Monthly Archives: October 2009

Time Again for Annual Santee Pancake Breakfast

Santee Pancake Breakfast

Once again the Santee Firefighters and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department are sponsoring the annual Santee Pancake Breakfast to benefit needy local families. This coming Friday and Saturday, November 6 & 7, you can join our local safety providers and community members at Fire Station 4, at 8950 Cottonwood Ave. For just $4 ($3 for anyone 10 and under or 65 and over) you can enjoy pancakes, eggs, sausage, coffee, and juice between 7:00 and 10:30 am and help those people less fortunate.

For more details: 11th Annual Santee Pancake Breakfast


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Upcoming Grand Openings – November 2009

Two new businesses will be celebrating Grand Openings in the first week of November. This just shows that even in the shakey economic times we’re having, there are entrepreneurs who are willing to take the big step and go for it.

The first Grand Opening celebration is Wednesday, November 4, at 4:30 pm when Aloha Pet Grooming cuts the green ribbon. Aloha Pet Grooming is located 8011 Mission Gorge Rd., Suite G, near Fox Pizza on the west side of Sante. The second is Saturday, November 7, when Nutrition Zone has its Grand Opening festivities beginning at 9:00 am with ribbon cutting at 10:00 am. Nutrition Zone is located at 9625 Mission Gorge Rd., in the Vons Center.

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Santee City Council Approves Cable Ski Project

According to news reports, the Santee City Council approved the proposed building of a Cable Ski course on Lake 1 of the Santee Lakes during their Wednesday, October 28, meeting. There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding this project, but as of now it is a go. However, the Council will revisit the project question in the future, so the last word has probably not been heard. 

San Diego Union Tribune: Cable ski park gets the go-ahead from city

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Stampede for Boys and Girls Club

This Friday, October 30, the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County will hold its annual fund raiser at the Barona Resort & Casino. The event, dubbed Auction Stampede 2009, celebrates the memory of longtime community leader and supporter of children’s activities and events, Harold Hilliker. In keeping with the Wild West theme, the night’s festivities begin at 6:30 pm with a “Saloon” reception and opening for the Silent Auction. The Silent Auction ends at 8:00 pm and Grub is served at 8:15 pm, when the Live Auction also begins. Cost is $75 for admission and dinner.

For more information or to register, go the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County website.

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Shop for a Cure at Grossmont Center

 This Saturday, October 24, Grossmont Center and Sharp Grossmont Hospital present Power Shop for a Cure to support the hospital’s Breast Health Navigator Program. The day kicks off at 7:30 am with registration and a free breakfast at Panera Bread. At 9:00 am there is a Pre-Shop Stretch, followed by a 1 mile Wake Up & Walk with TV personality Carol LaBeau. The day continues with special one-day offers at many of the Center shops and eateries. For a $20 donation you get a T-shirt, tote bag, a wristband that gives you all of the specials, and the knowledge that you are helping support breast cancer patients.

Find out more at Grossmont Center Events.

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Santee Chamber Presents “Business Partnerships for Progress”

This Thursday morning, October 22, the Santee Chamber of Commerce and the East County Regional Chamber of Commerce will present a free (everyone’s favorite word) information session entitled “Business Partnerships for Progress.” This event brings together representatives from some of the member companies in the two Chambers to share ideas and information on dealing with business during these difficult economic times. Learn just how the Chambers can help your business not only survive but stay strong during the recession, and sit in on discussions on ongoing business concerns, emerging issues, and collaborative solutions.

The event takes place at Santee City Hall, Building #8, at 10601 N. Magnolia Ave. in Santee, beginning at 7:30 am and going until 9:30 am. Again, the cost is free and a continental breakfast will be available. Congratulations and thanks go out to the organizers: Warren Savage of the Santee Chamber, Mike Cully of the East County Regional Chamber, and Rose Avila, PhD, of RMA Consulting.

For more information, call the Santee Chamber of Commerce at 619-449-6572.

