Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Former Antioch student, Boston Red Sox pitcher helps South African orphans through baseball

Monday, January 26th, 2015
DSC 6971 1024x682 Former Antioch student, Boston Red Sox pitcher helps South African orphans through baseball

Michael McCarthy teaches kids in South Africa how to field the ball.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” – Nelson Mandela

By Michael McCarthy

My name is Michael McCarthy. I am a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox organization and a former Black Diamond Middle School student, in Antioch. I am part of a group called Baseball Miracles that helps underprivileged youth around the world grow through the game of baseball.

IMG 5845 300x200 Former Antioch student, Boston Red Sox pitcher helps South African orphans through baseball

Michael McCarthy teaches batting to an orphan during a 2014 trip to South Africa.

Baseball Miracles spent five day in Pretoria, South Africa, last fall where we worked with youth ministries to provide baseball instruction and equipment to the orphaned children of the region. Many of these children are orphans due to the AIDS epidemic of South Africa that has resulted in more than 2.4 million orphans across the nation.

More than 200 children received their very own baseball glove and baseball to keep as a gift, along with instruction from baseball professionals throughout the baseball ranks within the United States, including former Major League pitcher Virgil Vazquez, White Sox Hall of Fame Scout John Tumminia and Boston Red Sox Scout Jared Banner (a list of the people involved is in the link below).

We also hosted an All-American baseball lunch for the children that included hot dogs, peanuts, Big League Chew Bubblegum, sunflower seeds and singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame!” This all comes at no cost to them and is created by financial and equipment based donations by generous donors across the nation that have a love for baseball and philanthropy.

DSC 0056 300x200 Former Antioch student, Boston Red Sox pitcher helps South African orphans through baseball

Part of the Baseball Miracles team with happy new baseball players in South Africa.

Baseball Miracles is a group of baseball professionals that have a strong knowledge of the game and a desire to help make the world a better place through the game of baseball. We have come together to create a charity that can help spread the goodwill of the game around the world.

Spanning continents, ethnicity, race and gender, we use baseball as a sport of unification and a means to make the world a better place.

Many of us have been incredibly blessed to play the game of baseball as children and learn many of the life lessons it has to offer. Words like integrity, team work and work ethic are among the most commonly used by the group, making baseball truly a classroom on grass. We receive no financial benefit and for most of us there are significant out of pocket expenses that go along with each trip.

Roster: www.baseballmiracles.org/about-us.html

Past trips include: Dominican Republic, Ireland and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of South Dakota.

Future International trips include: Israel, Malawi and Kenya.

Future local trips include: Frozen Ropes Clinic in New York and Challenger leagues across the nation.

Publisher’s Note: For more information about Michael McCarthy, visit www.soxprospects.com/players/mccarthy-mike.htm.

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Down at the River: Harry Bouchard

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

By H. Maria

Harry Bouchard is a well-read, well-spoken, educated man. He loves the outdoors. He is not very tall, maybe 5’7” with a mop of curly golden hair, blue eyes. The “tell” of his love of the outdoors, is his tanned face. Early mornings and late afternoons are when he is most often outside. He has to take care with the sun. Medicine he must take makes his love of the sun problematic. Harry is a poet; the day we met he made his farewell by reciting his “poem of the day”. He flashed a boyish smile after his recitation and said, “the poem is free to you, but only this one poem, should you want to hear more, I do charge.”

He cares for his brothers in the way the New Testament instructs us to do. His occupation is to research valuable resources for his community. He welcomes new arrivals by supplying them with whatever information and materials are needed to make their move as smooth as possible. Harry is an orderly man of laws and codes. He makes sure new arrivals understand what will be expected of them as citizens. His other community service is to gather garbage from his town and place it where it can be easily be pick up. He told me he has made an arrangement with the neighboring community for daily collection. He loves where he lives. He shares that sunrises and sunsets there fill him with joy. He loves his life.

