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UCR Presents "TAIKOPROJECT: (re)generation"

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On Friday, January 15, 2010, UC Riverside will present Taikoproject: (re)generation at the University Theatre beginning at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $36 general, $18 for students and $5 for parking in Lot 6.

For more information contact (951) 827-4331 or visit ucriversidepresents.ucr.edu. TAIKOPROJECT is composed of North America’s premier taiko drummers who have created a state-of-the-art theatrical production called (re)generation – an energetic drumming extravaganza designed to take taiko into the 21st century. The program experiments with various media and settings in a youthful blend of tradition and emerging artistry to increase taiko’s relevance with today’s generation of taiko performers.

TAIKOPROJECT was conceived by Bryan Yamami to preserve the traditions and rich history of American taiko while incorporating contemporary performance elements such as video, storytelling, hip-hop inspired beats, scatting, and beat boxing.

Although TAIKOPROJECT celebrates a modern style of taiko – which includes jazz and rock sounds – the ensemble also respects tradition by their customary use of synchronization, dynamic movements, and elaborate footwork in performance.

Tuhe best part is the players – all fifteen drumming professionals –who perform with consummate skill, telling a story of taiko that is deeply personal and recognizably universal.

The TAIKOPROJECT was founded in 2000 in Los Angeles, California. The group was conceived by Bryan Yamami with the idea of bringing together the best young taiko players in North America to create an innovative theatrical production celebrating American taiko. That show, TAIKOPROJECT: (re)generation, seamlessly blends taiko with storytelling, music, hip hop choreography, multimedia, and dance.

Since its initial formation, TAIKOPROJECT has made history for American taiko not only with their show, but their work in the commercial and international arenas. In the spring of 2005, the TAIKOPROJECT performed in Mitsubishi Motors of North America’s innovative National Commercial for the Eclipse sports car, featuring women from the group in a breathtaking 60- second commercial spot that was one of the highest-rated commercials of 2005 when it aired.

In fall, 2005, the TAIKOPROJECT traveled to Japan for the first time to represent American taiko at the 4th Annual Tokyo International Taiko Contest. As one of 12 finalists out of over 60 groups, the TAIKOPROJECT was the first American taiko group to participate in the internationally-recognized event. The TAIKOPROJECT made history and took home the top prize, First Place, in the Adult Group category, becoming then, the first American taiko group to win the entire contest as well.


Brightest Star Plans 2010 Calendar

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The Brightest Star, Inc. a local volunteer non-profit organization serving the needs of children in Foster Care recently held a Flowers, Rainbow and Butterflies children’s art contest at Georgia F. Morris Elementary in Rialto. Teachers submitted over 250 pieces of students art, with the 14 winners selected featured in a 2010 fundraising calendar for the award winning organization.

There were 36 honorable mentions. If you are interested in supporting a worthy cause by purchasing a 2010 calendar please contact: Lea Michelle Cash at The Brightest Star, Inc. at (909) 875-2968.


San Manuel Makes A Merry Christmas For SB Youth

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The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has offered to make this Christmas a merry one for underprivileged children and youth in the City of San Bernardino.

The Tribe has donated $10,000 to the Operation Phoenix Foundation for the purchase of sporting goods equipment for underprivileged children and youth identified through the San Bernardino Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department.

“Once again the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has demonstrated their generosity and community spirit to help make this Christmas a happy one for children and youth in San Bernardino,” said Mayor Pat Morris.

Mayor Patrick J. Morris and Chairman James Ramos of the San Manuel Tribe will shop for the sporting goods on Tuesday, December 22nd, at 8:30 AM, at the Big 5 Sporting Goods store at 245 North E. Street in San Bernardino.

The Operation Phoenix Foundation is a 501©(3) non-profit organization established to help support the City’s multi-faceted, comprehensive crime-fighting strategy, Operation Phoenix.


Kaiser Permanente Honors 45 Local Community Organizations

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Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center recently honored local nonprofit healthcare organizations, medical clinics, and government agencies at a special luncheon event attended by more than 100 people, including a number of local elected officials and honorees.

In 2009, the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center’s Community Benefit Program awarded close to $2,500,000 to 45 local organizations and community health clinics that provide free and/or low cost programs and services to the underserved and uninsured.

