Thursday, September 24, 2009

Annex Angels and Other Preschool Workers Walk To Give Children Help With Breathing

All six of these brothers and sisters have coped with asthma from an early age, which gives their mother, Rosalie Salazar, plenty of experience as she now deals with many asthmatic preschool students whom she teaches at the Westside Annex Preschool in San Bernardino. Out of concern for the many children she knows with asthma, Salazar is the Westside Annex Angels’ team captain in the Healthy Air Walk, taking place Saturday, Oct. 3 at Fontana Park in Fontana.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Head Start Preschool employees know that many of their students face adversities. The program exists to give these economically disadvantaged children a head start in life.

For many of these children, one of the hardest things in their life is breathing. They have asthma, and sometimes even more severe lung disease.

“Sometimes we have to give them treatments with aerochambers and inhalers,” said Rosalie Salazar, a teacher at the Westside Annex Preschool. “They are little children, too young to understand why they have to inhale, so the aerochambers allow them to use their inhalers while breathing normally.”

It’s heart breaking to the staff of Head Start preschools to see these very young children struggle with something as simple as breathing. For that reason, staff and parents at many Head Start preschools in the Inland Empire have formed teams to walk in the American Lung Association in California’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Healthy Air Walk.

These teams will participate in the walk scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3 at Fontana Park, 15556 Summit Ave., Fontana. To learn more about this event, go to or call (909) 884-5864.

Salazar serves as team captain for the group from Westside Annex Head Start, a team of eight staff and parents called Annex Angels. She’s a natural for this position, because not only has she been helping preschoolers with asthma for awhile, she is also a mother of six children, ages 7 through 20, who suffer from the disease.

“All of my children have asthma, but neither I nor their father has it,” she said. “I think it is because the air is so much dirtier than when I was growing up in Ontario.”

Her oldest child was diagnosed with asthma when he was a year old, she said. Since then, she’s become an expert, administering medication to her own children thousands of times, and learning about the various breathing apparatus asthmatics require, such as aerochambers and nebulizers (a non-portable device that combines air and liquid medication and mists it into an asthma patient’s lungs).

Salazar came to most of her knowledge about asthma independently. When she started working for Head Start, a state agency, she learned it works with the American Lung Association in California, which provides training to preschool workers in how they must manage their students’ asthma, and to help them educate these children’s families.

Last year, Salazar participated in the Healthy Air Walk, with her supervisor serving as team captain. This year, her supervisor was not able to serve as team captain again, and when it came time to pick a replacement, the rest of the staff thought Salazar best qualified.

“I said I would do it,” she said. “I want to help raise money to help children with their breathing, and to educate them and their parents about asthma. Everyone should know how important this is.”

The American Lung Association was established in 1904 and was instrumental in its first 52 years in nearly eradicating tuberculosis. In 1956, it expanded its mission to fight all forms of lung disease. In its last five decades, it has also strived to reduce tobacco use and air pollution, both of which are serious threats to lung health.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Southern California Black Business Expo Coming to Moreno Valley

Find art, cosmetics, gifts and more, at The Black Business Expo on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Moreno Valley Holiday Inn Express. 

Mary Kay Team Leader Debra Williams, Jennifer Schultz and Felicia Harris, both “future sales directors” with Mary Kay, came to the first Black Business  Expo in Moreno Valley to sell their cosmetics and skin care products, but enjoyed some shopping too. Small business owners of all ethnicities are welcome to the second expo, planned for Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Moreno Valley Holiday Inn Express.

(MORENO VALLEY, Calif.) Consumers will have an opportunity to shop for goods and services offered by African-American business owners at the Southern California Black Business Expo on Saturday, Nov. 7.

At the same time, Black business owners will have opportunities to grow their customer base.

“Consumers can come out and support their local Black-owned businesses,” said show producer Jerry L. Green. “Business owners can come here and network. There will be opportunities for them to increase their sales.”

The Expo takes place Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Moreno Valley Holiday Inn Express, 24630 Sunnymead Blvd, between Indian Street and Perris Boulevard.

Admission is $10. To purchase tickets, or find out more about being a vendor, visit or call Green at (951) 313-1919.

About 25 to 30 Black-owned businesses, some of them nationally recognized companies, will take part. Previously, these business owners have come from as far as Washington D.C.

The Black Business Expo is also a great opportunity for small Black-owned Inland Empire businesses, Green said.

“I will hold these four times each year,” he said. “By participating, businesses will have a new way to continuously market that isn’t available at a traditional business expo held only once a year.”

Green encourages Blacks who are looking for new job to attend, so they can learn if starting a business is for them.

“In these tough economic times, many people need to either go back to school or start their own business,” he said. “ At the Black Business Expo they will learn about business opportunities and see if running their own business is something they would like to do.”

Future Black Business Expos are already scheduled for March 20, 2010; June 26, 2010; Sept. 11, 2010: Dec. 11, 2010 and March 19, 2011.

Sponsors are the Black Business Resource and Networking Directory, PQ Enterprises, Sales Training, Westside Story Newspaper, The Black Voice News, Inland Empire Community Calendar and Cultural Events, Urban Lyfestyles,, The Inland Empire African American Chamber of Commerce and Dameron Communications.


Fashion and Music Coming to Redlands

A member of JoHesh and Company models fashions from the stores participating in Soul Fusion, one of two fashion shows the organization sponsored in 2008. It’s putting on its 2009 show, Pure Fresh Love, 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Fox Center in Redlands.

(REDLANDS, Calif.) – JoHesh and Company will bring boutique fashions interspersed with music and drama when it presents its Pure Fresh Love fashion show at the Fox Event Center on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.

The fashions in this show are mainly from Redlands fashion boutique Bezi, Beverly Hills fashion designer Cassie Betts and JoHesh and Company member Camille Simms, who is a fashion design student at The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire.

Tickets are $15 and can be ordered online at, by emailing or at the door of the Fox Event Center, 123 Cajon Street, Redlands, 92373 shortly before the event.

This is JoHesh and Company’s third fashion show, as it also put two on in 2008. The organization’s mission is to provide people of all ages an opportunity to showcase talent, especially talent in fashion and other creative fields.

“If people of all ages want to show off their skills, talent and abilities in the fashion industry, this gives them a place to do that, whether they want to model, or work behind the scenes,” said JoHesh member Dhani Olive. “We also work with talented people who sing or play musical instruments. They will entertain between the scenes.”

Olive is one of many members putting her talents to work behind the scenes of the Pure Fresh Love fashion show. She will graduate from The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire the day before the fashion show with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Arts, and is helping with design and promotion of the show.

 JoHesh and Company is a non-profit organization founded by Johanna Sharp and Mahesh Simms, who is the mother of Camille Simms and the aunt of Dhani Olive. She and Johanna Sharp are long-time friends from Rialto who wanted to create opportunities for the young people in their families to showcase their talents, and have since expanded the program to all who are interested.