Desert Charities News January-February-March 2021

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January/February/March 2021

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The College of the Desert Foundation is launching Stepping Up for College of the Desert, a campaign designed to build support for programs that provide emergency aid to students, career training, free tuition for the region’s high school graduates, and more. Stepping up for COD has a $2 million combined goal for critical programs and services. The four funding pillars include the Student Emergency Fund, Workforce Development, the Fund for Student Success and the plEDGE program. In addition, the foundation of this fundraising effort includes Funding the Future, legacy gifts made by our Legacy Leaders. You can find out more information about this program inside! Change a life. Step up for COD!


René Dell’Acqua, DDS Dell’Acqua, DDS TheRené valley’s leading general, implant, and cosmetic dental studio hasThe been votedleading one ofgeneral, the region’s “topand dentists” for 13 consecutive valley’s implant, cosmetic dental studio years. — has been voted one of the region’s “top dentists” for 13 consecutive years. B Y D A N I E L VA I L L A N C O U R T — P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y TA I L I S O N G R O T H B Y D A N I E L VA I L L A N C O U R T P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y TA I L I S O N G R O T H

For more than 23 years, Dr. Dell’Acqua has been

choose to sleep through procedures with oral conscious

enhancing the smiles and lives of patients throughout the For more than 23 years, Dr. Dell’Acqua has been Coachella Valley beyond, providing boththroughout general andthe enhancing theand smiles and lives of patients

sedation. “With our current sedation technology there is no choose to sleep through procedures with oral conscious reason for any patient to havesedation to feel fear or anxietythere during a sedation. “With our current technology is no

environment where each patient feels likeaapersonalized, VIP. A pioneercaring in “spa Dr. Dell’Acqua believes in providing dentistry,” she created ambiance reminiscent Italianin “spa environment where an each patient feels like a VIP.ofAan pioneer

much of her been in with throughout the23 entirety her Not onlystaff has has she been theher same location for years,of but career. because my loyal team we are much“It of is her staff hasofbeen withhardworking her throughout the that entirety of her

all combine to reduce patient stress treatment. The furnishings, soothing music, and during complimentary foot massage

“We treat our patients likeisour family,” she says. “We want them to Dell’Acqua . “My team among the best trained in the desert” have positive an experience possible ourwant studio”. “Weastreat our patients like our as family,” she while says. at “We them to

cosmetic dentistry. Coachella Valley and beyond, providing both general and Dr. Dell’Acqua believes in providing a personalized, caring cosmetic dentistry.

five-star resortshe where, excellent customer service, comfortable dentistry,” created an ambiance reminiscent of an Italian furnishings, soothing music, and complimentary foot five-star resort where, excellent customer service, massage comfortable entire is warm and welcoming, giving the treatment. feeling of an oldall staff combine to reduce patient stress during The fashioned, relationship-based the feeling of an oldentire staff is warm and welcoming, fashioned, relationship-based practice.

dental appointment”, says Dell’Acqua reason for any patient to have to feel fear or anxiety during a Not only has she been in the same location for 23 years, but dental appointment”, says Dell’Acqua

able to seamlessly careof formy patients at such a high level”, career. “It is because loyal hardworking team thatsays we are Dell’Acqua . “My team is among the best trained in the desert” able to seamlessly care for patients at such a high level”, says

“My strict protocols and philosophy ensure our at patients have as positive an experience as possible while our studio”. receive the highest quality of general and cosmetic dentistry “My strict protocols and philosophy ensure our patients available,” she says. “With quality and andentistry receive the highest qualityexceptional of general and cosmetic uncompromised level of careexceptional in a serene atmosphere, available,” she says. “With quality and anI offer patients state-of-the-art technology that prioritizes patient uncompromised level of care in a serene atmosphere, I offer safety, privacy, and satisfaction.” “I willthat only implement patients state-of-the-art technology prioritizes patient procedures, techniques, and materials that I would want in my safety, privacy, and satisfaction.” “I will only implement mouth or my family’s mouths.” procedures, techniques, and materials that I would want in my It takesor artistic talent,mouths.” a critical eye for beauty, and years mouth my family’s of experience with hundreds of smiles It takes artistic talent, a critical eye to forachieve beauty, the andnatural years “Dell’Acqua smile.” Dell’Acqua is theto valley’s leading expert of experience withDr. hundreds of smiles achieve the natural smile.”using Dr. Dell’Acqua is the valley’s leading expert on“Dell’Acqua smile makeovers porcelain crowns and veneers. She on smile makeovers porcelain crowns veneers. She is known for designingusing beautiful new smiles soand natural that even is known forfriends designing beautiful smiles so natural that even one’s closest won’t be ablenew to identify them as veneers. one’s closest friends won’t be able to identify as veneers. “I customize every smile to meet the needs andthem desires of each “I customize every to meetare theever needs andI desires of each individual patient. Nosmile two smiles alike. personally individual patient. No tooth, two smiles are alike. I personally sculpt and design each which is ever my favorite thing to do” sculpt and design each tooth, which is my favorite thing to do” says Dr. Dell’Acqua says knowledge Dr. Dell’Acqua “The that comes from doing complex cosmetic, “The knowledge thatcases comes from complexbetween cosmetic, restorative and implant daily is doing the difference restorative and implant daily artistic is the difference success and failure,” she cases says. “The part is mybetween signature, success and failure,” she says. “The artistic part is my signature, my passion and my gift.” It is this innate artistic ability and my passion and myskill gift.” It is thismade innate artistic ability and renowned technical that has her a leader in cosmetic renowned technical skill that has made her a leader in cosmetic dentistry.

“We enjoy getting to know all of our patients,” she says. “We enjoy to know all of our and patients,” says. Although well getting known for her expertise artistryshe in cosmetic

dentistry. Dr. Dell’Acqua has a dedicated new patient coordinator, Dr. Dell’Acqua has a dedicated new patient coordinator, because every patient has unique needs and she and her

Although well known for her expertise artistry in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Dell’Acqua provides a range ofand dental services from dentistry, Dr. Dell’Acqua provides a range of dental services preventive exams, cleanings and teeth whitening to full-mouthfrom

because patient needs and she andthan her team strive every to meet themhas all. unique Many patients have more team strive toasmeet all. Many patientscity have one residence wellthem as a dentist in another ormore state.than Dr.

bridges,Invisalign, crowns, tooth-colored fillings, botox, periodontal treatment, sleep apnea and snoring appliances. treatment, Invisalign, sleep apnea and snoring appliances. Dr. Dell’Acqua talks at length with her patients, explaining Dr. Dell’Acqua talks at length with her patients, explaining procedures and recommendations, making sure they feel procedures and recommendations, making sure they feel confident and calm at every step. Dr. and her staff encourage confident and calm at every step. Dr. and her staff encourage questions so that patients feel that they completely understand questions so that patients feel that they completely understand their treatment. Patients with dental fear or anxiety may even their treatment. Patients with dental fear or anxiety may even

make your treatment and careher seamless. When treatment is more complex, involving a specialist, team will coordinate all of your complex, involving a specialist, her team will coordinate all of your care and Dr. Dell’Acqua keeps treatment on track in a timely and care and Dr. Dell’Acqua keeps treatment on track in a timely and efficient manner. efficient manner. For more information, please visit For more information, please visit or watch her interview on the The Wellness Hour on Channels or watch her interview on the The Wellness Hour on Channels 7 and 4. n 7 and 4. n

preventive exams, cleanings and teeth whitening reconstruction, veneers, implant-supported crownsto & full-mouth dentures, reconstruction, veneers, implant-supported crowns & dentures, bridges, crowns, tooth-colored fillings, botox, periodontal

one residence aswill wellcoordinate as a dentistwith in another city dental or state. Dr. to Dell’Acqua’s team your other office Dell’Acqua’s team will with your other dental office to make your treatment andcoordinate care seamless. When treatment is more

De De

Q&A WITH DR. RENÉ DELL’ACQUA Q: Do you also provide General Dentistry? A: Yes I do! My patients receive the highest level of general dentistry available. My philosophy is one of prevention. We work hard to educate our patients and make suggestions before problems occur. Every patient receives a comprehensive examination and plan to keep their mouth healthy through preventative maintenance.

Q: What do you like best about what you do? A: No two patients are alike. Each one presents with a different cosmetic and restorative need. I enjoy the challenge of creating a natural smile that is unique to the person in front of me. I sculpt the shapes of the final veneers and crowns myself. It is art and I love it!

Q: Do you consider your work to be mostly artistic? A: Function is always the key to the success of a case. I have patients who have severely worn and collapsed bites, missing teeth requiring implants and a multitude of complicated scenarios. The technical aspect of the dentistry is the key to the success of the case. The knowledge that comes from doing these cases daily is the difference between success and failure. The artistic part is my signature and my gift.

Q: What are the most common procedures you perform? A: Crowns, Implant supported crowns, Veneers, and Full mouth rehabilitation to correct an aging bite

Q: What got you interested in such complex dentistry? A: Wanting to provide the best and most comprehensive care for my patients. To deliver this type of dentistry I have to be creative and dedicated to my patients each step of the way. For me this is a pleasure.

Q: Do you do Botox treatments? A: I found that so many patients need crowns and significant dentistry due to severe wear from grinding and that botox is an excellent choice to aid in quieting the muscles used to create the destructive forces.

Dell’Acqua Dental Studio | 74133 El Paseo, Suite D, Palm Desert, CA 92260 | 760-346-8056 |

A New ‘Authority’ in Town Charitable Heartbeat Propels Coachella Sports and Entertainment Stadium Authority (CSESA) and The Shield at 1 Coyote Way By Gisselle Gonzalez

LEAVE IT TO J. DAVID MILLER and the SoCal Coyotes to ‘flip the script.’

The Coyotes business model relies on attracting and igniting young football prospects to be ‘Better Fathers, Better Husbands, Better Men™’ – which has proven successful year after year, many times over – all the while ‘Building Champions, Building Men™’.

Most top philanthropic business execs —Buffet, Annenberg, Gates, to name a few— look back after decades of stratospheric success and decide to find a cause, or to fund many causes, close to their hearts. That’s not what happened when the SoCal Coyotes came to town in 2012. Before he became a Hall of Fame football coach, Miller was a best-selling author/biographer. In the underdog Coyotes, Miller saw a captivating story – that he might (might!) be able to spin into an unforgettable ending.


“What if,” he thought, “you took dozens of talented, but ‘hurting’ young men, coached them on time-tested, fundamentals, then poured out your heart, hope, athletic knowledge, mixed with lessons of faith and family, life skills and fortitude?” Behind this vision of ‘Faith, Family, Football™’ – Miller founded the Coyotes’ non-profit, and in addition to head coach, stepped into the role of CEO. Nearly 10 years, six championships, three undefeated seasons, and countless internships later, the non-profit Coyotes today are a Coachella Valley powerhouse, on and off the field.

The non-profit has blossomed into a full-service agency, offering certified drug, alcohol and addiction counseling; anger management; food distribution to distressed families; vocational and educational workshops and job placement; marriage counseling and clinics; and an array of youth leadership, family and behavioral health programs.

The Coyote organization has deployed over $2 million into equity and inclusion programs that annually support African American youth and provide pathways to economic self-sufficiency. ‘The little team that could’ has now become the national standard – in fact, NFL executives have branded it ‘America’s #1 Developmental Pro Football Program™.’ The Coyotes will pursue their seventh title this spring in the Gridiron Developmental Football League. Meanwhile, in the past decade, Coyotes players, coaches and staff have invested thousands of hours of community service that today impact every desert community, from Palm Springs to Desert Hot Springs, from middle school gyms to Juvenile Hall.

Coyotes “Above The Line™” leadership programs impact 50K youth annually

Faith, Family, Football ™- America’s #1 Developmental Football Program™

And Coyote Nation is expanding with it. Responding to overwhelming demand for all its life-changing non-profit services, Miller has founded a business, then a business model (CSESA), and a schematic prototype for a complete faith, sports, entertainment and medical mini-city, which he has christened The Shield at 1 Coyote Way. In 2018, Coachella Sports & Entertainment Stadium Authority was commissioned by the East Valley Coalition to study and report on the prospects for potential increased sports tourism in the Coachella Valley. Miller, a former CEO of three multi-million-dollar companies, realized his vision for the mega-mixed-use The Shield at 1 Coyote Way would generate millions of new Riverside County dollars. But he looked past that – he also saw a massive economic engine for charitable purposes, one that, if done right, could pump millions of dollars annually toward youth programs, families, and children in need. In 2019 (and early pre-pandemic 2020), The Shield caught the eye of a managing director from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), Inc. in Chicago, a $16.3-billion-per-year real- estate investment and services firm, who flew out to meet face-to-face with Miller’s executive CSESA team, and walk the desert property. Suddenly Miller’s dream had ‘legs,’ and a foundation. Though it had started in the drippy sweat and bloodied bandages of young men’s football locker rooms of 2011-2012, it has now moved into the boardrooms of FORTUNE 200 Companies.

