UC San Diego held the 16th Annual Heart of San Diego Gala at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort to honor local philanthropist Audrey Geisel. The event was held to celebrate Geisel’s support of improving cardiovascular care in San Diego and featured a silent auction, dinner and dancing. Rolf Benirschke, a former San Diego Chargers player, served as the emcee of the event. Honorary committee co-chairs were Zandra Rhodes and Salah M. Hassanein. “We are thrilled to honor Mrs. Geisel’s loyal and generous support of improving cardiovascular care in our community,” said Kirk Peterson, director of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center. “She recognized the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center’s potential to change the way heart and stroke care is delivered — and save lives — throughout the San Diego region.” All funds raised at the event will benefit UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center … Hospice of the North Coast received a $1,065,000 Community Development Block Grant from the City of Carlsbad. The funds will be used to pay for a Hospice House residential facility in Carlsbad. The 4,500-square-foot property was built in 2003 as a residential care facility, making the transition to a hospice facility an easy one. “Hospice of the North Coast has demonstrated its commitment to serving terminally ill clients, their families and the community since 1980,” said Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall. “The City of Carlsbad is pleased to partner with this worthy, Carlsbad-based organization…” … The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA received $12,584 through San Diego County Credit Union’s “Presents for Paws” fundraiser. SDCCU provided a link on its website through which donations were received. The campaign surpassed its original fundraising goal of $10,000. “We are proud to have exceeded our goal, raising a total of $12,584 through the Presents for Paws campaign,” said Teresa Halleck, SDCCU president and CEO. “These donations will help save precious animals” … The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA also benefited from a $25,000 grant from Underground Elephant. The funds will be used to provide medical care and fund the creation of new homes for the thousands of stray and homeless animals the society cares for each year … The New Children’s Museum received a $175,000 grant from The James Irvine Foundation to support a newly created Mass Creativity Event series. The project will feature art classes and art-making workshops in low-income areas of San Diego, all culminating in a large celebration at the museum. “The New Children’s Museum is dedicated to providing inventive and engaging art experiences that are meaningful to children and families,” said Tomoko Kuta, director of education and exhibitions. “This grant enables us to go beyond the walls of the museum and make these experiences available to a wider audience” … Union Bank and KPBS partnered to honor 16 local individuals who work to enrich and improve their local communities. “The program shines a spotlight on the accomplishments of extraordinary individuals, and we are thrilled to honor them with the recognition they deserve,” said Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President Pierre P. Habis, head of Community Banking. The honorees were selected and announced throughout 2012 as part of the Culture Diversity Partnership that aims to recognize local heroes and were honored recently at a ceremony held at the San Diego Natural History Museum. The 2012 local honorees are: JiAel Brownell and Bishop Roy Dixon, Black History Month; Michelle Houle and Dr. Doris A. Howell, Women’s History Month; Dennis-Michael Broussard and Mike Kawamura, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month; Jill Borg Spitzer and Gussie Zaks, Jewish American Heritage Month; Larry T. Baza and Jeri Dilno, LGBT Pride Month; Michael A.V. Cruz and Danny Gutierrez, Hispanic Heritage Month; Louis Frick and Laurel Moorhead, Disability Awareness Month; and Patricia A. Dixon and Leroy Elliott, Native American Heritage Month.
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