Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Redlands High School Hall of Fame

  Hundreds attend RHS Hall of Fame induction ceremony

 (left to right) John Butler (Class of 1960, football, basketball & track) Hank Mercado (Class of 1964, football, basketball and community), Jamie Vessey (Class of 2005, Swim, water polo) and Randy Orwig (Class of 1968, basketball, baseball), pose for a group photo at the 11th annual Redlands HS Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, on Thursday, November 7, 2013. (Photo by Frank Perez for Redlands Daily Facts)

REDLANDS - The honorees during Thursday’s Redlands High School Athletic Hall of Fame all took home a little something.
New memories, new tales to tell and perhaps a renewed appreciation for being a part of such a storied tradition.
“This is what the Hall of Fame is all about,” said Mercado, a two-sport athlete and community activist from the class of 1964. “This brings all the folks together to celebrate the Long Blue Line.”
Mercado was among a group of inductees that included three sport star John Butler (Class of 1960), and two sport stars Randy Orwig (Class of 1968) and Jamie Vessey (Class of 2005). Also inducted was the 1968 Bee Football team.

The dinner and ceremony capped off a long day for the inductees. They toured the campus, strolled through the RHS Hall of Fame and talked with athletes. “I spent the day hearing things I had never heard about before,” said Vessey, the youngest inductee. “The school doesn’t have a Bee team anymore. It was quite an honor to be so young and inducted so quickly.”
A 2005 graduate, the campus hadn’t changed much. For some of the other inductees, however, it was their first tour in years.
“It was fun to be here,” Orwig said. “I explained to the kids about some of the big games I was in and to deal with them. I spoke with a couple of the pitchers on the baseball team. It was good.”

The Bee Football team seemed to be a crowd favorite. The team was based on size - they were sophomores who hadn’t fully grown in their bodies yet. They managed to produce an undefeated season.
“It was unique,” said Fred Venegas, a safety on the team. “They broke it down. There were so many kids. But it gave us the opportunity to play.”
John Butler appreciated the group of inductees.
“I think it’s a great class,” Butler said. “They are great. “Overall, it’s a class that is to be proud of.”
The ceremony itself drew more than 100 more attendees than last year’s event, which is a good sign for the RHS Hall of Fame.

“I want them to leave with the thought that Redlands history lives on,” said Clarence Butler, president of the Hall of Fame. And we want to share it with the kids at school. Maybe one of those kids will be in the hall of fame one day.”

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Being Inducted into RHS Hall of Fame (Article)

Aquatics star Jamie Vessey to be inducted into Redlands HS Hall of Fame

Redlands High grad Jamie Vessey will be inducted into the RHS Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies today at the Orton Center. Staff file photo

By Ed Castro

REDLANDS - Jamie Vessey is the epitome of a first ballot hall of famer.
Her athletic resume is second to none, making her a natural for induction during today’s Redlands High School Athletic Hall of Fame in the Orton Center at the University of Redlands.
“l did a lot and it wasn’t too long ago,” Vessey said. “We were successful and I would have liked to have won the two CIF titles when we got there. There are many athletes that can say they played in a CIF championship in front of that championship crowd.”

Vessey twice played for a CIF title in girl’s water polo. And the first CIF title match is a memory that will last a lifetime. “It’s pretty unreal,” Vessey said. “It was my junior year and we finally made it past the quarterfinals. It was at the University of Redlands. It was so thrilling to have the game here. It was amazing.” Vessey remembers the moment the RHS track team jogged to the venue and rooted for the Terriers. “I just remember all that anxiety of that whole day,” Vessey said. “So many people were there. We had students on the concrete, the ref’s had to push them back. It was a full house.”

Redlands defeated Riverside Poly to reach Vessey’s first CIF championship game. “We threw the coaches into the pool, the track team went nuts,” Vessey said. “The next day people came up to me and talked about it. It was an unreal feeling. It was really great.” Vessey wrote herself into the RHS water polo record books. She is fifth all time in career goals, second all time in career assists, and is the all-time leader in career steals. She holds the Nos. 1 and 3 spots for steals in a game and Nos. 2-5 for steals in a season.