He told me a little of his history and proudly claims direct-descent from French pirate, Hippolyte Bouchard. ADHD and an easy tendency to depression require he take medicine. He brought out two prescription bottles, from his pocket, and held them out. I’m familiar with these medicines as being the gold standard for his problems. He lowered his head to look at the medicines and wryly commented they don’t really work for him. Despite having education and training in a useful field he says he has great difficulty working for others. He is very happy he was able to create the job he has, and is proud he does it well. He calls what he does, Human Resources for his community. He was once married. That union failed because of his then untreated mental issues. A son was born of the marriage. As he spoke of the boy, his blue eyes gave away the fierce love he has for his child. Despite having to move often, he has been careful never to move too far away. He wants the boy to grow up knowing he has a father who loves him. An elderly mother lives close by in a partly assisted living arrangement. He visits her from time to time and enjoys her hospitality. He never stays more than a day as he feels that would be wrong. Her rent is subsidized because of age and infirmity.

He graciously gave me a tour of his home. On the grounds were stacks of neatly contained waste he had collected from his community. In a culvert at the back of his lot was another waste pile that preexisted his move to the area. He puts a little of that pile out every day, as well. He’s careful not to put out too much for collection at one time. The service is free and he doesn’t want to overwhelm. Our visit came to an end as I had a scheduled commitment. After the recitation of his poem he wave me away with a big smile and a “be careful out there”. Harry Bouchard is a good man, he is a valuable man.

Since I met Harry in August, he has moved. Antioch cleaned out the homeless encampment a couple of months ago. I drove by the day after the clean up. I recognized his belongings neatly stacked in a row at the back of the lot. Harry lived in a ravine on our riverfront in a big tent. He collected tents, pots, and bedding to give to homeless that moved into his area. He gave out a list of contacts for sources in Antioch giving out food, clothing and direction to local homeless shelters. He also gave out information on how to apply for financial and medical aid. When we first spoke he stood downwind from me. The strong scent was overwhelming but interesting in that it was not the typical smell of a long unwashed human. It recalled the scent of a bobcat my husband and I once found while hiking in Southern California’s coastal mountains. He read my reaction, apologized and stood upwind from me.

“I shower at my mother’s from time to time”, he said. She is on financial assist so I can’t take advantage of her shower very often”. I don’t know where Harry is. I only ever saw him that one day. Harry is a truthful man. I could tell he believed everything he told me. What he understood to be a garbage collection agreement with Antioch was actually the work of citizens, including myself who took away the garbage he placed every day by a tree above his encampment. When I think of him, my immediate thought is that he could be helped to re-enter society. We in society would celebrate that as a job well done. Would he?

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Former Antioch couple celebrates 65th wedding anniversary

Friday, November 14th, 2014
Caye Lou Carufel 1024x768 Former Antioch couple celebrates 65th wedding anniversary

Caye and Lou Carufel

Louis H. and Catherine M. Carufel (neé Viera) of Anchorage, Alaska, celebrated 65 years of marriage this week. They were married in Antioch, California on November 12, 1949, at the Holy Rosary Church, followed by a reception at the Riverview Club. Catherine, known as Caye, was born in Antioch, California and Louis, known as Louie, was born in Bismarck, North Dakota.

After a brief honeymoon in Yosemite National Park, Louie and Caye began their lifelong travels and adventures.

As a fisheries biologist, Louis advanced his career with state and federal positions in California, North Dakota, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Alaska. Caye worked both private and government sectors, and supported the family when Louis went back to college to earn his Masters Degree in Wildlife Management.

Along the way they raised five successful children (Louis III, Candace, Mark, Paul, David), lived on both coasts of the U.S., and traveled in Europe and Asia. Their children remain very close to their parents and claim that they have enjoyed an eventful and satisfying life.

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Antioch student at Washington State makes President’s Honor Roll for Summer 2014

Sunday, October 19th, 2014
Kristoff Williams Antioch student at Washington State makes Presidents Honor Roll for Summer 2014

Kristoff Williams, courtesy of WSU Athletics

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University has announced that Kristoff Isiah Williams of Antioch has, once again, made the President’s Honor Roll, this time for the 2014 Summer semester.