The Shield at 1 Coyote Way The organization’s heralded, award-winning ‘Above The Line’ leadership initiative annually impacts more than 50,000 youth via Coyote camps, clinics and symposia.

The Shield’s location, vision and mission swiftly put it center-stage with the nation’s largest stadium, arena, residential, hotel and medical executives by the fall of 2020.

In 2014, Indio City Councilman Glenn Miller even issued a SoCal Coyotes Day Proclamation, calling the organization “one of our greatest role models for our youth, from Indio to Greater Palm Springs, and everywhere in between.” Therein lies the surprise: Miller knew he was building a dedicated team; he did not realize just how far his charitable organization would push into school systems, Valley police and probation programs, plus food distribution and mentorships. So yes, you could call all these impacts ‘extra points.’ But it would be more accurate to call them the heartbeat, and the lifeblood, of the ever-expanding Coachella Valley.

Coach Miller seeks to “level playing field” for every desert child

Soon, the SoCal Coyotes, Miller, and CSESA, will formally announce that this long-awaited opportunity has come to fruition – just not in the order that is often taken in the schemes of big business, and awesome opportunity. Visit:,

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January/February/March 2021



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For a child fighting a critical illness, every day of waiting for a wish is one too many. This holiday season, bring experiences of joy to a child today so they can look forward to tomorrow. You can make every wish come true.

Donate now at W I S .O RG/O C I E

I wish to see snow Iris, 8

brain tumor

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January/February/March 2021

Alzheimers Coachella Valley Helps Alleviate Isolation For Local Families During Pandemic By Pamela Bieri

Family caregivers who are dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are among the most vulnerable to overwhelming stress from isolation – particularly during the COVID pandemic, sheltering at home. Even in normal times, these vulnerable families tend to experience more isolation as friends and family visit less frequently. One of Alzheimers Coachella Valley’s (ACV) most important purposes is to alleviate isolation. During the pandemic, ACV turned to live streaming technology to reach out to families and continue its mission. Club Journey, ACV’s weekly social program for both caregiver and diagnosed, has been very successful in its transition to Zoom meetings every Tuesday morning. Some 20 to 30 Club Journey members eagerly look forward to sharing updates, stories, jokes, projects, and playing games together. Even just a chance to see each other’s faces and laugh has made so much difference in their lives. Long lasting friendships have formed, providing a network of care and concern. Partnering with local businesses for sponsorship and National Charity League, Coachella Valley Chapter for delivery, ACV offers a monthly lunch distribution to Club Journey families. On Thanksgiving, an anonymous donor provided funds for 32 full turkey dinners from Wilma & Frieda’s that were delivered to ACV families, and a Zoom gathering at noon meant they could all enjoy their meals together. ACV’s other core mental health programs include caregiver support groups Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, including a Parkinson’s-specific group. A bereavement support group for those who recently lost a loved one meets the first and third Monday of each month. Twice a month, Traveling the Journey Together speaker series brings experts in a variety of fields to talk about Alzheimer’s / dementia, fall prevention, stress management, pharmaceuticals and other pertinent topics. When ACV was able to meet in person, the program also included a social component. Breathing Space is a respite care scholarship program providing licensed professional caregivers in-home for temporary care of the diagnosed person. All services are offered for free. Offices at 42600 Cook Street, Suite 134, Palm Desert are open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. Call (760) 776-3100 or visit Alzheimers Coachella Valley is a community based 501 (c) (3) nonprofit and is not affiliated with any national organizations. All funds raised stay in the Coachella Valley.

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California Indian Nations College Seeks To Be Southern California’s First Accredited Tribal College Palm Desert is home to what will be California’s first fully accredited two-year community tribal college. California Indian Nations College (CINC) is an intertribal college chartered by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians that incorporates and supports indigenous culture, native language revitalization, and the strengthening of traditional Native American values. All are welcome to enroll; however, the college specializes in serving the underrepresented and at-risk populations, specifically Native American students and those interested in a traditional Native American approach in postsecondary education. Courses are fully-accredited

through a partnership with the College of the Desert while CINC is undergoing the accreditation process with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

CINC has many students who claim to have held back on attending College due to uncomfortable environments, lack of support and personal services, and the historical atrocities of colonized education. As mainstream education was a tool that was utilized to eliminate the Native American culture, language, and communities. CINC, however, integrates tribal values and Native American culture into the college vision and curriculum in order to strengthen the post-secondary educational experience for each student. CINC provides high-quality educational opportunities and resources that speak to the Continued on page 47

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January/February/March 2021

Go Red for Women Digital Experience unites women to end heart disease and stroke, from the comfort of home

Alexa, 3 years old Respiratory Disorder I wish to have a playset


is Essential Imagine your child receiving a life-threatening diagnosis for the very first time. You’re feeling shocked and overwhelmed – unsure of your child’s next steps in treatment. You’re feeling all of this, with the added risk and uncertainty of a global pandemic. You, your child and your family need hope now, more than ever. Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire knows the power of a wish and have created hope in the lives of more than 7,316 critically-ill children across Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Receiving a wish is lifechanging and research shows that wishes can give kids the strength to fight against and even overcome a critical illness. Wish granting may look a little different due to COVID-19, but our mission does not change. We need your help during these uncertain times – when hope and strength are needed most. During the pandemic, the health and safety of wish kids and their families is our highest priority. For that reason, Make-A-Wish has paused wish granting that involves travel and large gatherings and is prioritizing tangible wishes – to receive a puppy, a playhouse, adaptive equipment and staycations. Wishes are waiting. Today, more than 500 wishes have been postponed during COVID-19 – and as this crisis continues, that number grows. If a child you loved were fighting a critical illness, what would you give to make their wish come true? Visit to give the gift of hope and strength today.

The American Heart Association (AHA) is working to provide reliable, sciencebased information for millions of people in the United States who currently have one or more cardiovascular conditions and who already may be at higher risk for COVID-19 complications. For women this is vital as nearly half (48%) of women in the United States age 20 and up have some form of cardiovascular disease. For those living with heart disease or having survived a stroke, preventing the virus is key.

Each year, the Go Red for Women movement raises awareness about cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death for women in the United States, as well as generates funds for lifesaving cardiovascular research for women. Women continue to be disproportionally affected by cardiovascular diseases and underrepresented in clinical trials which is the lifesaving research needed to better treat heart attacks and strokes. While strides have been made to close gender and racial disparities

in research and within the health care system, women continue to be underrepresented and overlooked in the U.S. and globally. To prioritize the safety and wellbeing of the community during the COVID-19 public health crisis, the AHA will celebrate National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 5, 2021 by presenting the annual Go Red for Women Luncheon as a virtual gathering. Guests will attend the empowering and educational event from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Attendees are asked to wear red and join other AHA supporters online for a Go Red for Women event like no other. The event will feature inspiring speakers, heart health information, an auction, and more. Go Red for Women is nationally sponsored by CVS Health and locally sponsored by Desert Oasis Healthcare. For more information on the Coachella Valley Go Red for Women Luncheon visit

DOWN THE STREET, ACROSS THE COUNTRY, AROUND THE WORLD. Give the gift of comfort and hope with a donation to the American Red Cross. Whether it’s a wildfire, a call for blood, a call for help after a devastating home fire, or a call from a service member or military family in need, the Red Cross is there— down the street, across the country and around the world.

Disaster Relief Helping families and communities recover from disasters big and small

Lifesaving Blood Delivering the gift of life to patients in need

Training Services Equipping community members with lifesaving skills

Service to the Armed Forces Proudly supporting service members, veterans and their families

International Services Delivering aid and humanitarian programs around the world

Donate at 266101-05 12/19

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The Society of Financially Empowered Women

The Society of Financially Empowered Women Inc. (The FEW) has focused on a singular mission for the past decade: empower women with the right tools and information to take control of their f inancial lives and achieve their goals of f inancial wellness and security. Over the past few years, our team at The FEW has worked tirelessly to serve the women of the Coachella Valley by providing resources and opportunities for growth and personal development. Most notably, our team launched our inaugural Conf idence: Women + Wealth + Wellness Summit (CW3) in January of 2020 to provide a space for women to come together to network and receive interactive, hands-on learning opportunities that span topics of f inance, professional growth, and personal self-care. This year, on January 21, 2021, we at The FEW are proud and excited to be hosting our second annualCW3 Summit. This annual event is packed with resources specif ically designed for women, including tips to help maintain f inancial wellness, guidance for retirement, and plenty of tools and resources with specif ic insights designed to empower women with the right information to take charge of their f inancial lives. And while we wish we could host the event in person, we are happy to present a virtual, on-demand summit! This summit is targeted toward women of all backgrounds and demographics. From the entrepreneurial woman building her own business, the working and stay-at-home mother, the retiree in her golden years, to the young women f inishing high school or starting college, the CW3 Summit will provide important and relevant resources regardless of your current stage in life. Any woman with the desire to gain the conf idence and knowledge to successfully manage her wealth and wellness will f ind something of value at the CW3 Summit.

Our speaker lineup this year includes our founder Robert L. Schein, wellness expert Bronwyn Ison, Dana Vollmer, a 3-time Olympian and 5-time gold medalist, and our keynote speaker Lori Crete—an entrepreneur, celebrity stylist, and expert beauty consultant. In addition, 15 other wealth and wellness professionals will be presenting 17 sessions packed with up-to-date information and actionable steps that will leave CW3 attendees with an increased conf idence in their own abilities, and the inspiration to start creating their ideal lifestyle.

2021 CW3 Speakers







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Desert Charities News – •

THANK YOU COACHELLA VALLEY! We offer our thanks to everyone working together to support both charities and small businesses alike during this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. We are lucky and proud to be a part of a community that shows up for each other. Hot Purple


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January/February/March 2021

Tools For Tomorrow Provides Free Arts Literacy Program in Valley Elementary Schools In these unprecedented times, the arts provide a creative outlet, a coping mechanism and a vision for the future, particularly for socio-economically disadvantaged children. With many extra-curricular activities diminished in elementary schools, our children need the social and emotional learning that the arts can provide more than ever. Recognizing that children learn what they are excited about, Tools For Tomorrow’s after-school program emphasizes process and hands-on experience. Native American Birdsongs, Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” inspire budding artists to create art, music, poetry, plays and stories. Tools For Tomorrow (TFT) recently received a $20,000 donation from La Quinta Art Celebration to support TFT’s free arts literacy program for Coachella Valley elementary school students. “It has been a pleasure collaborating with Tools For Tomorrow to help them fulfill their mission of providing afterschool art

experiences for children,” said Paul Anderson, CEO of SCOPE Events, LLC. “Community partnerships like these are an important way for the La Quinta Art Celebration to reach our goal of supporting our artists of today and tomorrow. We look forward to an ongoing collaboration!” The donation has allowed TFT to acquire new technology, retrain teaching artists how to teach via zoom and provide each student with their own personal art supply kit. “Community response has exceeded expectations -- TFT has enrolled large numbers in free after-school sessions integrating art, creative writing, drama and music”, according to TFT Program Director David Hirsch. “Teachers have made a smooth transition to online learning, ensuring that each student is seen and acknowledged -- students are enthusiastic and parents are committed to their children’s education.”

“Facing new challenges of how to raise funds while traditional ways of raising money have been curtailed”, TFT Board President Robin Nugent said, “the La Quinta Art Celebration donation enables us to continue serving so many deserving students in our 22nd year.” On April 18, Tools For Tomorrow’s VISIONARIES support group will host a fundraiser “A Conversation on Art, Love and Life with Karen and Tony Barone”. To join VISIONARIES, volunteer or donate, visit or call 760-601-3954.

