September 27, 2013- Ramona, CA – The Ramona Community Foundation (RCF) awarded $24,450 to six deserving programs in Ramona on Thursday, September 26.

This year’s focus was on “Safe, Vibrant, and Healthy Communities,” and each of the grantees addresses a crucial health and human service need in Ramona. The programs funded are Be A Hero ($2,000), Disaster Trailer Deployment ($2,600), Silver Age Yoga Class at Ramona Senior Center ($3,150), The Labyrinth Education Pavillion ($4,000), Youth Yoga and Wellness Camp ($5,200), and San Diego Hippotherapy’s Program Expansion ($7,500). More than 60 members, friends, and nonprofit representatives gathered at Schwaesdall Winery in Ramona to celebrate and learn more about this year’s funded programs.

“We’re honored to support projects that make our community more safe, healthy, and vibrant,” said Wes Brustad, Chair of the foundation’s board. “This year’s grants support activities and programs that will serve residents of all ages, abilities and interests, from at-risk youth to seniors to people with disabilities. The Ramona Community Foundation is a great way to bring Ramona residents together to support our neighbors.”

Founded in 2009, the Ramona Community Foundation (RCF) is made up of local members who pool their resources on an annual basis to address needs in Ramona. The purpose of RCF is to meet Ramona’s emerging needs by encouraging and increasing responsible and effective philanthropy by and for the benefit of all who live, work, learn and play in Ramona. To date, the RCF has granted more than $60,000 to organizations serving Ramona citizens and has raised more than $20,000 in a community endowment that will support Ramona’s needs in perpetuity. Additionally, the Live Here, Give Here Matching Program, through the Matt McLaughlin Legacy Fund at The San Diego Foundation, is matching the grantmaking donations of each member through 2014. With these matching funds, more organizations benefit and greater community impact is provided.

“Thanks to the generous matching program, there has never been a better time to join the foundation,” said John Degenfelder, Immediate Past Chair of the foundation. “Ramona residents who care about their community have the opportunity to double their impact when they join this year.”

About the Grantees

Be A Hero – Boys and Girls Club of San Diego County
The RCF grant of $2,000 will enable the Boys and Girls Club of San Diego County to expand its “Be A Hero” Bullying Prevention program at the Ramona Branch to include the summer months. The program, which takes place on the second Tuesday of every month, covers topics such as cyber-bullying, conflict-resolution, and speaking up about bullying, in a fun and interactive environment. With the RCF grant, the program will be able to continue during the summer and will expand to include guest speakers and special events.

Disaster Trailer Deployment – Ramona CERT
The RCF grant of $2,600 will enable the Ramona Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to make their San Diego Country Estates emergency preparedness trailer fully operational. Thanks to a 2012 RCF grant, CERT was able to purchase a trailer for emergency supplies that would serve San Diego Country Estates and the surrounding areas should they be cut off from downtown Ramona during a natural disaster. To make the trailer fully operational and ready for deployment, CERT will electrically wire the trailer and add radio equipment in order to facilitate communication with other CERT teams and emergency-responders.

Silver Age Yoga Class at Ramona Senior Center – Silver Age Yoga
The RCF grant of $3,150 will enable Silver Age Yoga to expand its free senior yoga classes for seniors to East County San Diego through programming at the Ramona Senior Center. Through specially designed instruction that combines geriatric science with yoga principles, Silver Age Yoga will provide health-enhancing and life-enriching weekly classes to Ramona seniors. The organization will reach between 75-150 seniors in its first year.

The Labyrinth Education Pavilion – St. Mary’s
The RCF grant of $4,000 will enable the construction of an Education Pavilion for the St. Mary’s Community Garden. The pavilion will be handicap-accessible, shaded, and seat up to 20 individuals with room for teaching materials – providing a comfortable, accessible and practical location for educating residents of Ramona in healthy eating, the value of home-grown fruits and vegetables, gardening techniques, and organic gardening and pest control.

Youth Yoga and Wellness Camp – Vista Hill
The RCF grant of $5,200 will enable Vista Hill’s SmartCare program to bring the Youth Yoga and Wellness Camps to Ramona’s youth. Through two, week long Youth Yoga and Wellness Camps, held during Spring Break and Summer Break, as well as four additional events scheduled over the course of the year, Vista Hill will introduce 70-90 Ramona youth to the physical and emotional benefits of stress management, physical activity, therapeutic art, and healthy food choices, and how the mind-body interaction plays an integral role in physical / emotional well-being.

Program Expansion – San Diego Hippotherapy
The RCF grant of $7,500 will enable San Diego Hippotherapy to expand its equine-assisted therapy program for adults and children with disabilities. Over the course of the year, San Diego Hippotherapy will increase its community outreach and fundraising efforts, with the goal of soliciting additional volunteers and informing more physicians and disability resource groups about the program. A paid, part-time Executive Director will help the organization accomplish these goals and expand the program to 3.5 days a week.

About The San Diego Foundation’s Community Foundations
The Community Foundations, proud affiliates of The San Diego Foundation, help identify and meet the emerging needs of communities throughout San Diego County by encouraging and increasing responsible and effective philanthropy by and for the benefit of all who live, work and play in the region. The Community Foundations provide their communities with a vehicle for legacy planning and gifts. The foundations are located in Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Escondido, La Jolla, Oceanside, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, San Ysidro and 4SRanch-Del Sur. For additional information, please visit

About The San Diego Foundation
Founded in 1975, The San Diego Foundation’s purpose is to promote and increase effective and responsible charitable giving. The Foundation manages more than $612 million in assets, almost half of which reside in permanent endowment funds that extend the impact of today’s gifts to future generations. Since its inception, The Foundation has granted more than $829 million to the San Diego region’s nonprofit community. For additional information, please visit The San Diego Foundation at

Trudy Armstrong, (619) 764-8602
Heather Back, (619) 235-2300
Vince Heald, (858) 453-9600