by BECCA BARR | photos by Spark Photography

Family Gives Back

Lesleigh and Mark Helders knew exactly what they wanted from a community. “We wanted a neighborhood with good schools and to make friends with people in the same community,” Lesleigh shared, “a place where neighbors get together, help each other out, carpool, and gather for events.” They found what they were looking for in Old Scripps Ranch, and have lived there since 2005. Their favorite thing about Scripps Ranch is the people, and they especially love the village-like feeling the area offers.


Their daughters have found a home in Scripps Ranch as well. Nancie (16) is a junior at Scripps Ranch High School, and Hana (14) is a freshman. Nancie is an artist, enjoys anime and Japanese Vocaloid music, and is interested in biology and astronomy. Hana is a cheerleader, loves to create beautiful desserts, fosters kittens, and does crafts. Both are Girl Scouts.

The entire Helders family gives back to their community. Lesleigh and Mark volunteer at their church, First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, which is where they first met. They help with religious education, rummage sales, church camp, the board, and various committees. Lesleigh has also spent time volunteering at Jerabek Elementary School and Marshall Middle School. Currently she is an administrator for the local Buy Nothing Scripps Ranch group. Mark is an Old Pro and helps each year with the annual Fourth of July Fun Run. Hana volunteers for Pop Warner, training Flag-aged girls in cheerleading. Nancie raises money each Fourth of July for cancer research, setting up a Pink Lemonade for a Cure stand.


Cancer research is a focus near and dear to the Helders’ hearts. In April of this year, Lesleigh was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has already completed chemotherapy, and after getting radiation “I will have officially kicked cancer’s booty!” exclaimed Lesleigh.

Lesleigh is an executive assistant at UC San Diego, and Mark is an operations manager at Crystal Forwarding Inc. Their anniversary falls on April Fool’s Day. “Mark loves it because he can remember it!” said Lesleigh. When not working and going to school, the family enjoys socializing with friends and camping. They have many pets, including two dogs, two cats, and five chickens. Interestingly, they are direct descendants of Governor William Bradford, who came over on the Mayflower! The Helders are thrilled to be part of Scripps Ranch. “In Scripps Ranch people care about their families, friends, and community,“ Lesleigh affirmed, “and they are willing to reach out to others.”


Parents: Lesleigh and Mark Helders
Children: Nancie (16) and Hana (14)
Community: Old Scripps Ranch since 2005
Parents’ Hometowns: Lesleigh – San Diego; Mark – Baltimore, MD
Parents’ Occupations: Lesleigh – Executive Assistant; Mark – Operations Manager
Pets: Dogs – Astro and Scrappy; cats – Izzie and Ash; chickens – Lucy, Rue, Rita 2.0, Lily, and Penelope
Favorite Places to Visit in 92131: The Swenson’s house! Our friends! Bruski’s, concerts in the park, Fourth of July Parade