January/February/March 2021

Desert Charities News – •

Benefit Auctioneer Pivots to Facilitate Giving in a Virtual New World By Pamela Bieri

“March 7, 2020 at The Living Desert’s Fiftieth Anniversary — that was the last time I stepped on a stage,” said Karen Sorbo, nationally renowned benefit auctioneer who moved to the Coachella Valley two years ago bringing her lively, engaging talent to local charities. Between mid-March and mid-Nov., 2020, Sorbo had been contracted to work with 29 other events, helping raise funds via live auctions. Instead, COVID-19 hit and the events were all cancelled. Suddenly, live streaming virtual events were at the forefront with many event companies turning to innovative new formats. But not only are virtual fundraisers new and scary to nonprofits, it was a profoundly new experience for Sorbo. However, she does not easily give up, even though at first felt trepidation about doing any event virtually. “Suddenly I was looking into a black box at thousands of viewers at home in their living rooms, bidding from their smart phones,” she said. “After 28 years and some 2800 live events, this was a Virtual New World and it was terrifying to say the least.” She pushed forward like the pro she is and made it her goal to convince clients that “we can do this together.” This past fall, she live streamed with organizations such as Dancing Classrooms, from New York, NY; Krabbe Connect, in Minneapolis. Minn.; and Operation Underground Railroad, Salt Lake City, Utah. All events brought in record donations and she moves ahead with six more scheduled this year. On Feb. 13 she will be auctioneer for the Palm Springs Animal Shelter’s “Film Festival Presents LOVE AT THE DRIVE IN,” a live drive-in event at the Palm Springs Air Museum. “I will be on an outdoor stage where people will park drive-in movie style,” she explained. “Participants can tune in to hear and watch the entire LIVE SHOW from the comfort of their own cars while adhering to COVID guidelines and protocols.” Sorbo discovered that regardless if hundreds of people are in a room or following a live stream event, her ability to connect with the audience, generate enthusiasm and excitement is very much intact. “Live streaming auctions are the real solution,” she said. “I’ve had the good fortune to get in front of the Coachella Valley’s very generous audiences who give, and give and give. Going forward, I hope our local nonprofits will embrace this new virtual technology so they can continue to thrive. I look forward to assist non-profits to ‘Pivot for Profit’”. For more information, contact Karen at (612) 868-4929 or visit

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Royal Emerald Pharmaceuticals President and CEO Mark Crozier has made an enormous impact on the desert since relocating his company from San Diego to Desert Hot Springs in May 2020. Crozier’s presence has changed the footprint of DHS forever not just because of his philanthropy but perhaps more importantly because of the promise of good-paying jobs with benefits. Crozier is a disabled veteran Army Ranger and retired federal police chief with 40 years of experience, and he understands the importance of supporting the community you work and live in. Since choosing Desert Hot Springs as his new headquarters, Crozier has donated to the city’s baseball and football leagues so every child can play sports without worrying about costs and he has committed $250,000 to build a new Little League field. He also has taken the local food bank, Food Now, under his wing and become their largest contributor during the pandemic. Crozier also supports Team Mom Charities that feeds and advocates for the homeless community throughout the desert region.

This mayor and city council has welcomed us with open arms.” Crozier is on a mission to research, develop and manufacture non-addictive medicines for his target groups – veterans, law enforcement and first responders. His years in the military and law enforcement taught him about the struggles our heroes face while serving our country and communities. Crozier wants to help them heal from PTSD, chronic pain, opioid addiction, depression, anxiety, arthritis and a host of other ailments with his non-addictive medicines. His company is poised to be the first in the nation to receive a federal license to perform clinical trials on these non-addictive medicines.

“It’s my goal to do something meaningful and significant with Crozier believes that giving back to the community is his highest the rest of my life, and Royal Emerald Pharmaceuticals is it.” duty and an honor for him. “I love giving back to this community.

Changing a City Forever

SoCal Coyotes Chief of Staff Michael Wilson, Chief Admin & Data Officer Adrian Jarrell, CEO J. David Miller, Royal Emerald CEO Mark Crozier, SVP Ron DiGrandi, Athletic Director Robert Cummings,Team Captain Jake Shefield

Royal Emerald CEO Mark Crozier gives a check to DHS Little League President Alfred Morando

for Veterans and First Responders

Royal Emerald Pharmaceuticals 14011 Palm Drive Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240 DHS Golden Eagles Football Leroy Aldeman and Randy Miller and Food Now Exec. Dir. Dana Johnson each receive $10,000 from Mark Crozier

Desert Charities News – •

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January/February/March 2021


Shining A Light On Grieving Families

ENHANCED BY C O A C H E L L A VA L L E Y S P O T L I G H T AWA R D The Unforgettables Foundation (TUF), a 20-year old 501(c)(3) charity serving the Riverside and San Bernardino counties, received the December 2020 Coachella Valley Spotlight from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3. The mission of mercy, which assists financially-challenged and grief-stricken families across the Coachella Valley, offers essential burial and funeral funds in a crisis when a child has died. “The days following the death of a child are some of the darkest,” said Tim Evans, M.Div/CFRE, Chaplain and Co-founder and CEO of TUF, which is identified as the most established charity of its kind in the U.S. “This gift from the Berger Foundation and the exposure from News Channel 3 is practically immeasurable in how it will impact families in the Coachella Valley after the death of a child. We are extremely

grateful to receive this award.” TUF has assisted cases of a deceased child in every desert city from Desert Hot Springs to Thermal, and everywhere in-between. Among the families that request assistance, birth-related deaths are the most common, followed by car accidents, suicides and cancer. The grant will be used for requests exclusively in the Coachella Valley, where an average of 40 families per year

Desert Community Foundation Awards Two Grants In Memory of The Late Bill Powers The Ophelia Project and Xavier Preparatory High School $2,500 Each The Desert Community Foundation announced today that it is awarding two grants of $2500 each to The Ophelia Project and Xavier Preparatory High School in memory of the late Bill Powers. “These two nonprofit organizations were very close to Bill’s heart,” said Mary Panesar, Executive Director of the Desert Community Foundation. “Bill was instrumental in guiding the community foundation to what it is today; we are very pleased to honor his memory by supporting organizations in the community he loved.”

“Bill and I are founding board members of the Desert Community Foundation. Bill was the board Vice Chairman and Treasurer; I was the Board Chair and Ron Gother founder and President. Bill held those positions right up to his death,” said Oliphant. Fellow Desert Community Foundation board member and local businessman Ed Tauber recalled his early relationship with Powers: “I met Bill Powers when he was president of a small branch bank on El Paseo in 1988. It became Eldorado Bank. Then it was changed to California Bank & Trust. My friend Harvey Miller and I were motivated to build a car wash in the city [Palm Desert] in 1989. Bill gave Harvey the construction loan to start the business and we opened Harv’s Carwash on Cook Street. Bill came to my home and we all celebrated.”

Bill Powers

receive assistance for burial or cremation of their deceased child. To date, TUF has assisted nearly 7,000 families Riverside and San Bernardino counties. TUF celebrates the final month of the year, a sacred time for Christians (Protestants and Catholics) and Jews, and other faiths, by designating “December to Remember.” Both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties Boards of Supervisors

proclaimed this special awareness time of remembrance for children who have died in the region. Evans has a long connection to the Coachella Valley. From 1990-2003, he served as Founding Chaplain of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital where he dealt with many families from low desert cities whose children were being treated. TUF has a desert leadership committee led by Kimberly Krause. The organization hosts an annual symposium/skills training/childhood death prevention event “Children and Families in Crisis Conference” at CSUSB-Palm Desert, and the Unforgettable Hearts at Pirch, honoring child-helping individuals/families, foundations and business. For more information about the organization visit or call their 24/7 help hotline at 760-837-7373.

Powers was a Desert Community Foundation Board member, Vice Chair and Treasurer during his tenure, 2000-2020. He was well known throughout the Coachella Valley as president and CEO of First Community Bank of the Desert (now Pacific Western), a former Indian Wells City Councilmember, and as president or chairman of dozens of community organizations. Powers passed away unexpectedly on Sept. 5 at age 79. “I have known Bill since he arrived in the desert,” said Dick Oliphant, chairman of the Desert Community Foundation. “When he became president of First Community Bank, I started doing business with him. The two of us became board members of several charities, frequently following each other as chairman.

“Over the years, he helped thousands of people start local businesses,” said Tauber. “When I joined the board of Desert Community Foundation, there was Bill. Along with Dick Oliphant, he was one of our most important members. He knew people all over town and anytime we had a problem, Bill knew someone involved that he could call.” Powers’ was committed to the Coachella Valley community and served on many organizations in various positions of leadership. “What can you say about a man who gave back so much to his community?” Tauber said.


Men in Philanthropy

January/February/March 2021 Desert Cities

Industry Leaders and Influencers in the Nonprofit Industry PRESENTED BY Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians College of the Desert Foundation Contour Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center Desert Arc Desert Oasis Healthcare Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Momentous Royal Emerald Pharmaceuticals The SoCal Coyotes The Society of Financially Empowered Women Think Together The Unforgettables Foundation Our community is home to many meaningful charities. In its 10 years of telling the stories of local nonprofits, Desert Charities News has built the largest database of charities within the region. This allows us to stay current on the individuals who are at the forefront of these organizations – helping them grow and thrive. This section is dedicated to the men who serve the desert’s philanthropic community through their leadership, vision and benevolent spirit. Learn more about these exceptional men and what inspires the passion in their purpose. Steve Tolin Editor–Publisher Kristin Peterson President

Desert Charities News P.O. Box 1525 Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 (760) 346-1822

Aside from giving time and treasure to the causes that have touched their hearts, these men are also prominent driving forces in the community – using their influence to benefit others in need.

Stephen Boyd Creative Director

©Desert Charities Publishing LLC All Rights Reserved

Get to know the “Men in Philanthropy” who are making an impact in the Coachella Valley.

Greg Kain Print Design

Contact information for all men: Search: Name of their company

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Desert Charities News – •

January/February/March 2021


CLEARS THE HURDLES TO HIGHER EDUCATION This year’s Coachella Valley high school graduates can attend tuition-free for two years and get the academic support they need to succeed through two of our signature programs that serve the whole student: plEDGE and EDGE! These innovative platforms have been recognized nationally for supporting student success. The two programs work in tandem, first by eliminating financial barriers then by providing a smooth transition into college life and wrap around support services. Donor support is vital for the success of plEDGE and EDGE and the students who need them to create tomorrow.

Please consider Stepping Up for College of the Desert.


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Alberto Acosta

Tracey D. Allen

Mark Anton

Making A Difference Museum diversity is vital to the educational, cultural, and economic well-being of the community. With access to a rich inventory of exhibitions and a passion to expand knowledge, MoAW provides a unique portal into the worlds of ancient civilization and prehistoric life for Coachella Valley students, teachers, residents, seniors, and visitors.

Making A Difference I am the co-founder of IMAHelps. Our medical mission volunteers have provided healthcare to over 100,000 impoverished patients in nine countries during the past 20 years. Our surgeons have also provided over 2,500 life-changing and life-saving surgeries to patients who could never afford such care.

Making A Difference When COVID hit, our main goal was to figure out how to raise funds during a pandemic and how to get our clients their monthly food vouchers safely. Thanks to generous supporters we have been able to. Utilizing registered mail for delivery and dedicated volunteers we have been able to continue to help clients.

COVID HEROES We have donated thousands of dollars’ worth of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other supplies to Desert Regional Medical Center, Eisenhower Medical Center and Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of our volunteers have made masks to donate.

COVID HEROES My personal heroes are the staff and amazing volunteers of AAP-Food Samaritans who are always there when needed and the many ardent supports, organizations and health care providers here in our community, specifically Eisenhower Health who have worked tirelessly and have had an amazing impact on those struggling through this pandemic with the goal of making things better for all of us.

MoAW, Museum of Ancient Wonders Executive Director & Chief Curator

COVID HEROES To all individuals helping society to continue to operate, sacrificing safety and comfort, we salute them. Let us honor their bravery by following scientific recommendations and protocols to reduce the number of infections in our community and restore hope for better days to come.

IMAHelps Vice - President

Scott Bailey

Richard Balocco

Making A Difference I am proud that the Desert Sands Unified School District was able, true to its core values, provide equitable access to connectivity and devices during mandated distance learning. Through a public-private partnership, the DSUSD built its own LTE network, an initiative that has been recognized at the state and national levels.

Making A Difference The pandemic remains a fearful precipice for everyone to find ourselves on, but I believe there isn’t a mountain too steep that we can’t climb together. Our mission to serve people with disabilities gives us a strong foothold and has fortified our commitment to this cause during these challenging times.

COVID HEROES Many heroes have emerged during the pandemic. Frontline workers certainly deserve applause. I additionally acknowledge the courageous effort of students, staff, and parents in navigating an unfamiliar path to teaching and learning. To quote our California Teacher of the Year, Allison Cyr, “our goal is to always be better than the day before”.

COVID HEROES These are defining moments in the world we live in, but together we have prevailed. Our Program and Essential Business Services teams are vigilant in safety protocol and steadfast in ensuring the well-being of all involved. Desert Arc’s amazing Board, staff, clients, families and donors are my COVID-19 heroes!

Desert Sands Unified School District Superintendent

Desert Arc President/CEO


Randy Barth Think Together Founder/CEO

Making A Difference At Think Together our mission is to partner with schools to change the odds for kids. In California, 2 million kids, out of 6 million are effectively failing school. Most of these students are African-American and LatinX. This is known as the achievement gap. We work with schools to close this gap and we work with families to provide the support system around schools, which also helps to close this gap. COVID HEROES COVID has exacerbated these achievement gaps. My COVID heroes are Think’s 3,200 staff across CA that are working to mitigate learning loss for vulnerable kids due to the pandemic.