The President’s Honor Roll recognizes students who stand above the rest with excellent academic performance. To be eligible for the honor roll, undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of nine graded hours in a single term at WSU and earn a grade point average of 3.75 or earn a 3.50 cumulative GPA based on 15 cumulative hours of graded work.

A criminal justice major in his senior year, Williams is a 2010 graduate of Deer Valley High School, where he was a four-year scholar athlete and a National Football League Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete, as quarterback for the Wolverines. He now plays wide receiver for the WSU Cougars football team. Williams is the son of Daniel and Corlette Williams.

For more information on Kristoff Williams, click here or here.

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Antioch author publishes sixth book, third of second WWII trilogy

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
Sarah Sundin Antioch author publishes sixth book, third of second WWII trilogy

Sarah Sundin

By Allen Payton

Antioch author Sarah Sundin was inspired to write due to a dream she had in 2000. Although educated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and doctorate in Pharmacy, and has worked as a pharmacist – and still does, one day a week – like her husband David, she went ahead and pursued the dream.

It was weird. I started scribbling on a piece of paper,” Sarah said. “It took me about a week to build up the nerve to tell him.”

However, hat book was never published.

Nor should it be” she stated. “But, it motivated me to attend conferences.”

One of those, for Christian writers like Sarah, is held at Mt. Hermon Conference Center, near Santa Cruz. That’s where she got to know editors and literary agents, one-on-one. She also participated in writers groups. Sarah now has about seven authors who run things by each other.

I didn’t think I needed editing. I got A’s in English,” Sarah laughed.

Then she wrote a second novel. But, that wasn’t published, either.

She shared that the average author writes three novels before being published.

Sarah started submitting her novels to publishers in 2003 and after five years of rejection letters, she received her first contract in 2008 from Revell, a Christian book publisher.

Her first two books, part of a trilogy known as the Wings of Glory series, were published in 2010. The third book followed a year later.

That trilogy follows three brothers from Antioch, who were all B-17 bomber pilots during World War II, which is the setting of all of her published books, so far. On the cover of the third book, entitled “Blue Skies Tomorrow” is a drawing of the El Campanil Theatre. On the theater’s marquee is the movie Cover Girl, for which Antioch native Carmen Dragon wrote the musical score and won an Oscar. The book also covers the Port Chicago explosion of 1944.Sundin In Perfect Time 662x1024 Antioch author publishes sixth book, third of second WWII trilogy

Sundin’s books are filled with romance, action and faith, with the focus on both the men and women in the plot lines, and based on serious research and historical information.

Her second series, known as the Wings of the Nightingale series, follows three flight nurses. The third book in that series, “In Perfect Time” was just released, this month.

Sarah’s next series, Waves of Freedom, follows the lives of three American Naval officers based in Boston, who fought in the Atlantic theater. She just returned from a trip to Boston with one of her sons, where she was doing research for that series, including doing things like taking photos of a five-inch gun mount on the U.S.S. Massachusetts.

I actually hated history in school,” Sarah said. “I thought it was boring. But, with age comes appreciation. Now I watch a lot of history on television and think how fascinating it is.”

In fact, her first series was inspired by watching a documentary on The History Channel, and after remembering her Uncle Rod who flew a B-17 bomber with the 8th Air Force.

The first book of her third series is scheduled to be in bookstores, and of course, Amazon.com, next summer. It takes about a year from contract to when the final copy, following three rounds of edits, is due, then another full year from final copy to when a book hits bookstore shelves.

Both of her sons read and like her books. But, her 18-year old daughter thinks it’s kind of weird her mom’s writing romantic stories.

It’s really hard to stop in the middle of writing to make dinner,” Sarah said. “But they’re troopers and have been amazing putting up with this.”

Although the characters in her book aren’t based any of her family members, or anyone else she knows, the hero in “On Distant Shores,” is a pharmacist.

My spiritual gift is teaching,” Sarah said. “So, when I write, 11 of my 12 heroes and heroines were Christians, who needed to grow in their spiritual walk. They’re usually lessons I’ve learned in life.”

The Lord has used the writing process to teach her, and has had an impact on her readers, as well.

