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SDPHC – Party with a Purpose Fundraiser

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San Diego Parrot Head Club

The San Diego Parrot Head Club, a 500+ member group of local Jimmy Buffet music fans, host their 27th Annual Party at Campland on the Bay on September 22-25.

Live music Thursday & Friday nights, and all day Saturday, from 10 AM to 10 PM.

$35 Admission includes entry to the Beer Garden, with unlimited beer, wine, wine-based frozen margaritas, sodas and water, over ten bands for live music, Silent Auction and Raffle, and FREE entry to Campland! Part of your admission goes to two amazing local charities:  Fisher House So Cal that provides temporary lodging to military families and veterans At No Cost so they can be near their loved ones being treated for injury or illness at the Naval or Camp Pendleton hospitals, and The Children’s Nature Retreat Foundation that brings animals and children together to help children develop a sense of sonder for nature and its inhabitants.

san diego parrot head clun, 27th anniversary party

About Party with a Purpose

The San Diego Parrot Head Club (SDPHC) is a 501 c(4) Civic Organization founded in 1995 by a group of local Jimmy Buffett music fans who wanted to make a difference in their community.  We are dedicated to preserving and improving the environment and are active in many community-orientated projects. Our club raises money through charity drawings, silent auctions, and donations at club events throughout the year.  In addition, we donate our time to various causes.

During 2019, we raised over $59,000 for various charities throughout San Diego County and volunteered almost 5000 hours.  We assisted 16 non-profits in the San Diego area with time and/or money.  These non-profits supported veterans, people with physical or cognitive challenges or with diseases, children, the environment, hunger, and animals. We ran or participated in water stations, beach cleanup’s, toy drives, and blood drives. Check out our Events for a complete list of what’s next.

Come join the phlock!  Get involved.  We love our members to participate at our monthly business meeting (with a live band afterward), our events, and with our philanthropy.

FHSC General David H. Berger and Colonel Rob Weiler

The Commandant’s Reflections on the Passing of Terry Geiling

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FHSC General David H. Berger and Colonel Rob Weiler

Members of Fisher House So Cal (FHSC) were specially invited by General David H. Berger and his wife, Donna, to join them for the Friday Evening Parade festivities at the 8th Marine Corps barracks in Washington, DC on July 15, 2022.  In photo, General Berger and Donna (far right) are joined by Terry Geiling, FHSC President (center); Mike Lipscombe, FHSC Director; Linda Rahn, FHSC Executive Director; and Colonel Rob Weiler. The Fisher House So Cal team were in Washington, DC to attend a Friends of Fisher House Conference. LCDR Terry Geiling (Ret) passed away in Long Beach, CA on July 30, 2022.

What did Terry do for the families of men and women in the military. Terry did three things for the families of men and women in the military:

1) He cared.
2) He got things done.
3) He advocated.

When Terry retired from the military, by all rights he and Nancy should have just moved on to the next chapter in their lives. They had given so many years, moved around the country and around the world, missed birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings. Basically, they had dedicated that portion of their lives to serving their country.

But Terry couldn’t just retire. He wasn’t done giving.

You see, for Terry there was so much more to do. When folks looked around the room for a leader, he stepped up . . . again and again. He deeply cared about surviving (Gold Star) families, and felt that more needed to be done continue supporting them.

So, he stepped in to do something about that. From the various Gold Star organizations to the Manor itself, Terry poured all of his energy and experience into making their lives just a little bit better.

When he came across an obstacle, he moved it out of the way or simply went around. He flew numerous times to Washington DC to drum up support and resources needed, and it was impossible for politicians or donors to say “no” to Terry. He was persuasive and he was effective. He got things done, when others got bogged down by bureaucracy. Terry loved a challenge, and I never saw a challenge he couldn’t overcome. Persistent. Determined. Focused on caring for those unable to care for themselves. Terry was a fighter, in the very best sense. He fought hard for all the right things, things that really matter in this world. He was a champion for the little people.

Terry Geiling

I will miss his personal example.  We could use more Terry Geilings in this world of ours.

Semper Fidelis,
Gen David H. Berger, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps
The Pentagon, Washington DC

Almeida Family

How You and Fisher House So Cal helped the Almeida Family

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Fisher House Southern California | Supporting Americas Military Fisher House So Cal logo gift to fisher house so cal

Dear Friends,

We’re writing to ask you to help us at Fisher House Southern California to provide our veteran and military families with temporary housing – at no cost to them – while their loved ones are treated for an illness or injury at our VA and military hospitals in Long Beach, Camp Pendleton and San Diego.

