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It is only his second week on the job and the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank's new CEO, James Floros, is already at home.

Jim, as he prefers to be called, engages visitors with a quick anecdote as he stands amid the backdrop of the Food Bank's dauntingly large 72,000 square foot warehouse in Miramar which is the central distribution hub for food assistance to needy families across the entire county.

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Jewish Family Service was founded in 1918 by a consortium of women's clubs who sought to address the myriad of human needs of the time. Today, JFS is a comprehensive human service organization with eleven locations throughout San Diego County and three in the Coachella Valley serving more than 35,000 people of all ages and faiths annually.

Every year, The Heart & Soul Gala is a major fundraiser for Jewish Family Service of San Diego helping raise the money needed to support these vital programs and allow JFS to meet the ever-growing and ever-changing needs of our community.

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Local Teen Girls Join Film Program to Combat Dating Violence

Teen dating violence is a problem affecting youth in every community in the United States. One in three adolescents in this country is a victim of dating violence. This figure exceeds rates of other type of youth violence. Founder and artistic director, Karla Duarte is making a difference with her non-profit project, Girls! Camera! Action! Youth Violence Prevention Program whose mission is to prevent teen dating violence for at-risk girls from the ages of 12 to 18. Through a Social and Arts program, at-risk-girls participate in workshops on how to prevent and safely end abusive relationships; understand their legal rights and responsibilities; and create a framework for building healthy relationships in the future. In addition to the eight week program, the girls also participated in a 12-week session where they learn from scriptwriter development to storyboarding and production. The final production is made into a Public Service Announcement about "How to Break the Cycle of Emotional and Verbal Abuse."

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Popular Community Bank has a long-established legacy of deep involvement in the communities they serve.

Their culture of giving back is meant to empower individuals, families and businesses, and to enrich ourselves. They know what their customers want and need, because they are personally invested in local economies and community activities.

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Fifteen years ago, San Ysidro Health Center rented space in one of Jim Pieri's buildings in Chula Vista. That is when he first got to know the organization and, over time, grew increasingly impressed with their model of patient-centered health care.

Now, a decade and a half later, Pieri and his way Faye are chairing the organization's annual gala because they have become ardent champions of the Center.

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In recent years, San Diego's Hispanic students have been closing the achievement gap and making faster progress in school, according to a recent USA Today article. United Way of San Diego County's work in the Latino community addresses this gap and helps ensure that what happens before and after a child's education prepares them for a successful life.

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As a Manager of Community Affairs & Grassroots for Southwest Airlines, my career revolves around communities. Southwest works diligently to make a difference in the communities we serve, but we know that in order to do that, you have to start with the people.

That is why we have community partnerships with nearly 200 nonprofit organizations that focus on education and/or leadership in some capacity. While many of these organizations focus on the general public, we also support a number of organizations that tailor their efforts to a specific part of the population. We currently support more than 30 organizations that focus on women. These organizations focus on the specific challenges women face. Whether that is women business owners, women in government, women in the workforce who are balancing all of their other responsibilities with a full-time career, or young girls who are trying to find their place in the world; Southwest Airlines is a part of that journey.

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ABOUT THE CHARITY BALL

The Charity Ball is San Diego's oldest and most prestigious social and philanthropic event, dating back to 1909. The black tie gala is an important tradition in the lives of multiple generations of San Diego families and has raised millions of dollars over the years to help deliver quality health care to San Diego's children.

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Instituto de la Visión Dr. Méndez

Extremely well known and respected as an ophthalmologist, Dr. Antonio Méndez has steady hands, excellent experience and utilizes the latest in cutting-edge technology. Dr. Mendez founded Instituto de la Vision in 1965.

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Mark your calendars for the San Diego Food Bank's 2013 gala fundraiser, Foodtasia, which will take place at the Food Bank's Miramar Warehouse in early spring. The gala will benefit the Food Bank's "Food 4 Kids Backpack Program", which provides food to elementary school children who face hunger over the weekends, when free school meals are unavailable.

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