“I was able to do well in water polo and swimming,” Vessey said. “Even when I ran in cross country I reached the CIF prelims. I always had the chance to compete at the highest levels.”
Vessey was a two-time Citrus Belt League Most Valuable Player, a four-time All CIF selection.
“My impression of the hall of fame is that it’s a great thing,” Vessey said. “I like reading about the inductees. To know that I’m being inducted in the same class as the Bee football team, which didn’t play varsity but was a great team, is really cool to me.”

Water polo seemed like a natural tuneup for the swimming season, which Vessey excelled at as well. She won two individual CBL titles and two CBL relay titles in each of her four seasons. She was the team MVP in her freshman season and reached the CIF consolation finals in her sophomore and junior seasons. When she was done swimming Vessey registered a four year CBL undefeated record in the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. Vessey was somewhat of a veteran in water sports by the time she reached high school. She competed in recreational basketball, softball and track. But it was the pool in her back yard that helped the most. “It was a natural to go into swimming,” Vessey said. “A water polo club started and I said I might as well as try that too. I enjoyed both.” Vessey got married last month. And today’s Hall of Fame tour of the high school will be her first in years. “I have not been on campus in a long time,” Vessey said. “I’ve never been in the hall of fame. I think that is really going to be pretty exciting. It’s going to be a cool feeling.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


They say life changes when you get married. Our life did not change that much really at all. Well except the fact that my amazing husband has started a new company. Yep you read that right started a new company called EcoKable

"EcoKable is an earth friendly technology company that focuses on eco-friendly electronic products. The first product is an environmentally friendly USB charging cable that is 100% PVC Free. Giving the world a 100% PVC Free charge. Our mission is to design high quality electronic products with materials for a sustainable earth."

They currently have a few different products.  "Made with eco-friendly cable construction braided natural cotton insulation, all EcoKable cords are 100% PVC Free. We use recycled PET for the connectors from recycled water bottles. USB 2.0 compatible, high speed data cable. Let our cables charge and transfer data to your favorite electronic device while preserving the environment around you."

Prior to this coming around I did not think much about my electronic waste or e-waste it is called.  I just got a new cell phone and charger. Never thought about what happens to it. Most of mine ends up in a drawer.  But thousands of others end up in 3rd world countries. It is very dangerous to not only those people but our world.  "The estimated amount of e-waste generated every year could fill enough train containers to go once around the world! Most electronic cables in our world are made with PVC insulation. According to the European Parliament, PVC is not even a suitable material to be recycled. What doesn't end up in a landfill ends up incinerated or exported to developing nations which harms the people tasked with scavenging the waste for metals."

I hope that you will take some time to visit ecokable.com. From the website you learn a bit about e-waste. Our next big mission besides selling product is to give individuals guidance on what they can do with there electronics. Make sure it directs them to companies that have been approved and can dispose of it properly. Brennan and the company are hoping to make a small change in the world. 

I more or less wrote this blog to help spread the word about Brennan's company. I have been using these EcoKables for some time at my job since my boss was the engineer behind them. Making it easy to say they work great. But more than anything I am very excited for the next chapter in Brennan's career. The experience he is getting in building this company. The freedom he is finding and the joy I can see when he is working on it. They say you have to find things you are passionate about. E-waste and EcoKable is something that he has become passionate about.

More than anything I am so proud of my husband. Starting a company and building it from the very bottom.  I love you Brennan! Keep up the hard work!

Visit: ecokable.com

Sunday, December 1, 2013

"I don't want to miss a thing"

October 12, 2013 was by far the best day of my life. I stood in front of friends and family holding the hand of my best friend. In front of them all I was able to say "I do".

For months all I hoped for was to get to October 12, 2013. For many reasons I was beyond ready to marry Brennan. But also because I am not one for attention. And your wedding day is a day full of attention with all eyes on you. That had me very nervous. Every decision that I made I knew people would be thinking about. So I can fully say that I did not love the planning process. Do not get me wrong there were some fun times like testing all the food and wine with my mom. Checking the mail everyday to see who had RSVP was always a highlight. But I was worried that my vision of the day would not turn out and would look funny. Turns out with the help of my mother and our vendors everything turned out wonderful!

