Scripps Ranch News - January 2022

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Volume 5 Issue 2 • January 2022


VALENTINE’S DAY You can slay Valentine’s Day

Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit is in its 50th year and sets a major fundraiser for June


By Ashley Shah


Video highlights local singer PAGE 11


Mustang Theatre plays are back PAGE 13


Roller hockey winning team PAGE 18

ady Children’s Hospital, a non-profit organization, has been serving children in San Diego County for almost 70 years. The hospital, in order to keep serving the community, has auxiliary units that help with funding and furthering the hospital’s mission. In San Diego county, there are 22 units that range all the way from Point Loma to Scripps Ranch. “The unit in Scripps Ranch was started in 1972. Back then, there were only about 12 members. They would do activities in the neighborhood to help out the hospital. Now, the unit has expanded so much,” said Yvette Gilman, chair of the Scripps Ranch Unit. Currently, the local unit has 32 active members and 27 supporting members. This April will mark the 50th anniversary of the Scripps Ranch unit. “For our 40th anniversary, we had a dinner where all members, past and current, were invited. We were able to

Holiday Lighting Contest winners PAGE 19

hear some of the older members speak about how the unit was back in their time,” Gilman said. “We are hoping to have something very similar to that for our 50th anni-

versary celebration.” The unit meets once a month from September to June to discuss what the hospital needs, and ways to help with funding.

From setbacks to setting the stage By Ashley Shah


Brandy Modic is the event coordinator for Chip’n FORE, a Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit fundraiser set for June to benefit the hospital’s Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. (photo courtesy of Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit)

Each year, the unit holds an out-unit event to fundraise for a center in the hospital. “The center we are honoring this year is the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. We chose this center because two of our local children … are being treated at that center,” said Brandy Modic, chair of the event. The all outdoor event centers around a theme of golf and includes dining, drinks, listening to speakers, auctions and more. The event this year, Chip’n FORE, was originally scheduled for Feb. 12. However, due to the rise in COVID recently, the event was rescheduled to June 4. “Even though the event was rescheduled, we are still hoping everyone comes out. We are still supporting a great cause and giving back to a center that has helped our local kids so much,” Modic said. The unit hopes to raise $50,000 for the Peckham Center. “We really want to be able See CHAMPIONS, Page 4

cripps Ranch Theatre (SRT) was set to present “Heisenberg,” a full, in-person play performance for the first time in almost two years – originally scheduled to begin Jan. 14. However, due to flooding at the theater just a couple of days before opening night, the production has been postponed. “It looks like we might be able to get in next weekend, or at least the following,” said SRT spokesperson Susan Clausen. The exact dates and final decision to reschedule “Heisenberg” had not been determined at press time. When SRT

reschedules the play, it’s possible it will run for three weeks as originally planned, Clausen said. Despite the unexpected setback, the theatre’s other productions might not be affected. “I’m not sure if we’ll need to bump the rest of the season to new dates if we are able to get in next weekend, or the following,” Clausen said. This longtime Scripps Ranch institution survived the COVID shutdown and was set to resume performances of a new season when the flood occurred this month in its performance space at See SR THEATRE, Page 4

DeNae Steele and Charlie Riendeau star in the Scripps Ranch Theatre production of “Heisenberg.” (photo by Rich Soublet)

NEWS, Pages 2-4 • VALENTINE’S DAY, Pages 5-8 • LIFE, Pages 9-10 • LEISURE, Pages 11-12 • SCHOOLS, Pages 13-14 • SPORTS, Pages 15-18 • HOMES, Pages 19-20





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Scripps Ranch News | January 2022


Practice fire safety this winter We hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday. We so badly needed the rain we have been getting. Just don’t let it get you complacent about maintaining your efforts to keep fire safe. Get rid of that dead Christmas tree. Get your fireplace and chimney cleaned out and make sure you have spark arrestors so in this cold (for us) weather when you want to fire up those fireplaces to keep warm, they are also safe. Continue to make sure you remove combustible material from around your house. During the busy holidays, it is easy to slack off from the maintenance part of life. Talk to your insurance company. Make sure your cost of construction is updated to cover all costs. With the price of everything rising, it should be checked out. It is also very important to know what is not covered with your policy, i.e. flood, mold, earthquake. If you work from home, do you have some business insurance?

Remember to get the fireplace and chimney cleaned out, and make sure you have spark arrestors before firing up those fireplaces to keep warm.

These are just a few more things to think about. We are looking forward to bringing you the mobile app we discussed last month soon; and hope we might be able to have a training expo

so everyone will understand how to use it. Stay safe and be careful. For more information, visit –Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council The free community newspaper, neighborhood website and social media network for Scripps Ranch Scripps Ranch News is published monthly and mailed directly to homes in Scripps Ranch.







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January 2022 | Scripps Ranch News


Young entrepreneur is also a philanthropist SCRIPPS RANCH By David Barak

The curb painting process typically takes about half an hour. First responders and delivery drivers have praised his work, emphasizing the importance of having easily readable address numbers. Sigdestad first shows prospective customers photos of their current painted address, often in poor condition because of ordinary wear over the years. Once hired, he scrubs off as much of the old paint as possible before repainting according to the customer’s request. The curb painting process typically takes about half an hour, but that can vary depending on the weather. He offers an upgrade to reflective paint rather than the standard non-reflective type. Prices are currently $15 per side for painting addresses on trash cans (customers can choose from one to all four sides), $25 for standard curb painting and $35 for reflective curb painting. He offers some discounts as detailed on his website. He can accept cash, check or Venmo for payment. Sigdestad will be adding the option to include a graphic as part of his painting service. He plans to initially offer an image of the U.S. flag, a “Be Kind” logo, a cross and a San Diego State

Rylan Sigdestad also paints address numbers on trash cans for residents. (courtesy photo)

University Aztecs logo, and he said he will probably add others. Sigdestad also offers general stenciling services for local businesses. His business is booming – there have sometimes been waiting periods of up to 10 days. Sigdestad isn’t just an entrepreneur, he’s also a philanthropist. He has com-

mitted himself to donating 10 percent of his sales to the Helen Woodward Animal Center, a non-profit animal adoption agency. So far, he has donated about $800. His relationship with the organization began when he attended a camp run by the agency. He ended up adopting a dog through the group and he’s been involved with the organization since then.



he most important things needed to start a business are a vision for the business and hard work. Just ask Rylan Sigdestad, a 14-yearold entrepreneur and ninth grade student at Scripps Ranch High School. He runs Rylan’s Address Painting, a curb and trash can address painting service. “I started in November 2020, and I’ve been doing it since then,” Sigdestad said. In that time, he has finished roughly 300 painting projects. He performs his work after school, on weekends and even before school thanks to the flexibility of online learning. Sigdestad’s marketing is done via doorto-door flyers, endorsement “shout outs,” Facebook and his business website, paintmyaddress .com, which he built himself.

