam is that he is steadily moving forward through his transplant workups," Vanessa said. "We're hoping he and his donor are ready to go by June. A donor has been identified, but the name will remain anonymous for the moment."

To see photos from the event, click here. Here is a list of Ramona fund raisers that was used to create the commendations:

Ramona Family Dentistry

Ace Hardware - Ramona

Denise Maize

Cup of Yo

Pool City

Cathy Sevel

Jessica Rehberger

Becky Medina

Cameron Zamora 

Jared Robison 

Pamo Valley Winery

Amanda Selby 

Ava Williamson

Jason Winters

Haley Montgomery

Absolute Truth Gospel Band

Ramona Mainstage

Grace Community Church

Ramona Family Naturals 

Ramona Certified Farmers' Market

Ramona Fitness

Rose Ramirez

Elizabeth Meir

The Beveridge Family

Reed Hallums

The Way Church

Albertson’s - Ramona

Bud Franco, Rogue House Creative

Colin Walker

Christine Lundberg

Connie Sedach

Jenny Peckham

Katie MacLeod

Suzanne P. Reese

Brent Cunningham, Highland Partners

Mike Grannis, Highland Partners

Da Tuna Shack

Sterling and Stacy Ball

The Casey Lee Ball Foundation

Pearl Ana Frick

Natalie Clarke

Bagels for the event were donated by Big Apple Bagels on Main Street and food and beverage by Albertsons/Starbucks and Stater Bros., Ramona.

--January 2012

Senior Center Volunteers Honored

Jackie Creighton, Doris Clough and Jessica Richard received certificates of appreciation from Assemblyman Brian Jones for their volunteer efforts in the Christmas gift giving program for home bound clients. The program is operated by Ramona Senior Center, in conjunction with local churches, real estate companies and other entities on occasion, such as Ramona Municipal Water District. Jackie started the program and got others involved, according to Ray Cardona, executive director of the Senior Center. About 137 home bound clients receive Christmas gifts each year. Cardona said the VFW chapter in Ramona also raises money for the senior center's home bound clients to receive birthday gifts each year. -- January 2012


If there is a volunteer you would like to honor, please add their photo with information in the caption, or email them to julie.pendray@patch.com. Readers can also add the information in the comment section below this column.

greg Chick April 05, 2012 at 04:44 AM
The RSVP, Reserve Senior Volunteer Patrol are an endless patrol and service to Ramona. They do what they do quietly and professionally with out much fan fare. Yes, they are a great example of who does "Service Above Self" (A Rotary theme but ....).
endkaos March 30, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Beware of wolf in sheep's clothing. Patrick Meskell is volunteering to help you part with your money. He has made trades on accounts he did not have the authority to do and will soon be answering to the SEC. He's already on the radar of the home office for Edward Jones.
greg Chick March 30, 2013 at 10:26 PM
endkaos, I doubt Patrick is doing anything out of line, and why post such a comment here?
endkaos March 30, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Really, because I have spoken with investigators for the SEC about what Patrick has done and they have agreed to review the case.
endkaos March 30, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Ramona's Plumber, you might want to have your tax records reviewed by an independent tax consultant and if you haven't already done so, I suggest you name an independent person has a trustee and not your 'accountant' on your irrevocable family trust. It's just good business practice.


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