T he Third Annual Unite North County Coastal Luncheon on May 2nd, 2018 was filled to the brim with influential leaders, intent to see positive impact across our cities of North County. The room was electric, as many people with different perspectives, spheres, and backgrounds shared a common goal, and a place to be inspired. Emceed by local news reporter for KFMB CBS8 Angie Lee, and keynote speaker John O’Leary, we were expectant to be inspired, informed and engaged.
“Loved the collegial, celebratory feel of like-minded people all under one roof,” said one attendee.
Our theme this year was Investing in the Lives of our Youth. Tina Butler, the executive director of BroAm and a member of our Strategic Action Leadership Team (SALT) shared a reflection that provoked our team to imagine: What if we invested in the lives of our youth, how could North County look in 10 or 20 years? What if we were intentional to work together to inspire one another, to unite on common goals, and see positive change across North County in the lives of our youth?
Prior to the event, we had the opportunity to interview leaders throughout North County who are making impactful efforts to affect change, to share current community efforts, struggles we are facing, and opportunities to partner together.
Across our journey of Unite North County Coastal, we have found some leaders that stand out above the rest. One who felt worthy of recognition was Don Stump of North County Lifeline. Don and his team have worked to build self-reliance among youth, individuals and families through problem solving, skill-building and accessible community-based services. Don has been an invaluable resource to our team, and we are so grateful for the impact he has made on our community.
Our keynote, John O’Leary, was an inspiration as he shared his experience of being burned over 100% of his body as an 8 year old with no predicted chance of survival. John explained how the loss of many fingers, scars across his body, and a seemingly limited frame didn’t stop his will to live. Inspired by Baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck, John described the impact of one individual on his life. Jack, through baseball cards and thank you letters, taught him to fight, how to conquer things never imagined, and how to really live.
Thank you to the attendees of this event, to the leaders you are across North County, and throughout San Diego. You are an inspiration to our team, a reminder to keep pressing in and to stay united.