Congratulations and a very special thank you to the ECF team, led by Sally Costello and Lisa Ruder, who worked with the City of Escondido on the $1.5 million dollars of American Rescue Plan Grants. All the members of this team have many years of experience in grantmaking. Thank you to Ceci Lusky, Rita Bowcock, Emily Lowe, Rebecca Raymond, Johnny Watson, Ruth Tsoulos, and John Goodrich. This was a monumental task that took over an entire year. Sally and Lisa, particularly, put in numerous hours of volunteer work. On April 12, with past chair Ken Lounsbery, they presented the final results of the work to Escondido City Council. 114 nonprofits were awarded grants. Thank you, all!

It’s time to CELEBRATE!!!

After 3 years of waiting, we are going to celebrate the Arch and our wonderful donors. The original celebration scheduled in March 2020 was shut down by the pandemic. So, it is now time to celebrate our Iconic Arch.

We will gather at 5 p.m. on May 18 at SIP Wine and Beer at 131 South Orange Street in Escondido. We will enjoy drinks, appetizers, a very short presentation, and then at 6:15 p.m., we will take a photo of everyone in front of the Arch. If you haven’t already RSVP’d for the event, you may do so HERE.

This year, your ECF grants will fund programs that help vulnerable youth, in grades 6th through 12th. Although the pandemic has waned and schools have reopened, we are concerned that life is not back to normal for the vulnerable population of unengaged youth. Some have become isolated and withdrawn. If they do not find a positive path, we worry these young people will be drawn into gangs, drug abuse, sex trafficking or experience other negative outcomes. The proposals have been received and the grant committee will now complete site visits to nonprofits that are moving forward in the 2023 grant process.

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

THANK YOU for all you do for, and in, our community. Your commitment to preserving and protecting the future of our community through your donations to our community foundation is making Escondido a better place to live, work and play.

Please know how much your generosity is appreciated.

Jan Jones, Board Chair, ECF

Member Spotlight: Debbi Stanley

Debbi Stanley

As a native San Diegan, Debbi Stanley has deep affection for all of San Diego. However, when she and her husband got married and looked to buy their first home, Debbi looked south towards her old childhood home of Scripps Ranch while Ray looked north towards Escondido, where he grew up.

It would be the first of many battles that he would win but one that has suited their family well. In Escondido, her sons, Ryan and Devin played football at San Pasqual on the same field as their dad, coached by one of his old classmates, Tony Corley. Debbi was fortunate to run First Night Escondido for several years as part of her nonprofit consulting work, as well as work with several other notable Escondido organizations such as Alabaster Jar, San Diego Children’s Museum, and the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. She was also a long-standing member of the Escondido Rotary Club. She still offers fundraising consulting to nonprofits all over the country.

As one of the earliest members of the Escondido Charitable Foundation, the Stanley family is happy to be back this year. We want to use our history to inspire others to give back to their community, to create a legacy for their children, and to preserve the rich heritage that is truly unique to this area. We have seen many changes over the years and are grateful to be part of the positive growth that makes Escondido so special.

Grantee Spotlight: Palomar College Foundation

Palomar College Foundation

In September 2022, Escondido Community Foundation awarded $15,000 to Palomar College Foundation for First Responder Technology Support. Stacy Rungaitis, the Foundation’s Executive Director was able to report the following successes.

“Funding from the Escondido Community Foundation was a crucial factor in our ability to exceed our goal and acquire 80 iPads for the program in 2022. Your assistance funded the purchase of more than a third of that total and is enabling us to give every student full access to state-of-the-art digital technology—the same technology they will be using in the field post-graduation from our program. Without your assistance, we would not have reached our goal, and our students would have had less access to this important professional tool.

We are very appreciative of the grant support, and proud of the fact that we can educate the first responders with the best technology. These first responders will soon be on the streets protecting and serving the citizens of the entire San Diego region.”

The Program Director from the EME program said, “We want to provide the best possible first responder education in the most efficient manner possible, in order to enhance public safety, and these iPads make our program second to none. The iPads provide a simulation that mirrors real-life situations which are equipping our students to be the best possible response available.”