All of the organizations were honored at the event; eight were highlighted during the presentation and given the opportunity to share their perspectives and stories about their programs that are being supported by Kaiser Permanente.

The highlighted organizations were Kids Come First Community Clinic, Al Shifa Clinic, Building a Generation, Assistance League of Redlands, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, Boys & Girls Club of Fontana, and the San Bernardino City Unified School District. These organizations were highlighted in three priority-focused areas: Access to Primary Care, Specialty Care, Mental Health, Dental Health, and Prenatal Care; Health Education and Promotion to Prevent, Reduce, and Manage Chronic Diseases; and Increase Awareness of Smoking and Obesity as Health Risks.

“Kaiser Permanente strives to help eliminate health disparities and build healthier communities,” said Jennifer Resch-Silvestri, Area Director, Public Affairs. “We couldn’t even begin to do that without partnerships like the ones we have with these organizations here in San Bernardino County.”

Also at the event, Kaiser Permanente presented a check to the San Bernardino Specialty Care Coalition (SBSCC) for its Specialty Care Grant. The Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center has implemented a Specialty Care Grant for $900,000 over three years from Kaiser Permanente to the SBSCC. These grants will help provide specialty care services to uninsured and under-insured families in San Bernardino County – people who might otherwise be denied or have to wait months for an appointment. The grants aim to increase specialty care access by building and expanding medical care networks, increasing appointment availability, establishing specialty care hubs, improving patient-level care coordination, and recruiting paid physician specialists.

The Grantee Acknowledgement Luncheon was held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fontana. A number of local elected officials were represented or in attendance to meet the community organizations who are making a difference for the underserved and uninsured in San Bernardino County, including State Senator, Gloria Negrete-McLeod, Congressman, Joe Baca, Assemblywoman Wilmer Amina Carter, Paul

Biane, San Bernardino County Supervisor, 2nd District, and California State Senator Bob Dutton.

Leaders from the Cities of Fontana and Redlands were also present.

Healthy communities are critical to individual health and wellness. Creating them has always been central to Kaiser Permanente’s mission.

“At Kaiser Permanente, improving the health of our members and the communities we serve is a serious focus and commitment,” said Greg Christian, Executive Director, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals/Health Plan, Fontana and Ontario. “The Fontana Medical Center’s community health partners are filling critical gaps by providing physical, mental, and dental care as well as new programs and services vitally needed by the community.”


Local Non-Profit Holds Holiday 5K Jingle Bell Walk/Run Fund-Raiser

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A Place Along the Way (APATW), a nonprofit organization primarily helping troubled teenagers and young adults, is holding a 5K Jingle Bell Walk/Run fundraiser on Saturday, December 19.

Proceeds will be used by the agency in its work helping the area’s homeless youths. It will be held on the sports track at Alder Middle School, 7555 Alder Ave. in Fontana.

“Homelessness can be devastating to anyone,” commented Carla Canada, founder and executive director of A Place Along the Way.

“But imagine how it must feel to a teenager or young adult. What should be a growing, developing, enjoyable time in their life is filled with angst, despair, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. I urge the public to show their support for this vital sector of our society by coming out and enjoying this fun, family-oriented event.”

Registration for this just over 3 mile fun walk/run begins at 9:30 a.m. the morning of the event. The run gets under way at 10:30 a.m., followed by the walk at 11 a.m. The event ends at 3 p.m.

Individuals may pre-register for $5; families for $20. Registration on the day of the event will be $10 for individuals and $30 for families.

Families include two adults and unlimited number of children under the age of 18.

The day includes face painting, jumpers, music, and activities for the entire family. Games and prizes will also be part of the fun. Refreshments will be available.

“Many teens have been or are at risk of homelessness,” added Canada. “A problem that had been sharply increasing in recent years, grew even worse this past year with the horrible economy. Homeless adolescents have a multitude of needs that must be addressed in order for them to live satisfying and independent lives.”

As an example as to what will be done with the proceeds from the 5K Jingle Bell Walk/Run, she said $1000 would provide an entire year’s worth of hot meals for a homeless youth.

For further information, to pre-register, or to make a donation, contact Carla Canada or Jeorgina Flores at (909) 200-6893 or via e-mail at carla@aplacealongtheway.org.

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BVN National News Wire