You see, our veterans and service members don’t always get a say in where their treatment will take place, and they may have to travel hundreds of miles for that care, with a loved one by their side. The costs of housing and living necessities can quickly exceed their financial abilities.

Here is one tragic, yet powerful story. Lieutenant Joel Almeida is an ordained minister who, in 2021, fulfilled a lifelong dream by becoming a U.S. Navy Chaplain. In November 2021, Joel was transferred with his family to serve at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, the largest US Marine Corps base in the country. And that’s when tragedy struck.

On January 20, as Joel was driving his wife Christie, their twelve year-old daughter Stephany, and their six year-old son, Johnny, their car was struck by a truck. The sheer force of impact caused their car to tumble several times before breaking into pieces. 

Tragically, Christie died instantly. Johnny was ejected from the car in his car seat, seatbelt still buckled. His head hit a large rock and he suffered serious trauma to the brain. Miraculously, Joel and Stephany only suffered minor injuries. Johnny, however, had to be airlifted to Loma Linda Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Suddenly, Joel was a widower, and his son, Johnny, was fighting for his life, having been placed on life support and in a medically-induced coma to reduce brain hemorrhage. All this was happening in a brand new state with friends and family many miles away, no car and limited resources. Where would he stay while Johnny was recovering at Loma Linda? And on a service member’s limited paycheck, how would he cover the cost to stay in a hotel with Stephany, while Johnny fought for his life over the next month? 

Fortunately, Joel’s fellow Sailors and Marines knew of the Fisher House mission to provide temporary lodging for military families during their medical need – at no cost to them, and they reached out to Fisher House So Cal. While there is no Fisher House near Loma Linda Medical Center, in the spirit of our Fisher House motto – to provide a ‘home away from home’ for military families in their time of medical need – we were able to find Joel and Stephany a hotel near the Loma Linda medical campus.

And thanks to our generous donors, we were able to cover all of the Almeida family’s lodging during this horrible ordeal. For the next month, Joel was able to remain by Johnny’s bedside and focus on his son’s recovery, while Stephany was able to stay with Joel’s mom, who had flown in to be with the family at the hotel.  

Johnny underwent significant care to relieve his trauma, then extensive rehabilitation to learn how to walk and speak again. Now, several months later, Johnny’s doctors are confident that Johnny will make a full recovery by July. Joel, in the meantime, is working to rebuild his family without his wife Christie by his side. That’s how our donors were able to help.

Reflecting, Joel shared with us, “you have no idea just how much Fisher House So Cal helped my family. The amount of love and support from Fisher House helped us pull through, and allowed us to be by Johnny’s bedside hourly. Fisher House is like family. They truly blessed us during our time of need.”  

Fisher House So Cal is very thankful to have helped the Almeida family in their time of need, and to also help many other military families who stay in our Fisher Houses at the VA and Navy hospitals in Long Beach, Camp Pendleton and our two houses in San Diego – at no cost to any of them – thanks to our generous donors. 

With that in mind, we ask you to please consider a gift to Fisher House So Cal today so we can continue to help families like the Almeidas. Thanks to generous friends of Fisher House, your gift will now have double the impact, as every dollar you contribute will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000 by July 4 by the family of Beverly Bingham*.  Please use the enclosed envelope to send in your gift, or you can make your gift online at www.FisherHouseSoCal.org today! 

Whatever you can afford, your gift will help our military families just like the Almeidas when they need us most. They will be incredibly grateful for what you do for them. It’s on their behalf and the many other families you will help, that we send our heartfelt, genuine thanks.

Yours truly,
Terry L. Geiling
Lieutenant Commander, USN (Ret)
FHSC President and CEO
Michael M. Frazier
Colonel, USMC (Ret)
FHSC Director and House Liaison
Camp Pendleton and San Diego

* PS: The family of our recently deceased Board member, Beverly Bingham, has made a very generous $25,000 pledge in her memory to match all gifts to our current appeal by JULY 4 – so thanks for sending in your gift TODAY!  We would be very grateful if you would help us meet the Bingham match. Again, on behalf of the many Fisher House families you will help, THANK YOU!

