April 2021 Letter from RCF Chair Kris Zook

April 2021 Letter from RCF Chair Kris Zook
The Ramona Community Foundation is committed to our community through the financial support of nonprofit organizations, projects and programs dedicated to improving the lives of those who live, work and play in Ramona.
Kris Zook

Greetings, and welcome to spring.

Let’s hope that as spring brings new beginnings, we will be able to put some of the challenges of the last year behind us.

The Ramona Community Foundation (RCF) 2021 Grants Guidelines have been released. The deadline to submit proposals is Monday, May 24 at 5pm.

Now in our 10th year of grantmaking, we’re inviting nonprofit organizations to submit project proposals specifically for Ramona that demonstrate the power to build a more vibrant community and recover from the pandemic. The goal of the grant cycle is to support programs that make Ramona a great place in which to live, work and play. Projects must clearly address Ramona-specific issues and needs.

The grant application can be accessed here.

RCF has awarded well over a quarter million dollars to benefit the community of Ramona over the last nine years. 

As you may remember, your generosity played a role in helping to alleviate food insecurity in Ramona at the beginning of the pandemic. You have truly made a difference for our community!

We have learned that food insecurity continues to be a significant problem. There has been over a 50 percent jump in the number of families needing access to food since the pandemic began. This month, you and RCF have granted another $25,000 to Feeding San Diego to specifically support food distribution in Ramona.

The following organizations will receive support from Feeding San Diego through this grant:

  • First Congregational Church of Ramona
  • Restoration Ranch
  • In His Steps
  • Ramona Food & Clothes Closet
  • Mountain View Church of Ramona
  • Senior Center
Robert Krysak

I am proud to have served as Chair for the last three years, and I am delighted to announce the following news: As of July 1, Bob Krysak will take over as RCF Chair. Tom McKelvey will take over from Kevin McNees as the Grants Chair. And we will welcome Micole Moore as a new board member.

Are you interested in being more involved with RCF? We would love to have your leadership. Please contact Regional Affiliates Director Trudy Armstrong at trudy@sdfoundation.org to let us know.

RCF has awarded more than $250,000 to benefit the community of Ramona within the last nine years due to your generosity and pooled philanthropy. Please renew your commitment today, and help increase our impact by asking your neighbors and friends to join this critical work.

Please contact Trudy Armstrong trudy@sdfoundation.org for assistance with a new membership or your renewal.

Kris Zook, Chair

Member Spotlight: John Degenfelder

John Degenfelder

John Degenfelder moved to Ramona in 1972 and helped establish RCF in 2010.

He wanted to assist in Ramona’s ability to do more for its residents, add amenities to the community and help local nonprofits with their vision and outreach.

John has six children, four of whom live in San Diego County. He is also a proud grandparent to 17 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren, many of whom are also Ramona residents.

John is currently Ramona’s Honorary Mayor for the Ramona Hall Town, now 126 years old.

“Our Town Hall is one of the very few remaining in the nation,” John said. “It promises to be a vibrant venue for community gatherings, performances, film screenings, lectures, events, gallery exhibits and meetings in many years to come.”

John is also founder of Ramona Trail Association, Ramona United Methodist Church, Ramona Sheriff Mounted Patrol and the Ramona Monument on Highway 67.  Currently, he is championing Santa Maria Creek Greenway trail, a San Diego County linear park/trail from the Wellfield Park to Ramona Grasslands. 

“All this work is to enhance the community of Ramona – where we live, work and play,” John shared.

Grantee Spotlight: TrueCare Health

TrueCare Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed so many lives, but one thing remains the same.

TrueCare™, formerly North County Health Services, continues to offer extraordinary care to patients thanks to the support of RCF.

As businesses started to shut down during the pandemic, patients needed help getting to appointments. Thanks to RCF grantmaking, TrueCare was able to transport patients to and from their appointments with Uber Health. This service proved to play a vital role.

Additionally, once TrueCare received COVID-19 vaccines, our Ramona patients living far from the San Marcos location were able to get their vaccination without worrying about pricey transportation.

The San Diego Foundation and RCF grantmaking helped TrueCare provide more than 2,400 patients with the quality care they deserve.

“We’re so grateful for the long-standing support of both The San Diego Foundation and RCF. The pandemic certainly created new challenges, but our patients clearly remained the priority, and we are so glad TSDF and RCF shares this vision with us,” said Briana Cardoza, TrueCare’s Chief Business Development Officer.

While adjusting to new normals of the pandemic, the 50-year-old organization launched an extensive rebrand and enhanced mission. Now more than ever, TrueCare believes it is vital that communities know where they can receive quality healthcare, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.

The renewed brand promise encompasses just that – TrueCare: Health Inside. Welcome In.