Frank Goldstin “We rise by lifting others.” - Robert Ingersoll Frank Goldstin is the President of MOMENTOUS, the Coachella Valley’s premier event production firm specializing in the creation of unforgettable, multidimensional events including live, virtual, hybrid and televised fundraising experiences. For over 30 years, Frank and his team have been the creative force behind a diverse portfolio of events ranging from strategic fundraising and gala events to corporate productions, elaborate entertainment and show concepts, custom parties and luxe celebrations. When it comes to producing many high-profile, fundraising and gala events in the valley, MOMENTOUS brings a client’s vision to life with an elevated, development-centric approach, through the formation and delivery of strategic and creative concepts, integrated solutions, superior event and entertainment design, advanced technical production and total event management that is seamlessly combined to deliver memorable and immersive event experiences. “We are honored to be a long-term event partner to our many clients in their critical fundraising,” said Goldstin. “For new clients, we provide a complimentatry consulation to learn more about your organization, mission and events, and to share our approach to your projects through the delivery of our strategic event services.” For more information and to see a vast array of event profiles featurinng photos and video, please visit their website at Frank Goldstin President MOMENTOUS 777 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Suite 200 Palm Springs, CA 92262 (760) 273-5050

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J David Miller CALL IT SURPRISING, but not shocking. As he now peers toward the 10th year of operation of The SoCal Coyotes 501(c)3 in 2021, founder, CEO and Head Coach J David Miller didn’t know in 2012 how far his vision of a hungry developmental football ministry in the desert could go. From the start, Miller believed that Faith, Family, and Football™ was a memorable concept that might generate unconventional interest. A decade later – has it ever. Even during a pandemic-decimated ninth year, Hall of Fame Coach Miller and his pesky SoCal Coyotes have still found ways to refocus, pivot, and deliver relief to thousands in need.

Conrado E. Bárzaga, MD Mitch Blumberg Desert Healthcare District and Foundation Chief Executive Officer

COVID HEROES There are many heroes on the frontline of the global COVID-19 pandemic, including the healthcare workers who risk possible sickness to care for the rest of us. The eastern Coachella Valley farmworkers who toil in the fields every day producing food that’s distributed across the U.S. are another group of essential workers and heroes. These farmworkers deserve our respect and good-faith commitment of resources to provide them with access to COVID-19 testing, support services and the vaccine. Please join in the efforts of the Coachella Valley Equity Collaborative to ensure farmworkers and other vulnerable residents have a safe and healthy future.

Desert Regional Medical Chairman Governing Board Making A Difference I taught two courses at CSUSB last spring, undergrad Business, Ethics & Society and grad level Managing Teams. Both taught via Zoom. Total 52 students. Amazed by the positive attitudes and dedication of the students despite Covid. Their lives and the lives of all students drastically changed by the Virus, but their spirits adjusted in a positive way. Happy to be part of faculty supporting their education in a challenging environment. COVID HEROES As described above, my Covid heroes are the teachers who are engaging with their students to maintain the quality of their education even in extremely challenging circumstances. Additional heroes are the primary first line workers doctors, nurses, firemen and women, police, grocery store clerks and personnel who are continuing to provide necessary sometimes life-saving services despite personal risks during this very difficult time.

Scott Bowling

Exceptional Children’s Foundation (ECF) President/CEO Making A Difference Scott has over 30 years of experience working in service of people with developmental disabilities. He joined ECF in 1999 as President and CEO. Confronted with the pandemic, Scott and ECF began shaping a new service environment and setting new standards of service delivery for the safety and benefit of over 5,000 children and adults with special needs. ECF distributed PPE across 15 service sites, implemented best-practice health and safety measures, provided computers and supports for all students and clients, and created new partnerships and opportunities to ensure service, learning and care continuity.

The Coyotes – branded by NFL executives as ‘America’s #1 Developmental Pro Football Program™ - have flipped the ‘service’ part of their mission front-andcenter, with football and family activities humming in the background. Off the field, Miller authored the Coyotes’ award-winning Above the Line™ leadership program, which impacts more than 50,000 Coachella Valley youth annually via team camps, clinics and symposia. The Coyotes’ formidable 100,000 social media followers are a result of three undefeated seasons, eight title appearances and six championships. “It’s easier for us to build strong children in the Coachella Valley than to repair broken ones,” says Coach Miller, who is also Chairman and CEO of the for-profit Coachella Sports & Entertainment Stadium Authority. CSESA is the master developer of The Shield at 1 Coyote Way, a youth-centric, iconic, billion-dollar, mixed-used sports and entertainment campus. Just like his Coyotes, Miller says The Shield will soon be reshaping hearts in the Coachella Valley – from the inside out. (-Visit, and

Gregory Bradbard

Tommy E. Brewer, II

Making A Difference Each day is an opportunity to impact the lives of those around us. At Hope through Housing, we empower low-income families, children, and seniors to reach new possibilities in their lives by offering on-site services and guidance within National CORE affordable housing communities in Cathedral City, Indio, and La Quinta.

Making A Difference At Think Together, we’re changing the odds for kids by collaborating and innovating our way through this pandemic. We’re delivering high-quality distance learning and in-person programs alongside our school district partners to support the academic, enrichment, and social-emotional wellbeing of young people in Palm Springs USD and throughout California.

COVID HEROES Throughout this pandemic, our team members on each property have been Everyday Heroes to our residents – stepping up when others stepped back. We have delivered 86,000 meals to seniors and families and provided 24,000 wellness touch points since March – and now ensuring residents can maintain their housing and financial stability.

COVID HEROES Our partners at Palm Springs USD and our regional team of frontline staff who demonstrate passion and endless commitment to ensure that students are learning and expanding their horizons, all while keeping everyone safe and healthy. Through them, we’re honored to serve the students and families of Palm Springs.

Hope Through Housing Foundation President

Think Together Deputy Chief of Innovations & Partnerships

David Brinkman

DAP Health CEO

COVID HEROES I publicly shared my own COVID diagnosis and journey because I believe in transparency, and I knew others could learn from my first hand experience with how serious this virus is. Months later, our COVID Clinic heroes have tested over 4,000 people, saved lives, and have welcomed many into ongoing healthcare. DAP medical clinicians are using decades of experience and compassion with HIV care to understand and respond to the treatment needs of patients battling COVID. Thanks to them, we continue expanding access to care, responding to health inequities in the Coachella Valley worsened by COVID.

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Thomas Burns

Dominic Calvano

Making A Difference When COVID hit my first reaction was to protect ourselves and shut down. Then I thought, this is the time when we are needed most! Since we were unable to do in-person instruction we developed ART2Go Kits. These are self-contained art projects. With the help of FIND food bank we are able to distribute over 3,000 kits a month. By the end of the year we will have supplied 24,000 kits to the Coachella Valley. We believe there is a healing power in creating art – and we are happy to be part of that process.

Making A Difference Many people think they can’t make a difference. Those who are making a difference never gave that a thought! Do what YOU can! Don’t worry; it’s enough.

Old Town Artisan Studios Executive Director

Alzheimers Coachella Valley President

COVID HEROES All of us are fighting the COVID battle. But our courageous, front-line caregivers face this danger every day. Let’s thank them by doing our part: Follow the guidelines so we win this battle together.

Felice Chiapperini Desert Oasis Healthcare Community Development Specialist

Making A Difference Working from home since March 2020, collaborating with our nonprofit community partners to continue to provide important information regarding healthcare and services to our members and the public during the pandemic. We have enhanced our virtual communication, website, and social media platforms to increase the impact of our outreach efforts. COVID HEROES The entire team at Desert Oasis Healthcare has worked to continue to provide our members with healthcare in a safe environment, either in person or via telehealth virtual visits. Our doctors, nurses and clinical staff have been on the frontlines providing testing and screenings since March 2020.

Jeff Grubbe Jeff L. Grubbe serves as Tribal Chairman for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. With his election in 2006 to the Tribal Council, Chairman Grubbe continues a legacy of service and follows in his grandfather Lawrence Pierce’s footsteps, who also once served on the Tribal Council. Chairman Grubbe is most inspired by God, family and Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians tribal membership. Under the leadership of Chairman Grubbe and the Tribal Council, the Tribe has given millions of dollars to dozens of charities over the past decade. In addition, each year, the Tribe presents an annual Charity Golf Tournament that raises nearly $200,000 that is distributed to at least five charities each year. “We live in a great community with good people,” Chairman Grubbe says. “It’s an honor to give to charities. They are the ones doing the hard work.”

Michael Childers

One Night Only Productions Producer Making A Difference Our charities need our help more than ever and we’ve had to be more creative about how we fundraise. I’ve assisted people producing online and television fundraisers, donated photographs to be auctioned, and bought tickets to online cabarets to help performers. People have been very supportive of my charity “One Night Only,” which benefits Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center. Our creative team and performers have stuck with us while we found the best date to safely return—November 10, 2021 at the McCallum Theatre. Our sponsors are matching the donations promised to us last year before we had to cancel. This terrible time has brought out the best among those who give generously here in the Valley.

Bill Chunowitz College of The Desert Foundation President

Making A Difference We all make a difference sometime in someone’s life. The College of the Desert Foundation makes a difference in many lives giving students the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of obtaining a college education through scholarships, mentoring and internships. During these difficult times with Covid-19, the College Foundation has had the opportunity to make a difference in many lives. Helping our students remain in school by creating an emergency fund to help pay living expenses such as rent, car payments, food, utilities, etc. Through the generosity of the Foundation Board, our donors and community have provided over $250,000 in emergency funds to students.

Walter Clark

Walter Clark Legal Group Attorney Making A Difference 2 issues: Why? It won’t happen unless we all try; How? Love this quote of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Fight for things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” COVID HEROES Grateful, grateful, grateful for all those doing the heavy lifting for all of us!

Chairman Grubbe is also involved in various organizations across Indian Country including service to the following boards: Nike N7, Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations, National Indian Gaming Association and the National Congress of American Indians. In addition, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Chairman Grubbe was recognized with a 40 Under 40 Award from The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. In addition, he was also recognized by Palm Springs Life Magazine with a 40 Under 40 Award for distinguished young professionals contributing to the success of the Coachella Valley. Grubbe earned his bachelor degree in Information Systems from the University of Redlands. He also has an associate arts degree from Haskell Indian Nations University.

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Richard Balocco Richard Balocco is the President/CEO of Desert Arc, a nonprofit organization who has championed the rights of people with disabilities since 1959. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life and create opportunities for people with disabilities. With locations in Palm Desert, Indio and Yucca Valley, Desert Arc serves 700+ adults, 18 and older, with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The programs offered by Desert Arc, mostly now virtual, are designed to give each person a safe and supportive, client-centric resource base to reach their highest potential to live, work and socialize in the community. “Like everyone in our community, Desert Arc is looking forward to getting back to the life we knew before COVID-19 hit our desert cities last March. However, we face a different kind of dilemma in our ability to reopen. For us, it’s not a simple turning on a light switch. Our onsite programs inherently do not easily accommodate for social distancing and our clients may be challenged by the requisite need to wear masks because of respiratory problems, the inability to understand why it’s important or be frightened by covered faces. In general, the people we serve are considered more vulnerable than the population as a whole. Meanwhile, our teams have engineered online programming and our clients are thriving on a full calendar of activities while our fleet of buses are transporting supplies to each client’s home. Desert Arc has instituted safety protocols at all facilities and at job sites for our essential workers including our Business Services – Janitorial, Landscape Maintenance and Shredding crews. I applaud our dedicated Board and staff and am grateful for their great work!” 760.346.1611 General Information 760.404.1370 Business Services Richard Balocco will also serve as Mayor of Indian Wells beginning in 2021 for a one-year term.

Paul Clowers

The Joslyn Center Director of Development and Marketing Making A Difference Within moments of forced closure, our team at The Joslyn Center quickly pivoted to provide online programs and service opportunities to our local seniors - the most vulnerable citizens in our community. These vital resources continue today through the assistance and financial support of charitable and devoted donors that recognize Joslyn’s impact on our valley’s seniors. COVID HEROES Echoing the words of many others, the heroes are front-line healthcare teams who risk their lives to bring the hope of recovery to the millions who are faced with illness. Above all are the resolute volunteers who provide food, wellness checks and the much-needed personal engagement to isolated seniors.

Ron de Harte

Greater Palm Springs Pride President / CEO Making A Difference I’m proud to have been a part of several programs making a difference locally and globally. Through the Community Leadership Council, I served on the team that created the “One Member, One Neighbor” outreach program which encouraged thousands of members to reach out and check in with their neighbors during the COVID pandemic. I’ve also served on the City of Palm Springs COVID-19 Business Transition & Re-entry Task Force. A special opportunity to give back was as an executive producer of Global Pride 2020. With hundreds of Pride events canceled due to COVID, this 28-hour virtual Pride broadcast captured an audience of 57 million in 163 countries.

Mark Crozier

Royal Emerald Pharmaceuticals President/CEO Making A Difference CEO Mark Crozier is a disabled veteran Army Ranger and retired federal police chief who understands the traumas our veterans, law enforcement and first responders faced serving our country and communities. Crozier founded Royal Emerald Pharmaceuticals in 2017 to research, develop and manufacture non-addictive medicines derived from THC and CBD. He moved his company to Desert Hot Springs in May 2020 and quickly became a philanthropist to the community. His generosity has funded a new baseball field for the DHS Little League, support for the DHS Golden Eagles Football & Cheer league, Food Now, Team Mom Charities and SoCal Coyotes - Coachella Sports & Entertainment Stadium Authority.

