La Jolla Community Foundation gives $40K in grants: YMCA, UCSD, Riford Library beneficiaries

In its third annual grant cycle, the La Jolla Community Foundation (LJCF) distributed its highest amount yet — $40,000 among three La Jolla nonprofits — and made a last-minute $12,000 donation to I Love A Clean San Diego, to carry out projects that beautify La Jolla. 

The grants, $18,500 to La Jolla YMCA, $18,500 to the Regents of UC San Diego and $3,000 to La Jolla Riford Library, were presented at a celebration Nov. 3 at La Valencia Hotel attended by board members, supporters, guests and grantees. Also on hand were members of the grants committee, which includes Susan McClellan, Betsy McClendon, Elspeth Myer, Tracy Nelson, Lisa Braun-Glazer, Kim Doren, Pam Boynton, Sue Wagener, Phyllis Epstein, Marilyn Noonan, Maryanne Pfister and co-chair Becki Etess.

“Tonight, because of all of you, we have $40,000 to give away to three wonderful nonprofits,” chair McClellan told the crowd. “Our focus this year is the ‘Beautification of La Jolla’ just as it was last year, because we’re all big on that.”

She said the “sizable” grant to La Jolla YMCA at 8355 Cliffridge Ave. will go toward planting jacaranda trees by the Village Garden Club of La Jolla, and will include the ground cover, mulch, grading and irrigation for the more than 50-year-old facility. 

The grant to UCSD Regents will be used for The Ploughman Sculpture and Garden Restoration at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Through the project, the Regents will create a community space surrounding the statue, which was commissioned to be built by E.W. Scripps to represent the history of California development. 

“This is a wonderful project and we were so impressed,” McClellan said. “UCSD, under the leadership of assistant vice-chancellor Steven Gallagher, has a strategic plan for the part of campus that runs parallel to La Jolla Shores, including a meandering pathway, and this project fits right into what their big plans are.” 

The La Jolla Riford Library grant will be used for new bronze signage that will direct patrons to resources and meeting spaces. 

An anonymous La Jolla Community Foundation donor provided half of what became a $12,000 contribution for additional cleanups through I Love A Clean San Diego, which carries out bimonthly trash pick-up efforts on both sides of La Jolla Parkway.

“In the last 12 months, they have removed 2,400 gallons of litter as well as an additional 720 pounds of tires and miscellaneous large debris,” McClellan said. “This grant will allow for more cleanups, so thank you to our donor, in case you are here tonight.” 

In 2014, LJCF distributed $35,000 to fund programs focusing on arts and/or sciences. The five beneficiaries were: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Outside the Lens at Muirlands Middle School, La Jolla Playhouse, UCSD Arthur C. Clark Center for Human Imagination and Muirlands Foundation. 

In 2015, more than $26,000 was granted to nonprofits aimed at beautifying La Jolla: La Jolla Parks & Beaches, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Bird Rock Foundation, Friends of Coast Walk Trail, and 1-to-1 Movement. 

Along with raising thousands of dollars for area nonprofits, the La Jolla Community Foundation is in the process of establishing a Maintenance Assessment District (MAD). The ballots for which have been sent to those that would be assessed, and will be counted on Nov. 15. 

La Jolla Community Foundation chair and La Jolla Light president and general manager Phyllis Pfeiffer explained, “For the last three years we have embarked on getting a MAD in the Village of La Jolla. It’s out to ballot now … and we need 50 percent plus one of the weighted ballots for this to pass.” 

She proceeded to thank those who have been champions for the cause, such as community activist Joe LaCava, City Council candidate Barbara Bry and Congressmember Scott Peters. Pfeiffer also acknowledged La Valencia general manager Mark Dibella. “He has been the chair of the steering committee of Enhance La Jolla, which will be the 501(c)3 that will manage the MAD money once the MAD gets through. He’s a hero to all of us.” 

Special kudos were also given to Kathlyn Mead, president and CEO of the San Diego Foundation, of which La Jolla Community Foundation is an affiliate. Mead recently gave La Jolla Community Foundation a $25,000 grant to pay for some of the fees associated with establishing the MAD. 

“This is my third La Jolla Community Foundation grant celebration and every year I look forward to this because it gets bigger and better. (In giving the $25,000 grant) I haven’t done anything the San Diego Foundation hasn’t wanted to happen in La Jolla,” she said, and announced a milestone the Foundation recently reached.

“The San Diego Foundation has granted in our 41-year history, $1 billion to the San Diego nonprofit community. What’s especially important about that, is that many of you here have contributed to that.”

Want to learn more? Visit lajollacommunityfoundation.org

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