East County events were even hotter than its weather

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East County was sizzling this week, and I am not talking about the weather. The 100-degree plus temperatures did not stop philanthropists from going and enjoying some of our most awaited events of the year.

East County was sizzling this week, and I am not talking about the weather. The 100-degree plus temperatures did not stop philanthropists from going and enjoying some of our most awaited events of the year.

St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center 38th Haute with Heart event on Saturday was more spectacular than ever. This event always gives more than the year before and this was no exception to its high standards. With a fun “I Love Lucy” theme, there also was a heartfelt remembrance of long-time STMSC supporter Sally B. Thornton. It was touching, sometimes emotional, but it took on the spirit of celebration of her life and dedication to the Haute with Heart Fashion Show. An icon of public service, it was obvious she was loved and cherished by those who knew her, and those who knew about her.

This year’s fashion show was over the top, and Leonard Simpson simply put his creativity on the runway. Watching his wonderland of hand picked fashions from the San Diego region showed class, elegance and glamour from beginning to end. And speaking of that, I have to give a shout out to La Mesa artist Debbie Solan, who was honored to have the first and last place in showing her hand made creations. Keeping with the theme, her opening “I Love Lucy” dress had pink with white polka dots, but when turned around the huge train had a hand-painted portrait of Lucy that totally stunned the crowd. And the final dress, keeping with her environmental efforts in the dangers of plastics, the entire skirt was created by hand using recycled plastic, which she crinkled into layers. It’s fluorescent white was illuminating and as the stage lights changed, so did the color of the skirt.

But it takes a lot more than philanthropists, models, artists and celebrities to make an event like this happen. Volunteers were everywhere at the event donating their time and talents to create this spectacular event. They deserve so much recognition for their time and efforts along with the supporters that get the center stage attention. Without them, this event would not be possible and it was nice to see that everyone recognized their hard work and dedication to STMSC.

The extreme heat didn’t place a crimp in the heART of Mt. Helix. It was blistering hot as the event began on Saturday evening, but once the sun started settling it became a nice balmy 88 degrees. But that did not stop from filling this beautiful park with lovers of art and supporters of the beauty that Mt. Helix has to offer. My shuttle driver was amazed as he drove up the winding road to the top, as he had never been there before. Before we disembarked, he had already made his mind up that it was a destination to come to at another time.

It was a fun-filled evening for a great cause. The artists, in many mediums, were inspiring. The music along the walk and at the amphitheater delightful and what a smashing ending with The Mighty Untouchables bringing the crowd to the stage, dancing under the stars.

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce really knows how to create an event that is so much more than that. It is a destination. Mary England and her troop outdid themselves this year with its second “Summer Bash” Business Expo. It not only was a lot of fun, but she really rolls out the red carpet in everything she does and her result is some of the best B2B opportunities and a place for businesses to be recognized and later utilized. And there is a big announcement on the horizon coming for this chamber, one that I believe will become one of the many East County destinations not to miss. But we’ll get to that next week.

As I go to events like these, and many more, I meet people, businesses, non-profits, environmentalists, and musicians that all that have a story to tell. And this week was no different. Within all of the excitement of this week’s festivities, I have a long list of stories to follow up on, and with just the glimpse that I see at a first meeting, some great stories for you in the near future.

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