Smiles 4 Seniors


Congratulations to all of our nominees
Winners of the 2016 Umbrella award are:
Public Service, Jean Bules
Good Samaritan, Mari Winter
Outstanding Business, Uptown Pets Yucaipa
Non Proifit, Set Free Church
Most on line votes, Carrie Ellison


Food Now Inc. is a non-profit food bank organization helping to fight hunger in the local desert communities of CA. I am a grandmother of 3 and have custody of my growing grandchildren. They have been there for my family countless times. I lost my job and could not support my grandchildren on my small income. Food was getting expensive I appreciate all the help they have given me Please consider their organization for the award Nominated by: Janet Billings

The It Gets Better Project Growing up isn’t easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, leading them to feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens, who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted — even tortured — simply for being themselves. It Gets Better is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. Straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members and where people can share their stories. The It Gets Better Project has become a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 50,000 user-created videos viewed more than 50 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities. For us, every video changes a life. It doesn’t matter who makes it. Nominated by: Mckenna Palmer

Janet Goeske Foundation is a non-profit 501(c) 3 corporation. JGF is committed to enriching the quality of life of those 50 and older in the community while maintaining the highest level of advocacy and providing health and wellness programs. With its central location and large size "The Center" is a great venue for the programming and resources provided by Janet Goeske Foundation. I can tell you that they have been very helpful to me when I needed resources and are extremely friendly. They are a welcome presence in our town. Nominated by: Dottie Pearson

Set Free is a great church and resource for those who have lost their way due to homelessness drug abuse and other issues. They never turn anybody away if they need a place to stay or food to eat. They do many things for the community such as Bike give away for kids, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and all are invited. They have helped many to get off of the streets and off drugs and make Jesus their new way of life. They help them find a job and become honorable members of society. They have most likely saved countless of lives. Set Free is very worthy of the Umbrella Award Nominated by: Anonymous

The Unforgettables Foundation is a 501c (3) non profit organization founded by Timothy Evans in 1999. During a decade of clinical ministry to children and their families, Evans assisted families with the many crises surrounding the death of a child-not the least of which are the crushing financial burdens experienced by families with limited resources. Assisted by Inland Empire educators, medical professionals, social workers, and morticians, Evans created The Unforgettables Foundation. Paramount among aspects of the Foundation’s mission is to assist low-income families provide a dignified, appropriate burial for their children who have died.Nominated by: Nathan Graham

Veterans Alliance of So.Cal. Because "Support our Troops" should be more than a bumper sticker. Veterans Alliance of Southern California is dedicated to serving those who first served us... our military men and women of all generations who proudly and courageously answered the call to service at the times in history when this country asked.. .Formed out of the compassion and vision of our co-founders Federico Nunez, a Vietnam era disable veteran, and his wife Linda, Veterans Alliance of Southern California, Inc. has partnered with the Veterans Administration and other service organizations to provide much needed services to our nations Heroes, especially those struggling to return to life as ti was before they left home, those how may be suffering from alcohol and / or drug abuse and addiction, PTSD or the sad and horrifying number of homeless veterans in this country. Nominated by: Anonymous

Yucaipa Family Assistance was founded in 1949 when a lady by the name of Thelma Thatcher waw that there was a need. Her neighbors thought that gathering food and clothing to help those in need was a good idea. With neighbors helping neighbors, her garage was full and couldn’t hold any more. A very generous person donated the building they are in and Yucipa Family Assistance was born. This organization is run entirely by donations, i.e., neighbors helping neighbors. Much of their clientele are seniors. They do have food and clothing drives, and the Past Pleasures Car Club hold benefits for them from time to time. The program is very caring and has concerns for people in need. They are a real asset to our community. Please consider them for the NON PROFIT AWARD. The truly deserve it. Nominated by: A grateful senior

Yucaipa Valley Animal Placement Society is a no kill, nonprofit animal shelter that strives to prevent the euthanasia of dogs and cats in shelters throughout the region by providing them a temporary safe haven until a permanent loving home can be found (Y.A.P.S.) was founded by Betty Martines in 1957. At that time, homeless dogs and cats were wandering the streets of Yucaipa with nowhere to go, except to Betty's home. YAPS was born out of Betty's great concern for their welfare, and her desire to save these animals from certain death, the ultimate goal being to place them into loving homes, therefore a vision for a no kill shelter was born. Nominated by: Anonymous



