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Business Profile: Westside Kinship Support Services

(L. Ofelia Gallegos, Francine Gatewood, Celeste Clemons, Lori McCarver, Brenda Daniels)

(L. Ofelia Gallegos, Francine Gatewood, Celeste Clemons, Lori McCarver, Brenda Daniels)

By Naomi Riggins

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Westside Christian Center Church, located at 785 N. Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino is the home of Westside Kinship Support Services. Many grandparents, and other relatives are providing care to children who are unable to live with their birth parents. When situations arise and a child can no longer safely reside with their birth parent/legal guardian, Children and Family Services (CFS) first looks for those who are familiar to the child to provide care.  Relatives and family are usually known to a child and by providing a safe and nurturing environment, can often help ease the trauma of separating from a birth parent.

Westside Kinship Support Services (WKSS) was created to ensure that caregivers who open their heart and their home will never feel alone and helpless. Our program provides a place where caregivers can receive a wealth of resources, training and support. Kinship’s focus is to strengthen and develop viable support systems for the caregiver which helps to promote a stable home for the lives in their care. WKSS offers weekly (morning and evening) support groups—Tuesday mornings at 10:00 am; and Thursday evenings at 6:00 pm. WKSS also offers fun and educational activities for youth and independent living skills for teens.

Caregivers often have special needs linked to age, poverty, poor health, social isolation, and inadequate access to information and services. As with most social services programs, our program receives limited funding. . With state tax dollars constantly in short supply, the pressure for cuts is always immediate and pressing. As a result, we endeavor to solicit funding each year from community partners. It is vital that the child welfare community becomes more aware of, and helps support, kinship families outside of the formal child welfare system. Child welfare policy makers and administrators can use information from this report to learn more about the demographic characteristics of kinship caregivers, as well as what services and supports they find most necessary and helpful. Instituting policies and programs that provide basic, front-end support could help prevent caregivers and kinchildren from approaching crisis.

If you provide 24/7 care for a relative child, there are benefits that you may be eligible to receive.  Caregivers that are living in San Bernardino and surrounding areas (Colton, Highland, Redlands, Loma Linda, Yucaipa and other areas) are encouraged to apply. Give them a call today at the Westside Kinship Support Services Office (909) 889-5757 or contact them through their Website:www.westsidechristiancenter.net or you may access additional information about Kinship at www.cakinship.org.


Spirit of the Entrepreneur Finalists Announced for the Nov. 10 Gala Event

SAN BERNARDINO, CA – The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at Cal State San Bernardino has announced the finalists for the 2015 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards program. Award winners will be announced on November 10 at the black-tie gala at the Riverside Convention Center.  Now in its 13th year, the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Awards event has honored the top business leaders of the Inland region since its inception in 2003.

“We continue to be amazed at the truly unique entrepreneurial success stories in the Inland Empire,” said Mike Stull, founder of the event and director of IECE. “This year’s finalists are another group of advanced companies that represent the type of innovation and risk taking that this event celebrates.”

The program will feature awards given out in nine categories, and also presentation of the 2015 “Best of the Best” award to one of the nine (9) award recipients that best exemplifies what it means to be an entrepreneur in terms of taking risks and building a successful enterprise that creates jobs and value where none existed before.

Entrepreneurial finalists for 2015 include: Consulting Entrepreneur: Mary Barnett, Another Brilliant Idea, Inc. – Corona; Patti Drinville – The PLD Group Inc. – Thousand Palms; and Virgal Woolfolk – VIRTEK Company – Menifee. The Corporate Entrepreneur includes Kathy Griset, Cibaria International, Inc. – Riverside; David J. Greiner, Greiner Buick GMC – Victorville; Antonio Myrell, Premier Medical Transportation, Inc.- Colton; and David Hsu & Ching Liu, SolarMax Technology, Inc. – Riverside.

In the Family Business category is Bud Luppino, Bud’s Tire Pros – Riverside; Mark Peabody and Larry Peabody, Peabody Engineering & Supply, Inc. – Corona; and Wesley L. Golay, Redlands Prosthetic & Orthotic Group, Inc.  – Redlands.

