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City launches new Web site for fire pits

Funds Needed to Keep San Diego Tradition Alive

Mayor Jerry Sanders announced a new opportunity for San Diegans to keep the fires burning at city beaches and parks. The city’s Fire Pit Program is now accepting donations by credit card.

The city has launched a secure transaction Web site that donors can support the fire pits, using Visa or Master Card.

Funding for the fire pits was secured in the city budget through June 30, 2010, by a $259,500 donation coming from an anonymous benefactor. The funding had previously been cut by the city council to close a mid-year budget deficit. The city faces an even larger deficit next year.

The city needs $173,000 by December 15, 2009, to ensure the program’s inclusion in the mayor’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year which starts on July 1, 2010.

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Since the program’s kickoff in February, the city has received just $180 in donations; leaving a remainder of $172,820.

Escondido residents Alice and Wally Lange were among several who donated to the Pit Program. “We live in Escondido (no beaches) but we sure use yours and have for years and will for years to come,” said Lange. “I wish every beach enthusiast would just give $1. That would really help the cause. Good luck and keep up the good fight.”

The donated funds are managed by the city’s corporate partnership program and can be monitored by the public on the department’s Web site,

www.sandiego.gov/philanthropycenter

In the event that deposits made to the program do not reach an amount sufficient to keep the program in the budget, donors will be notified in writing and offered the opportunity to redirect their donation to other city programs or seek a refund.

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For more information about the Fire Pit Program and other fundraising opportunities, contact Jenny Wolff at (619) 236-7002 or

jwolff@sandiego.gov

.