Darren Diess

Eventology Fundraising Co Author, Fundraiser and Auctioneer Making A Difference The silver lining in 2020 could be the collective decision to make some dramatic changes in the way most look at fundraising. My CoAuthor, Michelle Gilmore and I have been working side by side with clients, developing new strategies for fundraising efforts in 2021 and going forward. 2020 has taught us, Virtual and Hybrid events can offer a HUGE impact to the organization, offering lasting impact far beyond the traditional GALA . If you are ready and willing to let the “old school fundraising traditions”go away, 2021 will be AMAZING opportunity for fundraising.

Barry Dayton

Desert Oasis Healthcare Director of Marketing Making A Difference My parents taught me to share your gifts and make the world a better place. That’s why I appreciate working for a company that shows its “corporate citizenship” by providing significant financial support each year in the communities where its thousands of patients and hundreds of employees live and work. COVID HEROES Dr. Marc Hoffing and Dr. Brian Hodgkins at Desert Oasis Healthcare became COVID-19 leaders in the Coachella Valley as soon as the pandemic made its presence known locally. They have led partnerships and helped to bring more widespread screening, testing, and updates to our communities, all the while working to boost morale.

Ron DiGrandi

The SoCal Coyotes Senior Vice President Making A Difference It’s easier said than done: “Building Champions, Building Men.” But at The SoCal Coyotes we do it – we’ve done it — through nearly 10 years of nonprofit sports ministry, starting in 2011. What began as: ‘Faith, Family, Football’ has become a multi-generational service organization that truly impacts youth in need. COVID HEROES For many years the SoCal Coyotes ‘Above the Line’ program has been core curriculum taught in Coachella Valley schools. My COVID Heroes are all the local teachers who have made major adjustments to continue educating their students from in-person to on-line. Our teachers are true champions.

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Matt Durkan

College of the Desert Foundation Director of Development Making A Difference COVID-19 has seriously impacted our students at College of the Desert. The campus has been closed since mid-March and the students have had to adapt to remote learning. This has been a real challenge for those without access to laptops and the internet. COD responded by providing laptops, internet and wi-fi for the students who needed it. Additionally, the Student Emergency Fund provides funds for students unable to pay for food, rent, and other bills. COVID HEROES Many of the first responders in our community received their training at College of the Desert. The courageous work they continue to do every day is nothing less than heroic. Nurses, physicians, EMT and all the people tasked with keeping us safe, deserve not only our thanks and respect, but our compassion and commitment in supporting their efforts to defeat this disease. Wearing a mask and social distancing is the least I can do, compared to the lifesaving work they do every day.

Tim Evans

The Unforgettable Foundation CEO/Co-Founder Making A Difference Feel blessed to have so many volunteers join me in a mission of mercy for so many at a darkest day, especially for straight out strangers in severe crisis. Being a real blessing gives me a true sense of purpose for God/His World. “Carpe Diem”, Seper Memorate”, “Do Unto Others”, Motivates. COVID HEROES We’re honored as an essential health sector provider to be able to offer tangible, support with much needed burial funds for helping financially-challenged families. We have stepped up because of our Donor Hereos for parents who’ve lost jobs or hours during Covid, and then being crushed with their child’s death.

Joe Enos

Joe Enos & Co. Public Relations Principal COVID HEROES Ellen Goodman of The Foundation of PSUSD and David Green’s Musical Theatre University along with a cast of local high school student actors have created the Valley’s very own locally-produced tv variety show, Front Row Center, that airs every Sunday night on KESQ News Channel 3. In a school year when live theatre has been cancelled, this show has given students the opportunity to practice their craft in a new medium while delighting audiences with their immense talent. If there ever was a “pandemic pivot”, this is it! Cheers to Ellen, David and these marvelous student actors!

Darrin Erb

Stepping Stones Learning Centers Executive Director Making A Difference Since the beginning of the Covid scare, Stepping Stones has been working non-stop with students and their families to provide food, professional counseling for the whole family, and tutoring for online students at our learning centers. The staff work twice as hard to ensure everyone is doubly safe. COVID HEROES The staff of Stepping Stones are my Covid heroes. They have been on the front lines to ensure the emotional and physical safety of the students and their families. They are tired, but serve with a joy that brings hope and healing to the families we are blessed to serve.

Frank V. Furino

Frank Goldstin

Making A Difference While we’re rightfully focused and concerned about the frightening virus racing through our country and the world, there are other problems facing our nation that haven’t just disappeared, and still demand our attention. The abuse and neglect of our teens and preteens being one of them. According to one FBI report, an estimated 300,000 American youths are currently at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation. If that concerns you, and it should, you should know about Safehouse of the Desert in Thousand Palms. Look ‘em up and help them help our teens and our future.

Making A Difference From the very start of the crisis, I made it my mission to be on the front lines of development as it relates to creating alternatives to producing live events. I worked diligently to integrate varying technologies while also developing strategic and creative alternatives that afforded my clients great relevance, and to be out in front of the community, their donors, and to maintain their critical fundraising.

FVF Enterprises, Inc. President


COVID HEROES Super grateful for all of our healthcare workers as well as the many everyday heroes who continue to work so hard to ensure all of our health and safety.

Robert L. Schein Robert L. Schein is the founder of The Society of Financially Empowered Women (The FEW), a 501 (c)(3) registered nonprofit organization that focuses on empowering all women with the right tools and information to help them reach their goals from financial independence to financial security. Robert founded The FEW in 2011 after his father’s health complications left his mother feeling overwhelmed and confused on how to best handle the family finances. After seeing that his mother lacked the financial knowledge and confidence to plan for her financial future, Robert made it his mission to empower and educate women to take control of their financial lives and to prevent them from ever feeling the overwhelming powerlessness his mother experienced. In January 2021, The FEW will continue its mission to empower women in the Coachella Valley by hosting its second annual Confidence: Women + Wealth + Wellness Summit, a virtual one-day conference promoting financial wellness, self-care, and personal and professional growth. Apart from founding The FEW, Robert is Managing Director and Partner of HightowerBlanke Schein Wealth Management, an independent financial advisory firm, located in Palm Desert. In 2020, Hightower was recognized as a Top 100 RIA Firm by Barron’s Magazine. Recognized for his leadership in the financial arena, Robert has been featured in various publications, such as The Wall Street Journal,, Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, On Wall Street, Investment News, The Desert Sun, and Palm Springs Life. Robert is a national speaker on the topic of financial education for women and was recently asked to speak at the International ETF Conference, Inside ETF, Desert Woman’s Show, and P.E.O. International. Robert L. Schein, AIF® Founder of The Society of Financially Empowered Women (The FEW) and the CONFIDENCE Women + Wealth + Wellness Summit (CW3) 44495 Town Center Way, Suite B Palm Desert, CA. 92260 (760) 346-5150

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Matt Durkan Matt Durkan serves as the Director of Development for the College of the Desert Foundation. A seasoned development professional with extensive experience in higher education fundraising, Durkan joined the organization in October. He has held executive positions with other respected nonprofit organizations including UCLA, California State University, San Bernardino, and the Betty Ford Center. A resident of the Coachella Valley since 2014, Durkan has an established track record of securing significant foundation, corporate and individual philanthropic support, both locally and across the country. “Throughout my career, I have represented nonprofit organizations whose missions I support passionately, especially those in higher education, healthcare and advocacy. I’m particularly focused on helping underserved and underrepresented communities, an especially important segment of our region’s population.” Matt is proud to join College of the Desert Foundation as Director of Development. He strongly believes the economic benefit that College of the Desert (COD) brings to the Coachella Valley cannot be overstated. “With nearly 17,000 students and four (soon to be five) campuses, COD is the largest institution of higher education in the Coachella Valley, providing students – many who are first generation college-goers – the opportunity to earn their degree and pursue a rewarding career.” Durkan is particularly proud of COD’s EDGE Program, providing student assistance, with a free tuition component plEDGE, for all high school graduates from the Coachella Valley for two years. Durkan stated, “As the director of development, my role in securing philanthropic donations to fund plEDGE and other programs is critical to ensuring our student’s academic success. Fortunately, I love what I do, and I love living in the desert.” Matt Durkan, Director of Development College of the Desert Foundation 43-500 Monterey Avenue Palm Desert, CA 92260 310-940-6288

Michael C. Green

Pete Greeson

Making A Difference Despite the Pandemic, PSCC has maintained its Certified Farmers’ Markets, providing our community with locally grown food. We’ve also, with the help of Wells Fargo Foundation, Union Bank and individual donations been able to provide matching funds at the markets for people furloughed due of COVID.

Making A Difference Since 1991, AVSU has been proud to employ over 100 people per year to work local events. The pandemic has brought everything to a stand-still but seeing our close-knit group stay positive and step up motivates me every day.

COVID HEROES Megan Goerhing, our Certified Farmers’ Market Manager, who has managed to not only keep our markets open for the good of the community but also make sure they were safe, masked and socially distant. Ann Sheffer, PSCC Board Member, who not only came up with the idea of opening a drive-in early last Summer, but also funded the entire program, thereby giving our community a safe place to enjoy a little outdoor entertainment.

COVID HEROES The creativity of our employees and clients to find ways to get through what is the strangest time in our lives continues to give me hope that our new normal will be even better.

Gary Hall

David R. Hatcher

Palm Springs Cultural Center Executive Director

Wells Fargo Senior Vice President Making A Difference Wells Fargo has committed most of our 2020 Foundation giving to COVID 19 needs. Also, keeping most employees working from home. Like many others, I have been continuing my nonprofit work via zoom keeping vital nonprofits I support relevant and alive. COVID HEROES COVID healthcare workers are my heroes/ angels I admire most followed by all of the workers that continue to work in the essential businesses and non-essential businesses facing the public bravely. I respect all of them and have the deepest empathy for the risks they are taking.

AVSU President

Jeff L. Grubbe Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Chairman

Making A Difference This has been a tough year for all of us and there is a definite need in the Coachella Valley and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is proud to give back. Through our partner charitable organizations who are all doing the hard work, thank you for all you are doing to make Coachella Valley even better. Together, let’s focus on the positive in our lives. I’m praying for continued blessings and that we come out of this pandemic in 2021.

Steven Henke

Artists Council Chair, Board of Directors

DAP Health and Revivals Stores Director Brand Marketing

Making A Difference I led a committee dedicated to creating ways to maximize communications during Covid, including implementing a digital support system. Hosting virtual meetings via Zoom has enabled us to become more responsive to our membership and expand our offerings, including virtual workshops, classes, critiques, and a 6-hour strategic planning session. We also created 360-degree virtual exhibitions where viewers can ‘wander’ through our exhibition space at The Galen and see art on the walls

Making A Difference DAP responded to COVID by expanding access to care, quickly opening a COVID Clinic, sharing its patient resource materials online, and launching Virtual Visits so patients could keep accessing medical and mental healthcare. DAP helped prevent dangerous delays in HIV testing, with 500 HIV self-test kits for anyone incarcerated or in treatment, plus a campaign for free at-home HIV tests for those who don’t know their status. My COVID heroes are the volunteers, grocery store workers, and frontline healthcare workers who continue to show up for us all.

COVID HEROES Some of the COVID heroes to me are the Artists Council Board, volunteers, and staff who work tirelessly supporting member artists through virtual communications and programs.

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Jeff Hocker

Hocker Productions Executive Producer/Owner Making A Difference 2020 brought an exciting change for Hocker Productions, which became a 501 ©3 corporation. This new chapter allows our board to help even more vulnerable residents in our Coachella Valley by providing grants from the proceeds of Halloween Palm Springs, Taste of Jalisco and Palm Springs Health Run & Fitness Expo. COVID HEROES My COVID Heroes were the membership of the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. Over the last 6 months making 1,000 PPE for Eisenhower Medical Center, Food and Toy Drives for Martha’s Village and Kitchen, Clothing Drive for Well in the Desert and School Supplies Drive for elementary schools throughout the Coachella Valley.

Jerry Keller

Lulu California Bistro Managing Member Making A Difference Lulu is proud to be deeply involved in our vibrant Coachella Valley community which has brought us so much love, happiness and success. Lulu’s main goals are to provide very sanitary, safe and enjoyable dining for our guests and safe employment for as many of our staff as possible. We’re also proud to support Musical Theatre University, DAP, PS Boys & Girls Club and many other vital charities. COVID HEROES David Brinkman, CEO of DAP, is doing an amazing job navigating through these crazy, turbulent times. They are providing vital services of all types for those most in need in the Coachella Valley...with utmost love and care.

