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RA Sushi raises funds for St. Jude

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RA Sushi will host its fourth annual "Nicky's Week" fundraiser in May to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. From May 25-31, the restaurant and bar will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of their signature tootsy maki, edamame, pork gyoza, FIJI Water, Red Bull and other select beverages to benefit the hospital.

The fundraiser was developed in memory of longtime St. Jude patient Nicholas "Nicky" Mailliard, who lost a long battle with brain cancer in February 2005. One of RA's founders, Rich Howland, was Nicky's uncle who initiated the fundraiser in Nicky's honor as a way to further promote the attention and support provided at no cost to families of children receiving care at St. Jude.

All 19 RA locations will participate in the fundraiser. Since 2005, RA has raised more than $250,000 for the national children's hospital and this year, the goal is to raise an additional $100,000. All donations from the weeklong effort will help pay for the development of treatment and cures for diseases and life-threatening illnesses in children.

Smooth Jazz gears up for fest

With the Smooth Jazz 98.1 Gaslamp Festival less than two weeks away, the organizers are trying to make it easier for consumers to purchase tickets for the festival set for May 24, over Memorial Day weekend in the Gaslamp Quarter.

From noon to 2 p.m. this Saturday, KiFM will be at the RV Super Sale at Qualcomm Stadium, offering discount tickets for the jazz festival with live entertainment by Jerome Dawson, as well as various prize giveaways, including Padres tickets. In addition, tickets are available online.

At the Smooth Jazz 98.1 Gaslamp Festival, the gates open 12:30 p.m. The first of two outdoor stages kicks off 1:30 p.m. and the live music continues throughout the day until 10 p.m. George Benson headlines and Dave Koz, Mindi Abair, Warren Hill, Nick Colionne and Nils round out the main stage lineup. For those who prefer a more intimate rendition, more than 25 Gaslamp Quarter's live music venues will play host to live acts all day and night as well.

The jazz festival is for ages 21 and up. For ticket information, visit kifm.com or call (877) 77-CLICK.

Art center announces new season

Earlier this week, the California Center for the Arts Escondido, announced its 2008-09 performing arts season. Among the full calendar of various acts, the center will premiere a trio of low-cost family series at $10 per ticket.

The new season begins Sept. 14 with NBC "America's got Talent" finalists and family, Celtic Spring. Comprised of six children, aged 7 to 22, performing Irish and Cape Breton step dancing. The center's other performance series: Alternative Stage, which aims toward introducing less-known theater to North County, Center Pops Concerts (in conjunction with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra) and the Spirited Song Series, which offers complimentary wine tastings from local wineries prior to select performances, each of which were initiated last season, are all slated to continue.

Angelo Damante and Mercedes-Benz of Escondido will sponsor the 2008-09 performing arts season. For more information on the California Center for the Arts Escondido, visit artcenter.org or call (800) 988-4253.

Sycuan names casino GM

The Sycuan Tribal Council recently announced Sheila Howe as the new general manager of Sycuan Casino. Prior to her recent appointment, Howe served as Sycuan Casino's Director of Gaming Operations for the past five years.

Howe has learned the gaming industry from the ground up, serving in numerous positions during her career, including a Cage and Credit Manager and later a slot director for a Las Vegas casino.

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