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Great Connections: PVHMC's Stroke Awareness Day
April 29, 2023
Mike and Norma tooling around PVHMC
Mike and Norma on a beautiful SoCal day

We were glad to see and be seen at the annual Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center's Stroke Awareness Day.

This April, we partnered with healing professionals and support groups from our area to celebrate the strides we're making in the field of brain health. Bridging the Gap was very pleased to have a table again at this excellent event, with speakers on the state of the art of stroke recovery.

Click any photo to view larger.
Mike, Norma, and Christian staff our booth Christian setting up our table Mike and Norma tooling around PVHMC
Radio Shorts — Brain Injury Radio Stories at Chico State
January 12, 2023

Gentleman speaking into a microphone
Stories of TBIs from folks at Chico State are a window into the soul of recovery

The Brain Injury Coalition promotes brain injury awareness at California State University at Chico in Northern California.

This January, the radio station KZFR partnered with the coalition and graduate students of the Communications Sciences and Disorders Program to create a show featuring the personal stories of four TBI survivors: Tom, Bev, Nikki, and Bridging the Gap's own Clay Ellington.

Listen Now

Their theme this year is "Progress Over Perfection." Let us know what these stories and heartfelt insights mean to you.
Jim and Krista eating dessert at an outdoor cafe
Local music and fun through Jim's eyes and ears

Our friend and regular participant Jim Manley has his own blog!

Jim captures events in and around Claremont, California, where he lives. His interests in music and photography take him to many events at the local Claremont Colleges, and a general lust for life means you'll also read about fun times he and his partner Krista enjoy when they venture to other spots!

Jim recently shared the entire program of the spectacular Pomona College Choir's December concert, along with links to others performing some of the same songs out in YouTube-land! Some deeply spiritual tunes were featured, older hymns such as "Ave Maria," as well as several 1930s numbers, such as "Soon Ah Will Be Done."

Thank you, Jim, for sharing your work with us!

Visit Jim's blog now to see where his latest jaunts have taken him!
Latest Video Interviews are Live!
August 25, 2022

Fireside Chat with Celeste and Cisco
Film at Eleven
The latest "Our Stories" videos are now live here on the website! See new faces, and some familiar ones too!
Watch Now
Jim Manley's 4th Photography Show at Claremont Forum
August 6, 2022

Our gang at Jim's Show
'The Gang' enjoys Jim's exhibit
We had a ball on August 6 visiting longtime friend Jim Manley's fourth photography show, featuring his macro works called the "Closer Looks" project.

Jim's photos feature the tiniest plant details enlarged to 40 inches! Calmed by the beauty — getting lost in it — is why our gifted friend got into this amazing hobby in the first place, and why he wants to share it with the world!

Click any photo to view larger.
Artist Bio Artist's Statement Here's to good friends, tonight is kinda special... A closer look! The league of extraordinary gentlemen
Stroke Awareness Day 2022 at Pomona Valley Hospital
May 21, 2022

Bridging the Gap folks were thrilled to come together in person at PVHMC's Stroke Awareness Day on May 21st.

A good number of us attended, and we enjoyed re-connecting with each other and the skilled healers at the hospital.

There were health screenings available, and the hospital gifted us with an exhibitor table of our own.

Thanks also to always-informative Dr. Angela Yi for speaking at the event.
Dr. Angela Yi, neuropsychologist, speaks at Pomona Valley Hospital's Stroke Awareness Day 2022
Dr. Angela Yi
2021 Scholarship Recipient Andrew Sanchez
September 10, 2021

We are proud to introduce the latest recipient of the Bridging the Gap Scholarship — Mr. Andrew Sanchez! This is our ninth year of providing scholarships to veterans and other deserving Citrus College students.

Andrew spent 5 years in the US Army, one year of which was spent in a combat zone in Baghdad, Iraq. His experiences were full of harsh challenges to face and overcome. Transitioning to life as a college student means that he now has to face a whole series of new challenges: to adapt to the familiar-yet-different environment of life back home, and to also address the PTSD that came as a result of his war-zone experiences.

Andrew partnered with mental health professionals through the Veterans' Administration, and realized school could be a part of moving forward with his life goals. He is pursuing a career in Public Works Administration at Citrus College, and now he has a scholarship to help him make it happen.

Congratulations, Andrew! We're thrilled to be a part of your future goals!
Andrew Sanchez
2021 Scholarship Recipient Andrew Sanchez
2020 Scholarship Recipient Andrew Fonticiella
August 14, 2020

We're thrilled to feature the recipient of the 2020 Bridging the Gap scholarship, Citrus College sophomore Andrew Fonticiella!

Andrew has deep feeling for community service, volunteering hundreds of hours with his local fire department as a teenager, and later doing a tour in the Navy. In his own words, "I have big dreams to become a Doctor in Emergency Medicine and with such passion for the career field have been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA while attending Citrus College."

Congratulations, Andrew! We're glad to be a part of your future goals!

2020 Scholarship Recipient Andrew Fonticiella
6th Annual Bridging the Gap Fundraiser
October, 2018

Over $3,000 was raised as Mountain Village Senior Apartments hosted our very special annual fundraiser! Donations were still coming in even after the day of the event!

We heard from Tony Zarza, a previous scholarship recipient, about the helping hand he received in the form of money for textbooks. Brain-injury survivor and champ, Danny Blanco, praised the support groups and speakers for helping him put together the many pieces of his personal brain injury puzzle. Longtime friend of the group, Jan, gave Celeste and the group kudos for humanizing the experience, and giving people a safe place to express themselves. All of us got together to celebrate courage — and have a darn good time.