Sigdestad also includes a link on his website so people can make direct donations to the agency. This isn’t Sigdestad’s first foray into the business world. He mowed lawns for neighbors, and for a time he ran a mobile in-home movie service, setting up digital projectors and screens in clients’ homes for watching films on “the big screen.” Sigdestad also redesigned the common ball-throwing handle dog owners use, creating a version that allows the user to throw two balls at once. In his spare time – what little there is – Sigdestad participates in his school’s cross country, golf and basketball athletic programs. He is also a leader in his church youth group. “I don’t know what school or business yet, but I want to start my own business,” Sigdestad replied when asked about his future educational and career plans. Sigdestad can be reached directly for address painting services at or by calling (858) 740-9658. Visit

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Continued from Page 1

to show to the kids how much they mean to us,” Modic said. In addition to their yearly out-unit event, the unit, alongside all other units in the county, helps different centers in the hospital. “Our unit is currently sponsoring a child at the Bernardy Center, which is for medically fragile children who need 24-hour nursing care. We provide him clothes, hold birthday parties for him, and do crafts with him and other patients in the center,” Gilman said. The unit has made “brown bags” for families waiting for their children in the emergency room. “We usually have the Girl Scouts decorate the brown bags, and then we fill them with healthy snacks and drinks so that families can have something while they are waiting for their child,” Gilman said. The Clothes Closet is another service in which the unit participates. “We keep the closet supplied with clothes for infants and children up to 19 years old. We want children to be able to go home with clean, new clothes instead of soiled

clothes,” Gilman said. Other centers and programs the unit helps with include the Alexa’s PLAYC, a program dedicated to creating a fair learning environment for all children; and the Chadwick Center, which helps children and teenagers dealing with traumatic events or mistreatment. Throughout the past two years, the unit has faced challenges due to the pandemic. “Usually, we have all of the new members walk around the hospital, see the kids, so that they can really see the difference we are making, but we haven’t been able to do that in the past two years,” Gilman said. “I joined during COVID, and I really feel like it was hard for me to get the whole scope of the organization because I wasn’t able to see it. I think it has been hard for us to grow because we cannot see the impact we are making directly,” Modic said. All of the unit’s recent meetings have been over Zoom. Fundraising for the unit itself is done through dinners and potlucks. “We have our in-unit fundraisers so that we can spon-

Scripps Ranch News | January 2022

sor children, or provide items for the hospital if they need them,” Gilman said. “We really want people who are genuinely interested in what we do for the children, and who care about what we do,” she added. For more information about joining, reach out to Janet Mebane at Residents and businesses are encouraged to attend and help sponsor the Chip’n FORE event. Visit


Continued from Page 1

9783 Avenue of Nations on the campus of Alliant International University. The SRT board continues to ponder its next steps to get the new season back on track after overcoming this latest setback. Meanwhile, the public is encouraged to check the SRT website for performance updates and attend performances when the schedule is updated. “Heisenberg” was cast in early November. “We casted a little earlier than usual. We started rehearsing in December,” director Charles Peters said. The cast of “Heisenberg” only consists of two actors:

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Members of the Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit are involved with activities directly helping patients and their families at Rady Children’s Hospital, and hold events benefitting specific centers at the hospital. (photo courtesy of Rady Children’s Hospital – Scripps Ranch Auxiliary Unit)

the female character Georgie Burns, played by DeNae Steele; and the male character Alex Priest, played by Charlie Riendeau. “We had already pre-casted DeNae because I knew she would be perfect for the role. Both DeNae and Charlie have worked with each other in the past and work really well together, which is especially important for this show,” Peters said. This production differs from past productions in many ways. “I was very attracted to this play because of the simplicity of it. The playwright asks you to strip everything away, no lighting changes, minimal props, etc.,” Peters said. The play centers around

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two people who meet at a London train station and fall in love despite the difference in their ages. “Throughout the play, we listen in on their conversations through six scenes. Everything is kept really minimal so that the audience can focus on what the main characters are saying and how they connect with each other,” Peters explained. Not only has the theatre had to face challenges with the flooding incident, but due to the recent surge in COVID cases, the theatre board had to discuss whether it should move forward with the production. “We had a long discussion about whether we should open. However, based on the fact that we only have two actors for this play, and both are vaccinated, we felt more comfortable about opening up. There are people who want to go out,” Peters said. The theatre is following all COVID-19 precautions. “We spent $4,000 to have our theatre cleaned, and to have a special air filter that is in accordance with the COVID policies. Everyone should feel safe. We are trying very hard to keep the environment in the theatre controlled,” Peters said. Proof of vaccination is required at the theatre. Members of the audience are required to wear a mask at all times indoors. SRT has been in Scripps Ranch for more than 40 years and is a well-known aspect of the community. “The best way the community can support the return of live theatre at SRT is by coming to see the show and/ or making a donation to the theatre if possible,” Clausen said. When the production returns, tickets can be ordered by calling the box office at (858) 395-0573, or through the website: Donations for the theatre may be made through this page: scrippsranchtheatre. org/donor-page.