The General Entrepreneur section includes Angela Weymar & Tony Di Guglielmo, ICON Vehicle Dynamics, LLC – Riverside; DeAnne Stidham – LuLaRoe – Corona; and Jeff Van Dam, That Solar Guy – Murrieta.

The Innovator/Technology Entrepreneur includes Shahriar “Nick” Niakan, Advanced Flow Engineering, Inc.   – Corona; David Bertolini – HotelRSV – Murrieta; and Eddie Rowland – Nexbelt LLC – Rancho Cucamonga. The Manufacturing Entrepreneur includes Taylor Hale, Crown Paper Converting, Inc.  – Ontario; Dave Grimes, Edge Plastics Inc. / ODI Grips – Riverside; and Jack Fovell, Southwest Sign Co. – Corona.

The Service Based Entrepreneur includes Daniel Hallisey, Artic Mechanical, Inc. – Rancho Cucamonga; Cory Chalmers, Crime Scene Steri-Clean, LLC – Rancho Cucamonga; and Manuel Acosta, Pepe’s Towing Service – Moreno Valley. The Small/Emerging Enterprise consists of Don Gilmartin, APRIS Fire & Water Restoration – Corona; Nathan Greenberg, Arkside Marketing, Inc. – Riverside; and Gene Sherman – Vocademy – The Makerspace – Riverside. Lastly the Social Entrepreneur consists of Jed Davis, HomeStrong USA – Rancho Cucamonga; Dr. Temetry A. Lindsey, Inland Behavioral and Health Services, Inc. – San Bernardino; Damien O’Farrell, Path of Life Ministries – Riverside; and Karen DiCarlo, Santa Claus, Inc. of Greater San Bernardino – San Bernardino.

The finalists and award recipients are selected by an independent panel of judges consisting of past Spirit Award recipients.  The 29 finalists represent the culmination of a nomination and evaluation process that included more than 130 nominees.

Individual tickets for the Nov. 10 event are $110 per person and tables of 10 can be purchased for $1,000. Special Premier VIP experience ticket packages are also available. For more information or to make reservations, call (909) 537-3708 or visit www.spiritawardsie.com

Commencing at 5:30 p.m., the gala includes a cocktail reception, dinner, special entertainment guests and the awards presentation. All proceeds benefit the Spirit of the Entrepreneur Scholarship at Cal State San Bernardino.

AMEs to Hold Annual Conference in L.A.

Rev. “J” Edgar Boyd

Rev. “J” Edgar Boyd

LOS ANGELES, CA- More than 5,000 members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church will convene at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 5711 W. Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, October 19 thru 25, for the 91st Session of the Southern California Conference (SCAC) and the Planning Meeting which will follow, October 26 to 27.

Both sessions will be led by the Right Reverend Theodore Larry Kirkland, Presiding Prelate of the 5th Episcopal District, with First AME Church of Los Angeles (FAME), pastored by the Rev. “J” Edgar Boyd,  serving as host. This will be the last annual conference led Bishop Kirkland as head of the 5th District, prior to his scheduled retirement in the summer of 2016.

Under the theme, “Rebuilding the Walls,” the schedule features day and evening worship services, business meetings and educational sessions for conference delegates, clergy, laity, youth, young adults, and missionaries.

Prior to the official conference opening, the Young People’s Division will hold their annual convention and the SCAC Women’s Missionary Society will also begin their sessions.  The annual pre-conference musical will be held on Sunday, October 18, 4 p.m. at Bethel AME Church, 7900 Western Avenue, Los Angeles.  Additional activities at the Hilton include:  Opening Night Worship Service, Wednesday, October 21, 7 p.m., with the Rev. John Cager, Senior Minister, Ward AME Church, delivering the Word.  Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with other elected officials, will bring greetings from the City of Los Angeles; Men’s Witness Night Worship, Thursday, 7 p.m.; Consecration & Ordination Service, Saturday, 10:30 a.m.; and Closing Worship and Commissioning Service, Sunday, October 25 at 3 p.m.

“We are honored to serve as host of this conference session,” said Pastor Boyd.  We are thankful to our Bishop and Presiding Elders who continue to encourage us in the building of our churches and our communities.”

The public is invited to attend the pre-conference musical as well as the noon and evening worship services.