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A16, from page 3 stores are located in Solana Beach, Oceanside, West Los Angeles and Tarzana. Mead says their Mission Valley store on Alvarado Road, off Mission Gorge Road, is a tough retail location. “It’s not where people normally shop or think to shop. We thought the trolley coming through with the Grantville station would help, but it hasn’t. But many of our employees are students who do use it, and we like being in this location. Grantville is a neat community to be a part of.” So what about the economic climate the last few years? “We’ve definitely had our challenges and we’ve learned a lot,” answers Mead. “We took some risks in the early part of the decade by expanding and taking on debt. The recession hit us hard, starting in 2005. By 2008/09, sales had dropped by 30% and we had to close two stores. We went from 145 to 85 employees. But we’ve really cut expenses by working with landlords and vendors and everyone has risen to the occasion. The office staff is still doing “furlough Fridays.” With the recent challenges, Mead has also discovered some unique opportunities for his business. “When the stress of daily life looms large, people look to daily recreation for strength and solitude. Backpacking had been on the decline, but that’s starting to turn. More and more people are looking for outings they can do in a day, like hiking or mountain-biking.” Adventure 16 is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this change. “We sell things to get people off the beaten path.” “People are also looking to support their local businesses. It’s hard for people to get their arms around national or world events. But people want to be a part of something they can believe in, and have a way to relate to other people. They want to take care of their home community. So that works for us, too. This is our headquarters, this is our home. We’re a San Diego original!” One way Adventure 16 creates a sense of community is with special events. Every month they have something going on in their stores telling people how to get out there, where to go and who to go with, whether it’s a free movie night, wine and cheese event or introduction to a wilderness basics course like the one the Mission Valley store is offering this month. Their philanthropy is in keeping with their core philosophy. Mead created the “Donate-A-Pack Foundation,” which provides gear to organizations who take at-risk kids into the wilderness. Most of the equipment is donated by their customers, so it’s also a way of recycling. But the main thing they’re trying to do is to get kids outdoors and engaged in recreational opportunities that will enrich their lives. “When we help get kids into the mountains, we know they gain an up-close and personal appreciation for nature. We hope that they, in turn, will motivate the next generation to conserve and protect the wilderness.”

Lucas Keller, from page 1 “KIT gave me the ability to realize that even though I have a disability, it’s ok to be a little different,” Lucas said. “They do their best to look beyond that.” Rappelling off the Hyatt is a great adventure for anyone. But for Lucas it’s a sign of how he’s overcome one of the greatest challenges one could ever face. “If you’re a risk taker like I am, I’d totally recommend it,” Lucas said. “I didn’t even realize I was facing down until you (his guide, Seth Baker) said ‘look down’.” Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and the KIT team cheered and applauded as Lucas, the honorary chair of this year’s event, was led down the side of the hotel by a trusty guide. It was truly a sight to see. “Lucas makes it so wonderful to be his mother,” Lora Keller said as her son went over the edge. “Every single day with him is just amazing.” The family is so proud of Lucas and couldn’t be more thankful for the experiences KIT has provided. “You know that there are going to be barriers when you have a kid with disabilities, but for him to be able to do this last year and again this year just shows no matter what life throws at him, he’s going to be able to do it,” Lucas’ mom said. Lucas enjoys giving back to kids that KIT supports as a counselor. His next goal is to become one of the non-profit’s top leaders. “I want to become a board member because KIT is all about including people with disabilities,” Lucas said. “What better way to give back than to become a board member.” With two inspirational trips over the edge, Lucas is Lucas Keller was assisted during his descent well on his way. by Seth Baker. The thrilling charity event If you’re looking to overraised more than $75,000 for programs to come your fear of heights, benefit children with and without disabilities. there’s no better way than to follow in Lucas’ path. It’s an experience unlike any other, and event organizers say it’s never too early to start fundraising for next year’s Over the Edge fundraiser. Ok, if you’re not a thrill seeker and rappelling is definitely not your interest, consider a tax-deductible gift this holiday season to Kids Included Together. For more information about KIT, visit kitonline.org. KIT extends a big thank you to the 2010 event sponsors: Title sponsor Bridgepoint Education, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Mission Federal Credit Union, Cox Communications, Over The Edge, NBC 7/39, Next Level Internet, StayClassy.org, L7 Creative Communications, Dowling & Yahnke Wealth Management, Bay Bird Inc. Public Relations, Brice & Associates, Allied Climbers of San Diego and Positive Adventures.

