The Rancho San Diego/Spring Valley Rotary Club has gone out with a bang. The service organization, which disbanded this summer after 49 years because of declining membership, has donated more than $35,000 in its bank account to an array of nonprofits and educational groups, including more than $7,000 to Cuyamaca College.
“We’ve always been here to support the community, and we felt that this was the best use of the money we had,” said Rusty Burkett, who served as the Rancho San Diego/Spring Valley Rotary Club’s last president. “We’re honored to have been able to help.”
Cuyamaca College was the biggest winner.
Cuyamaca College’s Unlimited Potential! (also known as UP!), which supports former foster youth and others who have face great financial uncertainty, received $1,670. The Cuyamaca College Give the Dream program, which provides students small emergency grants to help them deal with unforeseen hardships, received $2,670. The Cuyamaca College President’s Fund, used to support college events and programs, received $2,670.
Donations were made through the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges.
“We are thankful for the generous gift from the Rancho San Diego/Spring Valley Rotary Club, a gift that will help increase access for many more students at Cuyamaca College,” said Cuyamaca College President Mark Zacovic.
Other recipients were the American Cancer Society, Animal Rescue Kompany, Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County, the Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation, Honor Flight San Diego, the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, Stoney’s Kids, the ALS Association of Orange County, the National MS Society, Noah Homes, Noah’s Ark Angel Foundation, Optometry Giving Sight, the San Diego Sheriff’s Museum, the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, and the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College.
Burkett noted the Rancho San Diego/Spring Valley Rotary Club contributed to a variety of causes since its inception in 1965, with efforts ranging from installing smoke alarms at senior homes and putting together food baskets during the holidays to supporting music programs at Monte Vista and Valhalla high schools and helping local veterans groups.
The Rotary Club long supported Cuyamaca College, and many Cuyamaca College presidents have served as members, including Zacovic, Sherrill Amador, Geraldine Perri, and Samuel Ciccati. The service group has also funded a number of Cuyamaca College Osher Scholarships over the years.
The Rancho San Diego/Spring Valley Rotary Club was part of Rotary International, a service organization with more than 34,000 clubs and 1.2 million members across the globe.