Charity & Grassroots in Azusa

Select Local Merchants

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, the NHRA’s top pedal grinders compete for the checkers as Lucas Oil Raceway hosts the high-octane conclusion to this year’s NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, one of drag racing’s most prestigious events. The ghosts of former Model-T drivers race alongside novice and veteran speed demons such as champion Larry Dixon as they try to secure enough points to propel their teams into the Countdown playoffs and Full Throttle championships. The legendary track lives up to its reputation for smoothness as cars glide towards the finish line like sticks of butter on a bunny slope.

2780 Fairplex Dr
Pomona,
CA
US

Teen girls enrolled in Rosemary's residential program, as well as girls referred from local educational agencies, can attend the Rosemary School, a nonpublic school certified by the California Department of Education–Nonpublic Schools Unit. Seventh–12th grade courses cover core academic subjects as well as vocational and independent-living skills. As part of a back-to-school effort, Rosemary plans to equip every student enrolled in the school with a supply kit containing essential classroom materials.

36 S Kinneloa Ave
Pasadena,
CA
US

Since it was founded in 1990, the nonprofit Celiac Disease Foundation has pioneered celiac disease education, awareness, and advocacy. Its network of national chapters have responded to the growing health care challenge of diagnosing celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. The CDF Medical Advisory Board brings scientific knowledge to the cause and imparts crucial care information to individuals, medical professionals, and industry partners who confront celiac disease and gluten-related disorders on a daily basis. Through its annual CDF National Conference and Gluten-Free Expo, the organization opens the public's eyes to new ways of looking and living with foods that do not contain wheat, barley, rye, or triticale.

300 E Green St.
Pasadena,
CA
US

A multifarious but rarely nefarious array of local wineries, restaurants, artisans, crafters, and entertainers fortifies the stomping grounds at the Grape Harvest Festival, the oldest fete of its kind in California. But the main attraction is, without a doubt, the myriad buckets of squishy, sweet violet spheres waiting for aspirant tap dancers and resentful vegetable farmers to engage in one of the few remaining traditional grape stomps open to the public. Once you've finished gleefully purpling your heels, you'll get to taste the fermented fruits of local labor and celebrate the Rancho Cucamonga community’s vineyard heritage by sampling sips and nibbles from fine neighboring eateries, with each bite soundtracked by live music and other performances populating the various festival stages. Meanwhile, palates preferring motor oil to wine can salivate over the careful craftsmanship and luscious vroom-vrooms of the fest’s Saturday motorcycle rally and Sunday car show, which showcase a wide sampling of motos, including wine-powered Harleys and the rare ’82 vintage Ford Zinfandel. And with more than 100 arts and crafts options, the artsy-flatulentsy of any age can both make and take home handcrafted treasures.

7945 Vineyard Ave
Rancho Cucamonga,
CA
US

If you've ever stood on the second floor of the Los Angeles Central Public Library and marveled at the explosion of color within the rotunda or the 12 adjacent murals depicting California history, then you have the Los Angeles Conservancy to thank. When the library was scheduled for demolition in the mid-1970s, concerned citizens formed the Conservancy to save the rotunda, the exterior limestone sculptures, and the library's many other architectural treasures. The group finally convinced the City Council to preserve the library in 1983, after years of public discussion, debate, and book-sniffing sit-ins. Ever since, it has advocated for greater Los Angeles's historic sites and educated people about the city's architectural heritage. The Conservancy is responsible for saving and revitalizing landmarks such as the former Cathedral of St. Vibiana, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, and the world’s oldest remaining McDonald’s restaurant.

To accomplish its mission, the membership-based nonprofit offers a number of ways people can experience these beautiful and storied places. The Last Remaining Seats series earned a Reader Recommendation for Best Film Series and Best Downtown Event in the Los Angeles Downtown News' 2012 poll, in which the conservancy’s walking tours also earned the title of Best Downtown Tour. But the organization does more than save grandiose public buildings: increasingly, it also focuses on smaller community projects such as garden apartments and sites that reflect the area's rich Latino culture.

Executive director and 20-year Conservancy veteran Linda Dishman explained to Patt Morrison of the Los Angeles Times, "People are becoming more vocal. …That's one of the great secrets about Los Angeles: People really identify with their neighborhoods." The Conservancy also presents annual preservation awards to honor the efforts of individuals who fight to save places such as Pann’s Coffee Shop and Griffith Observatory.

523 W 6th St
Los Angeles,
CA
US

Carolyn Sargent used art to escape the isolation of hearing loss as a child. Art therapist Elda Unger discovered the power of the arts to help emotionally heal abused children. Together they founded Free Arts for Abused Children, which promotes artistic expression for children who are homeless, have been abused, or are living in foster care. Free Arts maintains four programs, each designed to engage youth in creative self-expression and provide an outlet for strong emotions and troubling experiences. Long-term lessons with role models help youth learn from trustworthy adults; art days empower students to connect with peers and express themselves through new mediums; family art projects encourage interaction within the household; and arts and crafts sessions help distract youth waiting on proceedings at local courthouses.

5301 Beethoven Street
Los Angeles,
CA
US