September 27, 2019 – San Diego, CA – Escondido Charitable Foundation (ECF), an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, awarded $202,500 in funding at its 13th Annual Grants Celebration on September 27 to seven nonprofit programs that will enhance Escondido by creating connections to bring people together and build a stronger community.

“Since 2006, the Escondido Charitable Foundation has served as a catalyst of community impact for those who live, work and visit Escondido,” explained Jacquie Skay, Board Chair for ECF. “This year’s grantmaking will help bring more Escondido residents and visitors together through positive experiences across the community.”

The six programs funded for the 2019-2020 grant cycle include: Middle & High School Leadership Initiative with A Step Beyond; Northern Lights with California Center for the Arts Escondido; Field Renovations with Escondido American Little League; Grant Avenue Music Festival with Escondido Downtown Business Association; Dixon Lake Playground with Hidden Valley Kiwanis; Explore and Restore Felicita County Park with the Nature Collective; and Intergenerational Literacy Tutoring Program with San Diego Oasis.

Through 13 years of grantmaking, ECF has addressed a wide range of community issues including health and human services; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education; access to the outdoors; advancing arts & culture and more.

ECF was founded to provide community members with a vehicle to increase effective and responsible philanthropy in Escondido. Since 2006, ECF has granted more than $2.4 million and generated $4.8 million in impact to strengthen the community.

To become a member, contact Trudy Armstrong at

About the 2019 Grantees:

A Step Beyond

Middle & High School Leadership Initiative

This grant of $35,000 will enable A Step Beyond to pilot a new high school academic support curriculum to 40 students in Escondido that includes career nights, college tours, and opportunities to meet working professionals to discuss job options. In addition, the grant will support STEAM education and experiences, dance classes and additional youth development initiatives that set Escondido youth up for success later in life.

California Center for the Arts Escondido

Northern Lights

This grant of $35,000 will help California Center for the Arts Escondido transform downtown Escondido into an unforgettable holiday destination for locals and visitors alike. The project will build on the continued success and growth of the Escondido Winter Wonderland Festival by adding hundreds of thousands of lights to downtown locations and buildings during the four weeks of December.

Escondido American Little League

Field Renovations

This grant of $35,000 will enable the Escondido American Little League to provide quality and safe playing fields for the 400 Escondido youth that participate each year. The current baseball fields are in desperate need of repair, which caused multiple games to be canceled and reschedule last season. Grant funding will ensure that the fields at Jesmond Dene Park are playable for years to come.

Escondido Downtown Business Association

Grand Avenue Music Festival

This grant of $35,000 will enhance the annual Grand Avenue Music Festival, which brings thousands of people to historic Downtown Escondido for an evening of entertainment, food and community. This multi-stage street party is set to the backdrop of the 19th and 20th century architecture of Escondido to showcase the history and culture of the community.

Hidden Valley Kiwanis

Dixon Lake Playground

This grant of $20,000 will enable the Hidden Valley Kiwanis to rebuild the playground equipment at Dixon Lake Recreation Area that once benefited the nearly 100,000 youth visitors each year. Once installed, the new playground structure will provide an estimated two million hours of childhood play during the useful life of the equipment.

San Diego Oasis

Intergenerational Literacy Tutoring Program

This grant of $15,000 will support the Intergenerational Literacy Tutoring Program, which makes a profound difference in children’s lives by helping them learn to read while providing meaningful engagement opportunities for older adults in the community. Volunteer tutors commit to working one-on-one with the same child for an entire school year, which has proven to help improve reading and writing skills while decreasing the number of school days missed each year.

Nature Collective

Explore and Restore Felicita County Park

This grant of $27,500 will provide Escondido residents with monthly trips to Felicita County Park where they will learn about native species, conservation and environmental restoration. The program will provide six consecutive multi-generational nature experiences that will engage young and ‘young at heart’ alike to learn more about San Diego’s natural space and create more environmental stewards in the community.


About the Escondido Charitable Foundation & the Regional Affiliate Program

The Regional Affiliate program, including the Escondido Charitable Foundation, was established by The San Diego Foundation to create a regional network of affiliate foundations by leveraging local leadership, building endowments, increasing impactful philanthropy, and promoting civic engagement. Affiliates reside in Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Escondido, La Jolla, Oceanside, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, and 4S Ranch-Del Sur. The Regional Affiliate program has exceeded 1,000 members, established endowments of more than $5 million overall, and granted more than $6 million in total to nonprofit organizations throughout the region.

About The San Diego Foundation

The San Diego Foundation maximizes the impact of your charitable giving. We mobilize philanthropic resources to advance quality of life, increase social impact and champion civic engagement. For more than 40 years, The Foundation and our donors have granted more than $1.1 billion to grow a vibrant San Diego region. Learn more on our website, and consider a donation to the Fund for the Future Endowment which supports San Diego community needs for good, forever.


Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600,

Justin Nunez, The San Diego Foundation, 336-254-7056,