Kudos to some of the local organizations making a difference here and beyond. Our community prospers thanks to the good work done by these groups and their members.
The Del Sol Lions Club
The Del Sol Lions Club was founded in 2010 to serve the communities of Del Mar, Carmel Valley, Solana Beach, and Rancho Santa Fe. Shortly after, the Del Sol Lions Foundation was formed as a 501(c)3 to better partner and serve the community. All money raised by the Foundation goes into the North Coastal Community. Since inception, the Del Sol Lions have completed 181 service and fundraising projects, totaling over 8,900 volunteer hours. In May 2017, donations to the Del Sol Lions Foundation crossed the $100,000 mark. The Del Sol Lions have already reinvested $87,000 back into the local community in a range of programs including back-to-school supplies and eye exams/glasses for at-risk kids, food distributions to local families in need, and donations to other nonprofits doing critical work including Freedom Dogs, Blind Stokers, and the Community Resource Center.
During the holidays, the Del Sol Lions complete three programs aimed at helping local, under-served families. This is the fifth year the Lions and the City of Del Mar will partner to collect gently used coats and blankets for the Community Resource Center Holiday Baskets program. Until December 13, items can be dropped off at the Del Mar City Hall, the Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce, or at Solana Beach Family Optometry. The Del Sol Lions are also partnering with the San Diego Food Bank and the staff at La Colonia Boys and Girls Club to provide holiday groceries for 80 local families in need. The Del Sol Lions are currently collecting donations from members and friends to purchase new bicycles, helmets, locks and safety lights for under-served students.
In 2018, the Del Sol Lions will repeat many successful programs including providing school supplies and eye glasses to at-risk students, donating to the CRC Food Pantry, and providing groceries to 80 families in need in March and May. Additionally, they are supporting college nights for the students at La Colonia Boys and Girls Club and providing funds to the Solana Beach PTA to send four fifth grade students to Astro Camp.
Rotary Club of Del Mar
The Rotary Club of Del Mar, founded in 1954, has over 60 active members, and is one of over 32,000 Rotary clubs and 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide. They focus on community, international, vocational and youth service projects.
Their many efforts have included helping to organize beach clean ups in Del Mar to helping build the boardwalk and fencing in the western portion of the San Dieguito River Park. They have dentists and doctors that visit Baja to treat children and that work nights and weekends at St. Leo’s Community Health Care Clinic in Solana Beach. For local youth, they sponsor Interact clubs for students at Torrey Pines and Cathedral Catholic High Schools, teaching them leadership, ethics, community service, and world peace and understanding. They sponsor a Boy Scout troop and youth sports teams, and mentor a Rotaract club for students at USD as well as helped start new Rotary Clubs for young adults in La Jolla and Kingston, Jamaica . They host a free community event on the beach in Del Mar in October, a wine soiree in May at the Del Mar Plaza and regular fellowship events in addition to service projects and activities.
Recent highlights include the club sponsoring the purchase of new, state-of-the-art scuba gear for the lifeguards and dive team of Del Mar Lifeguards. Members were involved in the first annual “North County Stand Down” benefiting homeless veterans living in North County – a 3-day event where volunteers worked together to help 150-200 homeless veterans with anything from medical services, benefit enrollment, and legal help among other needed services.
In working with youngsters, students from Torrey Pines High School who are on the Del Mar Rotary Club sponsored “Model UN” team rehearsed their Model UN opening statements on topics covering global warming and Brexit. The club also has their Annual La Colonia Christmas party in Solana Beach that they sponsor in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito. Last year, 400 people attended and gifts were given to 160 kids. This year, the event will be held December 7.
Del Mar Foundation
The mission of the Del Mar Foundation is to promote civic pride and cohesiveness, acquire and preserve open space, improve beaches and parklands, raise and grant funds, and sponsor diverse cultural programs and community events in Del Mar. The goal is to make Del Mar a great place to live and play, the service region is the 92014 area code. Annual programming and special events include the Picnic at Powerhouse Park, Easter Egg Hunt, Earth Day Celebration, 4th of July Bicycle Parade, Spooktacular Beach Bonfire, Halloween Dog Parade, and Bluegrass, Bourbon and the Breeders’ Cup. Musical programming includes the Summer Twilight Concert Series, First Thursdays Concerts, Bluegrass and Beyond, and Brunch with the Band. Social and Educational programming includes DMF Talks, Cinema By The Sea, and Meet and Greets. In terms of grants, the Foundation seeks to award $50,000 or more each year to local nonprofit organizations that benefit the community. Some of those organizations include Del Mar Garden Club, Del Mar Community Connections, Del Mar Lifeguards, Friends of the Del Mar Library, and the Plant, Grow, Eat Program. Significant grant awards in the past have provided funding for the Del Mar Library mosaic wall and the San Dieguito River Conservancy “Birdwing” project.
“With the exception of a $15,000 community enhancement grant received annually from the County for the last several years, the Foundation relies entirely upon private donations from local businesses and residents to fund programming and grant operations. Thanks to the incredible support provided by the community, they are building a substantial endowment that will ensure that the Foundation is able to not only maintain, but also expand programming and grant awards for future generations of 92014 residents. It is an entirely volunteer-driven organization, with the exception of a single, part-time administrative director,” says President Bob Gans.
Del Mar Schools Education Foundation
A nonprofit, parent-run organization whose goal is to provide children a complete education. Contributions made to the DMSEF fund the compensation packages of credentialed STEAM+ specialists in the Del Mar Union School District. STEAM+ provides robust and engaging opportunities for students to experience an interdisciplinary approach to learning in science, technology, engineering, art, music and physical education. Through exploration, experimentation, and creativity, STEAM+ learning provides the hands-on experience that extends beyond the classroom and prepares tomorrow’s leaders and innovators. While their formal fundraising campaign will begin in March, they accept contributions at any time. Most contributions are from parents, but local community members and businesses can also participate. Their Community Partnership Program is an integral part of the fundraising efforts – Every year, local businesses participate in this program to support the children of the eight elementary schools in Del Mar and Carmel Valley.