Happy new year, Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation (RBCF) members!
First and most importantly, I want to thank Debbie Kurth for her incredible years as President of RBCF. Debbie has done a remarkable job in leading RBCF forward.
As we enter a new year, I have been asked to step into the shoes to Chair RBCF this year. RBCF board terms end on a calendar year. Our term limits are nine consecutive years of service, at which time we ask board members to step off for 12 months and then they can serve again another nine years.
I also want to acknowledge and thank Scott Lawn and Dave Brooks who have given hours and hours of commitment to RBCF and the Rancho Bernardo community as a whole. If you see Scott and Dave, please thank them for doing so much for our Foundation!! Debbie will remain on the board in leadership as our immediate past chair.
I look forward to serving you as the Chair for 2020.
Mike Stelman has lived in Rancho Bernardo since 1969. During that period, he has had the privilege of experiencing the tremendous growth and development of this beautiful community.
In that time, he has had the opportunity to volunteer throughout the community and serve numerous organizations and individuals, including seniors, youth and health providers. He particularly appreciate the connection he has with RBCF and the chances it creates for him to serve the diverse population of Rancho Bernardo.
“It has been an honor to be part of the Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation and watch it grown to be one of the finest organizations in San Diego,” shared Mike. “The men and women who volunteer make all the good we accomplish possible. It truly represents one the truest feelings of giving and accomplishment.”
People with disabilities or special needs are often not given many choices in life. Most of them, certainly, don’t get to make the choice of what car to drive or where to live. Many don’t even have the everyday choices that you or I take for granted, like “what am I going to do today?”
In recent years, funding for day programs for adults with special needs has been significantly cut, impacting their quality of life significantly by shortening their workday, sometimes their only opportunity to interact with others.
The Southern California Ballet Adaptive Dance Program was funded by the Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation to help give dancers with special needs the chance for physical exercise and an outlet to be creative, as well as to build confidence and generate new friendships. It has even given the people around them the ability to see their loved ones truly feel strong and free. Even more so, these dancers have learned the fundamentals of ballet technique and have pushed themselves further in dance than they ever would have dreamed possible.
On the most fundamental level, however, it has given them something to look forward to each week and allowed them to feel a part of something.
Co-Artistic Director and teacher of the class, Martha Leebolt, feels one of the most special moments during the course was hearing phrases like “I’m doing it!” or sounds of joy and excitement when a step or pattern was achieved.
The RBCF grant has literally changed the lives of these dancers and has given them an opportunity to flourish and start them on a path to grow to their full potential.
If you have any friends or neighbors who may be interested in making a difference in the Rancho Bernardo community, please encourage them to join RBCF.