January 2022 | Scripps Ranch News

(StatePoint) Valentine’s Day is no longer just for the happy couples. Whether you’re married, dating or content being single, there are ways for everyone to celebrate love of all kinds, including romance in 2022, regardless of relationship status. 1. Custom Cards. SmashUps from American Greetings can help prioritize love and romance any day of the year. There are SmashUps specifically for Valentine’s Day, with romantic messages from celebrities like Michael Bolton and Smokey Robinson. However, these ecards aren’t just for couples on Valentine’s Day. There are plenty of options for love and friendship, like hilarious videos of talking dogs, cats and koalas. The customizable e-cards let you send personalized messages to your boo, your bestie and your brother for a variety of holidays and occasions. 2. FaceTime. Couples who are separated by distance might have to settle for a candlelit FaceTime instead of the in-person dinner they had in mind. Luckily, romance in 2022 means technol-

Romance in 2022 can be dinners for two with flowers and jewelry, but it can also be celebrating the mystery and magic of an ordinary day with a custom ecard, dinner with gal pals, or spending time doing things you enjoy on our own. (copyright Morsa Images/iStockPhoto)

ogy can keep us connected, even when we’re apart. If you’re celebrating from a distance this Valentine’s Day, consider shipping gifts to your significant other or gal pals and opening them together while you’re on a video call, or make the same recipe and eat it together on FaceTime. 3. Swipe Left. Many modern-day love stories start with a simple swipe to the left on a dating app. If you’re hoping to meet new people but aren’t sure where to

begin, consider having some fun with online dating apps like Bumble, Hinge and Tinder. They’re not just for those looking for love. Many have friendship features, like Bumble BFF, which works the same way, but connects you with others looking for friendships, too. This can be particularly useful for those who are moving to new cities, seeking roommates, or looking to network with others who are around the same age or share similar interests.


Five ways to slay Valentine’s Day


4. Did Someone Say Galentine’s Day? Originally created by fictional character Leslie Knope in the television series “Parks and Recreation,” Galentine’s Day is all about female friendships and the laughter, joy and support they bring to our lives. Galentine’s Day can be spent as simply or elaborately as you please. Some gals might get together to exchange gifts of candles and fuzzy socks for the occasion, while others might have a glass of wine and chat over a charcuterie board. For some, the holiday may just be a reason to call your friends and check in on them. Single or taken, Galentine’s Day is a reminder to glorify your girl gang. 5. Self-care. Being alone on Valentine’s Day can feel a little lonely, but the day doesn’t have to be painful. If you’re spending it on your own, plan a day at the spa, take a group workout class or cook yourself a favorite meal. Self-care is the perfect way to honor the strong and independent person you are.


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Valentine’s Day red velvet ( Valentine’s Day is the ultimate opportunity to try a different dessert meant for two. It’s hard to resist a perfectly blended, rose-red, luscious Red Velvet Mug Cake. It’s the perfect size, with just a handful of instructions, and it’s easily cooked before your eyes in the microwave. This mug cake is a simple way to make something delicious and keep the portions small. Whether you have a small party, just you




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and your loved one or just simply want something easy and small, this quick treat is designed just for you. Start by mixing all the dry ingredients into a large mug, including flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Then add milk, melted butter, vanilla and red food coloring. Use a spoon and stir the ingredients together until blended. Mix powdered sugar and cream cheese, then drop the mixture into the cake batter and mix once more. Microwave the mug for up to 3 minutes until your cake is baked. This dessert has Valentine’s Day written all over it, however, it can be enjoyed anytime throughout the year. Find more recipes and dessert ideas for every celebration at

Red Velvet Mug Cake Servings: 1

Ingredients 6 Tbsp. flour 2 Tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. cocoa powder 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1/8 tsp. salt 1/3 cup milk 2 Tbsp. butter, melted 2 tsp. vanilla extract 30 drops red food coloring 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar 1 Tbsp. cream cheese, softened



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In 12-ounce mug, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add milk, butter, vanilla and food coloring; mix until blended. In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Drop cream cheese mixture into cake batter. Press into batter until covered. Microwave up to 3 minutes until cake is done.

January 2022 | Scripps Ranch News



A show-stopping strawberry snack ( When you are craving something sweet, sometimes you just can’t get it out of your mind until you have just one bite. You need something small, delicious and something that will ease your cravings. This recipe for Chocolate Coated Strawberry Treats is not only fun to make, but will give you that perfect little snack you have been longing for. The recipe begins with fresh strawberries and ends with a drizzle of mouthwatering peanut butter sauce. This is a great recipe for little ones looking to help out in the kitchen. These strawberries are fun to dip and even more enjoyable to devour. This snack can also be perfect for date night, a romantic date or just a picnic in the park with friends. They are easy to transport from place to place and don’t leave a huge mess behind to clean up afterwards. It’s also simple to just melt, whisk, dip and repeat. The red, ripe berries are bursting with color and the chocolate is glazed right across the top for the perfect bite. The best part is you can be creative and dip these strawberries into a number of your favorite ingredients you already have in your pantry at home. This includes, sprinkles, small candies, white

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The “NEW” Scripps Ranch Farmers Market Every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. 10045 Carroll Canyon Road, San Diego 92131 Contact Bev at (858) 603-3178. chocolate drizzle and different kinds of nuts. The possibilities are endless. Next time you can’t get chocolate off your mind, enjoy something delightful, rich and a show-stopping snack.

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Ingredients 1¼ cups baking chocolate chips ½ cup baking peanut butter chips 3 Tbsp. coconut oil, divided 1 pound fresh strawberries shredded coconut crushed almonds

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In saucepan, add baking chocolate chips and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Melt on low to medium heat and whisk until smooth. In a small bowl, add baking peanut butter chips and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Whisk together until smooth. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip all strawberries into melted chocolate. Then, dip 1/3 in coconut, 1/3 in almonds and 1/3 just chocolate and lay on tray. Drizzle the melted peanut butter over the plain chocolate strawberries. Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until strawberry treats are chilled.

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Women’s Club launches 2022 scholarship programs The Scripps Ranch Women’s Club Annual Scholarship Program awards scholarships to outstanding female students By Lynn Parke and Madeline Pantalone The Scripps Ranch Women’s Club (SRWC) has a long history of philanthropic giving that benefits our community. The members just completed a successful Annual Holiday Gift Drive for families seeking temporary shelter and support services at the Hidden Valley House Domestic Violence Shelter, delivering more than 80 unwrapped gifts for the children and gift cards for the parents (see photo). Now, the Club is turning its efforts to the launch of the Annual Scholarship Program.

