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A Mosaic Life: Frank and Cathy Garcia

        Frank and Cathy Garcia live a vibrant life, filled with bright colors, fueled by their even brighter personalities, and fused together with community, travel, art, and love.  At 71 years of age, Frank may be officially retired but still dedicates himself to serving the community as Executive Director for the Pomona Chamber of Commerce. Cathy, a young 65-year-old, retired five years ago and has since become a celebrated artist. The two find fullfillment in their relationships with friends and family but especially by being each other’s best friend.


COMMUNITY
        Both of the Garcias have strong ties to the Pomona community. Cathy, a retired Marriage and Family therapist, was born and raised in Pomona. Her high school class, the class of ’65, has stayed in touch throughout the years. If you walk into the Finish Line Sports Grill on a Tuesday evening, you will still see members of the class of ‘65 meeting to catch up and check in with one another.
        Frank retired after serving the city of Pomona as principal of Fremont Middle School, Park West High School and as Director of Pupil Support Services for 37 years. But he wasn’t quite done shaping the city yet. He signed on to work for the Pomona Chamber of Commerce and originally planned to work there for two years but found it so rewarding that the years flew by and he eventually stayed for ten.
        The city of Pomona is very important to the Garcias and has shaped their lives in many ways, so it is no surprise that they are still passionately involved in the community. They support a regular citywide clean-up program where non-profits, businesses, churches and other citizens come together and clean up
litter and graffiti to make their neighborhoods more beautiful for the entire community to enjoy.

TRAVEL
        Frank and Cathy love to travel and have visited many different places over the years. They have journeyed to Turkey, Egypt, India, Japan, and recently explored Cuba, “a wonderful experience,” Frank says. One of their favorite trips together was on safari in Africa. They traveled in jeeps and stayed in tents. No cushy hotel for these adventurers.
        The Garcias are also avid art lovers and collectors. They have always had art on their walls, beginning with posters and evolving to the first big piece they ever purchased. On a trip to Palm Springs they found a lithograph for $800 and fell in love. Though it seemed extravagant at the time to pay such a price, their enjoyment of the piece, along with the help of one margarita, encouraged them to take the plunge and buy it. They have been collecting beautiful pieces of art ever since.
  
ART
        Their love for art is evident when you enter their home, filled with warm and color-drenched pieces, many of which are by Chicano artists. They also have a collection of masks, one of which, from Africa, is over 100 years old. The walls of their home are painted to complement the many pieces that hang in their home, and everything is washed with the natural light that filters in from the house’s skylights. Art is displayed everywhere —they even have a mural painted on the wall in their backyard. It is no wonder that their home looks like an art gallery. Each year, Frank curates a Chicano art show, the Aztlan exhibit, displayed in The dA Center for the Arts (gallery), in Pomona. This past November, the exhibit featured more than 50 artists.
 
  Cathy herself is a very talented, self-taughtn artist. She creates incredible mosaic sculptures through a process she calls “up-cycling.” She does not buy any of the materials for her mosaics, instead chooses to use old or broken objects she can “save” from a less artistic fate. To her, it is a way not only to express her creativity, but also a small way to make a difference for the community and environment. “If everyone could save a little something from the landfill, the world would be a much nicer place,” she says.
  
 LOVE
        Frank and Cathy were married 23 years ago, after having been friends for several years prior. When they married and blended their families they had five children between them both, and began to raise their new family. Though it wasn’t always easy, especially with four kids in high school at the same time, their love and friendship always kept the family strong.
        When asked what is their secret to staying so vibrant and active, Cathy says, “We’re best friends. We stay busy, work out at the gym and we still have dreams . . . we are not done yet.”

 The Pomona Chamber of Commerce

has been serving the business community of Pomona since the city’s incorporation in 1888. Next year will mark the 125th anniversary of both the city and its Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber hosts and promotes a variety of events and programs, such as, A Taste of Pomona Valley, where a myriad of cultures and cuisines are showcased; or, the Principal for a Day program, offers Pomona citizens the chance to oversee a school in the Pomona Unified School District.

Visit www.pomonachamber.com to find out about upcoming events and how you can get involved in the community.


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