Tag Archives: County

Announcing the New Vision and Direction of the YWCA of San Diego County; Casey Gwinn Named New CEO, Debra Zanders-Willis Named COO

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) June 20, 2007

For the past few months, the Board of Directors of the YWCA of San Diego County (YWCA) has been recruiting a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). That search has ended and the YWCA is pleased to announce that Casey Gwinn will be the new CEO effective July 1, 2007. The YWCA is also pleased to announce the hiring of a Chief Operating Officer (COO), Debra Zanders-Willis.

Under Gwinn and Zanders-Willis’ leadership, the YWCA will continue providing critical services to women, children, and families while also pursuing a planning process to closely align the YWCA with the nationally recognized San Diego Family Justice Center, the Family Justice Center Alliance and the Family Justice Center Foundation.

Gwinn has been involved at the local, state, national, and international level in the domestic violence movement for more than 20 years and will fulfill an important role in expanding the YWCA’s focus on services for victims of family violence and their children. Most recently, Casey has served as the Volunteer CEO of the San Diego Family Justice Center Foundation including leading the President’s Family Justice Center Initiative for the U.S. Department of Justice. The Initiative has launched a national movement, creating “one stop shop” centers for victims of family violence across America and around the world. Casey has also worked part-time as a Special Assistant to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, leading the planning effort to start the East County Family Justice Center.

“I believe the collaboration of YWCA, the Family Justice Center Foundation and the National FJC Alliance is a brilliant idea that combines the services of the most powerful advocates for women and families in our community,” says Midge Costanza, former Special Assistant to President Jimmy Carter and community leader. “The selection of Casey Gwinn as CEO provides the experience and the commitment necessary to make this work. He has championed the effort against domestic violence in San Diego from the very beginning.”

“We congratulate Casey on his new post as CEO of the YWCA. Casey has demonstrated a commitment to listening to the voices of victims and bringing communities together to meet their needs. His leadership will be an asset to the YWCA and the community it serves,” said Sue Else, President, National Network to End Domestic Violence,” said Sue Else, President, National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Gwinn works closely with a host of national domestic violence organizations including: National Network to End Domestic Violence, Family Violence Prevention Fund, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, American Bar Association, Commission On Domestic Violence, Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

“Casey Gwinn is a great choice to bring together the community-based work of the YWCA with the Family Justice Center movement. This will provide an example for other communities for how domestic violence shelter-based programs can work closely with justice system-affiliated Family Justice Centers to increase safety and support for victims of domestic violence and their children,” said Rita Smith, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Debra Zanders Willis has worked with the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency for nearly 20 years. She began her career as a child protective services worker. Zanders-Willis currently serves as an Assistant Deputy Director of Children’s Services for San Diego County. She oversees the County’s Adoptions and Foster Care programs as well as major initiatives related to Guardianship, Drug Endangered Children, the Child Abuse Hotline, and Family-to-Family Initiatives.

“This is such an exciting opportunity,” says Debra Zanders-Willis, COO, YWCA of San Diego. “The expanded partnership between the YWCA and the Family Justice Center movement will broaden services available to women and families in a way that is unparalled.”

Debra Zanders-Willis, in her role as COO will work closely with Casey Gwinn, supporting his visionary leadership, and managing the day-to-day operation of the YWCA including their key service programs: Becky’s House Domestic Violence Services, the Passages Program, Cortez Hill Family Center, Legal Advocacy Program, Counseling Services and My Sisters Closet.

“Debra Zanders-Willis brings a broad range of experience and knowledge regarding service delivery to families in need and vulnerable children,” says Mary Harris, Director, Child Welfare Services. “Her years of experience, leadership skills and management style will no doubt be a tremendous asset to the YWCA’s success in accomplishing their newly developed vision.”

“The YWCA is the oldest domestic violence services organization in San Diego County,” said Gwinn. “The YWCA has a unique opportunity to bring together the rapidly expanding local and national Family Justice Center vision of co-located, one-stop shop services for families with the YWCA’s expertise and history of providing life saving services to victims of family violence and their children

“We are 100-percent committed to providing the highest quality of services to the families that we serve,” said Roberta Spoon, Board President, YWCA of San Diego County. “The Board’s vision is to provide the infrastructure and foundation necessary to provide unparalleled services to women and families in crisis. We believe that this collaboration will serve as a model for shelter providers throughout the country.”

