Inland Empire Community News Honored at San Bernardino County Museum Association’s 2023 Bucky Ball Gala

The San Bernardino County Museum Association‘s annual Bucky Ball Gala was held on May 13th, drawing attention to the vital work of the nonprofit organization in supporting the San Bernardino County Museum and its branch, the Victor Valley Museum. Among the esteemed honorees was Inland Empire Community News (IECN), recognized with the prestigious Good Egg award for its outstanding contributions to the community.

Publisher Emeritus Gloria Macias Harrison spoke passionately about the origins of IECN, stating, “We started El Chicano in the 1960s as a way to combat negative ethnic stereotypes and to uplift Latino voices.” Macias Harrison, a pioneer in community journalism, has played a significant role in providing a platform for underrepresented communities in the Inland Empire.

Joined on stage by new co-owners and publishers Denise Berver and Manny Sandoval, Macias Harrison handed over the spotlight to share their thoughts. Sandoval emphasized the importance of community news, remarking, “Our community is in that in-between space – we’re not necessarily Los Angeles, and we’re not necessarily the low desert. Therefore, major news companies only cover our region during critical incidents or fires. That is why community news organizations, like IECN, are so important.”

The Bucky Ball Gala is a prominent San Bernardino County Museum Association fundraising event. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, its mission is to foster appreciation and curiosity in regional cultural arts, history, and natural and earth sciences through exhibits and educational programming.

This year’s gala took place in the picturesque outdoor courtyard of the San Bernardino County Museum, providing a lively setting for guests to reconnect and engage in conversations celebrating the museum’s service to county families; the event aimed to support the museum’s efforts to increase the number of youth pursuing art and science education and careers.

Among the gala’s highlights was a social and silent auction, allowing attendees to bid on unique items, including jewelry, exciting excursions, and more. The proceeds from the auction and other fundraising activities will directly contribute to the museum’s ongoing initiatives and the community’s cultural and educational enrichment.

Brandon Mulder, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Museum Association, expressed his connection to the museum. “As a kid, I used to visit the museum in the summer to bear the heat and get some free AC,” Mulder reminisced. “Now, I’m taking my kids here. They jokingly told me, ‘Dad, you’re going to work at our museum?’ So it’s a full circle for me.”

The Bucky Ball Gala serves as a testament to the San Bernardino County Museum Association’s dedication to preserving and promoting regional heritage and as a celebration of organizations like IECN, who tirelessly champion community voices and bring attention to the diverse narratives shaping the Inland Empire.


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