New donor walls salute La Jolla Community Center supporters

By Ashley Mackin

Two donor walls were unveiled at the La Jolla Community Center on Nov. 1, with an appreciation party for those who’ve contributed to the burgeoning center — from the volunteers who have donated their time to the benefactors who have helped finance the center’s renovations.

The walls face each other on both sides of the front entrance at 6811 La Jolla Blvd., and are decorated with engraved tiles naming key sponsors. Nearby, a plaque honoring center founder Florence Riford was also unveiled.

Board of Directors CEO Ruth Yansick gave a speech thanking volunteers, members and donors. “One person makes a difference,” she told those gathered. “Florence Riford was that person, she made a difference.”

Yansick also recognized specific individuals whose efforts helped with the donor wall and the center at large — a grant from Pat Rinaker and Larry Bailey funded the donor tiles; ceramic artist Laird Plumleigh crafted the tiles; County Supervisor Ron Roberts provided a $25,000 grant to replace the center flooring.

To honor truly exceptional individuals, Yansick said the board hopes to launch a new tradition. “We are going to honor a board member for his or her commitment to the La Jolla Community Center with a ‘Citizen of the Year’ award. The first recipient of that award is Don Hodges for what he did to help us renovate the front of this building,” she said.

La Jolla Community Center Executive Director Nancy Walters said Hodges oversaw the donor wall project as well.

The board also honored member Jackie Woods with a Platinum Level award. “When she gives, she gives with joy,” Yansick said. “She has helped us renovate the courtyard, decorate the lobby; she purchased our sun umbrellas for us. We are very thankful for that. But of course, we’re honored by every gift we receive because we are a non-profit.”

Walters said the center would add names to the donor wall every year as donations continue to come in for classes and renovations.

“Many people think that with all the renovations to the front entrance, we’re done, but we’re not. There are always ongoing renovations that a facility this size needs. It’s with everyone’s support that we are able to keep it up,” Walters said.

For more information about La Jolla Community Center, visit

or call (858) 459-0831.