Bob's Big Boy Calimesa. There are many businesses in the area who give back to the community, however, Bob’s Big Boys Calimesa is one that does it continuously. Whatever the occasion, they always come through with goodies for just about every event there is, including the movies that the City of Beaumont provides for the Church for Families. The were there for the BBQ that put on at the VA hospital, and are working on having an "ice cream social" in conjunction with the VFW. If there is ever a need, Rika will go out of her way to ensure that these needs are met, and always with a smile.I am proud to nominate Bob’s Big Boy for the Smiles for Seniors Umbrella Award. They are an outstanding business, and we are fortunate to have such a caring business in our community. Nominated by: A Grateful Citizen of Calimesa

Dollar General Store I would like to take this opportunity to nominate the manager of Calimesa's Dollar General Store, Richard Lopez. Mr. Lopez loves the community he works in. He is helpful to his customers and the community. Over the Christmas season, his store put on a toy drive to give underprivileged children a chance to wake up Christmas morning to toys in their homes. More citizens are needed in every community like Mr. Lopez. Nominated by: Anonymous

Jose’s Mexican Food is a wonderful business in our community They are very community oriented and love to give back to the community and to local non profits. They are very helpful in fundraising events for local sports teams. The staff and manager are always friendly and accommodating and greet you with a smile. It is my honor to nominate Jose’s Mexican food for the Umbrella Award. Nominated by: Valerie Cardwell

Uptown Pets Animals are more than just a pet to some people they are a companion a best friend and even considered family, to some people they are the only friends they have. As a low income senior It is not always easy to by food for myself let alone keep my dogs fed and in my case my 2 dogs come first. Many times I have been blessed by the good folks at uptown pets with their free dog food giveaway. I am forever grateful for their kindness. They deserve to win the umbrella award Nominated by: Ethel Brown

Good Samaritans

Christine Beamer is a very giving, community involved woman. As a small business owner/single mom of 3 teenage kids, she still gives great amounts of service time to Yucaipa PTA, Yucaipa High School cheer program, Knots of Love, Santa Claus Inc., the Businesswoman Association of San Bernardino County mentor program, The Unforgettables Foundation. She is very involved in the Catholic Church of Yucaipa as a member, helping many struggling families, young or new business owners and individuals in the community/pass area with their tax/business accounting issues at discounted or free of charge rates. The Calimesa resident, in my opinion, is the embodiment of a volunteer – having served on the planning committee of the successful Night of Laughter Comedy Night to raise money for military vet families who have lost a child, while at the same time taking a leading role as treasurer of regional cause – The Unforgettables Foundation. Nominated by: Tim Evans

Ed Clark, the man with the "perpetual smile". It’s pretty amazing that we can say this about Ed. He spent his 21st birthday in the hospital after an accident causing serious injuries to his left side, and a few years later, he sustained another serious injury to his right leg. He is no longer able to work at a full time job, however, he does not sit at home and say "woe is me:, even though he suffers chronic pain. He still has that wonderful smile he shares with everyone he meets. He also shares his time with the community he loves by serving on the Calimesa Citizen Patrol as the Commander, a position that he took over two years running, and it now in his third year by being elected to the position. It is not an easy task, but Ed is doing a great job. Some of his time is spent serving on the Calimesa Cultural and Performing Arts Association, and the Calmest Rent Stabilization Boards. He is a very devoted member with all of these programs. Ed is always available to anyone who needs help. He does what he doeause he is the most "handicapable" person I know, and does not think of himself as Handicapped. I hope that you will consider Ed for the GOOD SAMARITAN Umbrella Award. He deserves it. Nominated by: Joyce Serianni

Carrie Ellison is a 59 year old mother and grandmother, started a community clothes closet, where anyone is welcome to come and get needed clothing for their family, completely free of charge. Ellison’s project came about through a Facebook page that she started in 2015 as a way to bring community members together to help each other. She quickly noticed that mothers needed school clothes for their children, and the Facebook members joyfully obliged. Soon her spare bedroom, small shed, and even living room became filled with bags of donated clothing, and Ellison found herself running an almost full sized donation center Ellison and a few volunteers sort the donations daily, and Ellison invited anyone who needs it to come to her house to pick out clothes. In December, she held a coat drive, and was able to give out coats, sleeping bags, and winter wear during a Christmas Day dinner she held in the Sails Parking lot. People also donated food and other items that were handed out for free. It was a true community effort, with no churches or other organizations involved. Carrie Ellision is a true Yucaipa Angel and deserves to be recognized. Nominated by: Natalie Palmer