MissionValleyNews.com — December 2010

Francis Parker High Student to Compete on Jeopardy! By Jeff Barnes When Raphael Cantor was 3 or 4 years old, he made a list of things he wanted to do when he grew up. One of the top things was to be a contestant on the game show, Jeopardy! “It’s funny, here I am a little over 10 years later about to be on Jeopardy! – it’s awesome!” Raphael’s mom was the first family member to get the great news. “I don’t even know how to put it in words – it’s overwhelming,” Laura Byrnes said of the phone call she received at work. “We’re filled with gratitude and very proud of Raphie.” The worst part was she couldn’t tell her son right away that he would be on the show. Byrnes and show producers were waiting to hear if a local news outlet was going to do a media ambush and surprise her son. “As a mother, how can you keep your mouth shut, especially me,” she said. “Four days later I hadn’t heard from NBC so I called back and said ‘come on this is killing me.’ ” Show producers finally gave her the go ahead to tell her son. The Francis Parker High School sophomore couldn’t believe the news when he got the call from his mom. “The first 10 seconds was a little bit of disbelief – I was definitely really excited because my mom told me she had talked to the producers,” the Linda Vista high school student said. “I said ‘Wow, I’m actually going to be on Jeopardy, this is actually coming true!’” See Raphael, Page 10

COUNTY TO PROVIDE 1,500 MORE CHILD CAR SEATS “Keep ‘Em Safe” Program Extended through Sept. 2011 Another 1,500 children will be safer when riding in vehicles thanks to a new $200,000 grant the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) has received from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). The “Keep ‘Em Safe” program aims to improve child safety by offering vehicle protection education and providing child car seats to low-income families. Funding for the program comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The County is committed to improving the safety and wellbeing of children,” said Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “The child car seats will help save lives and reduce injuries during a crash.” This is the second OTS grant HHSA has received for the “Keep “Em Safe” program, which is administered by HHSA’s local partner, the Pacific Safety Council. Last year, HHSA received a $207,000 grant which allowed the Council to distribute 2,000 child car seats and conduct 132 safety presentations throughout the county. See Safety Seats, Page 12

Gina, from page 3 I have known her for more than five years and I admire her loving and kind personality. Mission Valley restaurants are certainly enjoying a robust Happy Hour business these days! It has been so good that a couple of restaurants have made outstanding changes on their menus to provide a much wider selection of items for their patrons. P. F. Chang’s, adjacent to the Fashion Valley shopping mall, has enlarged the number of items available on its Happy Hour menu to include Asian Tacos and an increased variety of their Steamed Dumplings and also added many choices to the drink menu. Now for $6 you can enjoy a Chinese martini, Champagne cocktail, margarita, mai tai, cosmopolitan, old-fashioned or wine. For $4 you can order a large jar of sake, imported bottle beer or well highballs…this is a real bargain. Mark Oliver has partnered with Cy Young winner and San Diego Padres legend Randy Jones to change the All American Grill in Hazard Center to the Randy Jones All American Sports Grill. Oliver, who opened one year ago after a long affiliation with George’s in La Jolla, said, “This new partnership is a natural fit for Randy and me, taking a great All-American restaurant concept and combining it with America’s favorite pastime – sports.” Jones, who is known for his outstanding barbecue, a highly successful restaurant called Randy’s Big Stone Lodge in Poway and several restaurant locations throughout Petco Park, has worked closely with Oliver to hand-pick featured menu selections, including his slow-pitch baby pork ribs and his Petco Park BBQ pulled pork sandwich. See Gina, Page 10

Holiday Bowl, from page 1 sophomore I-back Rex Burkhead and redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez each have more than 900 rushing yards. 5K To Kick Off “America’s Largest Balloon Parade” The 15th annual Bumble Bee Foods 5K will kick off the Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade presented by San Diego County Credit Union Thursday, Dec, 30 at 9:45 a.m. For more information, and to purchase parade television area grandstand tickets, visit www.BridgepointEducationHolidayBowl.com or call (619) 283-5808.

Mission Valley News - December 2010  

The Mission Valley News is the local community newspaper that reaches all corners of Mission Valley, Hotel Circle, Old Town, Linda Vista, an...

Mission Valley News - December 2010  

The Mission Valley News is the local community newspaper that reaches all corners of Mission Valley, Hotel Circle, Old Town, Linda Vista, an...

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