Philanthropy & Nonprofits
Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino Seeks to Rise above Hunger at the Million Meals Gala in Riverside on November 2, 2019
Tickets Available Online Through October 25, 2019
(Riverside, CA – September 9, 2019) – Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino (FARSB) will host the much anticipated and not-to-be-missed 7th Annual Million Meals Gala – Rising Above Hunger at the Grier Pavilion on top of Riverside City Hall in Downtown Riverside, CA on Saturday, November 2, 2019.
The 7th Annual Million meals Gala will honor Dr. Anil Garde and Mrs. Gigi Garde of Riverside, and will feature live music, silent and live auctions, a gourmet dinner, passionate speakers, and a special award ceremony to honor some of the Inland Empire’s most passionate hunger advocates. Proceeds from the event will help to provide one million meals to food insecure children and families in the Inland Empire this holiday season.
Sharing her journey as a formerly homeless and hungry college student at UC Riverside, Melina Reyes, an Inland Empire native and hunger advocate, will join the gala as a guest speaker to share her experience dealing first hand with food insecurity.
In 2016, Melina Reyes, a fourth-year Political Science major at UC Riverside went on a 5 day (115 hour) hunger strike to raise awareness for food-insecurity that she, and many of her classmates, faced while attending the university. UC Riverside is rated the highest amongst all UC campuses for food-insecurity, with 62% of students experiencing it on campus. Now having graduated and strengthened her ties to public policy, Melina Reyes will join FARSB at the 2019 Million Meals Gala on November 2, 2019, to share her story and inspire others in her community to do more for the causes they most care about.
“Melina Reyes represents an age group and demographic that people often ignore when they think of hunger,” said FARSB Philanthropy Director, Lori Butler. “We are honored to have Melina join us to share her truth about facing hunger to pursue an education, while simultaneously advocating for her fellow college students.”
During the evening, winners of the community voted ‘Hunger Hero Awards” will be announced. Those nominated as Partner Charity of The Year include Inland Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Lake Hills Christian Center, and Reaching the Unreachable. Nominees for Media Partner of The Year include Spectrum News 1, Inland Empire News, and KVCR. Key Community Champion nominees include Big Bear Rotary, Eagle Scout Candidate Eric Roberts, and Volunteer Cheryl Tavaglione. Key Corporate Champion nominees include Hendrick Automotive, DHL Supply Chain, and Enterprise.
An additional President’s Choice award, whose recipient will be chosen by FARSB CEO, Stephanie Otero, will also be awarded to an individual in the community whose inspirational service to FARSB best represents the idea that together we can end hunger in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
In the Inland Empire, more than 400,000 people struggle with hunger and may not know where they’ll find their next meal. That number includes 1 in 5 children.
Sponsors of the Million Meals Gala include: Target, Hodgdon Group, Walmart, Molina Healthcare, Wells Fargo, Kaiser Permanente, Mike and Clara Vanderpool, the Majestic Realty Foundation, Inland Empire Business Journal, Alaska Airlines, and more.
Ticket may be purchased, donations accepted, and sponsorships submitted for the 2019 Million Meals Gala – Rising above Hunger at https://www.feedingIE.org/gala.
About Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino
Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino (FARSB) is leading the fight against hunger in the Inland Empire by providing food access, emergency relief, education, and advocacy to families in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. FARSB opened in 1980 as Survive Food Bank in response to the increasing concern about the dual problems of hunger and food waste in the Inland Empire. Today, FARSB is the primary source of food for over 300 local nonprofit organizations, distributing over one million pounds of food monthly to emergency food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, high-need elementary schools, halfway houses, senior centers, residential treatment centers, shelters for the abused, after school programs and group homes. With the help of these charity partners, we make up the largest hunger relief organization in the Inland Empire, making food security a reality for over 1.2 million people every year.
Philanthropy & Nonprofits
The OTIS Academy Launches in Zambia, Africa
In March of 2023, Eddy Sumar of ERS Consulting Services, in conjunction with the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce (IERCC), traveled to Zambia, Africa, to bring the OTIS Academy, the Power Project/The Power of the Dream, and the value of Financial Freedom to the youth of Zambia.
On Tuesday, March 14, he met with CEO Chansa Mwila of the American Chamber of Commerce in Zambia (AmCham), where he presented her with an honorary membership to the IERCC. He also presented certificates of membership to Mr. Derby Chipwande and Mr. Edwin Mukwamba, Partners for the OTIS Academy in Zambia. All were very excited to be a part of IERCC and the OTIS Academy Project in Zambia. On the next day, Wednesday, Mr. Sumar and Mr. Mukwamba visited two schools, The Multisensory International School and Litewu School, where they demonstrated what the OTIS Academy can do for their students. They were very excited and impressed by the depth and quality of the programs offered.
