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The Baller Dream Foundation Honors Young Cancer Patients

Plus, nonprofits donate food for people and pets, and info on a local backpack drive and blood drive

By Sarah Sapeda

MMGN - Baller Dream Foundation

Aritzve Aguirre Texcahua, 9, is one of three cancer patients to be honored by the Baller Dream Foundation

The Baller Dream Foundation, which supports kids and young adults battling cancer, will host its first fundraiser in San Diego Thursday. Nine-year-old Aritzve Aguirre Texcahua, Dustin Joiner, 18, and Ali Alipour, 22, who all aspire to pursue careers in the medical field, will be honored at the event at the Ultimate Skybox at DiamondView Tower. Guests will be treated to bites and beverages from local businesses against a backdrop of the San Diego skyline and Petco Park.

“We are thrilled to introduce San Diegans to The Baller Dream Foundation and to support the inspiring and special ‘Ballers’ we’ve met through Rady Children’s Hospital,” said Frank DeBlasi, the foundation’s founder and himself a cancer survivor. “We’ve been supporting Ballers for more than a decade in five different states, and we’re honored to be able to bring incredible gifts and experience to Ballers in San Diego through our event and the support of generous partners.”

Tickets and sponsorship options are available at

MMGN - Feeding/FACE

Feeding San Diego and the FACE Foundation team up to help people and pets

The FACE Foundation joined Feeding San Diego at its recent distribution event to give out 575 bags of pet food, supplies, and other resources to pet owners in need while Feeding San Diego donated nutritious food to nearly 900 households. The drive-through distribution event was part of Feeding San Diego’s Together Tour, which has served roughly 56,000 San Diegans since its inception in February. 

“The recovery effort is well underway, but amidst the reopening is still a lot of hardship for those who lost so much during the pandemic and are struggling to get it all back,” said Dan Shea, CEO of Feeding San Diego. “Our food distributions have long been a lifeline to many, and we are committed to keeping up with these large-scale events to reach as many people as possible.”

North Island Credit Union has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego to host a back-to-school backpack drive. To participate, drop off a backpack appropriate for an elementary or middle school student at a North Island Credit Union location through Friday. The donated backpacks will be filled with school supplies and given out to students in need. 

“Starting the school year with a new backpack filled with supplies is a rite of passage that many families in our community are challenged to provide,” said North Island Credit Union CEO Steve O’Connell.

“Together, we can make sure every child is prepared for a successful school year ahead.”

Though Comic-Con will be virtual again this year, the Gaslamp Quarter will still be flooded with costumed characters this weekend. Some of these cosplayers will descend on downtown for a three-day blood drive to benefit the San Diego Blood Bank. The event opens Friday morning and will comprise speakers from San Diego Blood Bank, a march up Fifth Avenue, a cosplay Olympic relay, a car show, and a 91X dance party at Tin Fish. Donors will receive a Funko Pop! collectible vinyl figure, free french fries, and a swag bag. 

“This blood drive comes at a crucial time for us,” said Claudine Van Gonka, San Diego Blood Bank’s director of community relations and marketing. “Summer is always a difficult time to collect blood, but this drive makes it easy, not to mention fun!”   

MTS is offering free trolley and bus rides for those with a blood donation appointment. To schedule an appointment, visit or call 1-800-4-MY-SDBB (1-800-469-7322).   



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