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I am honored and proud to join the Giving Back Magazine team as the new Philanthropy Editor. I have served on multiple nonprofit boards and chaired numerous fundraisers throughout San Diego. I feel very lucky to live in a city that has so many individuals who choose to give back. Each week, I will feature some of these hometown heroes and the causes that are making a difference in our community.

Lori M Walton
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Barbie Spinazzola & the San Diego Police Foundation

A Police Officer's Best Friend

The San Diego Police Department's K9 Units work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout our entire city. And thanks to the San Diego Police Foundation and supporters like Barbie and Dan Spinazzola, our K9 Units have been recognized as one of the best teams in the country.

Debbie Turner & Symphony at SalkIris Strauss & Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Philanthropy is just part of me; you do it because it's the right thing to do.

This year is critically important for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, as it embarks upon a transformational expansion of its flagship La Jolla campus.

Debbie Turner & Symphony at Salk

The "damn fool" who shot Hamilton.......

If you haven’t seen the Broadway play "Hamilton", you can find out what all the hype is about when Symphony at Salk brings Leslie Odom, Jr. to San Diego.

Charlotte Rand Sharp Mary Birch Hospital

Lead With Appreciation And Be Grateful For Life

Charlotte Rand’s husband delivered approximately 41,000 babies in addition to performing innumerable surgeries. After Dr Rand’s passing, Charlotte continues to carry on his legacy by chairing the Women’s Luncheon benefitting Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns.

Joye Blount St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center

Always remember where you came from; one day you can be a peacock and the next, a feather duster.

St. Madeleine Sophie's Center has been serving individuals with developmental disabilities for over 50 years. SMSC is constantly innovating and growing with their students who range in age from 22 to over 80 years, to ensure they are empowered to realize their full potential as individuals for a lifetime.

Ben Wood & the USD Wine Classic

USD is one of San Diego's greatest treasures

Ben Wood grew up in San Diego and went to Nazareth School, USDHS, San Diego Mesa Junior College and finished at USD. Ben and his brother, Bryan, started BWood Insurance and make the BEST tamales for their holiday parties! In addition to being an expert tamale maker, Ben is a model of servant leadership for his generation and beyond.

Nine Months Matter Mary Reynolds

Reducing Preventable Birth Defects

Mary Reynolds came to San Diego to attend college and thankfully for us, she stayed. Mary's latest endeavor is Nine Months Matter - a relatively new organization that she is working hard to establish. Through a grassroots effort, Nine Months Matter is spreading the word that alcohol is more detrimental to a developing fetus than cocaine, methamphetamines and heroine.

Patrons Prado Intro

Supporting Our Nation’s Largest Cultural Urban Park

Since 1997, Patrons of the Prado has raised over $3.45 million and volunteered thousands of hours to benefit the ten arts and science institutions in Balboa Park.

Patrons of the Prado’s annual fundraiser is one of San Diego’s premier events and this year’s “Masterpiece Gala” is being co-chaired by Stephanie Brown.

San Ysidro Health Intro

Kids Helping Kids

Nearly 50 years ago, a group of mothers in the underserved neighborhood of San Ysidro did something extraordinary. They fought for, and launched, the nonprofit organization now known as San Ysidro Health. Prior to their efforts, healthcare was nearly impossible to access for their community.

Patricia Salas, a long-time volunteer at San Ysidro Health, shared a video about the nonprofit with a group of sixth-graders at the Evans School in La Jolla. The students were so moved by the video that they decided to help.

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