Owner of Mica’s Soul Kitchen loses home, business essentials in fire; donations needed
A popular vendor at VillageFest and the Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market is in need of the community’s help after losing everything in a home fire over the weekend.
Chermica Simmons, who operates Mica’s Soul Kitchen out of her home, lost that home during the fire, which occurred Saturday around 9:30 AM in the 11500 block of Foxdale Drive in Desert Hot Springs, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
Gone are essential tools she needs — including pots and pans, skillets, and utensils — as well as food and business basics, including her computer and printer.
“I couldn’t imagine this in my wildest dream,” Simmons said in a social media post Sunday. “I was helpless (and) couldn’t do anything but watch my house go up in smoke as I [drove] home from working the Certified Farmers’ Market. I’m really shocked [and at a] loss of words.”
Friends, family, and those who have come to crave her cooking are rallying to Simmons’ aid. A fundraiser is underway on GoFundMe (click here to offer your support), where a goal of $25,000 was set by the organizer. Simmons is also accepting donations through Venmo and other apps. She listed those on an Instagram post here.
“Our well known and loved family and friend … is dedicated, hardworking and takes care of her family and everyone else, never asking for nothing in return,” wrote the organizer of the fundraiser. “[She] is facing a difficult time … and she needs us to come together and show her how much we love, appreciate and have her back.
“Her and her family are as wholesome as they can be and I’ve created this GoFundMe account praying that for all the good Chermica has done we can come together and let her know she doesn’t have to go through this alone.”
To help: Visit the GoFundMe page established for Chermica Simmons by clicking here.
A movie premiere event on Thursday, December 16, 2021 at 7PM at the Camelot Theatre, Palm Springs Cultural Center.
A benefit for the Palm Springs Unified School District. Help us protect the ARTS. Buy a ticket today.
DESERT JAM: After serving thousands of meals to their clients in 2021, staff and leadership at Palm Springs-based Well in the Desert took time to serve 150 more meals Monday evening in Rancho Mirage. The organization hosted its annual Desert Jam event at The Agua Caliente Resort Casino Ballroom, complete with entertainment from Keisha D and a host of others, a live auction with auctioneer Brian “Bella” Wanzek, and a silent auction that featured more than 50 items. President Arlene Rosenthal said before the event that despite a challenging year, The Well provided more meals and other services for the unhoused than the year prior and that plans are in place to assure 2022 sees even more outreach in Palm Springs and beyond.
TOY DRIVE NEEDS BOOST: Organizers of a toy drive in the city said Monday they are behind in donations and need an extra boost from the community. The Palm Springs Parks and Recreation Department is asking the public to donate new, unused toys and gift cards as part of a seasonal holiday toy drive for local children. Donation bins for the toy drive are located throughout the city until Monday, December 13. The bins can be found at Palm Springs City Hall, Demuth Community Center, Palm Springs Leisure Center, James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center and the Palm Springs Public Library. Donated toys and gift cards will be given to local children at the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center on Friday, December 17, and at the Breakfast with Santa community event on Saturday, December 18 at the Palm Springs Pavilion. Both events are free to the public.
MORE FILM HONORS: The cast of “King Richard” will be honored with the Ensemble Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Awards, festival organizers announced Monday. The award will be presented in person on January 6 at the Palm Springs Convention Center and will kick off the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which runs through January 17. “King Richard” follows the story of Richard Williams as he works to turn his vision of his two daughters, Venus and Serena Williams, becoming sports legends into a reality. The movie’s star-studded cast includes Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal and Tony Goldwyn, who are all expected to attend, according to event organizers.
COFFEE WITH SUPERINTENDENT: Palm Springs Unified School District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mike Swize launches a series of informal chats with PSUSD families and community members today. The first “Mornings with Mike” will be held between 7:30 AM and 9 AM on the patio at Koffi at 650 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way. All are invited to stop by to meet Dr. Swize, ask a question, voice a concern, give feedback or just visit for a few minutes. Reservations are not required, and no purchase is necessary.