Almeida BUC Slip
Celebration of Life video

Steve Kuykendall Celebration of Life

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On February 20, 2022, there was a wonderful Celebration of Life for Marine Captain Steve Kuykendall, Fisher House So Cal co-founder and Board President, on the USS Battleship Iowa. The event included a fireboat pass-by, helicopter fly-over and naval gun salute. Military honor guard ceremony occurred earlier that day. Semper Fi, Steve!

FHSCLogo

Double the Impact of Your Gift—Donate Before December 31!

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Fisher House Southern California | Supporting Americas Military Fisher House So Cal logo gift to fisher house so cal

Dear Friend of Fisher House Southern California,

When the Larry and Helen Hoag Foundation received the Memorial Day appeal from Fisher House Southern California, which I sent in May announcing the new Steve Kuykendall Memorial Fund for Children, they wanted to help.

Consequently, they have committed $25,000 from the Larry and Helen Hoag Foundation to serve as a Challenge Grant for Fisher House Southern California, whereby they will match all gifts to Steve’s fund up to a total of $25,000.

Who, you might be asking, is Steve Kuykendall? Well, Steve is a former Marine Captain who served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He also served as a U.S. Congressman from Southern California. And, Steve was the founder of Fisher House Southern California.

In 2013, his unwavering leadership led to a successful $6 million fund raising campaign that built a brand new 16-unit Fisher House at the VA Medical Center in Long Beach.  What, you might be asking, is a Fisher House? Well, a Fisher House is a “home away from home” for families of wounded, injured or ill service members or veterans who are receiving care at a major military or VA medical center.

In recognizing the special sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform, and also the hardship on their families, Fisher Houses provide free temporary lodging to these military and veterans’ families, allowing them to be near their loved ones during their medical care, so they can all focus on getting their loved ones better.

Located near military and VA medical centers, each Fisher House is designed to accommodate from 16 to 42 family members. The Houses are beautifully furnished and have common kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, libraries and play areas for the children. And, there is no charge to stay at a Fisher House.

A stay can range from just a few days, to weeks, to even months, depending upon the nature of medical care required. Our Fisher Houses in Southern California provide a home away from home to several thousand people every year, and 15% of them are children.  

Sadly, Steve passed away this past January from lung disease, likely attributed to Agent Orange exposure during his time in Vietnam. The children who stay in our Fisher Houses were near and dear to his heart, and our Memorial Fund is our tribute to him for his lifetime of dedicated service to our country.

And that’s why I am writing to you now – to ask you to consider your donation to the Steve Kuykendall Memorial Fund for Children.  If you do, your gift will count double as it will be matched dollar for dollar by the Larry and Helen Hoag Foundation.

Steve’s fund will provide the children who stay at our Houses – at the VA in Long Beach, the Naval Hospital in Camp Pendleton, and the two Houses at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego – with whatever they need so their stay is as much like home as possible.

It could be books, toys, games, puzzles or computer programs both for play and education.  It could be sporting equipment, like baseballs and gloves, for instance, to have a catch out on the lawn.  It could be for a special meal, brought in, to alleviate the burden of having to cook for the night.  Or it could be a dinner or a movie out with mom and dad or grandma and grandpa, which the fund will provide, along with travel vouchers to get back and forth to the House.  Or it could even be a party to celebrate something special while away from home – a birthday, for instance, or even a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Steve’s fund, along with our dedicated staff and volunteers, will make that happen.

Won’t you help make our Fisher House like home for the children who stay with us? Remember, your gift, will have Double the Impact if made by December 31, thanks to the Larry and Helen Hoag Foundation.

To make your gift, you may go online at www.FisherHouseSoCal.org or call us with your gift intentions at 562-297-0990. You can also send a check to FHSC at PO Box 110, Long Beach, CA 90801.

On behalf of the countless families you will be helping, especially the children, I send our genuine thanks and appreciation in helping us meet this Challenge Grant. Your gift, made today, will help us do more for our veterans and military families and their children at our Fisher Houses, especially now, during this season of Thanksgiving.

From all of us at Fisher House So Cal, we wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Yours truly,

Signature

Terry Geiling
President and CEO
Fisher House Southern California, Inc.

