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Councilmember Wendy Greuel with Tierra greeters welcoming golfers

NEWSLETTER Changing Challenges To Opportunities

JUNE 2009

Tierra’s Second Annual Golf Tournament a BIG Success On Monday, April 20th Tierra held its second annual charity golf tournament and it was an amazing success! Tierra returned for a second year to the Angeles National Golf Club (the only Nicklaus designed golf course in LA County) and even more golfers participated than in the first tournament. Through sponsorships, golfers, dinner guests and auctions Tierra raised over $48,000. The day began with arriving golfers being met by enthusiastic Tierra greeters who welcomed and directed them to check in. At 12:00 Honorary Event Chair Councilmember Wendy Greuel gave the official welcome to the golfers and the carts rolled out for a great day of golf.

lorem ipsum dolor met their set Once the golfers finished games, the dinner program began. A quam nunc parum major highlight of the evening was CBS2/KCAL9 sportscaster Steve Hartman who served as master of ceremonies for the awards program and


live auction. Steve skillfully got people to bid and made it fun. He even had family members bidding against each other on premium donated items including Dodger dugout and Lakers center court seats, and lodging packages at resorts in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Mammoth Lakes, California. Hartman’s auctioneering brought in over $7,000 alone! The money raised at this event is especially critical to fill the gap created by serious cuts to state funding. At a time when many charity golf tournaments are reporting a 30% decline in participation, the success of this event was particularly remarkable and would not have been possible without strong community support.

Save the Date 2009 Fall Festival Saturday, October 17 10 am - 3 pm Barbecue Lunch Pumpkin Patch Entertainment for all ages Raffle Prize Drawings Free Admission, Free Parking Sponsorship Opportunities Available Call 818/352-1419, x250

We thank everyone who played a part in making the tournament a success, and are grateful that . . . when the going gets tough, the tough tee off for Tierra! We’re looking forward to an even better event next year.

9919 Sunland Boulevard • Sunland, California 91040 • P:(818)352-1419 • F:(818)353-0777 •

Artist Exhibits in Unique 24-Hour Gallery Tierra’s art programs - both at the Sunland Campus and at First Street Gallery Art Center in Claremont - have been fostering the creative growth of talented artists with disabilities for over two decades. While Tierra serves these artists by providing professional instruction, art supplies, and opportunities to show and sell their work, the artists serve our wider community through their creative talents and artistic dedication. Tierra’s artists create paintings, drawings and sculptures that offer vibrant, fresh perspectives on our world. Their artwork has garnered awards and showings at galleries and exhibition spaces both near and far.

featuring stylized people with thin, extended limbs, a menagerie of animals and insects, and everyday objects.

Drucilla McKenzie, who has been an artist at First Street since 1997, recently had a solo show at the Light Bringer Project’s 24-Hour Gallery in Old Pasadena. The 24-Hour Gallery is an unusual exhibition space across from the Memorial Park Metro Gold Line Station, a set of window showcases that make art available to passersby both day and night. For five weeks these windows were filled with Dru’s boldly colored paintings and drawings,

The Light Bringer Project’s curator, Kristina Faragher became acquainted with Dru’s work when Kristina taught at First Street. Dru has a strong showing record, and her artwork has been featured in exhibitions from Boston to Santa Monica. Several of her works were included in First Street Gallery’s recent show, “Serial.” You can see selected pieces of Dru’s work on First Street Gallery’s website at

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR No doubt most of you have heard the expression “If you’re not part of the solution - then you’re part of the problem.” Never has this been more true! I don’t mean to sermonize or lecture here, but I do want to share my growing revelation regarding the message delivered recently by California’s government and taxpayers. We have been told that there will be far fewer tax dollars available from now on to provide for the needs of Californians with developmental disabilities. More to the point, the State will no longer provide enough funding to meet all of the basic health, safety and treatment needs of people with developmental disabilities. Essentially programs like Tierra have been told, “Here’s what the State will contribute towards a person’s care this year - you need to continue cutting your costs or raise more funds privately or . . . just don’t serve the person any longer.” Well, Tierra will never turn our backs on the men and women who depend upon us to have a shot at a decent life. And, after being asked to do more with less for years, the ability to cut further without risking health and safety is all but gone. So what solution to the problem does that leave? You guessed it. If you value Tierra’s role in our community, then become an active supporter of the organization. If you enjoy the art our clients create and display or if you believe that helping people with disabilities to contribute through community service and employment is a good thing, then get involved and help us. If your family member benefits directly from Tierra’s services, then you are really helping yourself when you help Tierra. Think about it . . . if we all decided to get involved and to support the things we value - we would turn this economic problem into a magnificent opportunity. The bottom line in this California budget crisis is that, from this point forward, if we want a caring and compassionate society, then we need to go out and do something to make it happen. If you love animals then get involved with organizations that protect their welfare. If you love visiting museums or libraries, then support them with your donations and your time. If you don’t help support the things you really value - then the things you really value will cease to exist.

