June 20, 2014 – San Diego, CA – On Thursday, June 19, native San Diegan and LA Dodger, Adrian Gonzalez along with his wife Betsy Gonzalez, hosted the first-ever Gonzalez Scholars Environment Clean-Up Day in their hometown of Chula Vista.

Nearly 50 students and their family members along with other special guests joined Adrian and Betsy for a rare, fun-filled morning that also benefited the community’s Rice Canyon open space preserve.

The students worked side-by-side the pro baseball star to remove trash from Rice Canyon while engaging and spending quality time getting to know the Gonzalez family. Local nonprofit, I Love A Clean San Diego, was on hand to facilitate the environmental clean-up, which also included removing graffiti, weatherizing a kiosk, removing invasive plants, and planting native plants.

“Today’s clean-up was a success and a great reminder from Adrian and Betsy that we can always give back to our communities,” said Gonzalez Scholar and clean-up participant Maricela Leon. “It was wonderful to have the opportunity to personally thank Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez for all their moral and financial support throughout my entire college career. Their support helped me obtain a BA debt free. Their genuine hearts and willingness to help communities in different ways makes Mr. and Mrs. Gonzalez remarkable people. They are a blessing, I will always be grateful for them.”

For years, Adrian and Betsy have been committed to helping students attain a college education and fulfill their dreams. In 2008 they established a fund at The San Diego Foundation to empower underprivileged youth in the areas of athletics, education and health. A year later, the Gonzalez’ opened a scholarship fund at The San Diego Foundation and make time each year to personally interview candidates. This year, more than 400 students applied and eight were selected to receive a four-year renewable scholarship. Since inception, 43 students have been selected for the Gonzalez Scholarship.

The Gonzalez’ are also avid supporters of, and strongly value community service. Having grown up in Chula Vista, they are members of the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation and have a passion for the neighborhoods, parks and the people who live there. Additionally, they supported the Parks For Everyone report, which now informs the Opening the Outdoors initiative at The San Diego Foundation. The initiative aims to open the outdoors by working with businesses, government and the community to connect and protect and increase access to nature. Adrian and Betsy value the outdoors and know how important playing outside is to the well-being of our youth, our communities and our region.

“My family and I had a great time with the students at the Rice Canyon Clean-Up Day” said Adrian Gonzalez. “I wanted to celebrate the achievements of the Gonzalez Scholars in a personal way and spend quality time getting to know each of them. I also wanted to engage with them in a way that would allow us all to spend the day in nature doing something good for our community. Thanks to the combined efforts of The San Diego Foundation, the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation and I Love A Clean San Diego who helped me make it happen” said Gonzalez.

About The San Diego Foundation
Founded in 1975, The San Diego Foundation’s purpose is to promote and increase effective and responsible charitable giving. The Foundation manages more than $660 million in assets, more than half of which reside in permanent endowment funds that extend the impact of today’s gifts to future generations. Since its inception, The Foundation has granted more than $873 million to the San Diego region’s nonprofit community. For additional information, please visit The San Diego Foundation at sdfoundation.org.

About I Love A Clean San Diego
Celebrating its 60th anniversary, I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD) is the go-to organization for programs that enhance and conserve San Diego County’s environment. Through recycling, education and cleanups of the region’s most beloved areas, ILACSD provides pollution prevention programs that pave the way for a cleaner and healthier San Diego right now, and for future generations. For additional information, visit www.ilacsd.org.

About The San Diego Foundation’s Community Foundations
The Foundation has proudly joined with regional leaders to establish affiliates in the following communities: Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Escondido, La Jolla, Oceanside, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, San Ysidro, and 4S Ranch-Del Sur. Each affiliate is made up of a local board of directors dedicated to improving the quality of life within each community. Through endowment building, each community foundation ensures efforts will continue into perpetuity. Each affiliate also determines the funding that will be granted to outstanding local nonprofit organizations each year. So far, the Regional Outreach affiliate program has exceeded 450 members, built endowments of more than $3.3 million overall, and granted more than $2.5 million overall to nonprofit organizations throughout the region. For additional information, visit sdfoundation.org/CommunityFoundations.

About Opening the Outdoors
The Malin Burnham San Diego Center for Civic Engagement is Opening the Outdoors to 500,000 people in unserved or underserved areas as identified in the Parks for Everyone report. Connecting our natural spaces will be accomplished by promoting philanthropy, civic engagement, and collaboration between business, government and community to increase support for connecting, protecting and increasing access to nature in our region. In addition to building infrastructure, such as trails, signage and outdoor amenities, this initiative is dedicated to getting kids outside, especially those who currently don’t have sufficient access. For additional information, visit sdfoundation.org/OTO.

About The San Diego Foundation Community Scholarship Program
The San Diego Foundation, which administers the largest scholarship program in San Diego County outside of the university systems, awards approximately $2 million to make the educational dreams of 600+ recipients a reality on an annual basis. $18 million worth of scholarship funds are established as endowments and will be able to provide educational funding for generations to come. For additional information, visit sdfoundation.org/Scholarships.

Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600, vheald@behmedia.com
Heather Back, The San Diego Foundation, 619-235-2300, heather@sdfoundation.org