SRWC Scholarship

Each year, the Club awards one or more scholarships to female students from the graduating class at Scripps Ranch High School. This year, the program is being spearheaded by Co-chairs Mary Ann Harper and Sally B. Anderson. “This is always a great experience for the Scholarship Committee members,” Mary Ann explained. “These young women are impressive, accomplished and articulate.” The applicants demonstrate strong academics and a commitment to community service. Successful applicants have a 3.5+ GPA, have applied to an accredited community college or university, demonstrate personal contributions to the community and are active in school and/ or community organizations. The process begins in January when the SRHS Counseling Department posts this year’s information about the scholarship. The information is also posted on the SRWC website. Applicants have through March to submit all the documentation to the SRWC. Committee members review all applications and accompanying transcripts, letters of recommendation and personal essays, and identify which applicants they will interview. The final selection is made in early May, and the scholarships are awarded at the SRHS Senior Awards Assembly at the end of the school year. Last year, scholarships were awarded to Delphine

Scripps Ranch Women’s Club members (from left) Renie Martin, Connie Gallagher, Cindy Silady and Susan Barnett with gifts collected for families at the Hidden Valley House Domestic Violence Shelter. (courtesy of Scripps Ranch Women’s Club)

Maurer, Katie Nguyen and Sara Marie Reed. “Soon after the awards assembly, the scholarship recipients and their mothers joined us for a celebratory luncheon at Yanni’s,” Sally B. Anderson said. “It was very gratifying to hear how much they appreciated the scholarship and our support.”

Kimbra Sellers Scholarship In memory of a beloved

SRWC past president, the Kimbra Sellers Scholarship was established by her husband and is administered by the SRWC. It is awarded annually to one female graduating senior who is currently attending Scripps Ranch High School or living in Scripps Ranch, planning to pursue a career in business, and is applying to either a two or four year college.

The successful applicant will have a 3.0+ GPA and part time work or volunteer experience providing practical experience and demonstrating personal initiative. Additionally, she will submit a brief essay about her interest in business. Coordinating the process is SRWC’s Lynn Parke. “I’ve asked Club members with business backgrounds to help by reviewing each applicant packet and interviewing the finalists. It makes for mutually interesting and fun conversations,” Lynn said. The timeline for this scholarship is the same as that of the SRWC Scholarship. Last year, Kimbra’s husband Brian Sampson awarded Esha Walia with the first scholarship in Kimbra’s name. “She is a very impressive young woman, and I know Kimbra would have related to her thoughtfulness, enthusiasm and ability to clearly explain her goals,” Brian stated. Visit Scholarship information is on this page: srwomensclub. org/our-community-support.

Huge Book Sale Grace’s Book Nook will hold its Semi-Annual Huge Book Sale on Feb. 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Scripps Ranch Library, 10301 Scripps Lake Drive. The sale includes Board books for tots; picture books and chapter books for kids; great reading for teens; best-sellers, fiction and non-fiction for adults; rare books and collectors editions; CDs and DVDs. Look for Big Yellow Bag special deals. Shop for bargains while supporting the library.




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Scripps Ranch News | January 2022

Club will celebrate 41 years of welcoming neighbors to SR By Denise Stewart


or 41 years, the Welcome Club of Scripps Ranch has been gathering local women for entertainment events and outings that have spurred friendly relationships in the community. In February, club members will be celebrating the occasion at their regular monthly meeting. When it all began back in the mid-eighties, many of the women were raising families, some were holding jobs, and all were looking for a way to be part of a local and friendly group. That’s when Becky McDonald brought them together and formed the Welcome Club of Scripps Ranch. Many of those same women are still active in the Welcome Club and, over the years, many others have joined the fun. There are now about 140 members.

Welcome Club celebrated the holiday season with a formal tea in December. February will mark the club’s 41st Anniversary and they will honor it with a Birthday Party. (courtesy of Scripps Ranch Welcome Club)

Coffees, teas, card and board game and craft groups, book clubs and outings for lunch and a show keep the women socially involved. On occasion, there are evening events which gather them with friends and spouses for food, drinks and entertainment. At the regular place for monthly meetings, the Scripps Ranch Community



Ideas for a sustainable life in 2022 By Helen Plutner Sustainable Scripps Ranch


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elcome to 2022. We hope you made it through last year in good health, good spirits, and were able to stay connected. As a new year begins, it’s a good time to reflect on how we can make positive changes in our lives and help our planet. Please contact us if you need further information or have questions: email or visit We Americans have a big impact on our earth’s resources. Below are ways to address some of these concerns: • Check your recycling flyer to make sure you are properly disposing of your items. Remember, no plastic bags or film in the blue bin. Coming soon will be organic food waste recycling. Due to COVID, it has been pushed back, but it has already been implemented in other parts of the County. If you have a garden, mulch and compost are available to residents at no or small fees. Visit sandiego. gov/environmentalservices/miramar/greenery/greenwasterecycling. • Why not try your hand at composting your vegetable food scraps? There are some easy ways just by setting up a bin, mixing green and brown items, watering and turning as needed. The resulting amendment can then be added to your garden. Visit.solanacenter. org/resources/composting-resources. • Use water harvesting techniques. By allowing the rainwater to sink into your soils, you will make your plants happy, save money and decrease pollution into the storm drains. One technique is to create a swale, which is basically like a riverbed. It impedes the flow

of water and allows it to penetrate the soil. There is a free virtual class Feb. 16. Then consider buying rain barrels and greywater harvesting. H2Ome has valuable information. Visit and • Upgrade your irrigation system. New devices save water and money. There are many online resources. Grangettos is a good place for advice. Visit • Take a landscaping class and visit the Water Conservation Garden. There are many free WaterSmartSD videos online or sign up for virtual classes. Please note that landscaping cloth, although so prevalent, is no longer recommended to control weeds. Visit landscape-makeover-program or or or • Consider an electric or hybrid vehicle. The Electric Vehicle Consumer Guide provides resources about owning an EV and can help find one that fits your needs. There is information on the benefits and cost savings, available purchase incentives, charging options and a search and comparison tool. Visit • Are your energy costs going through the roof? Might be time for an energy audit. A place to start: savings-center/analyze-my-energy-usage/ home-energy-survey. • How about Solar? San Diego ranked #2 in the nation’s solar installed cities. Consider a professional energy audit before you install to minimize size and cost. Visit residential/solar/getting-started-with-solar. • Contact your representatives and tell them climate legislation is important to you.



