It was wonderful to see so many of you at our fall social. We had a great crowd that enjoyed the delightful hospitality of Piacere Mio. Former grantee Walter Ritter from Write Out Loud did a fantastic presentation on what the grant to Write Out Loud has accomplished through the generosity of the 4SCF members!

Theresa Shay presented a check for $2,000 from the Thank You Run. The 5k fundraiser donates proceeds every year to the 4S Ranch~Del Sur Community Foundation (4SCF). Don’t forget to register for this 4S family Thanksgiving Day event. Thanksgiving is November 28 and you can register here.

Please encourage your school or any nonprofit serving our community to apply for a grant — our 2020 Grant guidelines will be posted the first week of November and will be due December 18.

For this 2020 grant cycle, the foundation will accept proposals for programs that address the health, well-being, safety, and self-sufficiency of individuals and families in the 4S Ranch and Del Sur communities.

Some examples are:

  • Health related educational programs that create and build excitement, interest and a desire to become involved in the community.
  • Programs that address such issues as the prevention and/or treatment of substance abuse, mental health, obesity, and bullying through education and the introduction of positive alternatives.
  • Programs or projects that provide constructive activities for residents to help develop self-sufficiency and to learn to make healthy and safe choices.

Proposals must be submitted online by no later than 5:00 p.m. on or before December 18, 2019.

If you are interested in learning more about 4SCF grantmaking or would like to join the Grants Committee, please contact Trudy Armstrong at

Grantee Spotlight: The San Diego Zoo

Three middle school boys

Students from Oak Valley and Design 39 middle school learned about wildlife monitoring in this program run by the San Diego Zoo

With help from the 4SCF grant, the San Diego Zoo implemented an outreach program for Oak Valley and Design 39 middle school students titled Citizen Science: Wildlife Monitoring. The program consisted of 10 classroom visits and five corresponding field excursions to Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. Both the classroom program and the field experience featured San Diego Zoo Educators and Zoo animal ambassadors. The program component at Elfin Forest also featured park rangers from the Olivenhain Municipal Water District that care for and oversee the reserve.

The programming brought fun and exciting opportunities to the students and encouraged them to get involved in local scientific projects and data collection. The information provided to students was aligned with Next Generation Science Standards. The animal ambassador was a great aid in encouraging students to practice scientific observation, using scientific terminology to describe the animal in front of them. With the utilization of technology and hands-on scientific activities focused on wildlife monitoring, the program fulfilled its directive to cultivate STEM learning and participate in projects that are occurring within their own community.

Ray and Sharlene Hower

Ray and Sharlene Hower

Member Spotlight: Ray and Sharlene Hower

Ray and Sharlene Hower have been members of the 4S Ranch community for 17 years where they raised their two children Elena and Daniel. Elena is a neonatal nurse practitioner, and Daniel is a first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps undergoing jet training. Ray served for 26 years as a pilot in the United States Marine Corps and is now a captain for American Airlines. Sharlene, an environmental engineer, runs the family business, Hower Consulting, a hazardous material tank management company. Ray and Sharlene have been members of 4SCF for nine years. Ray has been a member of the Grants Committee for three years and is beginning his first grant cycle as the Grants Committee Chairman.

Why did you join the 4SRanch~Del Sur Community Foundation?

“The simple truth is we joined the 4SRanch~Del Sur Foundation because it was a way to give back a little something to our community. We’ve stayed members because of the great people we’ve met and the wonderful work they do to enhance our community and its residents.”

Get involved with 4SCF