First instrument lesson is free

James Swing offers lessons in guitar, ukulele and mandolin starting at $10. Classes are a live/ Zoom hybrid.

Swing says his classes are safe, fun, convenient and homeschool compatible.

A free lesson is available by mentioning “Saw it in the Acorn Newspapers” when making a reservation at

After years of playing lead guitar weekends in the country rock band Southbound, in local honky tonks and on the road, Swing was hired as a full-time fire fighter.

He worked as a firefighter/ paramedic and public education officer for 20 years with a South Bay city fire department.

“While many people may think those interests (fire fighting and music) really don’t go together they might be surprised to know how many professional firefighters have an artistic side,” said Swing.

“My favorite example is Steve Buscemi, the famous actor who was actually a full-time New York City fire fighter before his film career.”

Swing furthered his music education by enrolling in the UCLA ethnomusicology (world music) program. He graduated in 2003 and started teaching music for the Moorpark Unified School District, Moorpark Parks and Recreation Department and surrounding communities.

During the pandemic, Swing switched from in person to online teaching He was one of the first educators to return to the classroom to teach music classes in public schools.

This fall Swing will return to offering classes for Moorpark recreation. This summer he offers private hybrid lessons combining online instruction with monthly “live” checks.

For more about Swing’s performance and arranging, go to

Golf tourney helps deployed troops

The 10th annual Heroes’ Golf Tournament and Ball Drop Raffle will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon., Sept. 12 at the Moorpark Country Club, 11800 Championship Drive.

The tourney is sponsored by For The Troops, an all-volunteer run nonprofit corporation that to date has provided more than 267,000 “We Care” packages to American deployed troops around the world.

The proceeds from the tourney and raffle will help to offset the nearly $20,000 monthly cost of shipping approximately 1,400 care packages to the men and women in military outposts.

Over 100 golfers are expected to participate in the tourney, including active duty service men and women, Gold Star parents, veterans and the public.

The grand prize for the golf ball drop is a seven-day cruise for two on Holland America Line to the winner’s choice of Alaska, Caribbean, Mexico or Canada/ New England.

The event title sponsor is Logix Federal Credit Union.

To play in tournament or purchase golf balls for the raffle, email or call (805) 306-0830 or go to

Charities to benefit from golfers

The Moorpark Knights of Columbus and the 9969 Foundation will hold the 26th annual Charity Golf Tournament on Sun., Aug. 14 at the Moorpark Country Club, 11800 Championship Drive.

The event is open to golfers of any skill level.

The $175 registration fee includes golf, lunch, dinner and beverages on the course.

A chance to win a $2,000 cash prize is also available with tickets at $10 each, along with other prizes and raffle items.

Non-golfers can attend a wine social with appetizers from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on the country club’s patio. Wine social tickets are $30. Additional dinners can be purchased at $50 each.

All proceeds benefit local charities. The 9969 Foundation is a nonprofit organization.

Supported charities include Moorpark Food Pantry Plus, Association for Citizens with Intellectual Disabilities, The Wheelchair Foundation, American Cancer Society Relay for Life and Boy Scouts of America.

For more information or registration forms, go to or call John Cleary at (805) 208-6012 or Mark Carlson at (805) 990-0325.

New philanthropy director for hospital

Adventist Health Simi Valley has selected Kathryn M. Stiles to serve as executive director of philanthropy of the Adventist Health Simi Valley Foundation.

Stiles joined Adventist Health Simi Valley in 2016 as the director of marketing and communications. In May 2018 she moved into a new role as the director of community integration to implement community health improvement initiatives

Stiles joined the foundation at the hospital June 1.

As executive director of philanthropy, she will be responsible for developing a philanthropy program that will help the hospital plan for future growth.

She will also help grow the foundation’s existing programs and create a new capital campaign to expand the hospital’s operating capacity and enhance the patient experience.

Stiles holds a Bachelor of Science in business marketing from Cal State Sacramento.

She serves on the governing boards of the Moorpark College Foundation, United Way of Ventura County and Cancer Support Community.