Reel Guppy Outdoors founder, Kevin Brannon saw a need for a free youth fishing program in his local community.
Many kids would tell him they wished they had someone to take them fishing too, whenever he and his kids would pile into the car, fishing rods and tackle in tow. He himself had grown up with uncertainty, single parent household, low income, after his father passed away. Then it was foster homes and shelters, a modern-day Dickensian childhood.
With little other opportunity, yet living just a block from Port Hueneme Pier, he would spend hours there, fishing. Required to be ever resourceful, he would recover used fishing line and hooks. With a tin can as his fishing pole, and any leftover bait he could scrounge from the pier’s cleaning tables, he was a modern-day Huck Fin.
By age 9, he had worked his way aboard the local party-boats. As a “pin-head,” he helped paying passengers with their fishing, untangling lines, sacking fish and such.
Out on the boats was a haven of safety and solitude, a place of security and certainty in his otherwise unstable childhood. This time imprinted a passion for fishing and the sea, an ethic valuing helping others.
He carries these values to this day, and they form the heart and soul of the Reel Guppy Outdoors program. Now, some 25 years later, Brannon produces a TV show he started while attending Oxnard College. Reel Anglers Fishing Show California currently televised in California produces the Reel Guppy Outdoor.
Brannon saw it as his purpose, sharing his connection with the ocean and outdoors with others, to foster in others the sense of belonging and purpose he found in fishing.
With the promise of fun and adventure as bait, he fosters a sense of value in learning, self motivation, leadership and success in the young people he takes fishing. As a survivor of uncertain times, he wants to pass on the survival strategies that saved him.
Brannon reinvested the blessings and rewards from his successful show toward taking as many kids as he could fit in his car, fishing. The effort blossomed. With the help of other like-minded folk, also volunteering their time and effort, he has organized over 20 youth fishing events, taking over 1,000 kids fishing.
For more information visit their website - www.reelguppyoutdoors.com | 805-248-2166
Check their website for 4th weekend events as locations will vary.
SCORE Ventura County, a nonprofit that offers free mentoring and business education for Ventura County, is hosting their 7th Annual free Small Business Expo on May 1.
For the 7th year in a row, SCORE Ventura County, a nonprofit resource partner of the Small Business Administration (SBA), that offers free mentoring and business education for Ventura County, is hosting their annual free Small Business Expo. Held at the Oxnard Performing Art Center, on Tuesday, May 1, from 7:30am to 3:00pm. This is the largest small business and startup event in the County! Free seminars throughout the day on a variety of subjects on either starting or growing your business, including several in Spanish. Mentors from SCORE will be on site to offer free mentoring throughout the day. Exhibitor booths from resources throughout the County; City Chamber organizations, Economic Development, Startup incubators, networking groups and more.
“If your a small business owner, or considering starting a business, this event is a fantastic free resource. We try to put all the resources someone would need all in one place for one great day of entrepreneurship!” states Marketing Chairman, Larry Willett.
Pre- register online at www.ventura.score.org. The Oxnard Performing Arts Center is at 800 Hobson Way in Oxnard. SCORE Ventura County has an office at 516 Pennsfield Place #206, Thousand Oaks, CA, 805-204-6022.
St. John’s Weight Loss Surgery Institute Recognized with the Blue Distinction® Center for Bariatric Surgery designation
The St. John’s Weight Loss Surgery Institute at St. John’s Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) has been recognized with the Blue Distinction® Center for Bariatric Surgery designation as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated health care facilities that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community.
To receive a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery designation, a health care facility must demonstrate success in meeting patient safety measures as well as bariatric-specific quality measures, including complication and readmission rate for laparoscopic procedures in sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass and adjustable gastric band. A health care facility must also be nationally accredited at both the facility and bariatric program-specific levels.
In 2017, the Blue Distinction Centers for Bariatric Surgery program expanded to include not only the type of service provided, but also the site of care. Health care facilities were evaluated as either a comprehensive center or as an ambulatory surgery center.
"This most recent accolade highlights the program and hospital’s commitment to helping people live healthier lives. Being designated as Blue Distinction Center assures our patients that the bariatric surgery program at St. John’s adheres to the highest standards in patient safety and outcomes," said Helmuth Billy, MD, Medical Director of the St. John’s Weight Loss Surgery Institute. "We are pleased that our efforts to achieve excellence in patient education, outcome and long-term support are being recognized. This achievement means patients can be confident that the best results they can experience will be at the St. John’s Weight Loss Surgery Institute."
Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality specialty care in the areas of bariatric surgery, cancer care, cardiac care, maternity care, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery, and transplants, while encouraging health care professionals to improve the care they deliver. Research shows that, compared to other health care facilities, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients.