Thomas L. Brown, Chairman of the San Diego Family Justice Center Foundation Board, said “We are also honored to begin a planning process with the YWCA to evaluate how the Foundation and our National FJC Alliance can better support the vision and work of the YWCA of San Diego County. Working together, we will be more effective and more successful in supporting women, men, and children caught in the cross-fire of family violence and dealing with the effects of drug and alcohol abuse and related homelessness.”

In addition to their enhanced, wrap-around family services, the YWCA will continue their mission of empowering women and eliminating racism by enhancing their education and advocacy programs. The educational programs will provide training and empowerment skills to the women and families while the advocacy programs will provide awareness and racial justice training to the community.

These announcements come on the heels of an exciting time in the history of the YWCA. In addition to opening Becky’s House II this October, the YWCA is preparing for their 2008 Centennial Celebration. This new vision will catapult the YWCA forward into the next century in what will be an amazing year and time.

For more information on the YWCA of San Diego County, please visit the YWCA of San Diego County Web site. For more information on the San Diego Family Justice Center, please visit the San Diego Family Justice Center Web site.


Prince George County School District Expands Parent Notification Program for 2007-2008 School Year

Prince George, VA and Santa Cruz, CA (PRWEB) September 5, 2007

The Prince George County School District today announced that it has expanded its parent notification program for the 2007-2008 school year. The district, which serves nine schools and more than 6,100 students, has two goals for the program: to reach families quickly and effectively in the event of an emergency, and to improve the overall quality and frequency of communications between its schools and the community.

In July the school board approved a contract with SchoolMessenger, a leading U.S. parental notification company, to provide ongoing communications services. As a result, the district or any individual school can communicate regularly with parents day or night, in any language, using voice messages, email or text messaging. The solution even includes a survey feature that allows officials to query families regarding key issues, and then use that insight to improve programs and services.

If an emergency occurs on any campus in the district, SchoolMessenger’s massive calling capabilities will enable thousands of messages to be placed in a matter of minutes. For more routine attendance alerts and community outreach, school or district officials simply access the Web-based service, or call a toll-free number, to send families any number of personalized messages or reminders throughout the school year.

“We want the community to know that we are taking proactive measures to improve communications between our schools and home,” said Dr. R. Francis Moore, Superintendent of Prince George County School District. “Whether we are informing parents of an open house, or alerting them to an emergency situation, we want them to rest assured that the district can reach each and every family in a timely, organized manner. In today’s connected world, with 24/7 access to news and information, I believe parents expect nothing less from their local schools.”

As students bring Emergency Contact forms home this Fall, parents are encouraged to review them carefully to be sure all telephone and email information is up to date and accurate. Two emergency contacts from each family are entered into the notification database, which is automatically, regularly updated throughout the year so that it is always emergency-ready. If at any time contact information changes, parents are advised to notify the school immediately so that records can be updated.

“We want to applaud the district’s success in creating an organized, strategic program that places a clear priority on parent communications,” said Jim Duggan, Northern Regional Director for SchoolMessenger, a division of Reliance Communications. “By leveraging our notification service, which is designed exclusively for K-12 schools, district and school administrators can save countless hours of staff time and deliver a clear, personalized message to let parents know what’s happening on their child’s campus.”

The district’s 2007-2008 emergency plan includes the following schools, located in Prince George County: David A. Harrison Elementary, North Elementary, South Elementary, L.L. Beazley Elementary, W.A. Walton Elementary, J.E. J. Moore Middle School, N.B. Clements Jr. High, Prince George High and Prince George Education Center. All personal information shared between families and the district will remain private, and is protected by multiple layers of data encryption, firewalls and other security measures.