Dr. Timothy Jochen

Contour Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center Founder / Medical Director Making A Difference Contour Dermatology stepped up our telemedicine, kept events going online, hosted benefits for Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM), which sees patients without insurance, we have seen CVIM patients, hosted a benefit for Mizell Center, which has the largest meals outreach, hosted a food drive and seen emergency patients during these past few months. COVID HEROES Frontline healthcare workers who give their all and put themselves at risk caring for the sick. Working moms who are trying to oversee distance learning, homework and keep their kids engaged. People who maintain a positive attitude and do what they can to make a difference and don’t spread fear.

Brett Klein

Eisenhower Health Clinics Marketing Specialist

Kraig Johnson

Jewish Family Service of the Desert Executive Director Making A Difference One of the benefits of leading the JFS team is the knowledge that we have an opportunity to improve someone’s life every day. In fact, we all do. What we may consider to be a small act of kindness may very well be perceived and received as a life-changing moment. COVID HEROES My COVID heroes include healthcare providers and others on the front line willing to offer service and support despite the potential danger to themselves and patrons and philanthropists who have been willing to support needed community services despite the uncertainty (financial and other) of today’s times. Blessings to you all.

Bob Kurkjian

USO West, President President

Making A Difference It’s been my privilege to continue to serve on the board of directors for both Dining Out For Life international and HIV + Aging Research Project. Both of whom strive to bring awareness, support, and education to our communities on HIV/AIDS and HIV and Aging issues.

Making A Difference The USO is on the forefront, at 250 locations in 14 countries, from 29 Palms to Afghanistan, helping our troops and their families manage the hardships of military life and the added threat of COVID, as they deploy into harm’s way to protect us all.

COVID HEROES Heroes are all around us, so let’s honor them. The Volunteers and Staff work tirelessly at our food banks, combating food insecurity, and providing positive support during a stressful time to those feeling the most vulnerable. These volunteers are everyday heroes who don’t seek the limelight but are the heart of every organization’s success.

COVID HEROES My COVID heroes are our USO staff, volunteers, and supporters who, despite a multitude of challenges in 2020, continue our vital work to keep America’s troops connected to family, home and country, and help us make sure we can give more than thanks.

Barry Golden Barry Golden is a visionary whose passion to give the gift access to healthcare fueled the transformational gift to Loma Linda University Children’s Health – Indio, Jill & Barry Golden Pavilion. Barry served in the Army for six years and then worked for his father for six years, manufacturing metal picture frames. He then went to work for Jason Empire in Kansas City, Missouri, as a traveling salesperson for optics. Two years later he opened Winning Ways business to market and sell men’s and women’s jogging suits. Barry served as VP of sales for 25 years and later retired at the age of 55. Barry guided the startup company from no annual income to $355 million with 600 employees. He attributes his innate business and entrepreneurial skills to his father. Barry’s simple words of wisdom for young entrepreneurs is “always be prepared, do the right thing in both business and life, and remember to give back to your community.” Barry started giving back and making an impact when he was 32. “My first donation was to the Jewish United Fund of Chicago. Giving back really made me feel good inside.” Barry remembers making his first transformational gift to the National Holocaust Museum in Washington and his legacy gift to LLUCH –Indio in 2018. He served on the Children’s Health – Indio Advisory Council from 2017 to 2020. Barry has two sons, Mark and Michael that reside in Chicago and two step children, Emily and Ben, who reside in California. Barry loves to golf and can often be found handling business on the green. Barry Golden Post Office Box 1464 Rancho Mirage, California 92270

Founder and CEO Randy Barth talks about bringing educational support to Palm Springs students

What was the motivation to start Think Together? In the mid-1980s, I read about a gang shooting in a neighborhood called Shalimar on the west side of Costa Mesa, where the mothers organized to take the neighborhood back. We helped them by starting a neighborhood afterschool tutoring program (now known as the Shalimar Learning and Teen Center) and that is how Think Together was born. Today, we’re a statewide education non-profit organization with programs from San Diego to San Francisco, serving about 200,000 students. We partner with schools to provide a variety of programs like early learning, afterschool and summer, and professional development for teachers and administrators.

What brings Think Together to Palm Springs this year? We’ve had a desire to serve this community for a long time. My wife Mary and I have a home here and have long believed that the families who live and work here would benefit from Think Together’s academic supports. When Sandy Lyon came in as the superintendent in Palm Springs Unified, we knew her work elsewhere as an equity-focused leader, that eventually opened the door for Think Together to come to Palm Springs.

What can the community of the greater Palm Springs area do to help these students? We get state and federal grants through schools to run our programs, but these grants require matching funds to make a real impact. Communities like the greater Palm Springs area have the potential philanthropic resources to really enrich these programs and make them all they could be for our most vulnerable children and youth. Folks can get involved in three ways. First, for leaders in the philanthropic and business community, we’re putting together a local advisory board to help integrate ourselves into the community. Second, we love to have individual donations to help us meet that philanthropic match for our programs. Then once we get past the COVID environment and we get back to normal, we also utilize volunteers to tutor and assist kids with homework and with different leadership and mentoring opportunities. Personally, my wife Mary and I are spending more time at our home in Indian Wells and we want to be part of making the broader community better. We’ve seen what Think Together can do to improve communities and the lives of students, so I am thrilled that Think Together now has an opportunity to serve here.

BUILIDING A COMMUNITY WHERE ALL KIDS ARE PREPARED FOR COLLEGE AND CAREER How is Think Together helping kids now, in the COVID environment? In Palm Springs, Think Together provides a safe environment at school sites for students who struggle with virtual learning to get the in-person support they need to keep them academically on track. We also have found that kids need help with the feeling of isolation from being at home, so we engage students with online activities to provide social and emotional support, rounded out with STEM, arts and physical fitness, some of the subjects that have gone by the wayside during COVID.

Randy and his wife, Mary, Director of Administration at Think Together

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Frank Xavier Frank Xavier was born and raised in Long Island, New York and is known for his intelligence, leadership, and sense of humor. Frank and his wife, Mary Ann have become children’s health advocates changing the landscape of pediatric healthcare in this region. His involvement with Loma Linda University Health began in 2002 while supporting Mary Ann in her role as a founding member of the Big Hearts for Little Hearts (BHLH) Desert Guild, which is committed to raising awareness and supporting children receiving life-saving medical care at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. Together, Frank and Mary Ann to serve on the President’s Advisory and Steering Committee and quickly embraced the challenges of Vision 2020, The Campaign for a Whole Tomorrow – the largest and most transformational campaign at Loma Linda University Health. They also received the lifetime achievement award for their leadership and generosity at the Annual Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation Gala in 2018.

James K. Lewis

Charis Nonprofit Consulting President Making A Difference I presented a teleconference to CNA/AFP’s nonprofit members: “Developing a Contingency Plan for Crises”, assisted several local and out of state nonprofits going through leadership transitions, a director-level termination, misappropriation of funds, and loss of 501(c)(3) status – all pro-bono. Critical issues need to be quickly addressed in spite of COVID. COVID HEROES My COVID Heroes are those labeled “essential”, who put themselves at risk in homeless shelters and nursing homes, in healthcare, public safety, foodservice, refuse pickup, gardeners, and those unemployed due to shutdowns. Other Heroes not often mentioned are those who leave an extra-large tip, or say, “keep the change”. HEROES.

James Lindquist DAP Health Director of Development Individual Giving

Making A Difference DAP has been innovative in the way that we provide healthcare. Telehealth provides clients ways to stay connected with their doctors; In-home HIV test kits sent to community members; home delivery and food distribution to our homebound clients, over 4,000 people seen in the COVID clinic, and much, much more. COVID HEROES Everyone who has helped provide care, support, and compassion during the COVID pandemic. The Center, CV Mask Project, EIGHT4NINE, Palm Springs Animal Shelter, frontline workers at Eisenhower, Desert Regional, and DAP, Wellness in the Desert, and many more. Our community came together to support one another in so many ways.

Matt List

Desert Cornerstone Insurance Service President Making A Difference Matt has served on the Board of Directors of the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission located in . Indio, Ca for the past 5 years and is currently Vice-Chair of the board. He serves on the Board of Directors for SACH Health which serves the homeless community within Indio, CA. His passion is to serve the vulnerable community during this of COVID-19 within our region.

Frank was a significant support for the expansion of Loma Linda University Children’s Health – Indio Clinic and has served as co-chair for the Indio Advisory Council since 2017. Married for more than 60 years, Frank and Mary Ann have raised four successful children and now have seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. “We’ve been blessed and now have the responsibility to support or community,” says Frank. This passionate couple have committed their time and efforts in supporting many local non-profits in this Valley including the BHLH Desert Guild, LLU Children’s Hospital, The McCallum Theatre, The Wooden Floor, and The United States Marine Corps. Frank Xavier Post Office Box 1464 Rancho Mirage, California 92270

Oscar Llort

Javier H. Lopez

Scott Matas

Making A Difference Losing mobility is not only a struggle no one is prepared for, but is a life changing event. In these times of uncertainty, many disabled individuals are stuck at home with limited available assistance.

Making A Difference Working to make sure our families complete construction on their own homes through our Mutual Self-Help Program. Providing services and activities to families and their children residing in our Multi-Family Communities such as: Rental Assistance, STEM Projects, food distribution, Disaster Awareness Kits, Health Care Services and referrals, etc.

Making A Difference As Mayor I implemented a frequent social media update on COVID resources for residents and businesses. I formed a committee with our food programs, local non-profit organizations & faith based to deliver food to our shut-ins and provide extra fund raising to feed people in need. We have been able to continue weekly feeding of over 500 families and were able to supply over 600 full family Thanksgiving meals.

American Outreach Foundation President & Founder

Since its founding, American Outreach Foundation (AOF) serves the unmet needs of those with any kind of impairment, helping them to act independently and enhance their quality of life. Veterans, low-income families, seniors, anyone under-privileged or affected by the COVID-19 pandemic benefit from AOF’s uninterrupted essential services of providing electric wheelchairs and maintenance service calls throughout the Coachella Valley. AOF is grateful to our local and unnamed, tireless frontline heroes.

Coachella Valley Housing Coalition Director of Community Engagement

COVID HEROES All essential workers, especially our farm workers who cannot shelter in place and do not qualify for COVID Relief. They expose themselves and their families daily in order to put food on our tables.

City of Desert Hot Springs Mayor

COVID HEROES My COVID Heroes are the Desert Hot Springs public safety, public works and the city’s administration staff. These individuals have not missed a beat during COVID and make sure our daily operations and safety of our residents have been met.

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Rick Mesa

Jeff Mich

The Ranch Recovery Centers, Inc. Bob Hope USO – Palm Springs President/CEO Desert Area Manager Making A Difference In my 36 years as President/CEO our organization has grown from a 20-bed facility to four facilities housing 91 beds. As an essential service, we needed to do everything in our power to continue providing substance abuse treatment to individual and their families. We have implemented many new protocols to minimize risks and maintain a healthy and safe environment for our patients and staff. COVID HEROES Our employees and contracted medical staff are truly COVID heroes. They have kept up with all the changes and despite the challenges and risks, they continue working hard to serve those in our care.

J David Miller

The SoCal Coyotes Founder and CEO

Making A Difference It’s easier said than done: “Building Champions, Building Men.” But at The SoCal Coyotes we do it – we’ve done it — through nearly 10 years of nonprofit sports ministry, starting in 2011. What began as: ‘Faith, Family, Football’ has become a multi-generational service organization that truly impacts youth in need. COVID HEROES So many ways to give strength, to give hope. As Strength Coach and Athletic Director of the SoCal Coyotes, Pastor Robert L. Cummings Sr. has gone to the limits for young men and families during the virus-crises, tending to those who face problems with family, addiction, at-risk youth, bereavement, and beyond. He makes us all stronger!

Making A Difference The USO is honored to provide services bringing Family, Home, and Country to the National Guard that has served here in the Coachella Valley for COVID response. Additionally, as Marines stationed at 29 Palms have been quarantined pre and post deployment, we’ve supplied them with recreation, food, and toiletry items. COVID HEROES The National Guard – they have stepped in to fill the needs of our community whether it’s standing in the blistering heat while wearing full body PPE to take test samples, or to provide the warehouse and delivery support to the local food bank.

Allen Monroe

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens President / CEO COVID HEROES We had a difficult and unique challenge during our pandemic closure. We could not just turn off the lights and lock the doors due to our commitment for the welfare of our animals at a fixed-cost of $22,000 per day. We reached out to the community for assistance and were awestruck by the outpouring of support. The stories of how The Living Desert had touched so many lives were humbling. One donor apologized for the small size of his donation, saying he had just been laid off, but he wanted to help support the animals. That’s Coachella Valley Strong.

Glenn A. Miller City of Indio Councilmember

Making A Difference Working daily with so many others to provide 20,000 meals to those in need; to provide hot meals to our California National Guard working at FIND Food Bank. Together we will make a difference.!. COVID HEROES So many unnamed HEROES from our front line workers, public safety and military who work daily to protect us. A special thank you to 29 Palms Band of Missions Indians and Chairman Darrell Mike for providing three new homes for the families that lost everything they owned in a devastating fire in Indio!