John (Juan) Garcia is a person who has never learned how to say "no". If anyone ever needs something, whether it be food, clothes or help with doing something, he is always first in line to give. When Smiles4Seniors had the rummage sale last August, John picked up donations, helped to set up the tables and ez-ups, and greeted everyone who came with the warmest smile and big hello. He is such a pleasure to be around. At the end of the event, he helped tear it all down and delivered everything that was loaned back to the owners, and packed his truck two times with all the left overs and delivered them to Set Free. He worked for three days doing this......all from the goodness of his heart. He also is a great inspiration at the Calimesa Senior Center. He helps to pack the commodities once a month, and he helps just about every day in the kitchen at lunch time. He helps to serve the meals, and then he does the cleanup, i.e., do the dishes, sweep and mop the floors. When there is an evening event, you will see John in the kitchen again, helping to serve and clean up. He is a true asset in, and the community is lucky to have him. John deserves to be recognized by the Smiles4Senior Umbrella awards. Nominated by: Carol Taylor/ Sheri Lehmkuhl

Tony Serra has been volunteering his time at the Calimesa Senior Center since April of 2009. He has given the seniors approximately 1800 hours teaching Beginner and Intermediate computer Classes. It fun and easy to learn how to use a computer when Tony is the instructor. He puts your mind at ease and teaches in a friendly, comfortable environment. Seniors attend these classes are not only from Calmest, but from the surrounding areas as well,, and Tony is the main reason. I have know of some people who may have a problem with what they are doing on their computer, and Tony is always available. I believe that Tony is deserving of this "Umbrella Award"Nominated by: A friend

Ms. Guadalupe Vidaurri. is 83 years old and lives in a TELACU senior building. Whenever you walk into the building you will notice her handy work. Every holiday the building is transformed into Christmas land, Halloween town, and Valentines city to name a few. Ms. Vidaurri is an excellent decorator and she loves doing it! The community residents enjoy the decorations and it makes them feel happy to live in the building. Ms. Vidaurri volunteers her time and money to purchase decorations and place them throughout the lobby and community room. The holiday parties are also festive because of her creativity. We love Ms. Vidaurri and want to nominate her for her sense of community, and for being a good Samaritan. She gives of herself to make sure the atmosphere is enjoyable for everyone in the building. This brings a sense of joy and community to the residents who live here. Nominated by: Crystal Torres

Mari Winter has founded "2 Way Street," a Yucaipa based program designed to get local homeless people regular work, and reap the benefits of structure, self- satisfaction, and hopefully, a little cash. Program volunteers and homeless started cleaning up Yucaipa’s Uptown in February, and are hoping their right- on- the boulevard visibility, along with their catchy blue vests, will begin to cultivate interest in town. Winter moved to Yucaipa last September and said she immediately noticed the homeless in town. She said contrary to most people thinking we have "seven" homeless in town, the number regularly hovers around 150. Winter doesn’t just run the "2 Way Street" program, she also personally works with each homeless person, trying to navigate the red tape of getting them into temporary and then permanent housing. So far she has helped seven individuals off the streets and into housing. Mari Winter, along with help from her wife, Alycia Walsh, have personally purchased all the supplies for the Monday Yucaipa cleanup crew and have started this Yucaipa based movement to help the homeless through sheer determination. I believe Mari Winter would be an outstanding recipient of the Umbrella Award. Nominated by: Natalie Palmer


Jean Bules is a real "Wonder woman". She has been a member of the Calimesa Citizen Patrol since 1997., and has given over 6000 hours of volunteer time to her community. She is a totally devoted member and although we call her little but mighty, she truly deserves to be wearing a "wonder woman" cape.. If you ask her though, she will say no....."I don’t do anything different that everyone else does". When you consider that she is 88 years, she is quite remarkable. A couple of years ago, there was a serious car accident, and she spent the entire evening doing traffic control, and did not even hesitate when asked to do it. She does traffic control safety every year for the Redlands Bicycle Classic, and by the way, was the Commander of the Patrol for several years. There is another thing about Jean.....If anyone needs anything, she is there. If you need a ride to the doctor’s, grocery shopping, or anything, you can always count on Jean. Not only is she good "public serpent", she is a good friend. Please consider Jean the "PUBLIC SERVICE" award. She truly deserves it. Nominated by: Frances B.

Tom Shaloub is a very busy man. He is involved in many community causes, such as Calimesa Cultural Performing Arts, Masons, on the Water Board, and I’m sure others that I can’t think of right now. There are two that are really outstanding that he takes quite seriously. One is the Memorial Day Ceremonies at Desert Lawn Cemetery, and the other is the Veteran’s Day Ceremonies in Yucaipa. He organizes both of these events, and both are well attended. Tom should be proud of his accomplishments. As a board member with the Performing Arts, he is part of the group that that chooses the entertainment for the Concerts on the Green, which are held at the Calimesa Country Club in the summer. Tom has a wonderful singing voice and starts every concert with the "Star Spangled Banner". Nominated by: J.S.


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