San Diego Business Journal

IBM and UC San Diego have teamed to launch the Center for Next-Generation Digital Media, which will explore technologies to power tomorrow's virtual worlds. IBM donated an advanced $2 million mainframe computer to the effort. "UCSD students can now tap into security features and specialty engines designed to handle a new generation of virtual world applications, where massive numbers of simultaneous users can share a single environment," said Bernie Meyerson, vice president of IBM's Systems and Technology Group The YMCA of San Diego County received a $100,000 donation from Cricket Communications, a subsidiary of Leap Wireless International, in honor of its 10th anniversary as a San Diego-based company. To celebrate, Cricket has created a two-year partnership with the YMCA and presented a $100,000 check March 22. Funds will be used to support the YMCA efforts to provide assistance and programs to low-income families Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who is a Filipino American, has been chosen to receive the distinguished special recognition honor at the Sixth Annual Asian Heritage Awards. Asia Media and Asian Heritage Society select an individual based on dedication to the Asian Pacific Islander community. In 2004, Taguba led the investigation into allegations of prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. His award will be presented July 25 aboard the USS Midway Museum Combined Health Agencies honored 23 Health Heroes on behalf of agencies to which they provided service. The event was held March 19 at The Prado in Balboa Park. Heroes dedicated to improving health in San Diego include: Mark Johnson, MediciNova; Jeffrey Strauss, Pamplemousse Grille; Charlie Brown, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians; and Dr. John Person, Sharp Rees-Stealy Feeding America San Diego received $70,000 from Macy's West Thanks for Sharing Program. For each $25 customer enrollment fee, Macy's donated $10 to charity. The promotion ran from September to December Go Bald for St. Baldrick's event was held March 14 at Bub's Dive Bar & Grill in Pacific Beach to raise awareness for children's cancer research. Thirty participants had their heads shaved to support children diagnosed with cancer and helped to raise $7,500 for research Seven researchers from UCSD's School of Medicine are listed among the top 100 Alzheimer's disease investigators in the world by the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. UCSD had more researchers on the list than any other institution worldwide The Rancho Bernardo Rotary Club held its spring fundraiser to benefit its projects, including polio eradication and micro-credit grants throughout Third World countries. The March 5 program was held at Poway's Outback Steakhouse and raised $7,000. Phil Beukema, manager of the restaurant, was a major sponsor for the event Maison Associates honored Chuck Sigmon with multiple National Real Estate Awards for his exceptional 2008 sales record. Sigmon is director of sales at Sapphire Tower, a residential high-rise in Little Italy Home Start will honor outstanding community partners at the Blue Ribbon Gala on April 25 at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa. WD-40 Co. will receive the Company Award; Price-Alanson Collaborative Fund, the Foundation Award; and Fiona Mackin-Jha, the Individual Award. The event will raise funds for Home Start's programs that provide assistance to children and families Harrah's Rincon Casino and Resort ranked fourth on the list of best places to work in 2008 by the Employers Group The Burn Institute held its Share Your Heart Mardi Gras party at the House of Blues on Feb. 28. San Diego County Credit Union was the major sponsor for the third year and raised $70,000 for support programs.

Please send Kudos and Giving items to contributing writer Joyce Glazer at jglazer@sdbj.com.