Greg Murphy

DAP Health Resource Development Manager Making A Difference Acts of kindness, compassion for others, working toward the greater good, supporting nonprofits, volunteering, voting, purchasing a low or no emission vehicle, recycling and mask-wearing during a pandemic are ways that each of us can make a difference. COVID HEROES Frontline workers and essential workers, particularly those in the healthcare industry, are the rock stars of the COVID era along with organizations supporting or providing critical services for those most in need. We can be heroes, for more than just one day, by aiding their efforts with responsible mask-wearing until safe to do otherwise when a vaccine is available and widely distributed.

Dr. Timothy Jochen “I believe in the flow of giving. The more you give, the more you receive because there’s satisfaction and joy in giving.” Dr. Timothy Jochen is as passionate about helping his community as he is in helping people look and feel better through his work as a board-certified dermatologist and talented cosmetic surgeon at Contour Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center. The practice he founded in 2001 will celebrate its 20-year milestone this year. From one office in Palm Springs to three Coachella Valley locations, as the practice increased, so did his community involvement and contribution. Dr. Jochen has been recognized for both his professional work and philanthropy. Professional honors include being voted a Castle Connolly Top Doctor seven years in a row as published in Palm Springs Life, voted a Palm Springs Life Best of the Best Beauty + Body Care and voted a Best of the Desert Dermatologist and Cosmetic Surgeon. Sharing his knowledge as an Associate Professor of Dermatology at USC in Los Angeles, he’s also been voted teacher of the year there several times. For philanthropic contributions, Dr. Jochen and Lee Erwin, Executive Director of Contour Dermatology, have been honored with the 2017 Jeannette Rockefeller Humanitarian Award, the Mizell Center’s 2019 Community Impact Award, the 2020 JFS Desert Humanitarian Award and as honorees of the 2020 Inland Empire Ronald McDonald House “A Few Good Men.” The accolades are humbling; more than anything, they want to spotlight the charities they support and to inspire others to give back. Covering nearly every facet of the community, they have supported more than 60 local non-profits, including health-related organizations, women’s charities, programs for children, seniors, animals, food and homeless shelters and the arts. Timothy Jochen, MD Medical Director, Founder Contour Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta (760) 423-4000

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Tim Evans The Unforgettables Foundation founder, Tim Evans, MDiv, CFRE is also the founder of the Desert Communities Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and it’s 1st President who initiated the National Philanthropy Day Annual Luncheon – now considered one of AFP’s International Top 5 in the world. He has been a CFRE for 15 years. Evans, formerly first and founding Chaplain of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital for nearly 15 years, is the only charity executive to be named both the Outstanding Professional of the Year for the Desert Communities and the Inland Empire Chapters of AFP, serving on both Boards.

Jack Newby

Jack C. Nixon

Richard Oliphant

Making A Difference With the COVID crises, my focus remains on The Joslyn Center mission to reduce isolation and loneliness among local seniors while providing essential nutritional and counseling services. Our Meals on Wheels and nutrition programs are growing. Wellness Center counseling/educational programs continue along with over 35 virtual programs weekly for our members.

Making A Difference Everyone has the choice to make a difference each day! “Returning goodness back to our community is vital for the success of our future generations.” I have joined my wife on the journey of bringing as many smiles as we can to children at Loma Linda University Children’s Health. As a cancer survivor I know the importance of good health care and we are blessed to have this type of care for our children in our own backyard. Choose the gift of helping other people in need, it is truly the biggest gift you will ever have the opportunity to provide.

Making A Difference I am Chairman of the Board of the California State University Philanthropy board. We are making sure students are able to continue their education during the pandemic. We provide direction and funds to make their access to education possible.

Nate Otto

Michael Phipps-Russell

COVID HEROES Directly after the Northridge Earthquake you saw Angelenos ban together and become a community. I am proud to say that in the Coachella Valley we already had community. I have witnessed people go to work scared, co-workers care for their sick loved ones and family fear the worst case. I have seen people give when their businesses are closed. Go to work when they aren’t getting paid and support each other in any way possible. To the teachers, first responders, medical professionals and all our neighbors doing or giving what they can. Thank you, you are my COVID heroes.

Making A Difference We are working to supply animal food to our local food pantries. We are also safely adopting animals and accepting animals from the community.

The Joslyn Center Executive Director

COVID HEROES In this crisis, my heroes are The Joslyn Center team. Our board and staff remain focused on our mission. We continue to offer essential services, raise vital funds, and provide original virtual programming in unprecedented times. Our generous donors who support our mission are true heroes in their own right.

Big Hearts for Little Hearts Desert Guild - Life Member

Oliphant Enterprises, LLC President

COVID HEROES I am the Chairman of the Board of the Desert Community Foundation. We manage funds for individuals, country clubs and foundations. We provide scholarships to needy students. This year we provided over $1,600,000 in student scholarships. We also funded several needy charities. A lot of our funding assisted organizations who were directly impacted by the shutdowns.

The British immigrant, now a U.S. citizen, has received other honors like the Ramos Family Honor Compassion Award and the Black Culture Foundation Humanitarian of the Year. TUF is a volunteer-driven mission. “Its an honor to be a blessing to the families in crisis as the leader of a wonderful volunteer team here in the desert.” Evans also started the Annual Children & Families in Crisis Conference with California State University, San Bernardino – Palm Desert Campus, President Morales and the Auen Foundation’s, Catherine Reed, seven years ago to share safeguards and strategies for preventing childhood death, and has teamed with the Grana family on the all-female track day called Femmewalla at the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. The Unforgettables, a 501 (c)(3), has 7 chapters/expansions in the U.S. and Canada, including the Desert Committee. Tim Evans, MDiv, CFRE The Unforgettables Foundation 345 West Pearl Avenue, Suite 230 Redlands, CA 92374 Tel: 909-335-1600

Paul D. Olson

OneFuture Coachella Valley Director of Development Making A Difference At OneFuture, we have doubled down to ensure our students stay on track and get the support they need to get through the pandemic. We want to ensure they stay in college so they graduate on time and land meaningful, good paying jobs. Our youth are our future! COVID HEROES Families of the Coachella Valley are my heroes. Every day I hear stories about how our students, their siblings, and parents navigate working and studying from home, often with spotty internet and shared technology. I believe they are the true heroes as they find ways for their families to succeed.

Hot Purple Energy President

Loving All Animals Executive Director

COVID HEROES The entire community is our hero. Our hero has demonstrated tremendous empathy and support across every sector of our community.

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Ivan Price

Ivan Price Associates Owner/President Making A Difference I learned “Making a Difference” at the age of six at the YMCA by selling bars of soap so we could go to camp. In high school, my YMCA mentor died putting a fire out at camp. I pledged to “take-his-place” to make a difference and graduated from Salem College, Salem, WV, and a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP). I am sharing the difference I have made with the 101+ nonprofits served as outlined in my new book… “The Best Stories Always End with… THANKS! Giving My Life and Personal Dedication to Nonprofit Organizations while Raising Millions toward their Missions.

Greg Purdy

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Vice President of Marketing & Public Affairs COVID HEROES While bold gestures often get the most attention, sometimes I think a life is actually defined by the accumulation of small ones. Did you acknowledge the man or woman living on the street when you walked by them? Did you help the elderly person ahead of you at the ATM who was obviously having trouble? Did you thank your healthcare worker who is doing ‘heroes work’ during this pandemic? Did you return your shopping cart at the grocery store? (A personal peeve!) While I’m not ‘batting 1,000’, as I get older, I’m certainly trying to become more conscious of this.

Dr. Rolland Regnery Animal Samaritans Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

Making A Difference Doctor Regnery’s compassion and commitment to ease the suffering and discomfort of our beloved pets is evident in his work at Animal Samaritans. He has practiced veterinary medicine for more than forty years and specializes in pet dentistry and surgeries, specifically oral surgeries. COVID HEROES Throughout the COVID 19 pandemic, Dr. Regnery has continued to provide vital care to sick, injured and suffering dogs and cats who need his expertise. Dr. Regnery recognizes his capable staff of veterinary technicians who support him.

Matthew List As President of Desert Cornerstone Insurance, Matt began his insurance career over 30 years ago, and after several years in the industry, he went on to open Desert Cornerstone Insurance Service, Inc. located in Indio, CA. He graduated from University of Redlands with a Business Management degree. Currently, Matt serves on the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission board, is Co-Chair of Health to Hope which provides medical care to the vulnerable population in the Coachella Valley, and serves on the board for the Coachella Valley Community Trust which serves the East Valley youth. Matt’s firm has grown to become the agency for local non-profits in the Coachella Valley and across California. His knowledge of understanding of the challenges and guidelines non-profits must comply and adhere to, in order to protect their entity from possible lawsuits and damages is key for his clients. Desert Cornerstone Insurance writes Directors and Officers Coverage, General Liability, Workers Compensation, Employment Practices Liability, Bonds, Commercial Auto, and Property Insurance just to name a few. He and his wife Gloria have been married for 30 years and have lived in the Coachella Valley since 2003.

David A. Renker

Willie Rhine

Making A Difference As a proud member of the Eisenhower Health family I am both honored and grateful to work with so many outstanding colleagues caring for our community through this crisis. Our font line health care workers who risk their lives to take care of others are the true great heroes of this time and this country. I am humbled and grateful to work with all of them and their hard work, dedication and kindness are inspiring!

Making A Difference Together we can make a difference. BE NICE, often!

Eisenhower Health Director Ambulatory Services and Special Programs

COVID HEROES Our healthcare workers and our local teachers who have all made big adjustments to keep us safe and to take care of other people. We are blessed to have them.

EIGHT4NINE Restaurant & Lounge Co-owner

COVID HEROES Love and respect for all the health care professionals and workers on the frontline, especially my friends at Eisenhower Health who have worked day and night to keep people safe and save lives. THANK YOU, STAY STRONG, STAY WELL.

Michael Rosenkrantz Palms to Pines Parasports Board President

Making A Difference Along with a number of other people we established Palms to Pines Parasports, serving people with disability throughout Riverside County and have been partnering with the Desert Recreation District and other organizations to offer online and in person programs. COVID HEROES My heroes are the persons of all abilities who continue to live life to the fullest-Jerry, Michael, Will, Ali, Jessica, Bryan, Cynthia, Carly, Mathew, Tom, Zach, Charlie, Damian, Tory, Sabrina, David, Zoe, Ashlyn, Gracie, Joaquin, Amelia, Akheem, Pete. Everyday this list grows enabling me to continue focusing on others.

Matt’s passion for non-profits started out as a young child during the time his father was a Pastor of a local church. His parents had imparted to the family to serve those in need and was often demonstrated during the many hours they served together within the community and local outreaches. Matt often recalls his father’s compassion for others while serving and recollects his father’s words, “You never know son, when you may need help one day.” As a cancer survivor, Matt understands that time is a gift and each day is valued when sharing life with other’s within his community and aboard. Matthew J. List President Desert Cornerstone Insurance Service, Inc. 81-713 Highway 111 Suite E Indio, CA 92201 (760) 347-7723

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Richard Oliphant I came to the Coachella Valley in July 1962 to develop and construct California’s first retirement community, Palm City. I was Vice President of Palomar Mortgage in charge of all development and construction. Every day we would have to clean the sand off our work as we were located on Washington Street in the middle of the blow sand. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first- time snow fence was used in the desert. I was appointed to the Indian Wells Planning Commission in 1974. I joined the City Council in 1976 and served until 1982 when I became Vice Mayor. I was elected Mayor in 1984 and served until 1992. I took a City on the brink of bankruptcy to the 2nd wealthiest City in California. During my time in office and since I have been involved with local charities. I was the Founder of the Desert Resort Convention and Visitor Bureau and later Founder of the Greater Palm Spring CVB. I was Vice Chair of Sunline when we converted to all CNG busses. In 1962 I formed the Bermuda Dunes Fire Department. We had a lot of medical aid calls, so we volunteers, bought an ambulance. Four of us, volunteers went to UCLA to receive EMT training. In the late 1970’s I became the first Fire Chief for Indian Wells. I was the Founding Chairman of the Cove Community Public Service Commission providing Firemen, paramedics, policemen, serving the senior population and the Children Discovery Museum in Indian Wells, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage. Altogether, I spent 30 years as a volunteer fireman. I am the Founding Chair of the Desert Community Foundation; I am Chairman of the Cal State PD Board of Philanthropy. I am a Founding member of CVEP. I am a long-time member of the Board of Directors at the Palm Spring Air Museum.

Robert Schein Hightower Advisors President

Making A Difference In 2011, I founded the Society of Financially Empowered Women (the SoFEW)— a nonprofit designed to promote financial wellness among women—when I saw firsthand through my family how the financial world has failed to properly educate women in their financial lives. As COVID-19 has continued to damage the personal finances of millions of Americans, our team at the SoFEW felt our mission was needed now more than ever. In January 2021, we are hosting our virtual Confidence: Women + Wealth + Wellness (CW3) Summit for women in the Coachella Valley to empower through financial education and self-care.