"Earning Blue Distinction is a testament to the commitment of the hospital, staff and the bariatric surgeons to patient safety and excellence in outcomes," said Amir Mehran, MD, Bariatric Surgeon at the St. John’s Weight Loss Surgery Institute.
The St. John’s Weight Loss Surgery Institute program offers all of the key components that contribute to weight loss success:
• Free seminars and patient education
• Extensive physical and psychological assessments and support
• Post-operative visits, calls, lab tests, and monitoring
• Nutritional and lifestyle modification counseling
• Customized fitness program
• Personal assistance with navigating insurance coverage
• Bilingual language assistance (English/Spanish)
About Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center
St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard is a recipient of the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence and rated among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Care by Healthgrades. St. John’s Regional is a member of Dignity Health Central Coast, an integrated network of top quality hospitals, with physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services - all recognized for quality, safety and service. Hospitals in the Dignity Health Central Coast region include Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria and St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities. Learn more at dignityhealth.org/stjohnsregional.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County (BBSVC) is proud to recognize Mr. Steven M. Greenwood for his many ongoing contributions to the agency, which have ranged from the generosity of annual giving, to his prior service as a long time member of its Board of Directors, to a serving as a Big Brother, a mentor to a youth facing adversity. In recognition of his commitment of service, BBSVC will present Mr. Greenwood with its Outstanding Community Partner award.
The Lewis Greenwood Foundation, of which Mr. Greenwood is an associate, delivers a substantial gift to BBSVC every year. The funds donated by the Foundation directly provide BBSVC resources it needs to identify, screen, train, and match adult role models – mentors, or “Bigs” – in Ventura County who can be matched with youth facing adversity. In serving community youth, mentors help break negative cycles such as drug or alcohol abuse, poverty, or gang violence, and help their mentees – or “Littles” – discover a brighter future through education, career goals, and, of course, fun activities that they may bond over.
“Steve has been a hands-on advocate for BBSVC for many years, and truly understands the importance and impact of our mentoring programs in the community,” says BBSVC CEO Lynne West. “His service has gone above and beyond his extraordinary generosity, including a long tenure as a Board Director, and one of the most important roles that one can hold in our agency: he has been a Big Brother not once, but twice.”
The BBSVC Board of Directors, Presidents’ Council, and staff offer their most heartfelt congratulations and thanks to Steve for all of his support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County (BBSVC) has been connecting Bigs and Littles in professionally-supported, one-to- one mentoring relationships in Ventura County and neighboring communities since 1970. Facilitating more than 1,500 mentoring matches annually between community or school-based volunteers and youth ages 6-21 years old, BBSVC is committed to bringing their life-changing program to every child in Ventura County who needs it. BBSVC is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that depends on private donors for 75% of its funding.
The Collection invites guests of all ages to participate in spring fling family activities
Hop on the bunny trail and celebrate the arrival of spring by hunting for golden eggs, taking photos with the bunny and other happenings at The Collection at RiverPark.
Beginning March 22 - 31, guests of all ages are invited to search The Collection to find the coveted golden egg. Guests can redeem the golden egg at Guest Services on Park View Court for a variety of different prizes such as: Passes to the Santa Barbara Zoo, $20 gift cards to IT’SUGAR, Menchies, movie passes and more. For additional information on what prize will be featured each day, visit The Collection at RiverPark Facebook page.
Have a hoppin’ good time and start your spring fling off right with the Easter bunny at The Annex. Bring the little ones and capture those special close-up moments with photos with the bunny. Photo packages are available for purchase. For photo packages, prices and more information please visit TheCollectionRP.com.
WHAT: Photos with the Bunny
WHEN: Mar. 29 from 3 – 7 p.m., Mar. 30 from 3 – 7 p.m., and Mar. 31 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
WHERE: The Annex at The Collection at RiverPark
About the Collection (TheCollectionRP.com):
The Collection at RiverPark is a 750,000 square foot, open-air specialty retail center located in the heart of West Ventura County. Inspired by the beauty of the California coast, The Collection reflects the unique atmosphere of the surrounding seaside communities. The Collection is built around a town grid of retail streets, each of which has its own personality-a carefully crafted assortment of established and contemporary designer shops, distinctive dining, and signature entertainment venues. Anchors include Target, Century RiverPark 16, REI, Whole Foods Market, H&M, 24-Hour SuperSport and The Container Store. Restaurants include Yard House, Larsen’s Grill, Gen Korean BBQ, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Maria’s Italian Kitchen and more. Follow us on the web, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram at TheCollectionRP.