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CYT East Presents “Bridge to Terebithia”

Ashley Fishman as Leslie and Dallas Perry as Jesse

Ashley Fishman plays Leslie Burke and Dallas Perry is Jesse Aarons in the CYT East production of ‘Bridge to Terebithia”

This weekend Christian Youth Theater, East County, presents the musical version of “Bridge to Terebithia” at the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC). This is a heartwarming story of friendship, discovery, and loss with a backing of great songs including “Ain’t No Mountain,” “You Didn’t Have to Be so Nice,” and “Rhythm of the Rain.” The production features 20 Santee youth among the over 60 young people in the cast and crew.

Because the El Cajon City Council has decided to close ECPAC for “renovations,” this will be the last CYT production there. In addition, the run has had to be cut from the usual two weekends to just one. To partially make up for that, there will be a special discount “Preview Night” on Thursday in addition to the regular Friday/Saturday night and Saturday/Sunday afternoon performances. This is a show you will enjoy and remember for a long time, and is a great family activity. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for children and can be purchased at the door.

Performances: Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:00 pm; Saturday, Sunday at 2:00 pm.

For more information: CYT Presents “Bridge to Terebithia”


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Chamber Awards Night a Winner at Barona

Santee Chamber of Commerce Awards Night 2009

Friday night, October 16, the Santee Chamber of Commerce held its annual Awards Night at Barona Resort and Casino. The Awards Night is the opportunity to recognize citizens and businesses that help to make Santee a special community. A big “Thank You” goes out to the folks at Barona for hosting the event as well as for their support all through the year. Kudoi (the technically correct plural of “kudos”) also to Chamber President and Awards Night host Rob McNelis and the entire Awards Night Committee for the fantastic job the did.

Thank You to Award Night Sponsors and Contributors

Sponsors & Contributors

Reception Mingling

Awards Night Reception

(L-R) Sierra Billock (Miss Santee 2009), Troy Hartpence (Mistress of Ceremonies), and Kimberly Swank (First Runner Up 2009)

Sierra Billock, Troy Hartpence, Kimberly Swank

(L-R) Commander of USMC 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, Sierra Billock, Kimberly Swank, Santee Mayor Randy Voepel

Commander, Sierra Billock, Kimberly Swank, Randy Voepel

The festivities started off with a no-host bar reception at the Barona Golf Event Center, located across from the resort hotel. This was an opportunity for attendees to mingle, chat with friends, and meet new people. Following the reception, everyone moved on to the banquet room for more mingling and an opportunity to check out the Silent Auction items available. Following welcomes from Mistress of Ceremonies Troy Hartpence and Barona Resort & Casino General Manager Rick Salinas, a wonderful meal was served. (I apologize for not getting pictures of the food – I was too busy eating.) Dinner began with a delicious Connelly greens salad, followed by either prime rib or pan seared halibut, and topped off with a creme brulee with fresh berries. Suffice to say, I doubt if anyone went hungry.

Silent Auction Table

 Silent Auction Table

Banquet Tables

 Banquet Tables

Welcomes from Troy Hartpence (Mistress of Ceremonies), Rick Salinas (Barona GM), Rob McNelis (Chamber President), and Randy Voepel (Mayor of Santee)


The main event of the evening was the presentation of awards to the individuals and businesses being honored for their efforts in Santee. The honorees were all chosen for their dedication to the city and the people who live here. Their accomplishments ranged from helping to find a new home for the Santee Food Bank, to working with students at many levels, to helping to organize important events. Following are the honorees and their awards.

