[heading]by AMY LEHRER | photos by Spark Photography[/heading]

Proud Oaks North Grandmother is Invaluable to Her Community

A few years after moving to Oaks North, the background Marla Cruz had in fire prevention and disaster recovery and emergency services was desperately needed due to the 2007 fires. First Aid, CPR and emergency response trained by the American Red Cross, Marla had worked in fire prevention for the Vancouver Fire Department and as the Emergency Services Specialist for the American Red Cross. Fortunately for the local community, Marla had signed on with the local ARC as a volunteer in disaster services and as a DSHR member for national response once she moved here. Marla explained, “I was deployed locally during the 2007 fires where I ended up working for Interfaith Community Services for two years as the Director of Disaster Services and for the RB United Fire Recovery Center teaching disaster preparedness to seniors.”

Currently, Marla, a proud mother of four and grandmother of six, supports her community in myriad ways. Because she loves working with seniors, she is the Activity and Membership Director at the Ed Brown Senior Center and participated in the center’s October Health and Fitness Fair that included a seminar on elder abuse. Desirous of honoring her country, she has been the Director of the Community Fair for the Spirit of the Fourth for the last three years. Locally she is also the current secretary on the RB Community Council, the district coordinator for the Oaks North Neighborhood Watch, the event organizer for the RB Tastings Festival for the Rancho Bernardo Historical Society and an usher for Humphrey’s Concerts. Marla feels volunteers are needed to help seniors, children and animals.  Anyone unsure how to help could always contact the neighborhood watch. Marla shared, “It’s rewarding to know I can make a difference in my community just by providing my time, training, skills and experience.”

Favorite local places for Marla include Webb Park, the Bernardo Winery and the Ed Brown Center. Marla divulged, “I love to visit the ducks and turtles at Webb Park, and I have many four-legged friends who visit me at the Ed Brown Center for treats!”

Marla also enjoys the ocean, music and concerts, event planning, traveling and spending time with her family. Her bucket list includes seeing specific bands, jumping out of an airplane and traveling cross country with her sister next year.


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Name: Marla Cruz
Age: 59
Community: Rancho Bernardo (Oaks North) for 9 years
Hometown: Lancaster, CA
Husband: Ed (36 years)
Children: Daughters – Erin, Jessica and Katrina, Son – Eddy
Grandchildren: Tanner (9), Kylie (8), Troy (6), Jacob (5), Spencer (4), Eddy IV (8 months)
Pet: Our beloved cat, Rowdy

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Organization:  Rancho Bernardo Community Council
Mission:  To help to maintain the quality of life we have become accustomed to in Rancho Bernardo.
Website:  www.rbcommunitycouncil.com
Contact:  Robin Kaufman, President
Upcoming Event:  Annual CPR/AED training on Nov. 23


Organization:  Spirit of the Fourth, Inc.
Mission:  To provide RB and the surrounding communities with patriotic, historical and educational activities which commemorate the declaration of our nation’s independence.
Website:  www.spiritofthefourth.org
Contact:  Bryan Brigham, President
Upcoming Event:  July 4, 2014 – Community Fair, parade, fireworks

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