January 2021 Letter from ECF Board Chair Jack Raymond

The Escondido 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 Escondido.
The Escondido 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 Escondido.

Happy New Year everybody!

I hope each of you had a safe and happy holiday, unique as it may have been.  With vaccines in our near future, we all look forward to a much better year in 2021.  It is my expectation that before the end of this new year, we can gather to officially celebrate and dedicate our iconic Escondido Giving Arch. It has already obtained celebrity status!

I am pleased to personally invite you to the premiere of our new Escondido Community Foundation (ECF) video on February 3rd.  We have combined this event with an opportunity to learn more about our 2021 grant focus of community COVID-19 recovery through addressing mental health issues created by the pandemic.  We have also added another fun part to the evening – a wine and cheese tasting party! Members who have RSVP’d can pick up their bottle of wine and charcuterie board at our ECF office between 11am and 2pm on February 3rd.  Please know that you can RSVP and not participate in the wine tasting portion. (Just let us know: “NO wine & cheese.”) You must RSVP to receive the link.  If participating in the wine and cheese tasting, to know your wine choice and have it ready for you on the 3rdRSVP here TODAY.

Even though we could not gather in person in 2020, your generous charitable participation with ECF made our 2020 accomplishments significant. You made a difference in the lives of so many. Your generosity helped to give immediate assistance to COVID-19 recovery needs. You made a difference in enhancing our environment, and your additional Secret Santa donations helped those in extreme need over the holidays. A big THANK YOU to those who made the extra gift to support this special program through the Escondido Police Department.

There is still the opportunity to purchase a name plaque on the Giving Arch. This revenue will go directly into our Special Projects Fund for either city beautification or unknown emerging needs. Don’t be left off the Arch! Contact Trudy Armstrong trudy@sdfoundation.org or 619-764-8602 for more information.

THANK YOU for all you do for our community. Your participation truly defines our “hometown!”

Jack Raymond, ECF Board Chair

Board Member Bio: Rosemary Burson

Rosemary Burson, a third generation Californian, moved to Escondido almost 40 years ago. Along with her husband, Bob, whose business was in downtown Escondido, they raised three sons in the community. After retiring from Cathedral Catholic High School, Rosemary was looking for an additional way to spend her time besides reading, studying genealogy and playing with grandkids. A suggestion from an ECF board member brought her to the Escondido Community Foundation. (Thanks Donna Aeling!)

“I am so happy to be working with ECF and appreciate the opportunity to effectively spend the money we have contributed,” said Rosemary. “Even after living here for many years, I was surprised and gratified to find so many organizations doing such terrific work in so many arenas in Escondido.”

Nonprofit Partner: A Step Beyond

A Step Beyond was an Escondido Community Foundation grant recipient in the fall of 2019.  The generous funding received from ECF allowed A Step Beyond to pilot its new Middle & High School Leadership Initiative for its oldest students. This initiative provided a year’s worth of curriculum and experiences to students ages 11-15 including college prep workshops, two career nights with local companies and entrepreneurs, tutoring in advanced subjects and summer leadership training for the high school students. 

A Step Beyond works with over 200 students from Escondido and San Marcos, preparing students living at or below the poverty line for college or a career path of their choosing.  The organization uses a holistic, creative youth development approach providing dance classes, academic tutoring/enrichment and family services to ensure Escondido’s high-potential youth have every opportunity for successful futures. “We couldn’t have provided the same level of college prep, leadership training, and increased tutoring support, especially during the pandemic, without the support of the Escondido Community Foundation,” said Allison Morrissey, Director of Development. A Step Beyond thanks ECF and all of its members for their support and looks forward to many more years of partnership in serving the residents of Escondido.