Charity Octoberstache Fundraiser in La Mesa
Saturday night’s Octoberstache Fundraiser is raising money to support two families in their fights against cancer.
Jason Austell spoke to firefighter/paramedic Louie Kinoshita and engineers Jake Kelsen and Josh Stewart with Heartland Fire and Rescue about the event.
San Diego County will host 4 Octoberstache fundraiser events:
• 9/19 Pete’s Place – 8330 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942 – 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
• 9/29 The Hills – 8758 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942 – 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
• 10/14 Eastbound – 10053 Maine Ave, Lakeside, CA 92040 – 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
• 10/27 Courtyard Marriott of El Cajon – 141 Magnolia Ave, El Cajon – 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
This year, Heartland Fire and Rescue, El Cajon Police Department, La Mesa Police Department, Santee FD, Lakeside Fire Protection District, Alpine Fire Protection District, San Miguel Fire and Rescue, and Chula Vista FD are participating in the Octoberstache fundraiser. Over the years, the event has sponsored many individual families, charities and organizations; including Make-A-Wish San Diego, Wounded Warrior Project, Shelter to Soldier and Challenged Athletes Foundation.
The first recipient is Cynthia Salvador Chaudhry. She is a San Diego native who was raised in East County. Cynthia is married and a mother to two teenage girls. Her sister, Marisol, is the Director of the Human Resources for the City of El Cajon and is married to Alpine Fire Protection District Engineer, Broc Thorn. Broc’s twin brother, Bill Thorn, is a Heartland Fire and Rescue Captain. On August 20th, Cynthia and her family met with her gastroenterologist, and she was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic adenocarcinoma linitis plastica (a rare and highly malignant form of stomach cancer). Following the diagnosis, a second CT scan was done, and on August 30th, she received a call from the oncologist that the cancer had metastasized into her lungs. While she awaits a second opinion, further tests, and exams, Cynthia will began her chemotherapy treatments on September 7th.
The second recipient is Paula Hamma, wife of Heartland Fire and Rescue Captain Tom Hamma. Tom and Paula have been married for 19 years and have a son, John Joseph, who is 14 years-old. Their family lives in North County near several other HFR families. Paula was diagnosed with metastatic stage IV ovarian cancer in October of last year. Initially, her cancer was noted to be in her abdominal cavity, liver, and lungs, for which she has already undergone six rounds of chemotherapy, along with surgery to remove multiple tumors from her pelvis. She responded well to this initial treatment. Unfortunately, over the summer, a PET scan showed that the cancer had remained in her pelvis, liver, and lungs and has now spread into her spleen and lymph nodes. She is currently back in another cycle of chemotherapy as she continues her fight.
All events are open to the public, and we will be selling T-shirts and raffle tickets to raise money for the families. Any donation is tax deductible through the El Cajon Professional Firefighters Foundation (tax ID# 46-1074557).