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Monthly Archives: December 2012
Marvin Crist Appointed City of Lancaster Vice Mayor; Cassandra Harvey Named Deputy Mayor
Lancaster, CA. December 12, 2012 – During last night’s Lancaster City Council meeting, Mayor R. Rex Parris appointed Councilman Marvin Crist as Lancaster’s new Vice Mayor, and named Cassandra D. Harvey as a new Deputy Mayor.
“In two short years since taking office, Marv has established himself as a solid leader in the community, leading a number of local initiatives and becoming involved on many levels,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Cassandra has been absolutely invaluable on both the Planning Commission and Housing Authority. I am confident they will both perform brilliantly in their new roles.”
Marvin “Marv” Crist was born and raised in the Antelope Valley. A former firefighter, Crist owns his own insurance brokerage and participates in a wide variety of local organizations, serving as President of the Antelope Valley Sheriff Boosters and Director of Kids’ Charities of the Antelope Valley, among others. In addition to his many philanthropic endeavors, Crist leads many local governing boards, serving as; Chairman of the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District; Vice Chair of the Antelope Valley Transit Authority; and board member of the Antelope Valley Fair’s Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors.
Crist replaces former Vice Mayor Ron Smith, who remains on the City Council. Smith served as Vice Mayor for over four years, having been appointed as Vice Mayor in April 2008.
“I am humbled by this opportunity to further serve the community which has always been my home,” said Crist. “I look forward to working to make Lancaster an even better place in which to do business as well as raise a family.”
Harvey, currently a City Planning Commissioner and Housing Authority Board member, will join Kit Yee Szeto as a Deputy Mayor. Harvey will specialize in domestic business and overall community development, while Szeto continues to focus on international business and development. In addition to her new Deputy Mayor responsibilities, Harvey remains on the Planning Commission and Housing Authority.
Cassandra has been a resident of the Antelope Valley since 1986, and has nearly 25 years of business and financial experience in various aerospace positions, currently managing Process Management and Integration at Northrop Grumman. As an active citizen of the Antelope Valley, she recently served as Vice Chair of the Lancaster Architectural and Design Planning Commission.
Harvey is a fervent proponent of the United Services Organization (USO), and leads fundraising efforts to support our nation’s troops. She is also involved in a number of local initiatives, including co-leading a team which has raised more than $90,000 towards local students’ school supplies. Her partnership with Southern California Edison and Waste Management, on the “Adopt-a-Lot” program, has laid the pathway for future “greening” projects in the Antelope Valley.
“I am grateful for this opportunity. It’s a great honor to continue serving the City of Lancaster in my new role as Deputy Mayor,” concluded Harvey.
Why does it sometimes take the most challenging of circumstances to learn the meaning of Christmas? For our family, the understanding of Christmas comes in the form of a very scary realization. Yesterday, we got a call that our Dad went to the hospital with gangrene and part of his foot was amputated. Our Dad, Jim Greenleaf, has been through a lot in his life…
Many of you who know him, or have known him (through his work) may have memories about our Dad that are far better then what is written here. For those of you who don’t know him, here is a little back story. He has had many injuries and accidents in the past and all of them have brought him to a new chapter in his life. As a young man, James (like so many others) dreamed of pursuing a career as an actor. He also realized that he should invest in the more practical study of his craft so he applied and received a full-ride scholarship to the University of Idaho for theater. Shortly after his time there he broke his leg severely enough and had to quit college to heal and rehabilitate himself. During this intervening time, he lost his scholarship and couldn’t afford to return to College. This left him asking all kinds of questions about his future. At the time the only viable solution seemed to join the Navy as a journalist – which he did. The experience taught him discipline and determination and gave him a real sense of purpose and understanding the value for living life to the fullest. He was later honorably discharged and began to re-imagine his future as an actor so he moved to Hollywood to pursue the next “stage” of his life.
His first appearance was on the Gong Show, where he performed a skit of a ping pong match in slow motion. This got the attention of Norman Lear, who called him, and gave him his “big break”. Seeing the potential in him, Norman gave him a lead role in his show “All the Glitters”. He was a hit, and the doors blew open. He was cast in movies and in guest starring roles on TV, and at the time people recognized him where ever he went.
A well known celebrity by the age of 25, on his way to becoming one of the most sought out comedy Actors in the 80’s, starring in hit TV shows like “Laverne and Shirley”, and “Mork and Mindy“, in blockbuster hits, like “Night Shift”, and unforgettable films, with co-stars like Matt Dillon and Denzel Washington. He later received a lead role in a Sunday morning cartoon series on NBC, everything seemed to be going great. At the height of his career, he got in a terrible car accident that changed his life and our family forever. As kids, we heard that he was first pronounced dead at the scene. That moment everything changed. But miraculously our Dad came back to life and after two years in the hospital, he made a remarkable recovery. The surgeons performed a never-before-done surgery rebuilding his hip with titanium chains and screws and he underwent rigorous rehabilitation to learn to walk again. Since then he has faced every struggle with optimism attempting to turn every opportunity into a positive and hope-filled situation. Although, he would never reach the level of stardom once anticipated after this life altering accident; he managed to work in a variety of capacities, honing his skills as a character actor, doing stand-up comedy and working odd jobs to pay the bills along the way.
Our Dad loved to play basketball, and with his new limitations he became an even bigger fan from the sidelines. Unable to be as active as he once was he had to come to terms with the effects of a body that needed constant care and attention. With the onset of diabetes and other diseases caused by slowing down of circulation, he has been on a slow and lengthy journey to rediscover health and himself. He was recently married to Marva who believes in him and has helped him to manage a healthy lifestyle, since being married he has lost a lot of weight and he has been healthier than he had been for many years.
