Residents Take the Leap to Fight Homelessness

First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

The Union Rescue Mission is going “over the edge” once again this year in the ongoing effort to fight homelessness with an urban rappelling event that will be held Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1-2.
Donors are encouraged to take a deep breath, step up to the edge and rappel 24 stories down the roof of the Hilton Los Angeles in Universal City as part of Union Rescue Mission’s “Take the Leap to Fight Homelessness” fundraising event.
To participate, each participant must raise $1,000 or more by 6 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 1. The goal is a $1 million total and, thanks to a generous donor, every dollar given to Union Rescue Mission for Over the Edge (up to $500,000) will be matched 100%.

The San Marino community will be well-represented at the fundraiser as Tim Sloan, who received the prestigious Rotary Club of San Marino’s Paul Harris Award in 2012, is slated to take the plunge. Sloan’s wife, Lisa, is president of the Union Rescue Mission’s board of directors.

Photo courtesy Union Rescue Mission San Marino residents Lisa Sloan, left, and Karen Preston are on the board of directors at Union Rescue Mission.

“Over the Edge is an imaginative fundraiser developed by our amazing vice president of philanthropy Richard Newcomb,” Lisa Sloan told the Tribune. “Over the past three years, brave souls get people to sponsor them as they dare to rappel down the side of the Universal Hilton, which is 30 stories high. The money raised goes to support all three of Union Rescue Mission’s campuses which provide compassion and services to those experiencing homelessness. Although I am way too chicken to jump off a building, I will be cheering on my husband Tim this year.”
San Marino’s Karen Preston is a board member and governance chair for Union Rescue Mission. She is a former two-term member of the San Marino school board and teaches classes and mentors single mothers at Union Rescue Mission’s Hope Gardens.
“Caring for those who live life on the edge requires the rest of us to take a leap of faith, believing that each of us who dares to make a difference can effect life-transforming change,” Preston said. “Union Rescue Mission’s Over-the-Edge event will provide much-needed support for its life-transformation programs, which serve those who have been devastated by homelessness at its three locations. Everyone can make this daring move, including those who have an irrational fear of heights, by sponsoring someone else who is going ‘over-the-edge’ on behalf of Union Rescue Mission.” 
Another San Marinan, Joy Flores, is vice president of programs and operations at Union Rescue Mission, which includes the Skid Row campus serving men, women and children; the Hope Gardens campus, which serves mothers and their children in addition to 24 senior ladies; and its new campus called Angeles House in South Los Angeles — scheduled to open this December — which will be dedicated to serving fathers, mothers and their children.
For more than 130 years, Union Rescue Mission has provided safe shelter, meals, long-term rehabilitation programs, education, counseling, medical services and encouragement to assist those escaping the cycle of homelessness forever.
All COVID-19 protocol safety precautions will be in place during the event. Masks and sanitizer will be provided, with social distancing practices at every stage of participation. 
To donate to or participate in Over the Edge, contact Alexandra Monsibaez at (213) 673-4882.

Now in his 25th year at The Tribune, Mitch Lehman is Editor and Sports Editor in addition to being the public address announcer for ten sports programs at San Marino High School. Mitch is one of only a handful in the community to receive the ‘Very Special Person Award’ from the San Marino PTA at the annual Founder’s Day ceremony, was acknowledged as a 'Terrific Titan' by the San Marino High School PTSA, was named an Honorary Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of San Marino and received a National Honorary Merit Badge in Journalism from the Boy Scouts of America. He has received two independent Pulitzer Prize nominations and in the past three years, Mitch has won seven awards and is a thirteen-time finalist in the California News Publishers Association's Better Newspapers Contest. In 2015, the press box at Titan Stadium was re-named 'Lehman's Loft' in his honor. You can reach Mitch at

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