Tierra Volunteers Contribute to the Community Here at Tierra people with disabilities overcome both physical and psychological challenges, enabling them to enrich their own lives and make meaningful contributions to the community. One such challenge is agoraphobia, which affected the movement and activity of Karen Buesing, who for years remained inside her family’s home because of her fear of public places. With the help of Tierra staff in the Home and Community Training Program, Karen gradually overcame her fears. First, she began to garden at home and take her family’s German Shepherd for walks. Next, she was encouraged to go out into the community by the fun and gratifying activities that Tierra staff planned - shopping, art classes, and eventually volunteer opportunities. Karen credits her Tierra instructors with “helping me not to be afraid of going on the bus or going out in the community.” Now she and her sister Anna, also a Tierra client, take the bus together to restaurants for lunch. Karen takes ceramics classes at a community center, visits the library, and volunteers at several community organizations. She enriches both her own life and others’ through art and volunteer service.

Karen Buesing and Lupe Flores

Karen has participated in Tierra programs for nine years. Currently, she spends two days each week with her Tierra instructor, Lupe Flores. With Lupe’s assistance, Karen volunteers for four community organizations and attends ceramics classes, at which she creates bowls and cups to give as gifts. Karen folds clothing and sorts donations for the Rescate Family Rescue Center in Canoga Park. At the West Valley Food Pantry, she fills shopping carts and bags with food

Independence through Supported Employment Alberto Martinez, a twenty-three year-old from Pacoima, recently transitioned from our Sunland campus to paid employment through the Community Integration Program. Alberto works as a groundskeeper at the State Building in Van Nuys for two hours every weekday cutting and edging lawns, weedwhacking, sweeping, and watering plants. As Alberto works towards even greater independence in supported

for families in need. And at ONEgeneration, an intergenerational human services center in Van Nuys, she helps with the center’s lunch service and bags donated bread for people to take home. What Karen enjoys most about each of these volunteer experiences is that she gets to meet the people she helps. Occasionally, Karen also volunteers for Project Hollywood Cares, creating personalized care packages of DVDs, CDs, T-shirts and other donated goods for soldiers overseas and their families at home. Her favorite aspect of this volunteer work is seeing photographs of the solders’ delighted faces when they open their packages. As Karen continues to build stamina and increase her ability to navigate the community and interact with others, she progresses toward adding a third day of community activities and volunteering to her weekly schedule.

employment, his wages allow him to contribute to his family and purchase his own clothing and personal items. Alberto lacks the ability to communicate through speech. This challenge is understandably frustrating, but a flip chart with pictures enables Alberto to indicate his needs and desires. When Alberto was on the Sunland campus he did not like to use the flip chart, but since he began working as a groundskeeper he has successfully used this method of communication to do his work, to make purchases, and to navigate in the community. Alberto’s service to the community goes far beyond his landscaping work. He also volunteers with three organizations, preparing mailings and providing office assistance at Councilman Tony Cardenas’s office, washing and folding towels for members at the Mid Valley YMCA, and assembling packages of food relief to send overseas through the Children’s Hunger Fund. Tierra’s Community Integration Program makes it possible for Alberto to make these significant contributions to our community and the larger world.

Tierra del Sol Foundation Board of Directors Joe Byrne, President Peter Shakow, Vice President C. Patrick (Chet) Rondinella, Treasurer Elisabeth Stimson, SPHR, Secretary Bud Brown, Immediate Past President

Marcus Allen Kelly Bruno Andrew Byrne Clark Drane Anne Finn

Barbara Higgins Miriam Jaffe Diane Martin Ed Sovich Sr. Harriet Stellern, SSND Steve Miller, Executive Director

Upcoming Art Events July 26-August 23 - Tierra del Sol Group Show at Light Bringer Project’s 24Hour Gallery, 80 N. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, California. More information at August 7-September 18 - First Street Gallery Art Center Tile Exhibition with a Friends of First Street Preview August 7, 5:00-6:00 pm and Opening Reception August 7, 6:00-8:00 pm. Tile workshops to create tiles for the show are scheduled for June 20, 11:00 am-1:30 pm; June 24, 9:30 am-12:00 pm; June 27, 11:00 am-1:30 pm; July 1, 9:30 am-12:00 pm; July 11, 11:00 am-1:30 pm. Space is limited - call Seth at (909)626-5455 to sign up. October 5-December 11 - 20th annual exhibition of “Insights” presented by the Lighthouse Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery with an opening reception on October 15. First Street Gallery Art Center artist Michael LeVell will have three paintings featured in the exhibition. More information at

9919 Sunland Blvd. Sunland, CA 91040

NEWSLETTER STAFF Gail Peters, Development Director Megan Shakow, Writer Barbara Venden, Writer/Editor

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Tierra del Sol Foundation June 2009 Newsletter  

June 2009 Newsletter for Tierra del Sol Foundation

Tierra del Sol Foundation June 2009 Newsletter  

June 2009 Newsletter for Tierra del Sol Foundation