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Friends of Balboa Park Rides to Rescue Of Historic Carousel

Friends of Balboa Park announced that the organization has acquired the historic Balboa Park carousel. The sale closed escrow on June 30, 2017, and will allow the nonprofit to maintain uninterrupted operation of the carousel. The purchase price was $1.6 million; fair market value was estimated at $2.6 million.

The carousel was built in 1910 in Los Angeles and moved to Coronado’s Tent City in 1913. It was moved briefly to Balboa Park for the Exposition then back to Tent City in 1917. In 1922, it was returned permanently to Balboa Park. The carousel still runs on the original General Electric motor built in 1910, and requires an elevator/roller coaster certification to operate.

Bill Steen and his family had owned the carousel the past 40 years. Steen is the principal civil engineer at William A. Steen & Associates.

The capital campaign for the purchase and restoration was launched recently. Notably, the Steen family has been the biggest benefactor to the capital campaign to-date, from the sale of the carousel for perhaps $1 million below market value to Friends of Balboa Park to ensure the nonprofit can afford the purchase, maintenance and restoration to resume operation.

Friends of Balboa Park Executive Director John Bolthouse said taking over ownership of the carousel “aligns perfectly with Friends’ mission to preserve and maintain the park for future generations to come.”

Bolthouse emphasized that the nonprofit needs the public’s support to fund the endeavor. Friends of Balboa Park is an affinity group that enhances and maintains the park through donations and park programs.

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The Sundt Foundation’s 13th annual Mike Gaines San Diego Charity Golf Tournament raised $37,500 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Sundt hosted 132 golfers at last month’s tournament at the Riverwalk Golf Resort in San Diego.

Supporters of the event were Robert Burner with American Sheet Metal, A.J. Kirkwood & Associates, Baker Electric, Sound Crete Contractors, Commercial Scaffold and SimplexGrinnell.

The Sundt Foundation has championed this fundraising effort since 2001 in honor of Mike Gaines, who was a Sundt employee-owner for two decades before losing his life to complications from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The annual Mike Gaines events have raised more than $1.8 million. All of the money has been donated to the ALS Association or the Muscular Dystrophy Association to be used for ALS research.

• • •

Bob Schultze and Hudson

The Helen Woodward Animal Center announced that one of its former rescue dogs, greyhound blend Hudson, has been awarded the California Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Hall of Fame Award.

Hudson came to the center in 2008 with serious health and socialization issues. Bob Schultze saw his potential and adopted him, restoring his health and training him as a therapy dog. Schultze was inspired to get involved with therapy work after watching the difference therapy dogs made to his father, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and lived in a skilled nursing facility.

In 2012, Hudson was certified for Pet Encounter Therapy and as of today he has made more than 220 therapy visits to 20 facilities in San Diego County.

Robin Cohen, who has managed the center’s Pet Encounter Therapy program for 23 years, said The CVMA Animal Hall of Fame award recognizes and shines a light on the beauty that can come from the human-animal bond.

• • •

AVID, a nonprofit and college-readiness system, presented their annual Founder’s Scholarship to five San Diego County students. Each was nominated by their campuses as standout AVID students and selected by AVID senior management.

Upon her retirement in 2006, the Founder’s Scholarship was established by the AVID Center board of directors in honor of Mary Catherine Swanson, who founded AVID in 1980 at Clairemont High School in San Diego and fostered AVID’s growth to a nationwide college-readiness program that now helps thousands of schools make college a possibility for all students. The winners were: Teak Hodge, San Diego High School of International Studies ($25,000); Christian Robles, San Ysidro High School ($25,000); Alexis Lara Trejo, Mission Hills High School ($10,000); Itzel Gomez, Rancho Buena Vista High School ($5,000); Leslie Torres, Hoover High School ($5,000).

Send Kudos/Giving items to sglidden@sdbj.com.

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