Memorial Day and Summer

It was a week that started with the beautiful Memorial Day Ceremony at the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial here in Atascadero.  Master of Ceremonies Dick Mason introduced the program starting with a Military Flyover by Estrella Warbirds. One of the pilots included our own Bob Kelley, a former Mayor of Atascadero.
Cal Poly ROTC Cadets did the Presentation of Colors accompanied by Central Coast Pipes & Drums followed by the National Anthem sung by Marlon Varin, US Navy PO2 1979-85.
Pastor Paul Bautts from the Santa Margarita Community Church delivered the Invocation. As an Armed Forces Medley played, veterans who served in the individual forces stood for recognition.
Guest Speaker, Mayor Tom O’Malley, relayed some family history having to do with the military and talked about his son Trevor and his experiences when he attended West Point.
A wreath laying ceremony was presented by Jack and Bonne Scott, accompanied by VFW Auxiliary member Christine Della Maggiore.
At the end of the ceremony, Tommy Gong and his two sons, Darin and Derek played taps. As usual, it was very emotional, very beautiful and very inspiring.  
Guests were invited to purchase a BBQ lunch provided by Atascadero Kiwanis Club. It was a wonderful conclusion to a special “community” event.
If you have not visited the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial, I encourage you to do so.
This was the 10th annual Memorial Day Ceremony, sponsored by the Atascadero Veterans Memorial Foundation. The AVMF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, providing financial support for repairs, maintenance and improvements for the Memorial; promoting and supporting events and organizations that honor the nation’s Veterans; and educating present and future generations about the service of Veterans.
The next meeting of the AVMF will be Monday, June 25, 6p.m. at VFW Hall. The meetings are open to anyone wishing to help support Veterans and maintain the Faces of Freedom Memorial.
For more information about the next meeting, contact Al Fonzi at (805) 423-5482 or email him at
Here’s a July reminder for your calendars. Save the date of Tuesday, July 3, at Atascadero Lake Park when AVMF and the Atascadero Historical Society will be the nonprofits serving at the Atascadero Chamber’s Tuesday Evenings at the Lake Community BBQ.
Food is served from 5 to 7 p.m. and the Atascadero Community Band will play Patriotic Music from 7 to 8 p.m.
For AVMF tickets in advance call Andrea at (805) 466-7076. For the Historical Society tickets phone the Colony House Museum at 805-466-8341. Adults $14, seniors (over 60) $12, and children (10 and under) $9. Reminder—Tickets will be $1 more at the BBQ—Good to purchase early and save!
The Community BBQs start on Tuesday, June 19 and run every Tuesday through August 21, with the exception of July 24 because of the Mid State Fair. These events are fundraisers for the nonprofits, so please give them your support by purchasing tickets and attending the BBQs. As in the past, the BBQ is prepared by the Atascadero Elks Lodge BPOE #2733 fantastic BBQ Crew. Tickets are available from the hosting organizations and at the Chamber.
For more information visit or call (805) 466-2044.
On Sunday, June 10, 3 p.m., at Atascadero Community Church, you will have an opportunity to hear and enjoy a piano concert unlike any other.
Thanks to the generous sponsorship by the Zappas Family of Atascadero, the Atascadero Printery Foundation will present Pianist David Utterback, who will perform a concert featuring pieces by Chopin and Liszt.
David Utterback is an active performer based in Austin, Texas. He has held his position as a member of the piano faculty of Southwestern University in Gerogetown, Texas since 1987. He has been the performance/rehearsal pianist for Chorus Austin since 1999. Recent endeavors include work with the Austin Symphony, Austin Opera, Local Artists Local Opera, Zachary Scott Theater, and Zilker Summer Musical.
Career highlights include playing keyboards in the 50th anniversary European tour of Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town and performing at the 2013 American Liszt Society annual convention in San Francisco.
He trained at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has recently started performing as solo pianist after a 27-year hiatus.  
The concert is free to all—no tickets are required. Donations to the Atascadero Printery Foundation will be appreciated but are not required.
Appetizers will be provided and wine will be available for purchase.
The Atascadero Printery Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) corporation whose mission is to rehabilitate, and repurpose the historic Atascadero Printery Building 6351 Olmeda Ave., Atascadero.
For more information call (805) 466-1961.
News flash! New babies hatched at the Charles Paddock Zoo! Zoo staff is very proud to announce the arrival of TWO baby Caribbean Flamingos and a clutch of Burrowing Owl chicks!
The flamingo flock has been raising babies since 2015, when the birds were moved to their new habitat and the zoo received new animals. Once flamingos breed, both parents work together to build a nest. A flamingo nest is a mound of mud about a foot high where the female lays a single, large egg. Both parents then take turns sitting on the nest until the chick hatches. Flamingo chicks have gray-white plumage and, for the first month, its bill is straight, not curved like and adult bill. The chick will then develop the trademark pink coloration normally associated with flamingos as it starts to grow into an adult. The pink coloring comes from pigment in the algae, crustaceans, and other invertebrates in their diet. In the wild, these birds inhabit shallow bodies of salty water where this type of food is plentiful.
Be sure to stop by the zoo and visit the newest babies.
For more information about the zoo, please visit: or call (805) 461-5080.
I know you will want to save this next date. The 2018 Annual Women’s Legacy Fund Luncheon will take place on Thursday, September 27, from noon to 1:45 p.m., at Alex Madonna Expo Center. I’ll have more info on reservation very soon.
Don’t forget the wonderful annual Bill Smith Ice Cream Social presented by the Atascadero Historical Society. This “tasty” event is scheduled for Sunday, June 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the lovely garden of the Colony House Museum. Society President Jim Wilkins will give an update on all of the busy activities of the organization.
Remember that the Colony House and garden is available to rent as a wedding venue. For more information
Enjoy the weekend!


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