The funds raised allow us to continue the tradition of our annual scholarship to a student veteran, adding to our website resources to encourage our fellow survivors and friends, outreach into talks and support groups! Cowboy Boots and Daisies
TBI and Visual Consequences Podcast
August, 2018

Celeste was a guest on neuro-optometrist Dr. Doug Stephey's "Move, Look, and Listen" podcast, with host Tim Edwards. This audio is a mind-boggling "look" at how the brain and vision interact in so many fundamental ways. Celeste Palmer
Gentle Intro to TBI: Celeste on the Radio
July 26, 2018

Our own Celeste was a guest on Brain Injury Radio with Terry Smith! She gave a wonderful introduction to the world of traumatic brain injury, shared her personal experiences, and offered some great tips on how to venture forward and find help. (Note: Celeste's segment runs from 19:40 to 56:48 minutes) Terry Smith's radio show screenshot
Listen on Terry's Website
Stroke Awareness Day at PVHMC
May 19, 2018

Bridging the Gap proudly gave out smiles and information at Stroke Awareness Day at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center. Doctors, nurses, therapists, and many friends met us there — it was a wonderful experience! The energy, knowledge, and assistance shared was very gratifying. Some of our gang at PVHMC Stroke Awareness Day
Some of our gang at PVHMC Stroke Awareness Day
June Snodgrass — April 2018
April, 2018

June and her husband, Wayne, and their daughter, Robin, I met years ago at one of our support group meetings in Claremont, CA.

June attended, slowly explaining about her stroke with her husband and daughter quick to tell us what they "knew" June was going to say.

With a little (sigh) coaching from Celeste they soon learned that June wanted to use her own voice. She just needed a little longer to prepare the words in her head and get them out in a conversation. Soon she would have "her say" in the meeting and everyone was happy to wait until she completed her thoughts. Robin many times said, "Is that it, Mom?" The group would chuckle and June would say "Yes" or "No" and on we went.

Wayne has Macular Degeneration and is a born advocate. He's a great person to go to for advice.

Their 65 year marriage is a testament to determination and courage. They have 6 kids and 16 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. With spouses a family photo would be about 50 people, give or take!

I've met 3 of their 6 kids- Robin, Mike and Steven. This is an amazing family. We have been honored to know them and to have them share their trials and tribulations through the years.

Our beautiful friend, June passed this month. We will sadly miss seeing the sparkle in her eyes, her quick smile, her determination and "tell it like it is" attitude. She has not only been my treasured friend all these years but my Hero. (I hear you, June! She told me often that I was her hero and we ARE each other's heroes!)

She frequently reminded us - Believe. Be patient. Never give up!

June and Wayne have videos on this website. Please enjoy them. With love and appreciation, Celeste June and Wayne on their 65th Anniversary
We are on Amazon Smile
March 16, 2018

We are pleased to announce we are registered with Amazon Smile! When you shop with Amazon Smile, and when you designate Bridging the Gap as your charity, Amazon donates a small portion of their profits to us.

Amazon Smile logo
2017 Fundraiser Hit a New High-water Mark!
October 15, 2017

Donations were at an even higher level at our 2017 fundraiser! Mountain Village Senior Apartments was our gracious host again for our 5th annual event, and we are very grateful to you all for raising $2,200.00!

2017 Fundraiser at Mountain Village
2017 Scholarship Recipient Ivan Garrett
August 18, 2017

We're thrilled to feature the recipient of our 2017 Citrus College scholarship, Ivan Garrett! More info to come.

Ivan holding his certificate
Scholarship Dollars at a New High!
October 8, 2016

Our 4th Annual Fundraiser on October 8 was a riproaring success! With the help of the kind and generous angels at Mountain Village Senior Apartments, we raised even more money than in previous years! A big THANK YOU to all those involved.

Cowboy gear
Scholarship Given at Citrus College
August 13, 2016

Nursing student and Army veteran Tony Zarza received a $500 scholarship from Bridging the Gap on August 13! Celeste Palmer and Jeff Willard represented the group and proudly congratulated this young husband and father who is starting the next chapter of his life.

Tony chose to study nursing because nurses meant so much to him in his recovery. We'll have a more in-depth bio on Tony shortly. Citrus College gave $100,000 in scholarships to 287 students, most in the $500 range, at this huge breakfast reception. Congratulations, Tony!

Tony receives his scholarship
10th Annual Walk-Run-Roll a Great Success!
March 19, 2016

We were community sponsors at the recent Brainstorming4Us Walk-Run-Roll 4 Thought 5K! Please enjoy Celeste's and Noah's storyboards which were posted at the event.

Scholarship Recipient Priscilla Rubio
July, 2015

Priscilla writes: Thank you. Thank you. This scholarship means so much to me. I am honored to be receiving this scholarship. It is a big help and contribution to my education. I have notified my family of my scholarship and on behalf of them they also want to say thank you. They are very proud of me and I'm proud of myself, for receiving this award. Like I mentioned before, this will be a great help toward my educational finances. I'm a very dedicated student for the very simple fact that I not do this only for myself, but for my kids. Hard work does pay off. Thank you so much again. Respectfully yours, Priscilla Rubio

Bridging the Gap is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Logo designed by Danny Blanco