January 2022 | Scripps Ranch News


Sabrina Sterling: a rising musical artist SCRIPPS


abrina Sterling was “internally screaming” when her single “Landslide” played on 88.5 FM. With more than 9,000 followers on Instagram and more than 310,000 streams on Spotify, the Scripps Ranch native shares parts of her life – mostly dating and friendships – simply with her voice and acoustic guitar at home. Sterling is 16 and is in 11th grade at the Learning Choice Academy in Scripps Ranch.

I’ve never been to one and I probably never will.” Sterling started her musical journey in fifth grade with choir, and she learned to play the acoustic and electric guitars last December. “I had a friend who played

[a guitar], and I wanted to play,” Sterling said. “It became a competition on who can play it better.” Drawing inspiration from songwriters and artists like Julia Michaels and Lizzy McAlpine, Sterling started



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With the help of her mother, Martha, and two of her friends, Sterling hired a video production team last summer to shoot “Ride or Die,” which was shot in Scripps Ranch in one day. The video portrays Sterling sneaking out of her house to go bike riding, shooting hoops and playing a card game with two friends. The video also features Griffin Lancaster, who duetted with Sterling; and Angelica, who is one of Sterling’s closest friends. Sterling explained the story behind the music video. “I’ve never done anything cool, and I want to go out and do something, you know, typical teenager stuff,” she said. “Being homeschooled, I don’t go out very often.” “Ride or Die” reflects Sterling’s feelings of missing out on some coming-of-age experiences in her teenage years. “Like getting a driver’s license,” she said. “I want to drive like other teenagers. I wanna go to a party and

Sabrina Sterling is a 16 year old singer who released the music video “Ride or Die,” which was filmed in one day in Scripps Ranch. (photo by Patricia Kikuchi/ Pskikuchi Photography)



‘Not sure if I want to be a songwriter or national artist, but that’s my goal and I’m working towards that.’ —Sabrina Sterling


to write her own music last May and has been posting some of her melodies on Instagram and TikTok. “Lizzy’s music is so inspiring and different from mainstream pop, and my music sounds a little bit like hers,” she said. Since she has been writing and posting her music on social media, Sterling has already garnered hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide, including nearly 185,000 followers on TikTok alone. While Sterling has no plans to make another music video in the near future, she is looking for a studio to work in. “Even if I didn’t want to pursue music, like medical school, I always felt like I get led back to music,” she said. “Not sure if I want to be a songwriter or national artist, but that’s my goal and I’m working towards that. Music’s gonna be my career and I think that’s amazing.” Follow Sabrina Sterling on Instagram at @sabrinasterling and on TikTok at @ sabrinasterlingmusic.


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Scripps Ranch News | January 2022


John’s Sweetfire BBQ: How sweet it is!


here is something new in the air at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market. It’s the sweet scent of fresh barbecue. Just follow your nose and it will guide you to John’s Sweetfire BBQ stand for what the market’s manager has dubbed “award winning” ribs. “Making barbecue started as a hobby,” said John Morence of John’s Sweetfire BBQ. “I grew up in Los Angeles. I would go to the local

‘My sauce is a sweet heat, a sweet fire flavor with a kicker at the end, and that’s how I got my name, Sweetfire BBQ.’ —John Morence barbecue places, but I was always disappointed, so I decided to try and figure out how to make a great

Trio performs at the library


he “Pleasure of Your Company” music series, sponsored by Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library, welcomes back the Orvieto Piano Trio on Sunday, Feb. 20, at 2:30 p.m., performing works by Felix Mendelssohn, Felix Grieg and Rachel Grimes. Ensemble members include violinist Lauren Basney, cellist Daniel Frankhuizen and pianist Dr. Byron Chow. Trio members first met in 2009 at the Orvieto Musica chamber music festival in the Italian town of the same name. Basney, winner of a number of competitions, holds degrees from Julliard, Yale and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has performed throughout Europe and North America as well as in Japan, Israel and Australia, including six appearances at Carnegie Hall. Frankhuizen has performed throughout the United States and abroad as a soloist, chamber musician and in several pop groups. He completed his undergraduate studies at Ithaca College and his Master’s in Music Performance at the Purchase College Music Conservatory. Chow, a pediatrician, is also an avid pianist, violist and composer. He completed his undergraduate studies at Yale and received his MD from NYU.

The Orvieto Piano Trio includes violinist Lauren Basney, pianist Dr. Byron Chow and cellist Daniel Frankhuizen. (courtesy photo)

He recently completed a sabbatical in which he was able to further his piano studies in Vienna, Austria. Come enjoy chamber music at its best in the intimate setting of the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library Center. There is no charge for the concert, although donations are appreciated. In view of the current public health situation, masks will be required for all in attendance, and the number of attendees will be limited to 100. Scripps Miramar Ranch Library Center is located at 10301 Scripps Lake Drive near Miramar Lake. Overflow parking is available on Meanley Drive off Scripps Ranch Boulevard. Call (858) 538-8158 or visit for more information.