The days leading up to the wedding were not nearly as stressful as I had heard they should be. Most of my craft projects were completed by Thursday. With the help of a few people (as usual).We dropped everything off the at the reception venue on Thursday afternoon. Where I had a final checklist with the wedding coordinator. Thursday night was the best my siblings all got home. It was good to see them and made it all start to feel real.

Friday was spent picking up a few friends from the airport and train station. Then of course a trip to the nail salon with ladies. It did not go as smoothly as we would have liked but oh well. After that it was back to my parents house were we were all staying. We helped to get the backyard set up to host the rehearsal dinner. It was great cause all of Brennan's friends were also in town. Getting set up took only minutes. Then it was off to get ready for the rehearsal dinner.

Everyone then meet up at the church to go through the process of what would be happening at the church. I was nervous for this. First because it was the start of everyone looking at you. But also cause I did not want to mess up. The rehearsal went really well. I thought it was weird that the coordinator wanted to go through the entire mass. But I was so very glad that we did. It helped to calm my nerves and feel comfortable with what was going to be happening the following day.

Practicing the hand off
After the great rehearsal we headed to my parents house to start the rehearsal dinner. Our plan was to have the dinner here so that it was basically an open door event. Everyone was welcome. It ended up being an amazing event. A few family friends were able to hold down the fort and get the taco guy set up while we were at church. By the time we arrived everything was in full swing. First stop was a shot of tequila with my fiance. Then headed to see everyone. It was a great night very low key but I got to really talk with so many people.

Once most people had eaten and everyone had arrived Brennan's parents spoke. It was nice to hear from them. Then Brennan introduced his bridal party. Telling everyone how they were friends and a great story. He was talked about Coach Hartman who was an user and Bill Sand who was reading. Then it was my turn. I ended up getting choked up talking about all these individuals. Because these girls all mean so much to me. My maid of honor Brooke and Mikayla, Mel, Anna, Alyssa and Melissa. Then Kelly my big sister from another Mr. who read in the wedding. Brennan & I got so many compliments on introducing everyone. Made everyone feel like they really knew our siblings and friends.

The night started to slow down with many of the guests leaving. At this time we just got to hangout with our friends really. The girls we were a bit stand offish because well we had a very long day planned on Saturday. But the boys had not all seen each other since college and it was like a mini reunion. Once the boys got tired out the bridesmaids ended up driving them all back to the hotel. Then we headed to sleep cause the big day had finally arrived.

I woke up well before my alarm. Plus Anna was snoring up a storm, just kidding. But we were sharing a bed. I headed into the shower to get clean- then get dressed. Once everyone was up we started getting really excited. We laid everything out then headed for the Salon. The salon was great we arrived about 8:45 and then after being made beautiful we left at 11:45. Every few minutes I got a bit freaked just nervous and my heart would race. I really freaked out when everything was finished and she pulled the veil over my face. That made it all REAL! We had breakfast and a great time hanging around. Once we got back to my parents to get dressed I got a little freaked out. It was a bit rushed. Needed to eat lunch, since I was told that was very important. While doing this the photographers were working away getting all the other pictures. Then the girls were into their dresses. Then the time had come for me to get into my dress.

Thankfully I had all my bridesmaids and mom to help me into my dress. This was very emotional for me. Brooke kept trying to tell me to smile inside, I was trying not to freak out. And just keep a straight race. Once into the dress mom helped me with my necklace. At this point she also gave me a ring to wear as my something old and something borrowed. My dad gave the ring to my mom the day I came home from the hospital. So it was pretty amazing to get to wear that.

Once dressed we got a few more pictures and then into the limo. We meet my dad and brother at Smiley Library for "First Look". While waiting in the limo alone while everything got set up I started to cry. My dad and brother looked amazing. Then they were laughing with all my friends. Once they were ready we did our first look and got a few family pictures. As I was trying not to cry with my dad and brother we realized that my dad was wearing two different shoes. This had everyone laughing so hard and I needed it. I needed to get back to just a special day with less emotion.

After the no look we headed to the church. Brooke did what she did best- diverting everyone into the church so I could make a run for the room. Mrs. Abbott who helped with all my center pieces was there with a sheet to hide me. Then into the room I went. This was where I saw the flowers for the first time. They looked beautiful. Then the photographers got me when they were ready to do a "First Look- No Look" with Brennan. They brought us up back to back and just gave us a few minutes to chat without seeing each other. I needed this moment. This whole day was about "US" and I had yet to hear his voice and I needed his hand. This calmed me. Originally we planned to exchange vows. But then decided we were not going to to do that- turns our Brennan did have something and I had nothing. I felt terrible about that. But it was just a short note and it was what I needed. This helped to settle me to hear his voice and how excited we both were to get married.

