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Honoring special North County residents

I wanted to take a moment to recognize some exceptional residents in North County whose dedication, resilience, and service have enriched our community. These individuals and groups have made North County an extraordinary place to live, and we are proud to present the 2024 State of North County award winners.

Eric Weirather, the band director for Rancho Buena Vista High School, has been a guiding force in music education for 28 years. Eric’s unwavering commitment continues to inspire generations.

Joe Roy, a police officer for the Oceanside Police Department and vice president on the Oceanside Police Officers' Association Board, epitomizes dedication. Joe consistently goes above and beyond to support District 5 constituents in crisis.

Jasmine Hernandez, a beacon of resilience and achievement in Fallbrook, maintains a 4.0 GPA and has dedicated nearly 700 hours to community service.

Jessica & David Waite, owners of the Brine Box, faced the loss of their restaurant in the Oceanside Pier Fire. Their strength and perseverance earned them our Resiliency Award.

Donnie Dee from the San Diego Rescue Mission is recognized for his exceptional leadership in addressing homelessness.

Oceanside High School Choir Group, the Soundwaves Show Choir, led by Director Leah Ritt, has built a stellar reputation over 20 years.

REINS Horsemanship Therapeutic provides vital support for the physical, mental, and emotional health of disabled children and adults through equine-assisted activities.

Mr. Chris Geldert, leader of the Building and Construction pathway at San Marcos High School, has significantly impacted students' lives.

Carly Starr, executive director of KOCT, has provided public, educational, and government access programming for over 35 years, ensuring our community stays informed with real news.

Lori Body and the Veterans Association of North County (VANC) offer essential support to active military personnel, veterans, and their families.

Elanor Evans, a long-time educator and advocate, has promoted North County achievements, social well-being, and student success.

Oceanside Fire Chief Dave Parsons is honored with the Call to Action Award for his leadership during the Oceanside Pier Fire.

Love Esco (George Weir) serves our community through various projects, from park clean-ups to supporting local businesses.

David Ross, editor of the Valley Roadrunner for 40 years and the Escondido Times Advocate for 10 years, has authored over 60,000 articles.

Elmer Royce Williams, a US Navy veteran, demonstrated unmatched heroism during a historic dogfight in 1952. His 35-minute battle against seven MiG-15s remains legendary. We honor him with the Impossible Fight Award for his incredible courage and service.

Join us in celebrating these outstanding individuals and groups who make North County a remarkable place to live. Their dedication and service inspire us all. If you know someone who goes above and beyond in North County and deserves to be honored at the next State of North County event, please let us know. We are always eager to recognize those who make our community better.


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