El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Cynthia Robertson

The gymnastics academy Champion Gymnastics and Cheer (CGC) in Santee has a lot to cheer about these days. For example, it is the training ground of four new champions at the state level, two girls and two boys.
This high level of competition is one way that the academy sets itself apart from others like it.

Two jazz greats graced the campus of El Cajon’s Grossmont College recently. Jeannie Cheatham, the “Queen of Kansas City Blues,” and internationally acclaimed saxophonist John Handy spoke about their decades of experience.

Travelers by the dozens came to the recent travel show held at the La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center. Daytripper Tours, an El Cajon-based business and the largest tour operator of its kind in San Diego County, presented the show.

Attendees were treated to a sneak preview of the company’s tours. In addition, founder Myron Stam, a La Mesa resident, offered a little history of how he helped make Daytripper Tours a household name among travelers living in San Diego County.

For 20 years, Adrienne Hart has brought her knowledge of dancing to a group of seniors at the La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center. Hart, who is the founder of a dance troupe called Rhinestone Grannies, has a regular class of between 35 and 45 students each week.

Ladies from the Red Hat Society are difficult to overlook when they descend on a restaurant or a cultural event. Their red and purple outfits seem synonymous with women 50 and over with a lot of time on their hands. They do have a lot of fun, but for women who want to belong to something with a deeper commitment, there’s an alternative.

Finding a better method in early detection of aggressive prostate cancers was the goal of classmates Ali Tradonsky and Tammy Rubin for their high school science project in 2009.

Three years later, the research achieved, with the guidance of Tradonsky’s mother, who is a surgical pathologist at La Mesa’s Sharp Grossmont Hospital , has made its way into the June 2012 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, a national research review publication for medical professionals.

Miss Greater San Diego USA 2013, Sierra Billock of Santee, believes that the sisterhood inherent in pageantry is what marks her success. Most people assume that the girls competing are catty and superficial. But the best women Billock knows are the ones she has met—and even competed against—in pageants.

Pageantry is certainly not for the weak-hearted woman, however. Billock believes that it takes a certain type of confidence and determination for a woman to put herself in such a vulnerable situation in which she is judged on who she is.

Sunbelt Publications in El Cajon, known as one of East County’s best-loved places among local book-lovers recently threw a party at its ‘28th Annual Open House’ for published authors and friends. Owners Diana and Lowell Lindsay hosted the bountiful holiday event in their warehouse.

The holidays are no time to throw away the resolve to eat healthy. On the other hand, it’s no time to be a Scrooge about food, either.

Chef Bernard Guillas, the executive chef of La Jolla’s Marine Room, held a recent seminar on healthy cooking to an attentive crowd in the auditorium at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.

First up on the menu was a Rainforest Acai Smoothie made with pureed blueberries, acai nectar, mango, and almond milk. The concoction had everyone murmuring approval.

Tall and regal for her 18 years, Lesya Zhukovska turns heads as she walks from her apartment in Santee to do some Christmas shopping. The Ukrainian-born beauty with brains is used to getting stares. She warmly returns the smiles to people she passes on the streets just like the pageant winner she is.

The teen has competed in a total of 16 pageants since she got her first taste of pageants just a few years ago. In 2011, she captured the title of Miss Teen Central San Diego as well as Miss Photogenic.