It was then back to waiting. At this point I had a quick bathroom break, Mrs. Abbott steamed out my last few wrinkles. Our wedding went off right at 2:00. We are never late in the Cassidy house. While they lined everyone up, I had to wait. Well I ended up waiting all by myself. For about 3 minutes I was alone with my heart jumping out of my chest till they came to get me. I was so nervous about walking down in front of everyone. I meet my dad in the back of the church and we waited. Then the doors swung open and I saw Brennan standing up there. He looked to handsome and my heart skipped a few beats. Then we started walking- probably to fast but we were moving forward. I tried to smile and take it in but I was trying so hard not to cry and just kept looking at Brennan.

The ceremony was amazing. The priest did such a great job. Brennan and I both got through the vows without crying. I did almost fall the first time we sat down because my dress pushed the chair out from under me and I could not feel it. We learned our lesson from then on Brennan held it steady as I sat down. Only thing he never said was you may know kiss your bride. But oh well. We then headed up the isle as husband and wife and it felt amazing.

We took a bunch of pictures at the church. Then Brennan and I were told to stay inside. What we did not know was there was a huge surprise waiting outside the church. We came out to find everyone lined up rose petals all over the ground and a horse drawn carriage. My mom had come up with it all on her own. I will admit our faces do not look surprised this being because I was just overwhelmed and unsure what was happening and Brennan thought he had forgotten I told him about this. The boys helped me into the carriage and Brennan and I headed off. It was probably the best part of the day. We just spend this time together. No camera's or people talking to us. We talked about the morning. It was amazing just us together drinking Champagne.

Once we arrived at the alumni house it was time for pictures. We took group pictures, single pictures, bridal party pictures. Then Brennan & I headed off for hundreds of pictures with us. It was a lot of fun but many pictures. Once we arrived back from the pictures it was go time. The cocktail hour was over, it was time for the big party to begin. They introduced us all. Brennan & I went right for our first dance. We decided while dancing the song we picked was to long, we had fun none the less.

The rest of the reception went amazing. I danced with my dad & laughed the whole time. Brennan danced with his mom and enjoyed it. The speeches were amazing. Found out we share our anniversary with my mom's grandparents. Mikayla said how much we both mean to her. Sean talked about how Brennan has helped him so much. I cried for it all. But Brooke really really got me. Her speech was amazing and I cried to hard. Geoff speech was funny and I hope Brennan does take better care of me than his college gold fish. Brennan also went off schedule and spoke. He thanked everyone. He also made me cry, it was just another reminder of how much he loves me. Everyone headed into the house for the cake cutting. Brennan & I had a great time cutting it. Though there was a finger mark, Brennan's grandpa was sure it was fake so he stuck his finger in it. Makes for a great story to laugh about.

After the speeches and dinner. It was time to party. The dance floor was packed the entire night. I have to say our DJ did an amazing amazing job. We really loved him. No one stopped dancing. We did the bouquet toss and then the garter. The garter we did not want to do but glad that we did (after the fact). The little kids had a great time and were so very cute. They referred to me as the princess all night.

Not even sure how the time went so fast. They say your wedding is like a blur and it really is. All of a sudden the night was over. Brennan and I were getting into the town car and headed to the hotel.

It was a day to remember. It was all just amazing. I want to go back and re-live it all. I watch our video and picture slide show all the time. So please take some time to view it for yourself. I apologize for the long blog. But I could write for hours. I am proud of myself for how short this is!

Thank you to everyone who helped us put on this amazing day. We are so very blessed! Especially huge thank you to my mother for all the hours she spent attending meetings, appointments, and making sure I was on track. I could not have done it without you mom! Also thanks to Brennan for his help- but more importantly loving me so much! I am very lucky. I love you Brennan.

PSW: Cassidy


Facebook Photo Albums:
Race of a lifetime
Time to get Beautiful
Rehearsal Dinner