RB Hall of Fame Archives - 2013
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New members Pat Bean, Richard Mason, and Marla Cruz
|The Gala would not be possible without the support of our sponsors.
|The following is from Pomerado News - The Rancho Bernardo & 4S Ranch News Journal
Following are photos taken of our new members with California State Assemblymember, 77th Assembly District, Brian Maienschein and San Diego City Councilmember, District 5, Mark Kersey<
|Following is a collection of informal photos taken at the Gala.
Elizabeth Marie Himchak - RB News Journal
Sep. 29, 2020
Pat Bean, founder and director of the RB Chorale -- a volunteer activity which earned her Rancho Bernardo Hall of Fame induction -- died on Sept. 22.
"The RB Chorale and our community has lost a bright and beautiful light today," the RB Chorale's board of directors wrote on the organization's website. "How blessed we have all been to be considered part of this amazing RB Chorale Family. All of our lives have been forever changed by this gift she gave each of us."
Music was a constant part of the 85-year-old Pennsylvania native's life from a young age, according to her family. At 14, she was a singer on a weekly television show in Philadelphia. While accepted into the Philadelphia Opera Company, she passed on the opportunity to marry Bruce Bean, her husband of nearly 66 years. The couple lived in many places as part of his Army career, had three children and eventually settled in Rancho Bernardo.
It was in the couple's RB living room in the Westwood neighborhood that the community choir began in 1974. According to Bean when the RB Chorale celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014, 16 locals fond of singing formed its inaugural choir. Four decades later it had nearly 140 singers, but Bean said its membership peaked at 210. Due to logistical challenges, a membership cap had to be instituted in order to fit everyone on the Poway Center for the Performing Arts stage for the holiday and spring concerts. It averaged 130 to 150 members each year.
From their start, the spring concerts included a scholarship component to help high school seniors continue their music studies in college. In an interview with the Rancho Bernardo News Journal, Bean said it was important to her and the others to put on quality performances and use proceeds from their concert tickets for the scholarship fund.
"When I went to school, vocal students or those studying musical production had limited scholarships available," Bean said. "The band members and athletes had scholarships, but it was hard for the singers to get one."
Initially scholarships went to only to singers, but over the years eligibility expanded to instrumentalists. In the countywide scholarship competition's 46-year history, more than $350,000 was distributed among 200-plus students.
The RB Chorale had planned to conclude its 46-year run this spring, citing increasing expenses as reason to disband. However, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the spring concerts and this summer it distributed the remainder of its scholarship fund to four students.
The group met weekly, even when Bean and her husband moved to Mission Viejo due to work, and the couple came back each week for the rehearsals for more than 15 years. They eventually moved back to the area.
In addition to performing locally, the RB Chorale received the Bronze Cup in Verona, Italy's 2005 international choral competition and traveled to Hawaii; Washington, D.C.; and Salzberg, Austria. At the latter, the group performed in the Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Festival in 2015.
Bean credited the chorale's success to its members' love of singing in public, but also its camaraderie that created lifetime relationships. She said members became family, supported each other on stage and were there for one another when personal problems arose.
When Bean was inducted into the RB Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2013, nominator Pilly Haight said, "(The RB Chorale) has succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams." Haight credited Bean's "vision and ability to inspire others and effectively communicate" for the group's success. "She has had a major impact on RB in many ways. ... Because of Pat, the RB Chorale is a highly accomplished ensemble that has received national and international awards. ... It reflects positively on Rancho Bernardo."
Bean called her induction "a very humbling day" when accepting the honor that since 1974 recognized the community's volunteers for their outstanding leadership and significant contributions. She was the organization's 105th inductee.
Elizabeth Marie Himchak - RB News Journal
MAY 13, 2020 11:13 AM
Richard "Dick" Mason did not have a grandchild or great-grandchild at Rancho Bernardo High School, but when he learned in 2003 that school district budget cuts meant no new library materials at the campus, he resolved to do something about it.