MIZELL EVENTS: The Mizell Center offers multiple Tai Chi classes, as well as many other programs today, starting at 8:30 AM. The center is located at 480 South Sunrise Way. A complete list of today’s events can be found here.
MAIN STREET: Main Street Palm Springs, an organization serving the city’s Downtown and Uptown Palm Springs business owners, meets at 8:30 PM via Zoom. Information about the meeting can be found here.
YOUTH CRAFTS: You can watch Palm Springs Public Library’s Children’s Librarian Nancy Valdivia demonstrate how to make a sugar cone Christmas tree on YouTube starting at 10 AM. Materials for the project are available at the library, 300 South Sunrise Way. Supplies are limited, and the project is intended for children in Kindergarten through fifth grades.
SOLAR AND GREEN: The city’s Sustainability Commission Standing Subcommittee on Solar and Green Building meets via Zoom at 10:30 AM. Information on how to participate in the meeting, as well as an agenda, can be found here.
POLICE AND FIRE EVENT: The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce holds its annual Police & Fire Appreciation Luncheon today from 11:30 AM until 1 PM at the Palm Springs Convention Center. More information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities is available here.
ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW: The city’s Architectural Review Committee meets at 5:30 PM via Zoom. Information on how to participate in the meeting, as well as an agenda, can be found here.
SITE PRESERVATION: The city’s Historic Site Preservation Board meets at 5:30 PM via Zoom. Information on how to participate in the meeting, as well as an agenda, can be found here.
Palm Springs comes alive in December with events for all ages and all tastes. The Post has put together a list of those events, organized by category, from reader submissions. Click here for the complete list. Want your event included? If it’s happening in Palm Springs, or involves a Palm Springs-based organization or business, Email [email protected]
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
CELEBRATE KWANZAA: Palm Springs Black History Committee is hosting a Kwanzaa celebration Wednesday evening at Desert Springs Middle School in Desert Hot Springs. The events begins at 5:30 PM. The school is located at 66755 Two Bunch Palms Trail. More information about the event is available by calling 760-323-8271.
WARWICK STAR: Singer Dionne Warwick will be honored with the 447th star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on Wednesday. Warwick started her career in 1961 after being discovered by the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The 11 AM ceremony will be held at the intersection of Tahquitz Canyon and South Palm Canyon Drive in front of the Wellwood Memorial Library. Nona Watson, CEO of the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, will emcee the event and introduce the guest speakers.
SOUND OF MUSIC: Palm Canyon Theatre’s staging of “The Sound of Music” runs Thursdays through Sundays until December 19. Showtimes are 7 PM on Thursdays, 8 PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 PM on Sundays. For tickets or other information, call the PCT Box Office at 760-323-5123 or order online at PalmCanyonTheatre.org. Tickets are $36 for adults, $32 for seniors, and $15.00 for students and children. The theater is located at 538 North Palm Canyon Drive.
STRUT AWARDS VOTING: Voting has started for the STRUT Awards, slated to be handed out next week in Palm Springs. The STRUT Awards are a people’s choice voting event designed to honor members of the local LGBTQ+ industry. Nominations were accepted in more than two dozen categories, and now it’s time to vote. You can do that by going here. Winners will be announced and celebrated on December 12 during an event at Margaritaville Palm Springs beginning at 6 PM. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
NEXT SPEAKER IN SERIES: Mizell Center presents sound bath master Lisa Botts, in conversation with Maria Sesito, senior issues reporter with The Desert Sun, at its next 3rd Wednesday Speaker Series event, held December 15 starting at 6 PM. Together they will explore the origins, growth and appreciation of sound baths – a deeply immersive sound experience that delivers you to a fully relaxed state of ease. The free introductory experience is designed to engage participants, particularly older adults, who are new to the sound bath experience. Please be certain to wear comfortable clothing. Guests are asked to bring a yoga mat or blanket. To register for the free events, go here. Mizell Center is located at 480 South Sunrise Way.