(courtesy of John’s Sweetfire BBQ)

sauce myself.” Morence was a professional towtruck driver and a part-time experimental sauce entrepreneur, but after a few years he gave up trucking and is now cooking up his own brand of barbecue sauce, and life is finger-lickin’ good. But success didn’t come overnight. “When I started, I had no idea what I was doing,” Morence said. “I began experimenting, a little bit of this, some of that, until eventually I developed a recipe that I really liked, and it turned out that a lot of other people like it too. I always had family and friends over when I cooked, so I used them as my guinea pigs.” After family and friends began asking Morence for jars of his new sauce to take home, the fledgling chef knew he had a hit on his hands, so he began dishing out his ribs and sauce at markets and other outdoor venues around the county. From day-one, his BBQ was an instant hit with attendees. “It started with my sauce,” Morence said. “My sauce is a sweet heat, a sweet fire flavor with a kicker at the end, and that’s how I got my name, Sweetfire BBQ. it came from the sauce, which has molasses, brown sugar and cayenne pepper for the kick at the end.” Armed with a winning sauce, Morence began working with different meats until he had created the perfect partner for his sweet and hot sauce. “I have a special way of preparing my ribs,” Morence said. “I water down my sauce to make a mop that I put on at the very end of cooking

Featured smile: Kaylin

John Morence has won awards for his John’s Sweetfire BBQ fare. (courtesy of John’s Sweetfire BBQ)

my ribs; so it’s very light and I serve it that way and I ask if they want sauce on it or not. It’s good the way it is but the sauce always makes it a little better. “ Once again, pork rules when it comes to fine dining barbecue-style, with the cow coming in behind the pig. “With the ribs I do mainly pork, but on occasion, when I can get them, I’ll do the beef,” Morence said. “I’m a firm believer in the roots of barbecue, which is to take any piece of meat you can get your hands on to make it delicious. I see guys spending top dollar on some ultra expensive piece of exotic meat. It’s a waste of money after you spend 15-hours cooking it down to something that’s really good.” Fresh ingredients and special attention to preparation to applying the sauce are a couple of the reasons why his Sweetfire BBQ has been drawing long lines and rave reviews. For more information, visit Better yet, stop by his booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market and enjoy a rib or two. The Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market is open from 3 to 7 p.m. each Thursday at 10045 Carroll Canyon Road (next to Newtopia Cyder). There is plenty of parking across the street at the National University parking lot. Our comprehensive orthodontic plans will help you smile with confidence. Your neighbor’s preferred orthodontist Proud sponsor of local schools and sports Experienced, friendly staff Personalized attention All types of braces and Invisalign offered We treat adults and children.




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January 2022 | Scripps Ranch News



Mustang Theatre productions are back By Kaila Mellos


hurgood Marshall Middle School’s Mustang Theatre productions are back with a new semester of plays lined up. First, they are putting on a two-act comedy of “Space Princess Wars,” a parody of “Star Wars” and “The Princess Bride.” “This one is written by a playwright who we’ve done a lot of his shows,” said Jeff Russell, theatre director and teacher at Marshall Middle School. “His name is Don Zolidis, and we’ve done probably eight of his shows up to this point.” A few starring students in this two-act comedy are Alessandra Fritz, Kamryn Koehler, Anna Sorokoumov and Matthew Tung. Since COVID is still preventing some activities, the Mustang Theatre has found a way to keep the show going. “It’s not simple at all. It’s a lot to keep the productions going because all the infrastructure things that we kind of take for granted being in the theatre, we have to move all of it out-

The Mustang Theatre cast of “Space Princess Wars.” (courtesy photo)

side,” Russell said. With productions being outside, it takes each show up to two hours just to set everything up to be prepared. Luckily, with the help of fundraising, the program was able to buy lighting and microphones for outdoor use that helped bring the productions alive. “With our fundraising this year, we bought $5,000 in lighting that we could set up outside. We also have to do See MUSTANG THEATRE, Page 14

Props for the Mustang Theatre production of “Space Princess Wars.” (courtesy photo)

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Scripps Ranch News | January 2022

Club collects 450 pounds of food


he Scripps Ranch Social Justice Club at Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) held its second Mutual Aid Drive in December 2021 and collected 450 pounds of food, according to club President Priya Kamath.

‘Our main purpose is to create a more educated student body at Scripps Ranch High School and inside our community...’ —Priya Kamath There were about 250 cans of food, which made up about half of the collection. Around 320 pounds of food was sent to the San Diego Food Bank. “We wanted to make the greatest impact toward our neighbors in need during this holiday season,” Kamath said. “Specifically, we donated to the San Diego Fridge Projects and the San Diego Food Bank. … We were able to donate most of the drinks and fridge items to the San Diego Fridge Projects.”

The Scripps Ranch High School Marching Band and Color Guard earned its way into the California State Band Championships Division Open Class State Finals in Huntington Beach on Nov. 20, 2021.

Aidan Gover-Sanchez (sousaphone) and Andres Rodriguez

Scripps Ranch Social Justice Club board members are (from left) Lara Cokie, Priya Kamath, Savannah Shuman, Katelyn Chu and Naomi Piesa Not pictured: Sandhya Selvaraj and Omar Jemili. (courtesy photo)

The Social Justice Club collected pantry food, canned goods and any other kind of food at locations such as Yogurt Heaven, the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library and some classrooms at SRHS. This is the second food drive for the club, which was formed two years ago. “Our main purpose is to create a more educated student body at Scripps Ranch High School and inside our community, but also to use the privilege that we have inside our community to help those that are underserved

inside the greater San Diego area,” Kamath said. Next, the club hopes to host a community yard sale in late March or early April. Members of the community may donate items to be sold, and the profits will be given to worthy nonprofit organizations in San Diego selected by the Social Justice Club. The club has about 40 members and meets every other Wednesday in Room 900 at SRHS. Meetings are open to all. For the latest updates, follow @socialjusticescrippsranch on Instagram.

Marching band places high at State Finals

The Scripps Ranch High School Marching Band and Color Guard placed fifth in the California State Band Championships (CSBC) Division Finals and ninth in the Open Class State Finals at Huntington Beach High School on Nov. 20, 2021. On Nov. 13, the team went to the CSBC semi-finals in Irvine and placed third out of 11 Division 5A bands.

Band members chosen for national Honor Band Scripps Ranch High School Marching Band members

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(mellophone) auditioned for and were selected to be part of the Bands of America Honor Band. These student musicians participated in several activities with more than 300 other students from throughout the country, culminating in the Rose Parade on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, which was broadcast worldwide.