About SchoolMessenger:

SchoolMessenger, a division of Reliance Communications, Inc., is a leading provider of parent notification solutions for education. Its family of products, which include desktop, server and hosted solutions, are in use in more than 6,000 districts and schools, connecting educators with millions of parents everyday. Founded in 1999, the privately-funded company is headquartered in Santa Cruz, California. For information, visit http://www.schoolmessenger.com.


San Diego Attorney Awarded Top Honors for Groundbreaking Work in Civil Rights Case Against Orange County Social Services Agency

San Diego (PRWEB) November 7, 2007

On November 2, 2007, the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association awarded a San Diego attorney top honors in electing him as the “Top Gun – Trial Attorney of The Year” in the area of civil rights. The award was based on the 4.9 million dollar jury verdict obtained by Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick, against Orange County, its Social Services Agency, and two of its social workers Marcia Vreeken and Helen Dwojak earlier this year in a lawsuit alleging violations of her Constitutional right to familial association.

This case (Fogarty-Hardwick v. County of Orange, et al.; Superior Court of California, County of Orange; Case No. 01CC02379; Trial before Hon. Ronald L. Bauer, Dept. CX103) was brought by Deanna Fogarty against the County of Orange, Marcia Vreeken, Elaine Wilkins, and their supervisor Helen Dwojak to recover damages arising from Defendants alleged falsification of evidence, perjury, and suppression of exculpatory evidence during a juvenile dependency action back in February of 2000. On March 23, 2007 after over six years of litigation and a seven week trial, an Orange County Jury found against Orange County, social worker Marcia Vreeken, and social worker supervisor Helen Dwojak and awarded monetary damages of $ 4.9 million. A third social worker, Elaine Wilkins was found not liable.

In addition to seeking damages, Ms. Fogarty also sought to enjoin the Orange County Social Services Agency from continuing its allegedly unlawful practice of making allegations of wrong doing against parents in dependency proceedings without supporting evidence. On May 14, 2007 Orange County Superior Court Judge, Ronald Bauer (Dept. CX-103) issued an injunction against the Orange County Social Services Agency requiring the agency to obtain “reasonable and articulable evidence” prior to initiating dependency proceedings alleging abuse, neglect, or abandonment of a child.

In accepting the “Top Gun” award Shawn A. McMillan said: “Ms. Fogarty should not have had to step outside her community to find an attorney to represent her. Trial attorneys are a pretty elite group, and as officers of the court we have taken an oath, and it is our duty, to protect and defend the Constitution, and the rights arising therefrom. These cases are important cases and should be brought and tried. We’ve proven that they can be won, now its your job to carry the ball the rest of the way, to accept these types of cases, and force a change in the system.”

For additional information, contact:

Shawn A. McMillan, Esq.


4955 Via Lapiz

San Diego, California 92122

Telephone: (858) 646-0069

Facsimile: (206) 600-4582

Website: http://www.mcmillan-law.com


Spacesaver Dealer McMurray Stern Awarded the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services Storage Solutions Contract

Los Angeles CA (PRWEB) December 10, 2007

Riverside County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) has awarded their storage solution contract to McMurray Stern, the exclusive Spacesaver area contractor for the greater Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange County and Central Coast areas.

The Riverside County DPSS records center was nearing maximum capacity. McMurray Stern in partnership with G/M Business Interiors, provided a storage solution which would replace the existing stationary shelving on the first floor of the facility with eighteen (18) modules of high-density mobile shelving. This new Spacesaver Eclipse(TM) powered solution allowed more than 500,000 linear filing inches of records from multiple floors to be consolidated to the first floor, streamlining the file retrieval process.

The Eclipse(TM) powered system uses menu-based configurability which makes it easier for users to build the system they need by selecting features and options on an ‘a la carte’ basis, Additional safety and programmable features can be added to the powered system in the future, allowing it to evolve with business needs.

“This is an immense project. The Department Of Public Social Services required an experienced company who had implemented projects similar in size and scope.” said Matt Denburg, President of McMurray Stern. “By installing compact shelving, additional capacity was provided for DPSS, thus extending the life of their facility.”