Dana Point 5th Marine Support Group Regiment Wins 2021 Spirit of Hope Award

Fisher House So Cal Board Member Mike Lipscombe Accepts 2021 ‘Spirit of Hope’ Award​ on Behalf of DPSG

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Excerpt from The Dana Point Times:

Mike Lipscombe, Fisher House So Cal Board Member and President of the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group (DPSG), was presented with the 2021 ‘Spirit of Hope’ Award on behalf of the DPSG​. The DPSG was recognized for its support of the Marines, Navy Corpsmen, and families of the 5th Marine Regiment of the United States Marine Corps headquartered at Camp Pendleton.

The Spirit of Hope Award was established in 1997. It was first granted to entertainer Bob Hope by the United States Congress and is awarded annually in his honor. The basis for the award was to recognize Hope’s commitment to entertaining military servicemembers over many decades, both within and outside of combat zones. The Department of Defense now presents the award to winning recipients.

“We are truly honored to be chosen for the Spirit of Hope Award from among so many other patriots and generous Americans who were nominated,” DPSG President Mike Lipscombe said. “We will continue our mission of caring for the ‘Fighting Fifth’ and their families for many years to come.”

Lipscombe accepted the Spirit of Hope medal at a ceremony held on Wednesday, November 10, at the Memorial Garden in the San Mateo area of Camp Pendleton—the same day that the U.S. Marine Corps celebrated its 246th birthday.

While the Spirit of Hope Award is traditionally presented to recipients at the Pentagon, the location was moved to Camp Pendleton due to COVID concerns. Lipscombe said that being able to accept the award at the garden that the support group has helped develop and care for was just as meaningful.

Spirit of Honor Award

The Spirit of Hope Award is given to recipients who have demonstrated a commitment to significantly enhancing the quality of life of servicemembers and their families serving around the world. Photo: Lillian Boyd

The DPSG aided in spearheading the effort to bring the 5th Marines Vietnam War Memorial for Camp Pendleton—an effort that took about a decade.

“The Memorial Garden is a special place, because it gives people who have served in the 5th Marines m the past a place to come back to and reflect on those who were lost,” said Capt. DJ Sargenti.

Lipscombe got involved with DPSG in 2013. While his military service during the Vietnam War brings a unique perspective on what members of the “Fighting Fifth” may need from the community, Lipscombe says those needs are constantly changing.

“We’ve expanded some programs; we’ve extended scholarships for summer camps for kids. So, any Marine family that has a child who wants to go to a class year-round can do that,” Lipscome added. “we find ways to serve the Marines, and we find ways to serve their families.”

Lipscombe has been president for the support group for three years. He says the DPSG’S achievements could not have been done without the efforts of each volunteer and a rallying community.

“I’ve been in a couple other Marine Corps units before here. There’s never been anything like this,” Sargenti said of the support group. “This is very unique. Everything that the Dana Point 5th Marine Support Group provides is unmatched.”

For the Spirit of Hope Award, each division of the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense is invited to nominate an individual or organization who epitomizes the values such as duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment, integrity, and selfless dedication, and who significantly enhances the quality of life of servicemembers and their families serving around the world, and contributes an extraordinary amount of time, talent, or resources to benefit servicemembers.

DPSGH joins a list of previous Spirit of Hope winners, including Gary Sinise, American Idol finalist and country music star Kelly Pickier and her husband, Kyle Jacobs, and singer-songwriter Toby Keith. Other organizations recognized have been The Fisher House Foundation, The Soldiers’ Angels, Camp Hope, and The Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund.

The DPSG is a nonprofit organization that supports U.S. servicemembers and their families from the 5th Marine Regiment and the Wounded Warriors Battalion West at Camp Pendleton. It currently has more than 350 volunteers from all walks of life. For more information, visit danapoint5thmarines.com.

The LBCREC Charity Golf Tournament

The LBCREC Charity Golf Tournament

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The LBCREC Charity Golf Tournament benefitting Fisher House So Cal. took place August 9, 2021 at 9 am at the Old Ranch Country Club.

We’d like to give a BIG shout out of THANKS to all the golfers who generously donated ALL of their cash prize and raffle winnings back to Fisher House SoCal at Monday’s LBCREC Golf Tourney! Our military families and veterans thank YOU!

Shown in the photo left-right: Terry Geiling, FHSC Board President; Paul Hesse of Penta Pacific Properties; Linda Rahn, FHSC Executive Director; and Mark Sokolowski, of Newmark, who organized the event.

