Casey talks about power, play, paying it forward

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Meet Canyon Lake resident Chuck Casey. Chuck and his wife Tracy moved from Horsethief Canyon Ranch to Canyon Lake in 2007. Chuck says, “Our first visit to Canyon Lake was in 2007 when we attended a friend’s New Year’s Eve party. We were in the process of selling our house at the time. Once we discovered Canyon Lake, we knew that’s where we wanted to live. Three months later we were living in Canyon Lake.”

Chuck was born in Brea, California. He served in the United States Navy from 1986 to 1994 as a nuclear electrician. He advanced to rank of E-6 and completed enlistment as Leading Petty Officer.

Chuck currently works for the City of Riverside managing the power generation division. His wife Tracy is a kindergarten teacher at Earl Warren Elementary School in Lake Elsinore.

The Caseys have two grown children. Their daughter, Alyssa, is 21 years old and attends Arizona State University. She is on track to graduate in 2017. Alyssa’s plan is to follow in the footsteps of her mother as an elementary school teacher. Their son, Anthony, is 25 years old. Anthony graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2012.

In addition to being parents to their own two children, Chuck and Tracy are also temporary parents to exchange students three weeks every summer. For the past five summers, the Caseys hosted exchange students from various countries, including  France, Italy and China.

Chuck describes himself as a self motivated, energetic individual who believes in paying it forward and recognizing areas of required assistance and offering help. Arts and culture, education, disaster and humanitarian relief, social services,  environment, human rights, and science and technology are some of the causes Chuck cares about and supports.

To “pay it forward” and to better himself,  Chuck volunteers his time serving on various boards and committees both inside and outside of Canyon Lake.

Chuck is the president of Western Turbine Users, Inc., an organization founded in 1990 that has approximately 80 power plant facilities and represents more than 100 suppliers. WTUI is the largest gas turbine association in the world. Chuck is also the acting chairman of the Southern California Public Power Authority Generation Group.

In addition to serving as a Block Captain in the Canyon Lake Neighborhood Watch Program, Chuck has dedicated countless volunteer hours to the Canyon Lake Car Club and Car Show over the past eight years. He’s served as vice-president, secretary, photographer and webmaster for the Car Club, and is the current vice-president for the Car Show.

Chuck plans to do volunteer work with the Canyon Lake Emergency Preparedness Committee in the near future. He is highly trained in emergency preparedness and is eager to help. “In the Navy I was trained in every element of safety, including first aid, hazard material spills, flood maps, etc.,” says Chuck who continues managing all aspects of environmental health and safety for his City of Riverside division.

Another way Chuck gives back is by providing free consulting on solar. “I don’t sell solar but it’s related to my work, so I’m really in tune with the industry and know a lot about it. I provide free consulting to those who want to know more about it, how it works and what kind of return on their investment they can expect.”

Chuck, who admits that he gets bored easily and can’t sit still, has a long list of hobbies. Among his hobbies are classic cars. With the help of the guys in the Car Club, Chuck was able to restore the 1969 convertible Ford Falcon he purchased 13 years ago.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Chuck represented Canyon Lake on the Hot Rod Power Tour, a 5,000-mile road trip that takes approximately 15 days to complete.

One of Chuck’s newest hobbies is converting his home into a smart home. “When I’m done, I’ll be able to control everything in my home from my phone and computer,” he says.

He also is building a 2,000 sq. ft. addition on his home. Part of the new addition will include a game room. “I’m building the ultimate game room,” says Chuck. It will house some of the pinball and slot machines that Chuck has restored over the past year.

The Caseys have always had a love for classic ‘80s arcade games. For Christmas last year, Chuck bought an old arcade machine off Craigslist for $250 and, using his engineering and computer knowledge, fully restored it. The machine is now worth over $1,000.

Since that purchase, Chuck has restored two Pachinko machines, two slot machines and a pinball machine. He plans to resell the ones he doesn’t use for his new game room and slowly upgrade and add more variety.

Chuck and Tracy plan on getting more involved with the City, CLPOA and other clubs as they reach retirement. For now, they contribute what they can to help improve their community. They also make every effort to attend and support the numerous events that take place in the community throughout the year. The events they never miss are the Boat Parade, Fiesta Day and the 4th of July celebration.

“We love our community and love living here. We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” says Chuck.

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Donna Ritchie