  Molli Knobbe – Sheriff’s Department Crime Fighter of the Year

Molli Knobbe - Crime Fighter of the Year

Jason Custeau – Santee Firefighter of the Year

Jason Custeau - Firefighter of the Year

Donna Farquar – Educator of the Year

Donna Farquar - Educator of the Year

Ron Durrett – Rotarian of the Year

Ron Durrett - Rotarian of the Year

Dr. Robert Grazian – Lion’s Community Service Award (in absentia)

Dr. Robert Grazian - Lion's Community Service Award (in absentia)

Pat Chambers – Chamber President’s Award

Pat Chambers - Chamber President's Award

Liza Hopewell – Citizen of the Year

Lisa Hopewell - Citizen of the Year

Ron Hall Insurance & Notary Service – Small Business of the Year

Ronn Hall Insurance & Notary - Small Business of the Year

GTM General Discount Store – Medium Business of the Year

GTM General Discount Store - Medium Business of the Year

Barona Resort & Casino – Large Business of the Year

Barona Resort & Casino - Large Business of the Year

RiverView MD Spa – New Business of the Year

RiverView MD Spa - New Business of the Year

Special Recognition:

USMC 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, Camp Pendleton

USMC Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 – “Heavy Haulers”

USMC Special Recognition

The evening wrapped up with a live auction, emceed by President, Auctioneer, and all-around Bon Vivant, Rob McNelis. After accidentally reselling an item from the silent auction, Rob found his stride and carried the evening to a successful close. All proceeds from the silent and live auctions go to the charitable groups the Chamber helps.

Auction Master McNelis

Auction Master McNelis

The Great Masquerade

Masquerade Ladies


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Interest “Peaks” for October Chamber Mixer

Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse

One of the best-attended Santee Chamber of Commerce After-5 Mixers took place on Thursday, October 15, as around three dozen members and guests gathered at Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse. Maybe they were there to help support and celebrate the great efforts the Chamber makes for the local business community, or possibly for the networking and camaraderie. But no doubt a major draw was just being at a place renowned for its food, and Pinnacle Peak did not disappoint anyone. With a fare that included their signature baked beans, pork ribs, fruit, cake samples, and more, there was more than enough for everyone.

Warren Savage Celebrates Another Birthday

Chamber President Rob McNelis was there to host the evening, which included a special surprise celebration of Chamber Executive Director Warren Savage’s “27th” birthday (or some anniversary of it, at least). The evening also included announcements of upcoming events, several of which will be announced in future posts, and the raffle and Membership drawings. This was one of the more successful mixers, in large part because of the number of attendees. And that is the real reason for the mixer, so local business owners can meet to share ideas, exchange information, and possibly find or create new opportunities.


The raffle winners for this month were Greg Hagen of Smoothie King (9 holes of golf at Sun Valley), Patty MacKey of Costco (1 night stay at Barona Resort plus a dinner), and Robert Lloyd of Lloyd’s Collision (50/50 drawing for $92). This month finally saw a winner for the Membership Drawing for $150 provided by Rob McNelis and One Stop Lending and Realty. Congratulations to Code 3 Electrical (“Where There’s a Wire, There’s a Way”). Next month the drawing starts back up at $25 and goes up each month it isn’t won. The November After-5 Mixer will be at Cookies by Design at 30 Town Center Pkwy.

Congratulations to Code 3 Electrical

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Santee Chamber of Commerce Events

The Santee Chamber of Commerce has several events coming up over the next week. First, the monthly After-5 Mixer is this today – Thursday, October 15 – at Pinnacle Peak Restaurant beginning at 5:30 pm. This is a great way to meet other local business people, and have some really good food as well. Pinnacle Peak is located 7927 Mission Gorge Rd. Cost is $5 for Chamber members and $10 for guests.

Tomorrow night, Friday, October 16, is the annual Awards Night where businesses and citizens are honored for their efforts and accomplishments. The celebration will take place at Barona Resort and Casino (no gambling is planned) at 1932 Wildcat Canyon Rd. in Lakeside. It might be too late now to sign up for this event, but you can always call the Chamber at 619-449-6572 or check through the website.

Next Tuesday, October 20, is the monthly Sunrise Santee at Hometown Buffet (275 Town Center Pkwy across the parking lot from Home Depot). The event includes breakfast, networking, and usually some type of presentation. Cost is $5 for breakfast and $1 for 50/50 raffle.

The following weekend, October 24 & 25, will be the Fall Frenzy Craft Fair in the Wal-Mart parking lot (170 Town Center Pkwy). The Fair runs from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm each day.

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