Continued from Page 13

microphones on the actors and actresses because, with the outdoor shows, the sound is not enclosed like it is in the theatre,” Russell said. “I also did buy some new audio equipment. I got new boundary microphones instead of wireless microphones, which are microphones that go on the ground and pick up the actor’s voices from there.” After this upcoming production of “Space Princess Wars,” Mustang Theatre has two more shows. One is “Into the Woods, Jr.,” which finishes auditions this month. The other is another multiple-act show focused on student lives. Even without it being the same as before, Russell is happy that he can help bring the students back into the heart of the show live. “I think the biggest takeaway that I have had is that the students, the families and everybody else wanted an in-person show where the actors could be in the same place,” Russell said. “Even though it’s a monumental amount of work and we are all going to be cold at a 6 p.m. show outside, I think everybody, for the most part, is happy that we went this direction as opposed to trying to record it.” “Space Princess Wars” began performances Jan. 25 and will continue through Jan. 28. To support the Mustang Theatre and its upcoming shows, visit ticket-sales/marshallmiddle/6738 to buy tickets.



January 2022 | Scripps Ranch News


SPORTS (photo by Jim Wick)

(photo by Jim Wick)

Womens soccer team looks to make a run By Hector Trujillo


n what is turning out to be a hotly contested season, the Scripps Ranch High School varsity womens soccer team seems poised to become a contender despite dealing with setbacks as the regular season enters its final phase. “I’m looking for a good run in Eastern League if we get all our players back soon. We have a good, young team,” said head coach Larry Pernicano. “Dealing with COVID and trying to get enough girls to the games has been very difficult.” Despite being so shorthanded, the team has fought quite valiantly and accrued some noteworthy wins this season which include a 5-1 victory in the opener against Grossmont High School. After struggling to find the back of the net the following couple of games against Steele Canyon and Academy of Our Lady of Peace, the Falcons earned a 1-1 road draw against Mt. Carmel High School followed up with back to back shutout wins against Bishop’s and Valhalla thanks to dominating defensive performances in both games. “A couple of the games we didn’t have either of our goalies, plus missing six other girls. It’s been a stressful few weeks,” Pernicano said. “We lost eight seniors from last year, so it’s a rebuilding year.” Perhaps the team’s most dramatic win of the season came on Jan. 11 at home against Point Loma High School when the Scripps Ranch team was able to pull out a hard fought 1-0 win, which came just a few days after earning a 2-2 draw

against Rancho Bernardo High School. Among the standout players who have helped keep this team in contention are senior captains Brooke Stadtherr and Keya Menezes. “The team is working very hard,” Pernicano said. “In the next few weeks I’m looking for positive results.” The Falcons have five remaining regular sea-

son games left with two on the road and three at home starting with the next match against Bishop’s High School on Jan. 27 and a rematch at San Diego High School on Feb. 1 when Scripps Ranch will look to avenge a 1-0 loss it suffered in the previous matchup. The team closes the regular season at home on Feb. 10 against Mira Mesa High School.

(photo by Jim Wick)

(photo by Jim Wick)

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Scripps Ranch News | January 2022

WRESTLING: The Falcons varsity wrestling team lost 24-51 to St. Augustine on Jan. 19. There were quite a few forfeits by Scripps Ranch, meaning the team didn’t have a wrestler at particular weight groups, which contributed to about 24 points against the team.

MENS SOCCER: The Scripps Ranch High School mens varsity soccer team won a conference game 3-2 against Hoover High School on Jan. 14 at home.


All Scripps Ranch High varsity sports teams are over the mid-season mark and shooting toward the end of the 2021-22 regular seasons. It hasn’t been easy with the omicron strain of COVID hampering progress and often limiting rosters with athletes being out with illness or exposure, but each team has stayed competitive.

Photos by Jim Wick

MENS BASKETBALL: The Falcons mens varsity basketball team lost to Madison High 30-51 on Jan. 21. Madison came out with a full court press which stymied Scripps Ranch for the entire first half. Scripps Ranch clawed back to pull within single digits halfway into the fourth quarter.

WOMENS WATER POLO: The Scripps Ranch High womens water polo team lost a match against University City High by a score of 7-5 on Jan. 20. It was a close battle throughout the match.

WOMENS BASKETBALL: The Scripps Ranch High School varsity womens basketball team fell to Cathedral Catholic High School by a score of 64-41 on Jan. 21.

1,000 POINTS: Scripps Ranch High senior basketball star Amanda Kramer was recognized after the Jan. 21 game against Cathedral Catholic High for reaching 1,000 high school points.

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(photo by Jim Wick)

Scripps Ranch News | January 2022

(photo by Jim Wick)

Roller hockey team continues to win By Hector Trujillo


(photo by Jim Wick)

(photo by Jim Wick)

Lic. No. 782799

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he Scripps Ranch High School roller hockey team is looking to continue its dominance after last season was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. This season’s squad has a balance of upper class players alongside very talented ninth and tenth graders, with their games and practices held at Kit Carson Park in Escondido. “I think (it’s) more creative, more space to skate, which leads to a wide open, exciting game,” said head coach Greg Friedman. Among the standout play-

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ers this season are junior defenseman Emile Thieault, freshman forwards Garion Barber and Isaiah Yates, along with junior forward Ryan Mauro. “It’s a co-ed sport and all the teams in the league have girls playing,” Friedman said. The Scripps Ranch team currently has two female players: senior goalie Tori Fraser who has been on two CIF winning teams, and forward Gabi Downing. The two-time defending champion Falcons have won the past two championships, going 41-1 over that time, including scoring 18-0 in 2019 on the way to winning the CIF-Metro Conference roller hockey Kiwanis/Don Cerone Memorial Cup – defeating the second-seeded Rancho Bernardo Broncos. “It is the only sanctioned CIF hockey league in California,” Friedman explained. The league is divided into Metro North and South divisions, with the top 12 advancing to the playoffs in March. Many alumni are now playing at the collegiate level. Perhaps the most notable former Falcon is Chad Ruhwedle, who played defenseman for the Pittsburg Penguins of the NHL, helping lead the team to the Stanley Cup in 2017. The skating Falcons have been on an impressive run after losing the season opener to Westview High School by a score of 3-1, avenging that loss in blowout fashion 10-1 the very next game. Since the first match this season, the Falcons have been back to their usual dominant form. Examples include victories over Poway High School by a score of 14-0, an 18-1 win against Escondido Charter, and an 11-1 victory against Patrick Henry High School. The Falcons are scheduled to face Poway High on Monday, Jan. 31 with an 8 p.m. face-off at the Escondido Sports Center.



