May 2018 Letter from RCF Board Chair Paul Zawilenski

Ramona Community Foundation Founding Board Member Robert Krysak poses with grantees
Ramona Community Foundation Founding Board Member Robert Krysak poses with grantees at the 2017 RCF Grants Celebration.

We were so pleased to see so many of you at The Ramona Ranch Winery on April 12. The event served as an opportunity to welcome Robert and Victoria Burch to the Ramona Community Foundation (RCF) family, and hear from past grantees about the impact of our philanthropy. Welcome Robert and Victoria!

Immediate Past Chair Wes Brustad welcomes members and guests to The Ramona Ranch Winery
Immediate Past Chair Wes Brustad welcomed members and guests to The Ramona Ranch Winery.

Judy Beckett, Executive Director of Cornerstone Riding Therapy, joined us with a parent of one of the organization’s riding students and shared a powerful and compelling testimonial about how Operation Saddle Up literally saved his child’s life.

Last year, Cornerstone received a $5,000 grant from RCF that helped support its Operation Saddle Up program, which is dedicated to the healing of body, mind and spirit of United States Military Service Members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who have lost limbs, experienced traumatic brain injuries or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and are recovering from these and other was related injuries and illnesses.

Today, that program is helping save lives and it’s all thanks to your generosity.

We also had the opportunity to hear from three young ladies from the Ramona Femineers Program. The Femineers Program, which received a $3,500 grant from RCF last year, was created to inspire young girls to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields in their education and career. The multi-year program provides K-12 students with project-based learning, female engineering student mentors and opportunities to visit Cal Poly Pomona, while encouraging current and future STEM leaders to continue in related fields.

The 2017 RCF grant funding is being used for one year of the curriculum, funding kits and shared tools. The first-year curriculum, titled “Creative Robotics,” is a 30-hour workshop conducted after school two days per week. Young women at Ramona High School who participated learned basic electronics, how to use the tools of mechanical engineering and how to effectively work in teams to design robots out of everyday materials.

It is your membership dollars that make the RCF grant awards possible. And the Matt McLaughlin Fund at The San Diego Foundation also supports and grows these funds for grantmaking.

If you know someone who would be interested in making a difference in Ramona, please encourage them to become a member this year by visiting our website, or contacting Trudy Armstrong at trudy@sdfoundation.org or 619-764-8602.

RCF Board Chair Paul Zawilenski

Paul Zawilenski
RCF Board Chair

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