PHOTOS: La Jolla Community Foundation bestows first grants at soiree


La Jolla Community Foundation announces first grant recipients at Madison Gallery soireee

La Jolla Community Foundation (LJCF), an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, awarded $35,000 in inaugural grants Nov. 20 during a celebration at Madison Gallery on Prospect Street.

LJCF Grants Advisory Committee Chair Susan McClellan told about 100 people in attendance the foundation received 44 grant proposals. The Grants Advisory Committee vetted the applicants, ultimately visiting 12 proposed sites. A ballot was then sent to the LJCF’s general membership, which chose five nonprofit grant recipients, including: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s La Jolla Family Science Nights ($5,000); Outside the Lens program at Muirlands Middle School ($5,600); La Jolla Playhouse’s 2015 Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour ($7,500); UC San Diego/Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination’s Beach Physics & BEWISE program ($8,300); and the Muirlands Foundation’s STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for Students and Teachers program at Muirlands Middle School ($8,600).

The La Jolla Playhouse’s director of education outreach, Steve McCormick, told those in attendance the LJCF’s grant will help bring the POP Tour back to La Jolla’s public schools, providing art and science through original performance and workshops.

“We haven’t been able to do it in a number of years here with reduced funding for the arts,” McCormick said. “There’s always been a desire, but not the funding. Because of this gift, all the kids in La Jolla will get to see it, too.”

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center will use its grant to host Family Science Nights at La Jolla schools, bringing children, parents and teachers together for hands-on science experiences.

Under the guidance of an Outside the Lens media instructor, Muirlands Middle School students will learn “Design Thinking” and how to apply the technique to drive innovative solutions in STEM fields.

Muirlands Foundation will use its grant to purchase digital microscopes and microscope kits, LabQuest mini-middle school kits and teacher guides. The equipment will facilitate experiments aligned to new science standards, connecting math, science and visual learning with real-world problem solving.

UCSD’s Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination will fund physics experiments at the beach for 80 La Jolla students.

Membership in the La Jolla Community Foundation philanthropy program starts at just $1,000 a year, affording members a chance to serve on the grants committee and choose which nonprofits benefit La Jolla most. LJCF donations are raised in La Jolla. The goal of LJCF is to leverage small resources to make a big impact.

“We’re thrilled to present the first La Jolla Community Foundation grants to these deserving organizations,” LJCF Grants Advisory Task Force Chair Susan McClellan shared. “These grantee programs show how local organizations are supporting our community in creative ways.”

Kathlyn Mead, San Diego Foundation’s new president and CEO said that in her three months with the foundation she’s gotten to know the LJCF board of directors and views the group as a model for other San Diego philanthropic efforts. “This is a committed organization with committed leaders,” Mead said. “All of San Diego should really follow the lead of this board and your members in terms of understanding what your community’s needs are and then working together in collaboration to make sure that those need are met.”

---LJCF welcomes new members to join them in their efforts. To become a member, contact LJCF Executive Director Julie Bronstein at; visit or call (619) 814-1348.