november 26, 2004

DEL MAR TIMES

Giving thanks and building community

By Lynn Gaylord

The Del Mar Foundation was founded in 1982 as an outgrowth of the "Del Mar Days" community celebration. For over twenty-two years our mission has remained the same:

. To promote civic pride and community cohesiveness in the City of Del Mar.

. To educate the people of Del Mar about our community's history and heritage.

. To plan, promote and operate cultural and athletic programs in the City of Del Mar.

. To work to acquire, preserve and protect open space.

The Foundation is best known for the popular summer concerts at Powerhouse Park, for support of the City's Junior Lifeguard Program, for contributing funds toward the restoration and construction of the Del Mar Library and the Powerhouse Community Center, and for helping to preserve the lagoons to the north and south of Del Mar. This past year we were approached by the Joint Powers Authority to be the caretakers of an endowment to preserve and protect the rivermouth of the San Dieguito Lagoon for generations to come.

Helping citizens in the community who have a great idea is one of our main functions through our granting program. When the television studio in town came to us with a 3rd grade video project on the history of Del Mar, we saw it as a wonderful chance to make Del Mar's history more accessible. Likewise, when a group of citizens approached the Foundation with an idea to "Keep Del Mar Clean" we readily supported this effort. Del Mar Hills and Heights Schools have benefited from our contributions as well for projects which simply were not in their budgets.

Earlier last year the Foundation offered its administrative support to the Del Mar Library to build the beautiful mosaic wall. In addition, it is support to the Garden Club which has provided so many of the impressive additions to the downtown area. Its tough to describe how building civic pride works but it's one of those things that you know it when you see it even if it is just one project at a time.

Building a more cohesive community works the same. It happens one event at a time. In 2000, the Del Mar Foundation formed the Cultural Arts Committee to fill the recently restored Powerhouse Community Center with lectures and concerts. And so the successful "First Thursdays" monthly program was born along with many programs for children such as the holiday parties, End of Summer Picnic, Family Beach Luau, Marine Exploration Day, Bingo and Movie Nights, the now annual Fourth of July Parade, and much more. (It may be too late to sign up, but you might want to check for availability for the BiograPlay "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" at the Powerhouse on December 5th. Call (858) 635-1363 for reservations.)

But the reason for this article is to ask for your help. We can't do much without the financial resources to make things happen. The Foundation is an incorporated non-profit 501(c)(3) organization governed by a 15-member volunteer Board of Directors. We are an active, hands-on organization, relying on 70 + volunteers and donations from a cross-section of the community. We depend on your financial contributions large and small to continue our work. We hope at this time when you might be taking stock of what there is to be thankful for, you will see it in your heart to write any size check you see fit to support our activities Every dollar is so very much appreciated.

Contributions to the foundation are tax-deductible and may be mailed to The Del Mar Foundation, P.O. Box 2913, Del Mar, CA 92014. Many, many thanks!

Lynn Gaylord is past president of the Del Mar Foundation.