When Mayor Judy Ritter spoke to the crowd at The Woman’s Club of Vista’s Donation Day on May 10, she remarked, “I see lots of friends out there who do wonderful things in our community.”
Celebrating the day with the Mayor were 26 members of the Club and representatives from 27 non-profit organizations which received a total of $31,500 in donations to support their work in the community. Each member of the Woman’s Club can nominate a local non-profit which receives a cash donation at the May meeting.
Club President Nancy B Jones welcomed all of the members and representatives from non-profits working in North County and San Diego County. She pointed out that the Club is now celebrating 101 years of service. In 2016 the Club celebrated 100 years with the Vista library; the library was started and housed in a Woman’s Club member’s home in 1916. The school district also started in 1916 and was supported by Club members, back when Vista was just a small town. President Jones encouraged representatives of the organizations to enjoy connecting and working together in the community.
President-elect and Donations Committee Chairman Judy Pantazo shared the history of the Club’s sale of the Clubhouse in 2005, which funds the annual donations as well as scholarships given to graduating seniors at 6 schools.
The traditional first speakers at Donation Day are the San Diego County Sheriffs and the City of Vista Fire Department. Both representatives are grateful for community support and reminded the group that they are there to help with emergencies and other situations.
Community organizations including Operation HOPE – Vista, North County Lifeline, Meals with Love, New Haven Youth & Family Services, Assistance League North Coast, Brother Benno’s, Bread of Life, and Women’s Resource Center received donations. Their representatives shared about their work in the community with families, youth, homeless, and women.
The Club supports Gently Hugged, which provides a bag of first-year clothing and a handmade quilt for needy new moms. Garden of Innocence conducts dignified burials for abandoned babies, giving those children a name and a family who cares. A member of the Woman’s Club of Vista makes blankets for the tiny caskets used in the burials. The Angel Faces summer retreats for girls with disfiguring burns are supported as well.
An assistance dog with Canine Companions for Independence rested quietly through the speakers, then basked in all the attention and posed for photos. The Club has received several partner awards from Canine Companions at the national GFWC Convention for their continued support of the program.
The Club’s donation to Family Readiness for HMLA-369 will help support the squadron before their deployment in the fall. Members have helped by providing cakes for the Marines birthday and with food for Thanksgiving in the barracks for single Marines. The HMLA-369 squadron is also sponsored by the City of Vista.
The Rancho Buena Vista Adobe and the Vista Art Foundation representatives added their thanks; they provide field trips and promote the Alley Art Festival coming to Vista again in September.
The donation to the Children’s Garden at Alta Vista Botanical Gardens supports a quiz box on the nature discovery trail. Details were shared by Naomi Stein: “This project is a creative endeavor which combines plant education, a sensory experience, brain teaser riddles, and fun physically challenging obstacles along the way.” The Discovery trail should be completed by early summer.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Marcos and Vista provide enriching after-school programs to promote education, self-confidence, and leadership. The B&G Club of Vista was recently named Non-Profit of the Year in the Heroes of Vista program through the Vista Chamber of Commerce. “We truly appreciate the support for the kids,” shared Ellen Clark from the Vista Club.
Donations to Route 78 Civitan Club and Pride of Vista Lions will support developmentally disabled individuals and provide vision screening. The Miss Pride of Vista Pageant helps young women become more confident and provide community service.
Vista Teen Outreach collects and provides food for pantries at elementary schools; families receive food to supplement their meals, including weekends and school holidays. Food drives are encouraged to help children learn to share and help needy families.
The Vista Historical Society, celebrating their 50th anniversary in August, will be adding a plaque to celebrate the status of Rancho Minerva on the State of California Register of Historic Resources in 2016. The Rancho Bernardo Historical Society promotes awareness and preservation of the past for their community.
The Woman’s Club of Vista has donated to these and many other non-profit organizations in the community for 13 years – and will continue this tradition of gathering and supporting the non-profit organizations that improve lives. As one representative closed her presentation, she summed up the Donation Day event and the strong feelings that impacted all of the participants with her thanks: “Too many to name, but not too many to love.”
The public is welcome at all meetings of The Woman’s Club of Vista GFWC, meeting at Shadowridge Golf Club. New members are accepted and will be initiated at the June 14 meeting; the program will feature the graduating seniors who are receiving scholarships and will share about their educational experiences and goals for the future. Reserve for lunch by calling (760) 822-6824 by Friday June 9th. www.womansclubofvista.org
The full list of recipients for The Woman’s Club of Vista Donation Day May 10, 2017: Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, Alta Vista Botanical Gardens Children’s Garden, Angel Faces, Assistance League North Coast, Bread of Life Rescue Mission, Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos, Boys & Girls Club of Vista, Brother Benno’s, Canine Companions for Independence, City of Vista Fire Department, Garden of Innocence, Gently Hugged, HMLA-369 Family Readiness, Meals With Love, Miss Pride of Vista Pageants, New Haven Youth & Family Services, North County Lifeline, Operation HOPE – Vista, Pride of Vista Lions Club, Rancho Bernardo Historical Society, Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, Route 78 Civitan Club, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Vista Art Foundation, Vista Historical Society & Museum, Vista Teen Outreach, Women’s Resource Center