The next few days Mr. Sumar took a side trip with his wife and Mr. Chipandwe and Mr. Mukwamba and his wife to Livingston, where they witnessed the Mighty Victoria Falls at the strongest it had been in decades. Next to the Falls is the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, where they encountered Cape and Forest Buffalo, Vervet Monkeys, Impalas, Baboons, Zebras, and the endangered White Rhino. They also crossed the border into Botswana, where warthogs and mongooses wandered among the human population.
Back from that little side trip, Mr. Sumar and Mr. Mukwamba visited two more schools on Monday, March 20. The first was Quickstep School Limited, the second Rockview University. Again, the reception to the program was very positive. So with this trip, one can say: the IERCC has gone global, the OTIS Academy has gone international, and both have arrived in Zambia!
People On The Move
Children’s Fund Appoints New President & CEO
Veteran Non-Profit Leader, Cesar Navarrete, to Guide Organization Helping Children
Kristin Pierce, Chair of Children’s Fund Board, a San Bernardino County nonprofit, has announced the appointment of Cesar Navarrete as the new president and CEO of that organization.
For the last eight years, Navarrete has served as Executive Director of Child Advocates for San Bernardino County, a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. Over that period, he doubled the capacity of that organization to improve the lives of children and youth in foster and juvenile care. Child Advocates, under his leadership, was awarded the prestigious Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award in 2020.
For eight years previous, he served the Family Service Association, a Riverside County nonprofit. Fresh out of college, he started as a program coordinator at the Mead Valley Community Center, rising through the organization to Director of Programs Administration.
Navarrete is a Moreno Valley resident. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a Master’s of Public Administration from Cal State University, San Bernardino. He is a member of the public administration adjunct faculty there, teaching a course on Nonprofit Management and Leadership. He is also a member of the School of Public Administration Advisory Board.
He serves with several organizations throughout the county, including the San Bernardino County Children’s Policy Council and the San Bernardino County Foster Care Advisory Council. Children’s Fund and CASA have a history of supporting each other in their mutual goal of helping foster youth.
“Cesar impressed the search committee with his abilities as a visionary builder and his compassion for children and families,” said Board Chair Pierce. “He is the ideal person to lead us into a new era of service to the San Bernardino County.”
Navarrete was drawn to Children’s Fund because of its breadth of programs helping children. “Children’s Fund is a pillar in the community that works tirelessly to provide the help and support that our children, youth, and families need, not only to meet their basic needs, but to inspire hope, by breaking down barriers and creating new opportunities,” Navarrete said.
Navarrete replaces Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, EDD, the new CEO of the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation.
Philanthropy & Nonprofits
Entrepreneurship Center awarded $500,000 to support Inland Empire BIPOC small business owners and entrepreneurs
The Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) at California State University, San Bernardino has been awarded $500,000 in unrestricted funding from the Citi Foundation to reach and serve more local Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The Citi Foundation issued a $25 Million Small Business Technical Assistance RFP earlier this year and awarded 50 organizations nationwide with funding to support continued work in providing technical assistance to BIPOC-led small businesses that have been disproportionately affected by the unprecedented health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“BIPOC small businesses and entrepreneurs are vital to our local economy, and they have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mike Stull, director of the IECE. “Prior to the pandemic, the number of new Black-owned businesses and new Hispanic-owned businesses were growing at a more rapid pace than the overall business growth rate. New and early-stage businesses face numerous challenges and the pandemic has compounded those challenges. The timing of the Citi Foundation award comes as a critical time as the economy is opening up, and businesses are rebuilding and responding to new market opportunities.”
The IECE, housed in the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration, delivers innovative programs and educational resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners through a broad range of community and campus programs. As the leading entrepreneurial support organization in the Inland Empire, the IECE is also one of the largest University-based Entrepreneurship Centers in the world and has been recognized by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) as a top 35 program for fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.
“This recent award from the Citi Foundation is a testament to the importance of BIPOC businesses to economic growth in the region, the strong reputation IECE has built as effective stewards of funds and the significant impact both will have on the surrounding communities,” said Shanthi Srinivas, interim dean of the Jack H. Brown College.
“Innovative organizations like IECE are providing pivotal support to small businesses as they navigate an ever-changing economic landscape,” said Brandee McHale, head of Citi Community Investing and Development and president of the Citi Foundation. “The Citi Foundation is proud to be supporting IECE and other change agents with the unrestricted, flexible funding they need to deliver specialized support to more minority-owned small businesses in their communities .”
IECE operates the Small Business Development Center, the Women’s Business Centers and California State Trade Expansion Programs in the Inland Empire region, which operate from full-time offices in Colton, Ontario, Palm Desert, Riverside and 10 part-time offices throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The programs have a long history of delivering free business counseling, mentoring and training to existing and aspiring small business owners and entrepreneurs. Collectively, the programs have provided support to over 10,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs in 2020.
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