RB Foundation awards $15K in local grants

By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
Several hundred Rancho Bernardans gathered Tuesday the 21st year to express their thanks for their blessings at the community’s Thanksgiving luncheon.The Nov. 23 event at Rancho Bernardo Inn was filled with tradition that included catching up with longtime fellow Rancho Bernardans and making new acquaintances, eating a traditional turkey dinner and learning which community groups were receiving grants from the Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation.

Recipients of the 2010 RB Community Foundation grants. (Photo by Beverley Brooks

The grants are provided through an endowment partially funded by proceeds raised via the luncheon. For the second year, money was also raised through an opportunity drawing that had all 700 tickets sold. Prizes were a 52-inch Sony Bravia television, hotel packages for stays at the Rancho Bernardo Inn and Hard Rock Hotel, and two $500 Nordstrom gift cards.

“This is one of our premier events of the year,” said Brian McLean, the luncheon’s chairman and foundation’s incoming president, when giving his opening remarks.

City Councilman Carl DeMaio praised the community for having what he called “a unique event” since no other community in the city has something similar.

“It’s always a treat to be here,” said DeMaio, who served as master of ceremonies.

“These are trying times for a lot of folks,” DeMaio said, listing residents’ personal financial concerns along with those of the city and state. He also mentioned ongoing recovery efforts from the 2007 wildfire and community’s healing process after the murder of Chelsea King in February.

But despite all these, DeMaio said, “The Rancho Bernardo community is on the upswing … there is so much optimism despite our challenges.

“Not only opportunity awaits us, but the secret to our resilience and success is the talented and compassionate individuals in this room and living in Rancho Bernardo,” he said.

Among other program participants expressing thanks were Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who added words of praise for military personnel — including some Marines in attendance — for protecting Americans’ freedoms. Foundation Chairwoman Karen Rott gave thanks “for Rancho Bernardo being a special place to live and work, and for treasured friendships.”

The event featured entertainment by Las Vegas-based singer and celebrity impersonator Rick Michel, whose act included songs and jokes of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Rodney Dangerfield, Sammy Davis Jr., Neil Diamond and Bob Hope.

Though longtime Rancho Bernardan Jack Mitchell was unable to attend due to health reasons, via a video, the luncheon, as in years past, was still able to conclude with him on trumpet accompanying the voices of those present in singing “God Bless America.”

The foundation awarded $15,600 in grants that will benefit the community over the coming year.

The 15 grants include a $5,000 grant to Center for Community Solutions, which will put on 20 workshops for children designed to prevent and avert child abuse, according to its application.

The grant was made possible by a $5,000 gift from the Lee Iacocca Foundation made in the memory of longtime Rancho Bernardan Matt McLaughlin, who in his will left the foundation’s endowment $500,000. McLaughlin died last December.

John Goodrich, RBCF grant chairman, said the grant committee decided to use the money for youths since McLaughlin often supported youth programs, such as the Boys & Girls Club.

According to Center for Community Solutions, the nonprofit agency founded in 1969 annually helps more than 30,000 adults and youths heal and prevent relationship and sexual violence.

In its application, CCS said it plans to use the money to provide 20 workshops that due to their small size would benefit an estimate 200 to 400 Rancho Bernardo children. The workshops will be offered during the coming year through schools and community youth groups, such as Scouts.

Staff will teach the My Body Belongs to Me curriculum via games and songs that teach “the difference between good and bad touches, what their personal boundaries are and how to know when their boundaries are being disrespected or violated.”

They will also learn how to say no to those who do not respect their boundaries.

The other 14 grants were provided via the foundation’s endowment, and gifts to it from Rancho Bernardo Symphony on the Green (designated for community music programs) and the late Kathryn Stabb (designated for organizations that support handicapped seniors in Rancho Bernardo).

Those receiving $1,000 grants were Rancho Bernardo High School Friends of the Library for personnel support, Rancho Bernardo High School Grad Nite for the 2011 celebration, Rancho Bernardo Neighborhood Watch for volunteer recruitment, Rancho Bernardo Veterans Memorial Association to restore memorial plaques, Seniors Helping Our Kids for tutoring supplies, and Spirit of the Fourth Committee for its patriotic concert.

Receiving $750 grants were Friends of the Rancho Bernardo Library to provide free chamber music concerts and Rancho Bernardo High School Choral Music program for sheet music.

The three groups receiving $600 grants were the Ed Brown Senior Center so it can provide fitness classes to seniors, Rancho Bernardo Senior Services for its general support and RB United to provide evacuation assistance to disabled seniors.

The Rancho Bernardo Community Council received a $500 grant for its general support, as did the Rancho Bernardo Historical Society so it can develop a speakers series. A $300 grant went to the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra’s string ensemble for its music education program.

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Posted by on Nov 23 2010. Filed under Clubs, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Bernardo/4S Ranch (Click here for more stories). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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