The Department of Public Social Services contributes to the safety and security of thousands of abused and neglected children and adults by serving as the county’s child and adult protective services agency. Foster care, kinship care, In-Home Supportive Services, and adoption services are just a few of the programs available that provide protection for young and old alike. The county’s award winning Curtailing Abuse Related to the Elderly (CARE) program provides education and outreach for the community to assist in the prevention of financial abuse and consumer fraud. More information about The Department of Public Social Services can be found on their website at: http://www.dpss.co.riverside.ca.us

About McMurray Stern

As a 27 year strong company founded in 1980, McMurray Stern is the leading source of design and build solutions for filing and storage systems in Southern California. They have been the exclusive Southern California Area Contractor for Spacesaver Corporation since inception, and have continued their relationship with Spacesaver with no interruptions. This significant milestone places McMurray Stern in an elite group of providers who have successfully improved the way business offices, libraries, healthcare facilities, schools, museums, justice facilities, and industrial facilities manage filing and storage operations. Some of their service offerings include; structural evaluations and calculations, cost analysis, budgetary evaluations, consulting design services, relocation planning and coordination, and document conversions, file tracking and imaging application implementation. More information can be found on their website: http://www.mcmurraystern.com, or by contacting them directly at 562.623.3000.


eGuardian Joins Forces with FoundationCare to Help Orange County Schools

Orange County, Calif. (PRWEB) January 4, 2008

eGuardian, designers of the child-safe Internet, today announced a partnership with FoundationCare, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping schools fund new technology, that will expand the reach of eGuardian and provide schools with a new income source.

Under this arrangement, eGuardian will donate $ 10 from each $ 20 enrollment fee for its innovative, patent-pending child protection service to local schools, and donate $ 2 to FoundationCare.

“This is a great opportunity for Orange County schools. Every time a parent signs up to protect his or her child online, the child’s local school will earn valuable funds,” said Elizabeth Zayas, executive director of FoundationCare.

Parents enroll in the eGuardian service to make social networking web sites and Internet search engines safe for their children. “We are in the business of protecting children and this relationship allows us to expand our reach while also benefiting children through schools and FoundationCare,” said Robert Patrick, eGuardian’s chief operations officer.

The partnership between eGuardian and FoundationCare will be heralded in a promotional campaign on the family-friendly cable networks Oxygen, Nickelodeon, the Food Network and ABC Family. “We look forward to increasing awareness of this exciting new partnership among California’s parents, teachers and school administrators. With help from eGuardian and FoundationCare, Orange County schools can lead the way in Internet protection, and benefit financially as well,” Zayas said.

The eGuardian application, which runs on any Windows- or Mac-based computer, verifies the age of a child and blocks contact with predators by allowing children to interact online only with other eGuardian-verified children. The service also blocks pornography sites, and allows popular search engines to automatically filter search results for the age of the child visitor.

eGuardian is available for a one-time fee of $ 20. Special programs are available to waive the fee for low-income households. Schools that choose to participate directly in eGuardian registration can earn more money per enrollment, and receive free unlimited use of the service for protecting children on school computers.

Parents or organizations interested in learning more about the new program can call 877-EGUARD-1, or visit eGuardian at http://www.eguardian.com or FoundationCare at http://www.foundationcare.org.

About eGuardian

The eGuardian mission is to protect children online from inappropriate content and solicitation, resulting in safe learning and exploring on the Internet. Through partnerships with prominent web sites eGuardian creates an environment that allows children to learn and communicate without the fear of being solicited by predatory adults or being exposed to adult content. For more information, call 877-EGUARD-1, or visit eGuardian at http://www.eguardian.com

About FoundationCare

FoundationCare is an Orange County-based non-profit organization dedicated to helping schools fund new technology. FoundationCare works closely with schools to support fundraising efforts and offer recommendations for maximizing technology investments. For more information, or to enroll a school in this fundraising opportunity, email info @ foundationcare.com, or call 877-FDCARE-1 (877-332-2731).

Editorial Contact:

Bridget DiRico

360 Business Consulting for Leads360


bdirico @ 360-biz.com

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Manatee County Clerk Begins Online Foreclosure Sales with Realauction

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (PRWEB) August 1, 2008

With more than 2,600 foreclosures filed in Manatee County last year, staff involved in the labor-intensive process is ready for the efficiencies of online sales. Currently, copying documents is time consuming and expensive. The Clerk’s staff will save time with the new process by uploading documents once so all bidders will have simultaneous access to complete information for each case.