She receives emails and letters from readers.

One widow who lost her husband in Iraq wrote Sarah and said that “Blue Skies Tomorrow” helped her deal with her grief.

I’m humbled to see that God will take [something she wrote] and use it in someone else’s life,” she stated. “I’m thrilled and blessed and humbled.”

Her books are available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com. Learn more about Sarah and her books at www.sarahsundin.com and follow her on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor and on Twitter at sarahsundin.

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Antioch student again earns Dean’s List recognition at Norwich University

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
Ethan Bilotti FB Antioch student again earns Deans List recognition at Norwich University

Ethan Bilotti – from his Facebook page.

In order to be eligible to be on the Dean’s list a student must carry at least 12 credit hours and attain a grade point average of at least a 3.0.

Bilotti is studying biology and serving the U.S. Army while attending college.

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). For more information visit www.norwich.edu.

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Grinnell College Honors Antioch’s Dr. John W. Copeland as one of 10 Outstanding Graduates for 2014

Monday, June 9th, 2014
Dr. Copeland receives award Grinnell College Honors Antiochs Dr. John W. Copeland as one of 10 Outstanding Graduates for 2014

Dr. John Copeland receives his alumni award from Grinnell Alumni Council President Susan Henken-Thielen during the Alumni Assembly on Saturday May 31, 2014. photo by Justin Hayworth

Grinnell, Iowa — Grinnell College recognized the professional accomplishments and service contributions of 10 alumni during Alumni Reunion Weekend, May 30-June 1, on the Grinnell campus.

Alumni Award recipients are members of reunion classes who have distinguished themselves in their careers and communities and embody Grinnell’s mission of lifelong learning and service.

The honored alumni are:

Dr. Copeland Photo by Justin Hayworth 244x300 Grinnell College Honors Antiochs Dr. John W. Copeland as one of 10 Outstanding Graduates for 2014

Dr. John Copeland. photo by Justin Hayworth

– M. Anne Brineman Anderson, a member of the Class of 1964 from Washington, D.C., for decades of work toward peace as a leader with activist and advocacy groups.

– Noga Ashkenazi, a member of the Class of 2009 from Tel Aviv, Israel, who used her documentary film work to bring attention—and reform—to the issues faced by women in prison. (Ashkenazi is one of two recipients of this year’s Pioneer Awards, which recognize distinctive achievements made by alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years.)

– Elizabeth Barnard Brooke ’54, from Vienna, Va., for decades of leadership in journalism at U.S. News & World Report, and for her extensive community service.

– Martha Grodzins Butt, a member of the Class of 1964, for helping Grinnellians, and others, build connections with Thailand, both through her work at Payap University in Chiang Mai and through her volunteer leadership and service at Grinnell.

– Peter Coyote, a member of the Class of 1964 and a resident of Mill Valley, Calif., for his work as an actor and social activist.

– G. Peter “Pete” Ferrell III, a member of the Class of 1974 and a resident of Beaumont, Kan., for his leadership in sustainability—both through his work with wind energy and through his service on the boards of the Land Institute, the Beaumont Community Association, and other environmental organizations.

– Anthony Hyatt, a 1985 Grinnell graduate now living in Bethesda, Md., for using music to inspire older generations to sing, dance and socialize with each other.

– Sarah B. R. Labowitz, a member of the Class of 2004 and a resident of New York, N.Y., for her nuanced and pioneering work in the areas of human rights, Internet freedom, and cyber policy. (Labowitz is one of two recipients of this year’s Pioneer Awards, which recognize distinctive achievements made by alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years.)

– Samuel Schuman, a member of the Class of 1964 and a resident of Asheville, N.C., for significant contributions—both as a scholar and a chancellor—to the field of higher education.

About Grinnell College

Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries. Grinnell’s rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at www.grinnell.edu.

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Saving Eli, an Antioch story of redemption – book signing Saturday

Friday, May 2nd, 2014
Eli Saving Eli, an Antioch story of redemption   book signing Saturday

Eli Contreras from his Facebook page.