One great passion of his emerged over the past several years – his role as Santa Clause. During this time, thousands of people around the world, have come to appreciate his ‘Santa’ character and the wisdom he shares in this new role. Jim speaks about diabetes and healthy living all in the context of ‘Santa’. With an online presence and occasionally playing ‘Santa’, Jim and Marva have worked together as Mr. and Mrs. Clause, a jolly couple, bringing joy to kids and families worldwide. This Christmas, Jim and Marva were contracted to be in New York playing the roles of Mr. & Mrs, Clause once more. For five hours each day, they would help each child that visited feel special and intently listened to, and of course kids would get their picture taken. Unfortunately, they were unable to complete their stay. We learned recently that our Dad got a cut on his toe which would not heal a few days ago. Being diabetic this was the first sign he was in trouble. Coupled with a flu like cold, the two made a tough decision to leave New York early and come back home.
When they arrived two days ago it was clear that something was very wrong. There was a smell coming from his foot that was overpowering and James knew he had to see a doctor right away. When they visited the doctor, they were given a hard blow. They were told it was gangrene and that he needed to go immediately to the hospital…that was 2 days ago. They are still in the hospital today waiting to be given a room. They doctors say that they will have to amputate. As you can imagine this came as really hard news for our Dad and family. So many unanswered questions arose. Now we are wondering what the quality of his life will be from now on? How will he manage to take care of himself and one another? How will he work and pay his rent?
There is one thing that stands out for us as a major blessing. It is the outpouring of love and support from our friends and family. In the midst of all this our Dad reminded us to simply ‘believe’. So, we do, but we are struggling to see how he will be cared for along the way with all that is before him. It is overwhelming. We are hopeful to see and experience the best the human spirit has to show in the way of love, support and generosity through prayers and outpouring of compassion. Already we have received notes of encouragement and people have offered prayers and good wishes. Christmas to us, is exactly this!
Unfortunately, for Jim and Marva they were relying on the money they were going to make from their contract in New York to pay their bills this Holiday season. Now, there is a very real struggle to figure out how they will get by. They are too proud to ask for money themselves. So, this is why our family is appealing to the many people whose hearts ‘Santa’ has touched over many years in a positive way, to show their best wishes and blessings this holiday season. It is not easy for us to be this open and vulnerable about their circumstances, but we trust ‘you’ and believe that when people come together to help and serve each other in love, miracles can happen.
Words can’t describe the deep sadness we are feeling for our Dad right now. We are still shocked and have not even had time to grieve yet. But it is more important for us to tell his story and to invite you to consider helping our Dad this Christmas Season.
Here is what the money will go toward…
To help with their bills (rent, utilities, minor medical costs) which would have been paid for if they were able to complete their contract in New York. Becuase of the amputation and rehibilitation, they will need help meeting those needs this Holiday Season.
We know that every little bit helps, so thank you in advance for your generous help, which is a Christmas Miracle!
Will you please help to word out and make some noise about our campaign. Please use the Indiegogo share tools!
Give a Gift that Gives Life — Blood Donation Drives Set in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Give a Gift that Gives Life — Blood Donation Drives Set in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Lancaster, CA. December 19, 2012 – It’s a gift that doesn’t cost anything more than a little time, yet has the ability to save lives. The City of Lancaster staff urges citizens to give from their hearts – literally – by donating blood. Both Antelope Valley Hospital and Antelope Valley Red Cross will be hosting blood drives in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in January.
“A donation of blood is one of the most precious gifts one can provide, especially in the wake of several national and international disasters; there is never enough to accommodate the needs of those requiring lifesaving transfusions. Help save someone in need; please donate blood whenever you can,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris.
More than 2,000 residents of the Antelope Valley require lifesaving blood transfusions every year. Your neighbor, co-worker, or even a family member could be one of those needing blood at some point in the coming year. The Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster will be counting on the community to fill local blood banks. Blood can be used in the treatment of premature babies, cancer, heart disease, complications of childbirth, major surgery, kidney and liver disease, hemophilia and G.I. diseases. Blood donations will be accepted on Tuesday and Thursday, January 15th & 17th (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.); Wednesday, January 16th (7 a.m. – 4 p.m.); and Saturday, January 19th (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.). Donors 17 years and older can give – no appointment necessary.
The American Red Cross in Palmdale will also be hosting a blood drive on Tuesday, January 15th, Friday, January 18th and Tuesday, January 22nd 1 – 7 p.m. Hundreds of Red Cross blood drives were cancelled in the East due to the super-storm, representing a loss of thousands of blood and platelet products. Blood donors can give blood to replenish blood banks. Donors 17 years and older, in good health and weighing at least 110 lbs should bring a photo ID and pre-register by calling 1-800-733-2767.
Lancaster Location — The Antelope Valley Hospital Campus at AV Outpatient Center, 44105 15th Street West, Ste. 305. Donation dates and times are as follows: Tuesday & Thursday, January 15 & 17 (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.), Wednesday, January 16 (7 a.m. – 4 p.m.), and Saturday, January 19 (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.).
Palmdale Location – Antelope Valley Red Cross Center, located at The Chapter House, 2715 East Avenue P. Donation dates and times are as follows: Tuesday January 15th, Friday January 18th or Tuesday January 22nd 1 – 7 p.m.
Leslie Lucey · 28 mutual friends
I know that Jim and Marva would never ask, but there is still a very urgent need to meet their bills this Holiday Season, and even though there is good news and healing in site, please consider a financial contribution today. We almost half way there to meet their needs for Dec. If you can’t help financially, please tell someone who can…. http://www.indiegogo.com/helpsanta/x/999065