“Our office looks forward to an increase in the number of bidders on each property,” said Shore. “The more bidders we attract, the more likely the property will sell at the highest amount possible. Reducing the paperwork in this process yields a direct savings to taxpayers and saves our staff time.”

Recent changes to Florida Statutes have enabled Clerks of the Court to hold foreclosure sales online. Counties throughout Florida are no longer limited to just those bidders who can physically be present at the sale. The increase in bidders also means an increase in the number of properties sold.

“Chips Shore is known for his vision in utilizing technology to save time and taxpayer money,” said Lloyd McClendon, Realauction CEO. “With documentation, history and property details uploaded to a dedicated web site for all bidders, the bidders’ playing field is leveled and the Clerk’s staff can focus on other priorities.”

Realauction will conduct training and orientation sessions for bidders prior to the sale, with complete instruction on participation in the online sale. Realauction also provides a toll free number to their customer service team to answer questions during the sale.

Manatee County’s online foreclosure sales are set to begin in September with training for bidders scheduled throughout August.

About Realauction

Realauction is a leading provider of technology solutions for government agencies. Realauction helps governments reduce costs by providing consultation, design and implementation for online auctions of tax lien sales, tax deed applications and foreclosure sales. With over 50 years of combined experience in the delinquent tax and real estate data transfer industry, Realauction is committed to providing the software and customer service to help governments succeed.

About the Clerk’s Office

The Clerk of the Circuit Court was established as a public trustee by the Florida Constitution in 1838. The Clerk of the Circuit Court serves as the Clerk of Courts, the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, Auditor, Recorder, and Custodian of all County Funds. In Manatee County, the Clerk’s office also administers a child support enforcement program, violence protection advocacy program, Citizens’ Review and Teen Court programs. Located at 1115 Manatee Avenue West in Downtown Bradenton, the Courthouse is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Please be sure to visit our web site at http://www.manateeclerk.com.

CASA of Cook County Launches a New Initiative Helping Older Youth Who are Preparing to Age Out of Foster Care

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) April 7, 2009

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cook County presents Filling the Gaps: Creating Stepping Stones to Success for Older Youth, a symposium launching its new initiative, Creating Independent Transitions for Youth (CITY). The symposium is scheduled for Tuesday, April 14, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the UIC Forum located at 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60608.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Amy Dworsky, Senior Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Dr. Dworsky will discuss “National Review of Policies and Program Supporting Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care” and “Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth.”

Filling the Gaps: Creating Stepping Stones to Success for Older Youth is a free event, thanks to a generous grant from the Louis R. Lurie Foundation. Registration is available at http://www.casacookcounty.org

Because Every Child Deserves a Safe Permanent Home

About the CITY Initiative

There are approximately 3,000 abused and neglected youth age 16 and older in the Child Protection Division of Cook County Juvenile Court.

CASA of Cook County developed CITY in response to the alarming number of abused and negelcted youth in Cook County who are preparing to age out of foster care without permanent homes and support. CITY recruits, trains and supervises volunteer Advocates to work with foster youth age 16 and older to evaluate their individual needs and determine-with the assistance of the court and all involved parties-the services and tools needed to reflect each young person’s individual goals of independence. Volunteers monitor the youth’s current living situation for safety and appropriateness and help youth reconnect with extended family members in order to develop long-term supportive relationships.

Youth benefit from having a CITY Advocate in multiple ways. Because each volunteer is assigned to only one case at a time, the youth receive the individual attention they deserve and are able to build a trusting relationship with their volunteer. Through regular and direct communication between the youth and Advocate, the youth’s wants, needs and desires for their future are clearly communicated to the court. Most importantly, youth begin to understand how to advocate for themselves and how to become successful, productive members of their communities.

About CASA of Cook County

For nearly 25 years, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cook County has been helping abused and neglected children involved in the Juvenile Court and foster care system of Cook County. CASA of Cook County provides caring volunteer advocates to make a life-long difference for children.