January 2022 | Scripps Ranch News

The Norman Rockwell Award winner (photo by Lisa Shadburn)


The Clark Griswold Award winner (photo by Lisa Shadburn)

Lighting Contest winners dazzle Scripps Ranch T

he second annual Twenty Four Seven Realty-Scripps Ranch News Home for the Holidays Lighting Contest was another great success, with numerous families participating and showcasing their homes decorated with glowing lights and other festive accessories. The popular event added to the wonderful holiday spirit in Scripps Ranch this season. There were 35 entrants for the second year in a row, and all added to the fun as a holiday map was provided for Scripps Ranch residents so they could tour the bright holiday displays. The Norman Rockwell Award: “Merry & Bright;” submitted by Magali Sparks. The Norman Rockwell Award is awarded to a home with “an elegant display that accentuates and coordinates with the beauty and elegance of the home.” This tasteful display took the Sparks family about one weekend to create. The family includes Danny and Magali Sparks, with children Jackson, 13, and Carter, 11.

“We enjoy doing it and have a great time as a family putting it all on,” Danny said. “We add a little bit every year. This year we did a little bit more around the windows than normal. … All of the lights are an older fashion. Normally we do the house just like that but with all white lights. This was the first year we did with all color lights.” The display includes lights outlining the house, a wreath high above the garage and two reindeer grazing on the front lawn. Clark Griswold Award: submitted by Terri Sparks. The Clark Griswold Award is given to the display with “the most over the top lights with lighting displays and motion.” Nostalgia Award: “Once Upon a Christmas;” submitted by Roger and Betty Rule. The Nostalgia Award is awarded to the home display that “reminds me of my childhood.” This colorful display included several figures in the yard, lights along the fences, a vinyl banner showing

Santa’s workshop along the garage door and a projection of Santa in motion on a second floor window. “You can look at it and enjoy all the lights, and it kind of brings back memories of your childhood and Christmases of the past,” Betty Rule explained. The display took Betty and Roger Rule about two or three days to set up, with the help of their family and a family friend. The Rules designed and built their home 35 years ago. Misfit Toy Award: “Holidays for Kids;” submitted by Bill and Jany Staley. The Misfit Toy Award is presented to the home display with the “best use of inflatables.” This delightful display includes numerous lighted figures in the yard, including a favorite Santa in an outhouse. Decorations on the roof include a 7-foot wagon with puppies, a penguin popping out of a cookie jar, a large Santa, a lighted train and a balloon with Santa in in it. There are See LIGHTING CONTEST, Page 20

The Nostalgia Award winner (photo by Lisa Shadburn)

The Misfit Toy Award winner (photo by Lisa Shadburn)




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blowups, lights around the windows and snowflakes on a wire coming off the house. Bill Staley admits that wife Jany puts up most of the decorations on the roof and at the higher elevations because he has a fear of heights. The whole production takes several weeks. “I start on the backyard in the middle of October,” Bill said. “We start on the front yard Nov. 2, after we take down a little bit of the Halloween decorations. We are 96 percent done by Thanksgiving evening.” Despite the time and effort involved, the family hopes to continue. “It’s a lot of work putting it up, but we enjoy it because a lot of people enjoy it. The kids enjoy it,” Bill said. “It comes down a lot quicker.” Grandma Got Run Over Award: “Wild Life Lights;” submitted by Eric Richardson. The Grandma Got Run Over Award is presented to the “funniest” home display. The Sparkle Award: “O’Day Lights;” submitted by Ben O’Day. The Sparkle Award is presented to the home display with the “twinkliest lights.” Each member of the O’Day family was involved with creating their holiday display, and all were happy to win an award. “We were all very excited,” said Ben O’Day. “I’d say my kids were even more excited than I was. They were the big motivation for it this year.” Besides Ben, the O’Day family consists of mother Kelly and children Riley, 14; Marley, 13; and Landry, 10. “We started a little before Thanksgiving and we probably added stuff until almost Christmas,” Ben said. “It just evolves … We put stuff out and if we like it, we keep it; if not, we change it around.” Ben builds some of the light displays by placing LED light strips inside plumbing tubing, then shapes the tubing, resulting in lights that are slightly diffused. He allows his three daughters to program the light movements, pattern and colors by using a cell phone. Their display includes some traditional holiday lights, inflatables and wood cutouts as well. The girls each paint the new cutouts. “We are a DIY kind of family. We make a lot of stuff on our own,” Ben said. It Takes a Village Award (group award): “Merry cul de sac;” Pinot Noir cul de sac. The It Takes a Village

The Grandma Got Run Over Award winner (photo by Lisa Shadburn)

The Sparkle Award winner (photo by Lisa Shadburn)

The It Takes a Village Award winners (photo by Lisa Shadburn)

To the Beat of Your Own Drummer Boy Award winner (photo by Lisa Shadburn)

Award is given to the “best decorated group of homes.” To the Beat of Your Own Drummer Boy Award: “Ho Ho Ho;” submitted by Johner Riehl. The To the Beat of Your Own Little Drummer Boy Award is presented to the best display that is “unique and WOW!” Twenty Four Seven Realty sponsored this event, provided signs for the entrants, judged the contest and gath-

ered prizes for the winners. The following businesses helped provide prizes for the 2021 Twenty Four Seven Realty-Scripps Ranch News Home for the Holidays Lighting Contest: The French Oven Bakery; Public House 131; Chili Peppers; Fitness Quest 10 – Janille Leslie, trainer; Nutmeg Bakery; Pazzo’s Pizza; Jack In The Box Corp.; Junction Bar & Grill and Inflate San Diego.

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