The Rotary Club of Rancho Bernardo (Club) has operated their Foundation since 1978 with the expressed purpose to support charitable, cultural, scientific, civic, health and/or education purposes, primarily for local communities in North San Diego County.  The Rancho Bernardo Rotary Foundation (Foundation) annually provides an average of $40,000 in grants to support local projects.  As a result of their successful western-themed family festival, Vines & Vittles last summer, they were able to provide $70,000 in grants this year.
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded with its dramatic impact in our country and community, the Foundation determined that it was time to act.  Under the leadership of the Foundation president, Dan Glover, the trustees assessed the immediate need and decided to provide additional grants to worthy organizations and create a program to provide restaurant gift cards to first responders and homeless youth in the Poway Unified School District (PUSD).
The additional grants were provided to:
  • PUSD Youth in Transition Program -- $1,500 to provide meals over the summer school closure time to over 200 homeless kids.
  • Vista Hill Foundation -- $2,000 to provide food and meal packs to low income single mothers.
  • Interfaith Community Services -- $5,000 to provide emergency funding to support families in need.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Club's major fundraiser for this summer, Vines & Vittles family festival has been canceled and they have lost a major source of funding for future grants.  But, the Club recognized that many of the their local restaurant vendors are struggling with the stay at home orders and decided to create a program that would send them some business.  The Club purchased 245 gift cards from Mike's BBQ, Cork and Craft, Jessies Bake Shop, Duff's Doggz, Denny's, Roundtable Pizza, Cowboy Chicken, Elements Café, Submarina and Chicken Charlies.  Each of the these great community assets also contributed to the cause allowing the Club to procure cards valued at $5,875 for $4,650.  These cards will be donated in various quantities to the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation (first responders), Palomar Health Foundation (Pomerado and Palomar Hospital nurses and emergency medical staff), PUSD Families in Need Foundation, and Abraxas Foundation (students in need).