Advocates are appointed by a judge and assigned to one case at a time, serving as an independent voice for abused and neglected children in court. Volunteers advocate for safe, permanent homes for these children to break the cycle of abuse and neglect. CASA volunteers help ensure that children receive appropriate services and treatment by independently monitoring a child’s situation, identifying community resources, and participating in the court process.

For more information, visit http://www.casacookcounty.org

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Remote Management and Robust Content Filtering Prompt the Rutherford County Library System to Adopt OpenDNS

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) March 4, 2010

OpenDNS, provider of the worlds leading Internet navigation and security services that make networks safer, faster, smarter and more reliable, today announced that the Rutherford County Library System in North Carolina has deployed OpenDNS system-wide, on both its wired and wireless networks.

The library system chose OpenDNS for its comprehensive content filtering capabilities, coupled with OpenDNS unique ability to filter content on all devices accessing their network without complicated software installations. Using OpenDNS, anyone at a library branch accessing their networkthrough a library computer or even a cell phone using their wireless Internet connectionis subject to the same high level of protection against malware and restricted websites. This security comes with no appliance to buy and no software to install on each device accessing the network.

As an added bonus, OpenDNS helps the Rutherford County Library System remain CIPA (Child Internet Protection Act) compliant. A federal law enacted by Congress in 2000, CIPA addresses concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers. Says Kenneth Odom, the Rutherford County Library System Administrator that implemented OpenDNS: The service has worked perfectly. I never have to wonder what the person on their laptop near the childrens room is looking at. It just works!

Prior to choosing OpenDNS for their content filtering needs, the Rutherford County Libraries used Netsweeper, though they could only filter content on devices where the software was installed, leaving patrons own computerslike laptops and mobile devicessusceptible to online security threats and out of compliance with the librarys Internet content policies.

According to Odom, Ive never used a product or service that allowed me to manage multiple distributed networks so easily.

With the OpenDNS adoption, Rutherford County joins thousands of libraries around the world that have chosen OpenDNS to provide their employees and patrons with a faster, safer and more reliable Internet experience.

About OpenDNS

OpenDNS is the world’s leading provider of Internet navigation and security services that make networks safer, faster, smarter and more reliable. Through DNS resolution, cloud-based Web content filtering and security services, OpenDNS empowers millions of households, schools and businesses to control how users navigate the Internet on their network, while dramatically increasing the network’s overall performance and reliability. For more information about OpenDNS, please visit: http://www.opendns.com.

About the Rutherford County Library System

The main branch of the Rutherford County Library is located in Spindale, NC with two satellite branches in Lake Lure and Henrietta. The libraries serve a mostly rural population of approximately 65,000.


New York Times Bestselling Author Dana Canedy Kicks Off 31 Days of Glory in Fayetteville/Cumberland County on May 1

Fayetteville, NC (PRWEB) March 24, 2010

The series of events opens with A Journal for Jordan author Ms. Canedy giving a motivational speech, signing copies of the book, and visiting and connecting with civilians and soldiers and their families at two locations, Fascinate-U Childrens Museum and Fort Braggs North Post PX. The book is filled with life lessons that Canedys husband, Army First Sergeant Charles Monroe King, wanted to instill in his son in the event he did not return from war. The Pulitzer-Prize winning editor will share her heart-wrenching story with those who truly understand what its like to lose a loved one.

31 Days of Glory will honor children of fallen soldiers at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum (ASOM) during a special ceremony where Mayor Anthony Chavonne will present each child with a special coin recognizing them for their courage. Also during the event, winners of the museums month-long exhibit, Celebrating & Honoring Military Heroes, will be announced. The display features art from children of military families in Cumberland County Schools.

Our community is committed to watching over those who watch over us and 31 Days of Glory is just another way for us to honor and recognize the military for bravely protecting our everyday freedoms, says John Meroski, president and CEO of the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

With various patriotic and military attractions and events taking place throughout the month, 31 Days of Glory offers lively and fun activities for all ages. Please visit http://www.31daysofglory.com for a listing of all events, such as: