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President Pat's Update 
Congratulations to a great 2021 kick-off from our FOCUS members who donated food that filled over 25 large boxes for Christie’s Place.   Way to go!   Lots of you asked that we continue a program like this.   From our quick poll, you have selected a Quarterly Donation Event that would support a varied need of an agency.  Thanks for the kind and generous offer.
Our new board is up and running with lots of activity that includes:

1. Our monthly newsletter will include a new section:  FOCUS Members in the Spotlight.   Since we can’t meet in person, this is our attempt to get to know our members a little better.     We want to thank Don Swanson for interviewing and publishing this month’s FOCUS on Fred and Ethel Kallsen.

2. You will soon be receiving an invitation to our CCSA Van Presentation later in February.     Watch for it and plan on joining us along with the Mayor Bailey and others.

3.  We are fortunate to have a top tier IT Consulting firm take on the refresh of our FOCUS website.  I know this firm and their CEO quite well.  They are fabulous to work with and I am so

appreciative of their generous offer.   They will start with a very brief “anonymous” survey to hear directly from our members.    Please take a couple of minutes to participate when I send this out to you within the week.   Your input is what will make this most valuable.

4.  Mardi Gras Happy Hour is coming up on March 16.     Don’t forget to reply to our Evite.   I will send reminders.  Lisa Storey is putting all this together including gift bags with beads, mask, etc, so she will need a good count early on.     We will have a brief FOCUS update before we start our social hour that will include a Trivia game and the Mardi Gras King Cake cutting to see who ends up with the ”baby” and prize.    Hope you can join.   Should be lots of fun.   (Looking to host a Virtual St. Patrick’s Day Party in April...details to follow.) Stay tuned and please reach out to me with any questions or comments.  

 We are still looking for someone to take on our monthly Newsletter.    This issue is compliments of Sharon Shelton.   But as she has taken on a very critical and busy role of Treasurer, we cannot leave this on her plate.    Please think about helping us with this.

TUES, MAR 16, 2021 (4-5 PM)

"Thanks for your continued support and let's start 2021 off right."



Renew on-line using paypal at: or mail check to:  FOCUS, PO Box 180023 Coronado, CA 92118.  

Active member ($75) or Patron ($150)

As of this date, we have only received 30 renewals.  Especially with limited fundraising capabilities, membership dues are crucial to funding our mission.
Questions?  Please contact Lorna Perez-Caster, 2021 VP for Membership at
Do you remember when FOCUS sold FOCUS shirts, hats, and sweatshirt?  Do you remember when FOCUS printed a directory complete with phone numbers and addresses?  Do you remember the year FOCUS began accepting men into the organization?
Fred and Ethel Kallsen remember a lot about FOCUS.  This delightful couple know more about FOCUS than most of our present members.  Reminiscing about the past is something dear to the heart of both Fred and Ethel,.  But their real story began back in the 1950's.  Have you ever heard of Valparaiso University?  Probably not, because it is close to a more familiar college named the University of Norte Dame   Valparaiso University is a small Lutheran college in Valparaiso, Indiana where Fred Kallsen first met Ethel Traut, and no they did not get married during their college years.
Fred grew up in Chicago, while Ethel grew up in, ready for this one, Archbold, Ohio.  Archbold is still there, population 4,346 according to the 2010 census.  Ethel was the youngest of Joe Traut's  three daughters who grew up on their family  farm.  Along with her sisters and parents, 5,000 turkeys resided on this farm and hatching turkey eggs was their business, even though they had cows, chickens and sheep as well.  Needless to say, Ethel and her sisters worked seven days a week, night and day on the farm. 
Joe Traut sponsored the local girl's softball team, and at this point in Ethel's telling this writer of her story, she got up and went upstairs and brought down her high school baseball jersey she wore, as well as the jersey she wore on her dad's sponsored team. (see photo).  Ethel also played basketball in high school as well as softball.  She was quite an athlete  When asked what position she played, her response was, "Every position but catcher and pitcher."
After graduating from college Fred began employment with a tool company, selling cutting tools and accessories to machine shops, as well as to industrial companies who had machine shops within their facilities. Ethel recalls living in a house with five other women, while beginning her career as an elementary school teacher.  It was at an alumni reunion that the couple renewed their friendship, and began dating.
When Fred proposed to Ethel, he had two conditions for the marriage to be consummated, first, she had to agree to marry him, and second she had to be willing to relocate to California.  Obviously she agreed to both his terms. After being married for one year, the Kallsens packed up their 1958 Pontiac, and with a U-Haul trailer being towed behind the car, drove to California.  During his college days Fred skipped a semester of school, and volunteered for a six month hitch in the Marine Corps followed by 5 and a half year obligation in the Marine Corps Reserve. After his 6 months of duty in the Marine Corps he went back to Valparaiso University to finish his degree program.  
Ethel spent 15 years as a substitute teacher in San Fernando Valley, while Fred began his employment in California as a tool salesman, and then began his 36 year career as a stockbroker.  In 1975 they bought their first house in the Coronado Cays.  Fred continued being a stockbroker, just changing companies to a different agency. Ethel in the meantime, trekked back and forth from the Coronado Cays to the Escondido school district to teach youngsters in elementary school.
The Kallsens have a daughter and a son, who have generated five grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and two more great-grandchildren due in May of 2021.
Ethel Kallsen has been a distinguished member  of FOCUS since 1988.  FOCUS was started in April of 1982.  She was president in 1991,1992, and 2013.  She was also one of four presidents in 2015.  That was the year the presidency of FOCUS was shared by Leslie Granger, Sharyn Blongiewicz, Suzanne Manuel, and Ethel Kallsen.  Each individual served for a three month period, and then Lorna Perez-Caster took the reins of president in 2016.
Fred is the one who instigated the acceptance of men into the FOCUS charitable 501c Corporation.  It was  day in 2009 Fred asked Ethel, "Why can't men belong to FOCUS?"  After a review of the  bylaws of FOCUS, the lady members raised their hands, and gave the affirmation that men can legally be members. It did not take long for the spouses of these ladies to join the charitable organization. .
Fred has been a major fundraiser, a shopper, and can often be seen as a bartender at FOCUS functions.  Both Fred and Ethel have been active at the annual rummage sale, boutique, annual fundraising dinners, events, and many can recall seeing Fred sporting his beloved FOCUS shirt with the FOCUS logo embroidered on it, as well as his FOCUS hat.  And Ethel still has her FOCUS sweatshirt, pure white with no spots, or sign of wear. Fred plays golf once a week in a foursome that comprises three other FOCUS members, Bob Blongiewicz, John Lepore, and Walt Becker,  Needless to say, their lives revolve around FOCUS.
Ethel remembers taking a group of girls who were about to graduate from high school to various San Diego stores to select prom dresses, paid for by FOCUS.  "These girls were chosen by San Diego social workers because of their family's low financial income, and given the opportunity to dress up and attend their high school prom,"  Ethel recalled.  While attending one of the proms, and witnessing the joy each girl cherished being able to attend the prom, in a beautiful chosen dress, supplemented by a carnation on each of their wrists, brought great satisfaction and pleasure to Ethel.  Ethel paused for a minute while telling this story, and recalled how shy and bashful one of the girls was during the whole ordeal of obtaining the dress and wearing it to the prom--a true Cinderella story in itself.
Both Fred and Ethel cherish FOCUS because to them it is the comraderie of meeting friends at meetings, as well as welcoming new members.  The work that FOCUS does is dear to their hearts. "And remember, that no one in FOCUS is paid for what they do."
We are blessed to have Fred and Ethel Kallsen, still active to this day, as part of FOCUS, and to have shared their story.
FOCUS Financial Report  

Balance as of 1 Dec 2020 =   $66,972.81
Deposits  =                           +$38,125.21*
Checks =                               -$32,325.14*
Current balance =                 $72,772.88

*These amounts reflect the total sales from Holiday Boutique, as well as reimbursement to vendors.

Our agencies are working very hard, changing their programs to meet their client's needs as COVID regulations change.  In January 2021, we were ale to assist two agencies:  1) KID"S TURN and 2) VISTA HILL THERAPEUTIC LEARNING CENTERS with many supplies, toys and other items.  We want to thank our Jan 2021 shoppers, Clarice Perkins and Nanci Copley.  February will be "Military Month" for FOCUS. We will be sending you projects to assist the needs of our young military families.  

GOOD NEWS for shoppers!  The FOCUS reimbursement form is an on-line, fillable form.  Much easier to complete, and then just attach your scanned receipts and email to treasurer.  You can receive even faster payment if you open a ZELLE account. Treasurer can deposit funds directly into your designated checking/savings account - the same day!  

Sharyn Blongiewicz 1st VP 2021
We have a date for our 2021 Rummage Sale!  
The Grand Caribe Room and CCHOA Parking lot have been reserved for a Saturday, June 12th sale.  We hope and expect the pandemic will be on it's way to being under control by then.  We will follow whatever safety measures that are recommended at that time.
Roger Clapp has generously offered to chair this event .
 Thank you Roger for doing this ...again!!
Please start to save your GENTLY used items for donation to the sale.   More information will follow as the date gets closer.

Our mailing address is:
Friends of Children United Society
PO Box 180023
Coronado CA 92178

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