The LBCREC Charity Golf Tournament Fisher House Directors

For information, please visit Lbcrecgolf.com. You can also support Fisher House Southern California by donating.

Naval Medical Center San Diego Fisher House Southern California

Naval Medical Center San Diego AstroTurf Installation

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At the beginning of April 2021, the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) began the renovation of its playground and other grass areas on the two Fisher Houses at this location. NMCSD decided to use AstroTurf for the renovation due to the cleaner, more natural look it yields in comparison to other faux grass. Natural grass can brown quite easily after being stepped on and is easily be torn up by rough playground fun. Not to mention how much water and weekly care is needed to make sure that the grass is maintained for safety, and of course, for cosmetic purposes.

Speaking of safety, AstroTurf provides excellent protection compared to the hard and rough surfaces that natural grass and dirt have. With this new turf, the families staying at NMCSD don’t have to worry about their children falling while playing and scratching up their knees and hands. AstoTurf is completely pollen-free and hypoallergenic, making it beneficial to those with sensitivity to pollen and other allergies.

At Fisher House Southern California, our number #1 priority is the health and the happiness of the military families staying with us at any of our locations. Whether it be the VA Long Beach Healthcare System, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, or Naval Medical Center San Diego – Fisher House Southern California is here to help. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can assist Fisher House Southern California in our mission to protect and help military families, you can help make a difference through a donation or through volunteer work. You can also visit our news section for frequent updates on Fisher House Southern California and our mission.

Steve Kuykendall

In Honor of Steve Kuykendall

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Dear Friends of Fisher House Southern California:

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that our President and CEO of Fisher House Southern California Board, Steven Kuykendall, passed away January 22 due to a short illness from pulmonary fibrosis.

Steve was a Marine Captain who served in Vietnam, a U.S. Congressman who represented Southern California, and a member of the California State Assembly before a stellar career in banking. But what he was most proud of was his service to Fisher House.

Steven Kuykendall was the dynamic force behind the formation of Fisher House Southern California, which built the Fisher House at the Long Beach VA and supported the operations of the Fisher Houses at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. He also made invaluable contributions to Fisher House on the national level, and he will be missed by all of us who worked with him on behalf of Fisher House these last many years.

Steve was extremely proud of what he was able to do for Fisher House, and as he said to you so many times in his communications with you over the years, he was very grateful for your friendship and for your generous support of our veterans and our military families. And he meant it – your support of his efforts meant the world to him! And for that, all of us on the Fisher House team thank you.

Those of you who knew Steve and share our loss, and who would like to make a gift in his memory, can do so by sending it to Fisher House Southern California at P.O. Box 110, Long Beach, CA 90801 or by going to our website at fisherhousesocal.org. Per Steve’s wishes, no funeral is being planned though a Celebration of Life will take place once we can all gather safely again. Needless to say, we all appreciate what you have done for Fisher House Southern California. Thank You!

Sincerely,

Gary Hopkins
Interim President
Fisher House Southern California, Inc.

View Steve’s obituary.

Steven T. Kuykendall

Steven T. Kuykendall
1947 – 2021

veteran assistance in southern California

Fisher House Long Beach Houses Frontline Workers

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Fisher House So Cal is happy to continue to find ways to offer veteran assistance in southern California. As the pandemic continues to cause challenges for healthcare workers across the country, the entire Fisher House organization is working to be a part of the solution.

Fisher Houses provide military and veteran families housing near their loved one while they are hospitalized for an illness, disease or injury, at no cost to them. Fisher House Southern California’s (FHSC) mission is to help military families by supporting four Fisher Houses throughout Southern California, located at major military and VA medical centers.

The Fisher House Foundation was recently featured in an article in The Daily Breeze and the Press-Telegram! The article explores how Fisher House has helped house frontline workers during the pandemic to keep them and their own families safe from exposure. A total of 15 houses, including Fisher House Long Beach, have provided temporary housing to VA Hospital healthcare workers

Fisher House So Cal is proud to be a part of this amazing effort to help frontline workers in this health crisis. Click here to learn about how we provide veteran assistance in southern California.

Visit this link to read the article in the Press-Telegram.

Pandemic-era heroes: Local organizations provide housing for VA Hospital health care workers