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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Stars & Stripes is a four-day fundraiser that combines fishing, golf and music. Stars & Stripes has raised nearly $30 million since 1997, and South Bay Community Services is one of seven beneficiaries for 2018.
Each year, SBCS touches the lives of more than 50,000 children and families in San Diego County. Former Councilmember, Patty Chavez has been an advocate for SBCS since 2004 and currently serves as their director of communications and external affairs.
THE PROBLEM: Behavioral health disorders affect over 90% of children who commit suicide, making it the third leading cause of death for teenagers.
THE SOLUTION: Through prevention and intervention, the San Diego Center for Children (SDCC) gives children the help they need to have better health, improved relationships and overall quality of life.
For over 20 years, the SDCC has had Joyce Glazer championing their cause. Joyce has done everything from painting storage buildings to taking children to tree lighting ceremonies to co-chairing their fundraiser on June 9, 2018.
Lynda Kerr and her husband Rich have been extraordinary Home of Guiding Hands supporters for the past 18 years. Rich first got involved with HGH by joining the annual HGH Pro-Am Golf Classic committee and co-chairing the event. Every year since, Rich has played in the tournament and the Kerrs have been long-time sponsors of the Golf Classic. Because of the Kerr's dedication to service, HGH is honoring them at their 44th Annual Fundraising Gala.
"Rich and Lynda simply believe in giving back," said Mark Klaus, President & CEO of Home of Guiding Hands. "We are grateful for their altruistic sense of giving, their loyalty, and their shared belief in our mission to improve the lives of those we serve. Many things are possible because of people like Rich and Lynda."
For over 35 years, Promises2Kids has been providing support to children from the moment they come into foster care through adulthood. Thanks to the generosity of people like Jolene Perry, Promises2Kids has distributed over $25 million towards the care of more than 200,000 children who are in foster care due to abuse or neglect. Jolene is co-chairing this year’s “Dream On Concert Gala” featuring three time Grammy winner, Rob Thomas.