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‘A Way with Words’ Teams with Community Colleges in Fundraiser

September 17  Event Honoring Distinguished Alumni

Oceanside CA— The hugely popular public radio show ‘A Way with Words’ is teaming with local community colleges to hold a fundraising celebration on September 17 honoring distinguished alumni.

The evening event, In A Word, will recognize alumni from each community college in the San Diego region.  Those honored will then state a single word that best describes their college experience.  The event will also include a presentation by A Way with Words co-hosts Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett.

Proceeds will benefit alumni and scholarship programs at the colleges as well as the educational nonprofit that produces A Way with Words.

“Language is the key to understanding our complex American culture and literacy is the key to navigating it,” said San Diego Community College District Chancellor Constance M. Carroll.
“Our community colleges and A Way with Words share these goals and are pleased to have a partnership in promoting them.”

The San Diego, Grossmont-Cuyamaca, Palomar, Southwestern, and MiraCosta community college districts – which combine to serve nearly 200,000 students annually – are taking part in the affair that begins at 5 p.m. with a VIP reception at the Doubletree Hotel in Mission Valley.  The event begins at 6 p.m.

“Grant and I and the rest of the A Way with Words team are delighted to join forces with our local community colleges to honor their distinguished alumni, and honor our shared missions of promoting intellectual curiosity, academic achievement, and better human communication,” said Barnette.  “We also looking forward to an evening of great fun!”

Distinguished alumni being honored and the college they attended are: Artie Ojeda, weekend anchor for NBC San Diego (San Diego City College); Dan McAllister, San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector (San Diego Mesa College); Jerry Sanders, former San Diego Police Chief and Mayor and current President at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce (San Diego Miramar College); Brad Daluiso, a former NFL kicker and Super Bowl veteran (Grossmont College); and Darren Greenhalgh, who headed construction of the $187-million downtown San Diego central library (Cuyamaca College).

Also being honored are Aaron Byzak, founder of Hazel’s Army and Director of Government and Community Affairs at UCSD Health Sciences (MiraCosta College); Lori Holt Pfeiler, Executive Director for San Diego Habitat for Humanity and former Mayor of Escondido (Palomar College); Glen Degler, Planned Projects Supervisor, San Diego Unified School District (San Diego Continuing Education); and Dr. Olivia Graeve, a UC San Diego professor who has gained international recognition in the area of nanomaterials manufacturing (Southwestern College).  Media personality Clark Anthony will emcee the event.

Individual tickets are $100, tables are $1,000, and VIP tables (with a VIP reception) are $2,500.  For more information, visit:

Title sponsors of the event are Janet and Jim Sinegal.  Jim Sinegal is co-founder and former CEO of Costco and an alumnus of City College.  Both Sinegals are active philanthropists with a long history of support for community colleges and other educational institutions.

Other event sponsors include Price Philanthropies Foundation, RBC Capital Markets, the Transition Opportunity Fund at the San Diego Foundation, the law firm of Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz, retired KPBS Associate General Manager Stephanie Bergsma, International Student Tutor Mentor Program Director Gigie Price, Author Bridge Media, the law firm of Best Best & Krieger, the Dr. Seuss Foundation, Point Loma Nazarene University, the San Diego Community College District, AT&T, San Diego Community College District Chancellor Constance M. Carroll, Front Porch Communities and Services, Mission Federal Credit Union, Eleanor Musick, Palomar College, SDG&E, San Diego Mesa College, San Diego State University, UC San Diego, San Diego City College President Anthony Beebe and his wife, Carolyn, San Diego City College, San Diego Continuing Education, San Diego Miramar College, and Jerry Sanders and Rana Sampson.

Friends of A Way with Words includes:  Dr. Carroll, Dr. Beebe, Stephanie Bergsma, Ignacio del la Torre, Joan Houston Hall, Ed McIntyre, Dr. Cindy L. Miles, Eleanor Musick, Betty Peabody, Gigie Price, Rana Sampson, and Betty Willis.

A Way with Words is a San Diego institution that began at KPBS in 2008 but is now an independent nonprofit broadcast in more than 250 cities in 29 states.  The listener call-in show highlights offbeat words, etymologies, and language usage that spans generations, regions, and cultures.  More information about A Way with Words can be found at

For more information, contact Jack Beresford at or call 619.388.6540.