I was just a crazy, drug addicted, punk rocker, demon-possessed man.”

By Allen Payton

Talking with Eli Contreras, today, you’d never know the hell on Earth he’s been through in his life. To think this calm, soft-spoken, baby-faced man once frightened people away, by both his appearance and behavior is hard to imagine. It’s only after you see some of his tattoos and he points out the scars from the busted veins in his forearms, that you realize his story is true.

Eulalio “Eli” Guevara Contreras was born in Oakley in 1972, the fourth of five children, and grew up with his two brothers and two sisters. He was baptized Catholic, but didn’t attend church. At the young age of three became a victim of physical, mental and sexual abuse. That was just the start of his troubled life.

By age 14 he started abusing drugs, both legal and illegal and at 16 was so angry with God for what He allowed Eli to go through, that he opened a copy of the Satanic Bible and gave his soul to the devil, to get even with God.

His oldest brother was shot in the face and killed by that brother’s best friend, then saw his mother lose her mind. Eli was glad his brother was dead, because he hated him.

At that same age, Eli and his friend, who was a transvestite in San Francisco, hung out where the homosexual prostitutes did. He started dressing punk and getting piercings.

By age 19 Eli started selling drugs to supply his habit and because he was living on the streets, sometimes staying the night at people’s homes.

I started hearing voices and seeing images and talking to people who weren’t there,” he shared in a recent interview. That lasted until he was 32.

He said demons started telling him to kill his parents, which of course, made them afraid of him and wouldn’t let Eli stay in the house at night. So, he lived in their back yard shed.

The demons told him to molest a little boy. But, he fought that and ended up in the mental ward at Kaiser hospital.

Then his parents’ house got shot up and they moved out of state, leaving Eli behind, which had a profound impact on him.

I was still that three-year-old, little boy who never grew up,” he said.

He cried and thought he no longer had any dreams.

He became successful at selling drugs and continued to use them, too.

That got him arrested three times, once by the FBI and twice by local police, landing him in jail, with a gang member as a cell mate. Eli was not part of any gang. He just sold drugs to all of them.

One night, his cellmate ended up having convulsions and died. Eli was arrested on murder charges, but was released 72 hours later and never did any time.

His homies were going to kill me,” he stated.

During the 13 years he was selling and abusing drugs, being demon possessed and hearing voices, he experienced the sensation that bugs were eating him from the inside. He lost all of his teeth. He blew out the veins in both of his forearms.

I was just a crazy, drug addict, punk-rocker, demon-possessed man,” Eli stated.

He was saying “somebody love me. Somebody make this pain go away.” But, it didn’t. It just got worse.

Eli got beat up in one neighborhood in Antioch. Once he had his head busted open with a hammer, and he was shot at.

At age 32 he overdosed and attempted suicide many times, once by playing Russian Roulette.

Elis book cover Saving Eli, an Antioch story of redemption   book signing SaturdayJust at the time the demons told him to go walk in front of a diesel truck at Laurel and Highway 4, a lady, named Mariam, and her daughter in a white car, made a u-turn and stopped to tell Eli “God loves you more than you can ever imagine.”

Mariam said God told her she had to talk to him that day or the next day it would be too late.

For the next year she prayed for Eli and if she saw him, she would pull over and talk to him and sometimes take him to her house for dinner.

Then on March 27, 2005 Eli heard God speak to him – “turn away” and gave him four mental pictures: Eli was in his right mind, wearing white, reunited with his family and on his knees worshiping Jesus Christ.

It broke him emotionally. He ran to Mariam’s house and she took him to church. While there, Eli got down on his knees, asked God for forgiveness and instantly felt Himpouring His love into him.

In 2008 he self-published a book about his experiences entitled “And Then I Heard His Voice.” Eli will be having a book signing at 10 A.M., tomorrow, Saturday, May 3 at Graceland Christian Books, next to Target, at 4261 Century Blvd. in Pittsburg. Call 706-8791 for times. His book is available on Amazon.com. See his interview on the 700 Club, entitled “Saving Eli” on YouTube by clicking here.

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