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Local Watch: Giving Back and PB Reality TV

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Burgers and sea animals merged this week when Southern California McDonald’s restaurants partnered with SeaWorld® San Diego to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southern California (RMHCSC), a non-profit organization that provides comfort, care and support to children and families throughout the Southland.

From now until the end of September, McDonald’s customers can receive a voucher that allows them to buy one adult admission ticket at a kid’s price and get one kid’s ticket for free at SeaWorld.  A donation of $1 will be made to RMHCSC for each coupon redeemed.

“We are both thrilled and proud to partner with SeaWorld to provide our customers with a great value, beyond our menu board, while supporting our charity of choice,” said Neal Ruby, McDonald’s owner/operator and president of the McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California (MOASC).

“We are truly thankful that McDonald’s and SeaWorld have teamed up to support our organization in such a significant way,” said Nicole Rubin, chief executive officer of RMHCSC. “These funds will allow us to continue to serve children and families in need of the various services we provide.”

SeaWorld San Diego is one of 10 Worlds of Discovery operated by Busch Entertainment Corp., the family entertainment division of Anheuser-Busch InBey.

For more information on how Ronald McDonald House Charities provides comfort, care and support to children and families in Southern California, visit www.rmhcsc.org or www.twitter.com/RMHC_SoCal.

Michael J. Fox to the Rescue

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) will provide $2.5 million to support San Diego-based Ceregene Inc.’s new Phase 2 study of CERE-120. This gene therapy product delivers the gene for neurturin, a potent neurotrophic (growth) factor that has shown potential to improve the status of degenerating neurons in both preclinical and clinical studies. CERE-120 has the potential to improve motor function, as well as slow Parkinson’s disease progression. The competitive funding was awarded as part of the MJFF 2010 LEAPS (Linked Efforts to Accelerate Parkinson’s Solutions) program on neurotrophic factors.

“Ceregene is enthusiastic about the continued support from The Michael J. Fox Foundation and this award will allow us to enroll the appropriate number of Parkinson’s patients to statistically power our upcoming controlled Phase 2 clinical study,” said Jeffrey M. Ostrove, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Ceregene, Inc. “This funding marks the fourth award from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Ceregene and we are truly grateful for their support,” noted Dr. Ostrove.

The principal investigators of this award are Ceregene’s executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer Raymond T. Bartus, Ph.D. and Joao Siffert, M.D., Ceregene’s chief medical officer. “We have made significant progress researching and implementing important refinements to improve the delivery and bioactivity of CERE-120, based on insight gained from our past clinical trials in PD patients. We now look forward to testing these improvements in a controlled clinical trial in PD patients to more clearly establish the safety and improved efficacy of CERE-120,” said Dr. Bartus.

“With the enrollment in the Phase 1 portion of this study complete, we now look forward to initiating the controlled Phase 2 portion. The CERE-120 clinical development continues to receive strong support from leading movement disorder centers and The Michael J. Fox Foundation,” said Dr. Siffert.

MJFF funding complements Ceregene’s own multi-million dollar investment in the study. Patient enrollment for  the new Phase 2 study is expected to begin later this summer at 10 major medical centers throughout the US including: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston,; Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY; Duke University, Durham, NC; Emory University Hospital, Atlanta; Mount Sinai Medical Center New York; University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL; University of California, San Francisco; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Rush University Medical Center, Chicago and Stanford School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA.

Founded in 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the development of better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda. MJFF has funded almost $184 million in research to date.

Good-Bye WWII Icon

The family of Edith Shain announced the passing of their dear mother in Los Angeles on Sunday June 20 in California. Shain was a Registered Nurse, kindergarten teacher, public access cable television producer who became a world famous figure following her participation in the 50th Anniversary of V-J Day in August of 1995. In August 1945, she was photographed by famed photographer Alfred Eisenstadt while kissing a jubilant U.S. Sailor in Times Square, in celebration of the end of World War II.   Her son Michael Shain described the photo as having captured “an epic moment in American history, one that inspired patriotism, unity, joy and a spontaneous national pride in victoriously ending the war.”

When asked why his mother had attracted so much attention in her senior years, her son, Dr. Robert Shain, explained “she had a wonderful charismatic personality full of love, laughter and caring about other people and in government and politics.”

Edith Shain is also survived by son Justin Decker, who said, “my mom was always willing take on new challenges and caring for the World War II veterans energized her to take another chance to make a difference.”  She also leaves behind six grand children and eight great grandchildren.

Edith Shain’s participation in Veteran Memorial events included:  The 25 foot statute next to the war ship in San Diego Harbor, amongst others.

Local PB Reality TV

San Diego’s reality TV show, PB Reality, recently celebrated its 1-year anniversary of filming with cast members who have been with the show since and before the show and is about to start up again for a second season.

The PB Reality TV show is getting ready to launch a new season of “webisodes” in September and as that time approaches they keep releasing preview trailer clips to keep their fan base happy. The new preview trailer just released a few days ago has already received more than 1,000 views proving that the show already has a fan base even though the first episode hasn’t yet aired.

The PB Reality TV show is working on a “Miss Pacific Beach” swimsuit calendar and also a swimsuit modeling contest, which will be held in August to allow viewers and fans to pick who will be the cover model and the first “Miss Pacific Beach” swimsuit model title holder.

Watch The Official PB Reality Trailer on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb2i3hY8FU4

“What’s interesting is that the people that are best for the show are loyal and their personalities seem to fit with mine. A few people have come and gone, but they were in it for personal gain and that’s why we didn’t keep them around for too long,” said creator and PB Reality cast member, Jim Lawlor.

The formula for the show is Jim’s millionaire lifestyle, interacting with his beautiful “Angel” assistants, and the sexy “Girls of PB Calendar” contestants who create most of the drama. It is based in Pacific Beach, where most of the scenes are shot, including “The PB Castle,” the home of Lawlor, which is designed like a castle and it sits a top a hill looking over Pacific Beach and the Pacific Ocean.

“Of course the past year has been full of exciting events, shocking cat fights and hilarious drama, but the most heartfelt times were when we would give back to the community, whether it was giving care packages to the homeless or helping a family in need at Christmas. PB Reality is not all about glitzy parties and bikini models, it is the reality show with a heart and I am honored to be a part of it,” said personal assistant and Angel Jen, who has been with Lawlor and the show since its beginning.

Please send San Diego business news to DLSWriter@cox.net

*McDonald’s photos from neubie via Flickr, Crystal Pier photo from austrini via Flickr

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