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Author Archives: WSS News

40th Annual Dinner of Champions Raises Funds for MS Research, Programs

Shemar Moore and his mother, Marilyn Wilson-Moore, at last week’s Dinner of Champions event.

Shemar Moore and his mother, Marilyn Wilson-Moore, at last week’s Dinner of Champions event.

LOS ANGELES, CA- Shemar Moore, best known for his role as FBI Special Agent Derek Morgan on the hit CBS show, Criminal Minds, was honored at the 40th annual Dinner of Champions, sponsored by and benefiting the National MS Society, Southern California & Nevada Chapter. The gala event took place on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. The event raised funds that support the National MS Society’s vital programs and services to improve the quality of life for people living with MS, as well as cutting-edge research worldwide for better treatments and a cure.

Moore received the award in recognition of his incredible contributions in helping the National MS Society move closer toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. Moore has been a major supporter and ambassador to the National MS Society for ten years through the annual Bike MS: Coastal Challenge cycling event in honor of his mother, Marilyn, who lives with MS. Friends and colleagues from Criminal Minds, including Joe Mantegna, Kristen Vangsness, and Aisha Taylor, turned out to support Moore for this honor. Other celebrities in attendance included Kristoph St. John, Deborah Cox, Sheryl Underwood, and Guillermo Diaz. Actor and comedian Anthony Griffith performed at the dinner and Jillian Escoto, radio personality for Los Angeles-based station MyFM, served as master of ceremonies. Both Anthony and Jillian live with MS.

Shemar Moore’s mother, Marilyn Wilson-Moore was presented with the “Dorothy Corwin Spirit of Life” award for her relentless efforts to bring hope and awareness to people living with MS, like herself. Previous recipients of the Spirit of Life Award include Annette Funicello, Richard Pryor, Alan Osmond, David Lander, Michael Kamen, Teri Garr, and Rep. Henry A. and Janet Waxman. Previous Dinner of Champions honorees have included such distinguished individuals as Jeff Robinov, Sir Howard Stringer, Steven Hilton, Peter Chernin, Joe Roth, Amy Pascal, Jim Gianopulos, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Tom Rothman, Michael Lynton, Rob Moore, Rob Friedman, Greg Dunn, and most recently Pam Kehaly of Anthem Blue Cross.

The Dinner of Champions makes an enormous contribution in the movement to end multiple sclerosis, not only in raising funds for research, programs and services, but also in raising awareness about MS itself. With the continuing commitment of its supporters the Chapter’s Dinner of Champions in Southern California has become the most successful dinner held by any chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Each year, the dinner honors a philanthropist who has made a significant contribution to the movement to end MS. Because of fundraising events such as the Dinner of Champions, the National MS Society is able to support more MS research and offer more services for people with MS than any other MS organization in the world, including educational and wellness programs, professional counseling and support, financial assistance and more.



Performance Art Competition is coming to Redlands

REDLANDS, CA- Music Changing Lives, (MCL) is looking for talented young artists to compete in their Performing Arts Showcase on Saturday, October 17 during their annual celebration of “Lights On After-School”.

They are looking forward to receiving submissions from students across the Inland Empire, ages 8 to 24, in the following categories: dance, instrumental, vocal and visual arts.

The focus of the event is to highlight the importance of performing arts in after school programs, as well as in the lives of our youth.  MCL is proud to provide a safe, enriching and creative environment for children to grow and excel.

The performing arts competition is a great opportunity for students to gain recognition for their talents. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes in each category. Be as creative as possible and help keep the arts alive in our community!

The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 25.   Event details and registration forms are available upon request to MusicChangingLives@Gmail.com.

San Bernardino Transit Center brings a Symbol of Transformation to the City

The San Bernardino Transit Center is a LEED Gold designed facility which includes drought tolerant landscaping and public art. The mural banner, “Exploration” by Louie Solano, hangs from the north side of the building.