That something was founding the Rancho Bernardo High School Friends of the Library, an organization that could provide what Poway Unified School District funding could not. Mason, a Rancho Bernardo resident since 2001, died on May 7 at age 98 from an apparent cardiac arrest, according to his family.
In addition to founding RBHS FOL, he was a frequent speaker at school board meetings, where he advocated for increased library funding and spoke against proposed cuts. For many years he also taught ballroom dancing to thousands of PUSD elementary students through Seniors Helping Our Kids.
For his efforts in helping thousands of students over the past 17 years, Mason was selected for the Rancho Bernardo Hall of Fame as a 2013 inductee. Last October, he was also inducted into the inaugural Rancho Bernardo High School Hall of Fame.
When interviewed for his RB Hall of Fame induction, Mason said his first assignment with Seniors Helping Our Kids was to use his 24-years as a Russian specialist with the CIA to help a Russian student at Bernardo Heights Middle School. When that ended, he helped out in classrooms, but when opportunities decreased he went across the parking lot to see if Rancho Bernardo High needed volunteers.
That is where Mason met then-librarian Benn von Wistinghausen, who in 2003 was trying to get a Friends of the Library started to raise much-needed money. Mason took on the endeavor to found the group and served as president for more than five years.
"(Some members) envisioned Friends of the Library more as a money machine, but I wanted to also have some cultural activities," Mason said in 2014. While initial efforts to add a literary element did not take off, in 2013 Mason had the group start a poetry contest for students. It soon expanded from poems in English and Spanish to those in French and German too.
As for RBHS FOL's main purpose - to raise money for books and extra library staffing - under his leadership more than $300,000 was raised. After terming out as president he became its corporate contacts and political action chairman.
"I was staggered. I never thought it could happen to me," Mason said about being selected for RB Hall of Fame. "I'm most pleased. It's a great honor." Since its founding in 1974, only 120 individuals have been selected for RB Hall of Fame membership.
At the time, nominator Frances French, who was the high school's media technician, said "(Dick) is just inspirational for all of us." She called his efforts "tireless' and said his nickname was "the Energizer Bunny, not because he goes fast, but because he keeps on going."
Mason was born on Dec. 31, 1921 in State College, Pennsylvania. He was an only child who grew up in Sanford, Florida, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas and a master's degree from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.
While serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Mason met his wife, Sheila Farquharson, in Jamaica, where he was stationed during the war.
Following his military service, Mason was a Russian analyst with the CIA until his retirement in 1972. During the 1960s he was an interpreter for several Russian and American trade delegations. In addition to being fluent in English, Russian and German, he taught himself how to speak Spanish, Japanese, Farsi and Indonesian, among other languages, according to his family.
He and his wife, who preceded Mason in death, were competitive ballroom dancers and founders of Telemark Dance Records. It produced and sold ballroom dance music. Following Mason's death, von Wistinghausen called Mason "a true friend and mentor." He said, "I will deeply miss Dick's zest for life, his friendship and our conversations. Through his example, his optimistic attitude and his persistent actions, he has left us inspired to continue to be curious life-long learners, to be active and engaged in society at any age, and to become more caring, more kind and more generous human beings. We are indeed so fortunate to be able to have called him our friend." French said she had "never met a more inspirational, amazing individual."
"Dick represents all that is genuine, inspiring and good," said RBHS FOL President June Zhou, who credited Mason with her involvement with the Friends. "By working alongside Dick over the last three years, I have learnt the importance of building community partnerships and also never giving up when met with an obstacle. Dick also had a very caring soul." Mason's survivors include his son and daughter, their spouses, four grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and his companion, Joan Ballard.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mason's memorial service will be held in Rancho Bernardo at a later date.
Years ago, Mason decided to help the RBHS FOL even in death. He asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the organization he founded. They can be submitted at RBHSFriendsOfTheLibrary.org or by mailing to RBHS FOL, 13010 Paseo Lucido, San Diego, CA 92128.