by LINDA FRABL | photo by Dawn at Nicoli Productions

Celebrity Connections


How many families can say that their children have skateboarded with Tony Hawk, fist-bumped Mark Wahlberg, and even received a voicemail from the cartoon character Bart Simpson, also known as actress Nancy Cartwright, on their birthday? The Ewart family can make these claims, thanks to the matriarch, Julie Estrada, amassing numerous celebrity connections over the years. As a former executive producer at KUSI-TV, and now as a media relations manager for Legoland, Julie has hobnobbed with Chris Pratt, Michael Douglas, Christina Aguilera, Will Ferrell, Pat Benatar, and Al Pacino, to name just a few luminaries.

family_estrada1Julie enlists her huge contact base for the greater good – namely, to benefit the Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s (HDSA) fundraising event, the Celebration of Hope Gala, which took place this year at The Irving House in Point Loma. Julie’s ex-husband had his own father and grandfather die of Huntington’s Disease and Julie’s close friend Bill Johnston, the director of public relations for the Chargers, has a wife currently suffering from the disease. Julie revealed, “Bill Johnston asked me to be on the auction committee for this event so I began reaching out to an amazing network of friends to help with auction items. My boys have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disease if their dad is a carrier. That’s enough motivation to find a cure!”

Name: Julie Estrada
Children: Ryan Ewart (15), Evan Ewart (12)
Community: Shadowridge
Hometown: Julie – Mission Viejo; Ryan and Evan – Vista
Occupation: Media Relations Manager at LEGOLAND California Resort
Favorite Places in Vista: Nucci’s, Vista Sports Park, Farmer’s Market, Paperback Exchange Book Place, Junior’s Taco Shop, The Wave, Fruggo’s Yogurt, Buena Vista Park

family_estrada3In addition to supporting HDSA, Julie also supports her sons – Ryan (15) and Evan (12) – at their soccer games. Julie professed, “I’m a minivan-driving soccer mom and I’m proud of it!” She also cheers on her sons for their scholarly accomplishments: Ryan is taking AP and honors classes at Rancho Buena Vista High School and Evan was ranked number one academically for his whole sixth grade class for the 2014 to 2015 school year at Madison Middle School. As residents of Shadowridge for 17 years, the Ewarts enjoy their downtime hosting get-togethers at their home. Julie admitted, “With a foosball table in our kitchen, an Xbox in the family room, and a ping-pong table and horseshoes in the backyard, we have an entertaining house and love having people over.” Cherishing their North County location, Julie added, “We love being just 10 minutes from the beach, but not being so close that we have the crowds or the marine layer. Being in Vista is like having a small-town feel in a really big community!”