El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Cynthia Robertson

San Diego Bay was filled with colorful sails and lively crews on catamarans and race boats last weekend. The 10th Annual Sharp HospiceCare Benefit Regatta, starting from the Coronado Yacht Club, netted over $240,000 for the Homes for Hospice campaign. The money will go to maintain Sharp’s two hospice homes, one of which is in La Mesa.

Like clockwork, a group of friends show up regularly each Friday evening for the Concert on the Promenade. They set up their chairs towards the back of the promenade, sitting down only long enough to get a sip of water before they’re up on their feet. Almost as soon as the band strikes up the first song, they begin line dancing.

The group grows a little larger each month, particularly as new line dance lessons start up. Line dancing has been popular for many reasons.

When little girls like 4-year-old Dayna Ryken run up to Stephanie Schauer, the 2012 title holder of Miss El Cajon, Ryken reaches down to hug and talk to them. She dances with them, too, at the Concerts on the Promenade. For Schauer, being Miss El Cajon is more important than having won the crown, cash and clout. She is the very picture of congeniality.

Schauer admits that the most exciting part of her role as Miss El Cajon is interacting with the kids in the community.

Mac Vitties has been a landmark in the ballroom dance scene for morethan 50 years
In 1959, Mr. Mac Vittie first opened the 2,000 square-foot studio with its waxed hardwood floors on the second floor of the commercial building. The dance studio was one of the first privately owned in San Diego County.

Becoming a successful counselor has been a challenging journey for newly published author Josee D’Amore, who opened her own office in La Mesa last year.
Her path has been, and still is, rewarding, even with the sticks and stones that have turned up whenever she faced the challenge of forgiving others.

The sound of children laughing in the Athari’s back yard is a common one in their La Mesa neighborhood. Sometimes as many as 15 toddlers and pre-schoolers will play in their family room or in the back yard. The laughter and songs of children are the sweet sounds of success of BunnyBears, a preschool that Egle Athari opened four years ago.

As soon as customers walk in the door of Local Mercantile in El Cajon, fragrance is what they notice first. Owner Michelle Schmitz has been the owner of the shop for a year, bringing new life to the shop, an eclectic collection of handmade items.

Candles, soaps, jewelry, hand-sewn hats, clothing and items for the bathroom and kitchen as well as repurposed furniture are the many delights awaiting the customers as they turn each corner.

Life can be treacherous for hawks. Known as raptors, these birds of prey can fall prey themselves by the hands of humans.
Sometimes shot at by BB or pellet guns, other times getting hit by a vehicle, these birds are often left by the roadside to die. But the raptor may get a second chance at life if someone manages to call Sky Hunters.

All hands will be on deck as the Sharp Hospital community comes together with boating enthusiasts at the 10th Annual Sharp HospiceCare Benefit Regatta at the Coronado Yacht Club.

The Aug. 25 event will support the hospital’s Homes for Hospice campaign, an initiative to build and maintain hospice homes in San Diego.
All proceeds from the regatta support Sharp HospiceCare’s Homes for Hospice campaign. So far, the campaign has led to the completion of two homes in La Mesa and Del Cerro.

On the third Thursday of the month at Nan Couts Cottage, the primal sound of beating drums fills the Nan Couts Cottage in La Mesa.

The monthly Community Drum Circle, ranging in size from 15 to 40 people, attracts all ages looking forward to pounding out a rhythm or shaking a tambourine, some for the first time.

Drum circle leader Susan Hall, proprietor of RhythmWorx, draws out any shyness that new people may be feeling about the event. She invites everyone to choose from boxes of percussion instruments in the center of the circle.