October 2020 Letter from Ramona Board Chair Kris Zook

October 2020 Letter from Ramona Board Chair Kris Zook
The purpose of the Ramona Community Foundation is to build a Ramona community endowment and provide funding annually to Ramona organizations and causes.

Greetings,

I hope everyone is safe and healthy! We miss seeing you!

Sadly, we could not gather to celebrate the 2020 grants, but the Ramona Community Foundation (RCF) board and grants committees have been hard at work.

COVID-19 Food Insecurity Grants

With the help of your generosity, RCF was able to quickly support the unprecedented need for access to food in Ramona during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, your board quickly voted to immediately grant $10,000 to address food insecurity for Ramona families impacted by the pandemic.

We awarded Ramona Senior Center and the food distribution program of First Congregational Church of Ramona $5,000 each.

Since our inception, RCF has granted more than $275,000 to over 65 nonprofit programs that strengthen quality of life for all who live, work and enjoy Ramona.

2020 Grantees

For our regular 2020 grant cycle, the nonprofits funded include ArtReach, Autism Tree Project Foundation, Feeding San Diego, Heart and Hooves Therapy, North County Health Services, Ramona Senior Center, Trauma Intervention Programs, and Voices for Children. Click here to learn more about your 2020 grantees.

Member Spotlight: Paul Zawilenski

Paul Zawilenski and his wife Susan have lived in Ramona for 25 years. When his job as a Financial Advisor for JP Morgan Chase brought him closer to home, he decided to focus on his local community.

After discovering the newly formed Ramona Community Foundation, he reached out to Founder, John Degenfelder and became a member.

“Knowing that our member funds are pooled, matched and invested back into the community for greater impact helped me enthusiastically support the organization,” said Paul. “We are a small rural community that cares about helping each other.”

Paul currently serves as Past Chair for RCF and has also served in various Executive Board positions for the Ramona Chamber of Commerce. He started the Ramona Motorcycle Rally as a way to raise funds for the Chamber Scholarship program. He also has served as a volunteer “Big Brother” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County, during which he also joined the Board of Directors. Today, Paul still supports the organization and still stays in touch with his “Little”.

He has also served as board Vice Chair of Boys and Girls Club of Southwest County in Temecula and has volunteered as Santa for the Temecula-based ‘Support our Troops’ holiday event for 12 years. “It’s easy to write a check, but to have real impact with a person, organization or community, you have to do it hand-in-hand,” says Paul.

Grantee Spotlight: Heart and Hooves Therapy

Heart and Hooves Therapy is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit that enhances the lives of children and adults of any age and ability with a different kind of therapy.

Thanks to the generous support of RCF and its members, Heart and Hooves was awarded a grant during the 2018-2019 grant cycle that enabled it to provide 90 on-site sessions to 11 different kids/adults at no charge and an additional five off-site visits to local Ramona facilities.

Hearts and Hooves uses mini-horses and other animals to provide therapy both on-site at their campus, as well as off-site at local community organizations.

Through RCF support as well as additional funds from other local foundations, Hearts and Hooves has been able to partner with Ronald McDonald House, Casa De Amparo, Escondido Post-Acute Care, Ramona Senior Manor and Ramona Senior Center to visit the children, adults and seniors currently staying there.

“All the funding we received from RCF was used to provide services to our community to enhance the lives of children and adults of any age and ability,” said Melissa Sargent, President and Founder. “We don’t turn anyone away for the inability to pay for our program.”

Thank to you RCF and its members for its support of Hearts and Hooves in past grant cycles!

Get Involved with RCF