The San Bernardino Transit Center is a LEED Gold designed facility which includes drought tolerant landscaping and public art. The mural banner, “Exploration” by Louie Solano, hangs from the north side of the building.

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Touted as a tangible sign of transformation for both public transit and downtown, the San Bernardino Transit Center completion ceremony on August 24 featured the symbolic release of 200 butterflies. The Omnitrans multimodal hub, which opens to the public on September 8, is expected to serve 6,000 customers daily.

The $25 million facility connects 10 local and two freeway express Omnitrans bus routes, the sbX bus rapid transit line, and bus routes operated by neighboring Victor Valley Transit Authority and Mountain Transit. In 2017 Metrolink commuter rail service will be extended to the new transit center, with Redlands Passenger Rail service expected to arrive a few years later.

“Improving our public transit network is an important part of growing the Inland Empire economy. The San Bernardino Transit Center is a perfect example of the type of results we can achieve when communities work together to move our region forward,” said Representative Pete Aguilar. The U. S. Congressman pledged his support for a long-term surface transportation bill to increase funding levels for public transportation and highways, saying, “We need to stop kicking the can down the road.”

SBTC_Butterfly1The existing MAP-21 surface transportation bill, which has been extended numerous times, is set to expire at the end of October. The Senate already has advanced a six-year authorization bill that increases investment in public transportation. The House of Representatives will take up the issue this fall. Fran Inman of the California Transportation Commission suggested going for a longer term bill. “Instead of six years, why not ten?” she said.

Located at the southwest corner of Rialto Avenue and E Street, the four acre site includes 22 bus bays and a 7,500 square foot building. Passengers will appreciate the enclosed climate-controlled lobby, interior and exterior seating, public restrooms, drinking fountains, bike racks, real time bus arrival signs, a customer service desk, ticket vending machine, and 24/7 on-site security. Two acres on the corner are available for future transit oriented development.

“We are proud that this facility was designed to meet LEED Gold standards,” said Sam Spagnolo, Omnitrans Board Chair and Mayor Pro Tem of Rancho Cucamonga. “This means it boasts the latest and greatest in energy efficiency design and systems. There are solar panels on the roof. Of course, all of the landscaping is drought tolerant.”

Public art elements at the center include a transportation-themed mural banner, “Exploration” by local artist Louie 20150824 SBTC_PeteAguilarSolano, on the north side of the building. The bus turnaround features a 50-foot high, weathered steel plate sundial. Lobby walls are decorated with a mural featuring historic transit photos. A century ago, the same location was home to a car barn and tracks for the San Bernardino Valley Traction Company and Pacific Electric interurban rail services.

Project funding was provided by the Federal Transit Administration, Leslie_RogersFederal Highway Administration and the state of California through State Transit Assistance funds, Local Transportation Funds, and Proposition 1B funds. Omnitrans is the owner and operator of the San Bernardino Transit Center.

Federal Transportation Administration Regional Administrator Leslie Rogers applauded the “transformative potential” of the center and commended Omnitrans and San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) for their “perseverance in overcoming the challenges and hurdles” to take project from vision to reality. Omnitrans identified the property as an ideal location for a multimodal transit hub in the early 2000’s, but it was not until 2008 that the property was acquired from Union Pacific Railway Company. Construction of the center finally began in February 2014.

San Bernardino Mayor and Omnitrans Board Member R. Carey Davis lauded the transit center’s economic benefits as it relates to redevelopment of downtown and gave credit to former mayor, Pat Morris for pushing for the transit center project forward. SANBAG President and Victorville Councilmember Ryan McEachron said, “This multimodal approach to transportation, centered here in the hub of the county, is just the beginning of what is the future of transportation. At SANBAG we are proud of this investment.”

SANBAG, the council of governments and transportation planning agency for San Bernardino County, managed design and construction. HDR, Inc. is credited with facility design, Parsons Brinckerhoff handled construction management, and Kemp Bros Construction served as general contractor.