Scott Schroeder

Boo2Bullying and First Tee–Coachella Valley Volunteer Making A Difference COPING WITH COVID has been the central focus of my volunteer involvement with Boo2Bullying since March 2020. Under the leadership of Dimitri Halkidis, B2B quickly and successfully shifted its focus from in-school assemblies to online programs and outreach via social media for the duration of the pandemic. COVID HEROES First Tee – Coachella Valley had to cancel its signature annual golf tournament fundraiser in 2020 and, amazingly, not one player or sponsor requested a refund! Those generous individuals and businesses are my COVID Heroes, along with the unprecedented number of donors to Boo2Bullying’s first-ever Annual Giving appeal.

Dr. Steven Sherman Mike Singer Palm Valley School Head of School

Making A Difference Making A Difference: With 36 years of experience in education, I never could’ve anticipated my first month as Head of School at Palm Valley School would be spent diligently working to safely reopen our campus to welcome students of all ages. I owed it to our students to find a sustainable solution to education that met each family’s needs this year. Witnessing our Preschool-12th grade students return to in-person learning in September, filled me with so much joy and gratitude. With zero COVID cases to report this school year, the dedication of the faculty, students and families have made all the difference.

CSUSB Palm Desert Campus Public Affairs/ Communication Specialist Making A Difference I am proud to work at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, where I know we are making a positive impact on our students’ lives on a daily basis, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Something I am doing to make a positive impact during this time is highlighting the great work our nursing students are doing out in the community, where they provide much-needed healthcare services, including administering flu shots and assisting with COVID testing, through our Street Medicine program. I am grateful to be able to showcase their good work through my job at the university.

Dr. Jay Seller

Neuro Vitality Center Executive Director Making A Difference Dr. Jay Seller, making a difference at the Neuro Vitality Center (NVC). Dr. Jay believes with compassion and understanding one can make a difference in the life of another human being. Dr. Seller is thrilled to be in the Valley, building this program and addressing the community’s needs. COVID HEROES Under his leadership, NVC provides opportunities for those isolated during COVID-19. Vulnerable members of our community are facing isolation and depression sheltering in place. NVC virtually reaches out to these individuals, keeping at-risk individuals receiving support and services. NVC provides activities, medicine management, speech pathologist, medical check-ins, exercise classes, and counseling.

Richard Smith

Independent Living Partnership/TRIP Program CEO Making A Difference 83% of the non-profit TRIP Program’s elderly and disabled riders have continued to receive volunteer driver assisted rides during the Pandemic months. This level of continuing service by TRIP volunteer drivers is remarkable. COVID HEROES The Volunteer Drivers of ILP’s special TRIP transportation service are our HEROES. TRIP is unique because of the closeness of the bonds that have persisted between TRIP clients and the caregivers, friends and neighbors who have volunteered to drive for them.

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Joe S. Staley

Inland Empire Community Foundation Charitable Giving Officer Making A Difference The Inland Empire Community Foundation has administered more than 12 million dollars in grants to hundreds of nonprofits since the beginning of the pandemic. We will continue to support, serve and lift up organizations throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties until the crisis is over and beyond. IECF recently was called upon to manage the Inland Empire Black Equity Fund. Seeded with investments from IECF and The California Endowment, the fund will be used to advance the mission of Black-led and empowering organizations through core support, program and project support and capacity building.

Will Sturgeon

Darrell L. Tucci

DAP Health Chief Development Officer

Josh N. Zahid

Making A Difference AMP has been able to translate our “school of rock” programs to an online outlet with our Fall “Modern Musician” recording program, so that our young musicians can still create, communicate, and collaborate together remotely! AMP also offers accessible virtual Private Lessons at an affordable rate, getting young (and old!) musicians started on their musical journey. Finally, AMP now offers Instrument Loans, for those students without access to the instruments they want to play. We’re proud that we’ve been able to pivot to keep building bankable and 21st Century skills in the young musicians of the Coachella Valley.

Making A Difference During COVID, my goal has been to lift up those hurting most by increasing my giving to frontline organizations like Martha’s Village, FIND Foodbank and Desert AIDS Project, while also providing direct relief where possible to GoFundMe pages for restaurant employees, assisting friends with car payments, rent & utility bills.

Josh Zahid is a familiar face, not only in the Inland Empire but also in the Coachella Valley. His tenure with Loma Linda University Health began in 1998 when he started as a volunteer and soon moved to a full-time position at Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center. There, he dedicated his young professional career to serving adolescents and their families who struggled with mental health and substance abuse. Josh joined Children’s Hospital Foundation in August of 2013 to support and manage four independent volunteer groups with more than 450 annual members. He leads more than forty-eight events over the course of nine months.

Academy of Musical Performance Executive Director

COVID HEROES This community is full of hundreds of people working in medicine, grocery stores and restaurants. People who made masks and gowns and who have purchased and donated food. Everyday people have put their wellbeing on the line for the greater good. I’m eternally grateful for every one of these people.

Josh is recognized for his leadership, excellence and kindness as implementing best practices for signature events, retention rate with volunteers and patient diversionary activities. Josh was an instrumental factor with the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital – Health, Jill and Barry Golden Pavilion that opened in March 2011 to provide a medical home for the children of the Coachella Valley.

Bradley K. Ward Lucidity Coaching, LLC Owner

Making A Difference At the beginning of the stay-at-home orders, I partnered with Center for Nonprofit Advancement to offer a forum for nonprofit leaders to talk openly about the challenges of the pandemic. This closed group continues to meet and discuss the realities of delivering their mission through crisis. COVID HEROES I honor the unsung sheroes and heroes whose essential work includes: stocking store shelves, scanning barcodes, harvesting produce, transporting goods, receiving the public, cooking and serving meals, delivering purchases, tracking packages, responding to emergencies, and much, much more. They risk their health, daily, to keep our economy alive.

Sean Webb

Desert Sands Educational Foundation Director Making A Difference Since March 13, 2020, I have produced more than 200 live social media posts for Desert Sands Unified School District. The primary focus is to highlight DSUSD community events, happenings, and provide real time information for our families and staff during these uncertain times. COVID HEROES Mark Tadros, local farmer, saw two needs, students need to have fresh local produce and his employees, parents of students, need to stay employed; he adjusted his business to fit the needs. DSUSD and many other Southern California school districts now receive fresh produce from the Coachella Valley due to Mark.

Webb Weiman My Jump Executive Director

Making A Difference Since the pandemic, we pivoted and connected low-income seniors across the country via Zoom, brought in therapy dogs to lift their spirits, and even took a senior skydiving in Finger Lakes, NY. On Dec 5, we will host a Virtual Wine Tasting & Pie Auction to help continue our mission. COVID HEROES My Covid Hero is my wife Kimberly Lee, an Estate Planning Attorney who provided Essential Estate Planning tools for Free to all First Responders here in the Valley. This included a Durable Power of Attorney, HIPAA Medical Authorization and Advance Health Care Directive. The response was overwhelming and she was able to help those who protect us during the pandemic.

Josh also served a two-year term as Vice President of Education & Programs for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Desert Communities Chapter and now serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Chair. He will serve as the National Philanthropy Day 2021 Chair scheduled for November 5, 2021. Josh N. Zahid Guilds Manager and Special Initiatives, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation 11175 Mountain View Avenue, Suite B Loma Linda, California 92354 (909) 226-1085 cell/text

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Greg Wetmore UCPIE President/CEO

Making A Difference Quickly responding to the pandemic, UCPIE shut down for three weeks regardless of economic impact. Our staff immediately created ways to keep our families safe but still connected; from setting up virtual programming, a PPE distribution, drive-up events, UCPIE has managed to create many silver linings during this time. COVID HEROES Our UCPIE COVID Heroes are our UCPIE special needs families who even through a pandemic continue to be resilient, active and always manage to have a bright happy smile, a heart full of gratitude and a love and enthusiasm for life! They inspire me every day!

Joel Wyatt

Think Together Chief Development Officer Making A Difference Before the pandemic, 2 million California children were performing below grade level in school; given the lack of digital access, the learning loss hits the children we serve the hardest. Think Together has been addressing issues around equity and access for over 25 years, and our kids need us now more than ever. COVID HEROES Our heroes are the parents. We are proud of our partnership with schools to change the odds for kids. Our Think Together families are low income, often live in multi-generational homes and are among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Facing these challenges, they are heroes every single day.

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Robert Winn

Scott Wolf

Kevin Wong

Making A Difference For over sixty years, the Southern California Railway Museum (SCRM) has provided a place for families and rail fans to experience the West’s largest railroad museum. Throughout this pandemic, SCRM has seen the importance of remaining open for our audience and community, providing a safe way to be together.

Making A Difference Every day I see people who are in different stages of rebuilding their lives, having been broken, shattered, needing help when they have been at their most vulnerable. To be a part of the process that assists them in achieving victories, both private and public is the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my professional life. It is a privilege to be part of a team that saves lives one life at a time.

Making A Difference “Dedicate yourself to what gives your life meaning and purpose. A sense of meaning and purpose gives us the inexhaustible drive and offers waypoints to follow along our course. It informs us of what we wish to attend to in life, and what we need to walk away from because it doesn’t support our higher purpose.”

COVID HEROES Southern California Railway Museum (SCRM) volunteers are my COVID Heroes. SCRM is a small-staffed institution and can only operate with our dedicated volunteer core. Their commitment during this difficult time has been truly inspiring and has allowed us to remain open.

COVID HEROES True COVID heroes are the people who put themselves into harm’s way to ensure the health and safety of others with nothing but serving others in mind. Front line workers show compassion for others while doing the most dangerous of jobs and at the end of the day ask for nothing in return.

COVID HEROES “All of the frontline medical staff to include doctors, nurses and the EMTs across the country who have shown courage and selflessness in the face of the pandemic. Also, I recognize Dr. Anthony Fauci who has stood up for science and truth against the tide of disinformation.”

Dr. Jonathan Lorenzo Yorba

Josh N. Zahid

Jake Zhu

Southern California Railway Museum Chief Operating Officer/ General Manager

Ford Foundation Fellows Fund Chair and CFO COVID HEROES I hold CFRE and CSPG professional designations. At times in my career I lived through global crises. Today we live in a new surreality. My Covid “Shero” is an unsung heroine who makes a difference every hour, minute—every second. For in an especially chilling time as the Covid-19 pandemic, seconds with a loved one are more precious than gold. Thus, not a day goes by without Linda Barrack, President and CEO of Martha’s Village and Kitchen, doing all she can to help the homeless and others less fortunate secure food, shelter, and a path to success. True leadership, indeed.

Coachella Valley Rescue Mission Development Director

Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation Guilds Manager Making A Difference Make an IMPACT by treating everyone with respect and kindness. Remember a SMILE can make a difference! Together we can change many lives especially during this pandemic through simple acts of kindness. That’s why our work, time, and dedication to serving our local non-profits is essential in helping those around us. Be the CHANGE and support local businesses and non-profits as often as you can. COVID HEROES My COVID heroes are the first responders, nurses, and doctors who don’t wear capes but instead wear masks. These heroes continue to jeopardize their own lives each day on our behalf. Thank you!

Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park Director

CSUSB Palm Desert Campus Dean Making A Difference PDC staff, faculty and students continue to make a positive difference in our community during the pandemic. Our nursing students are reaching out to the community and delivering much-needed healthcare services to those in need, and with the help of our donors, PDC’s “Bridging the Gap” funding program has helped nearly 50 students stay on course with their education. COVID HEROES PDC faculty and staff are providing uninterrupted academic delivery and student services virtually. Students are adjusting successfully to a new, remote learning modality and community leaders have stepped forward with donations and mentorship.

THANK YOU TO ALL THE EVERYDAY HEROES, We are eternally grateful for your sacrifices during this time or uncertainty. It’s our honor and privilege to share the stories of hope from our partners throughout our community who have been making a difference during the COVID-19 Crisis. Thank You for keeping the shelves stocked. Thank You for being there for our health needs. Thank You for delivering our mail. Thank You for serving and protecting our community. Thank You for taking care of our loved ones. Thank You for keeping us safe. Thank You for making sure we have food to eat. Thank You for providing access to essential items. Thank You for being a good neighbor. From our family here at Desert Charities News, we are grateful to be your neighbors, and will continue to take pride and joy in telling your stories.

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Compassion in action. Every eight minutes, someone affected by a disaster is helped by the American Red Cross. Donations enable the Red Cross workforce – 90 percent volunteers – to help millions of people in the U.S., including many people in the Coachella Valley and Morongo Basin area. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Red Cross delivers vital services to help communities prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. Whether it’s a warm blanket, a hot meal or a shoulder to lean on, Red Cross volunteers are always ready to provide hope to those in need.

In 2020, Red Cross volunteers delivered help to thousands impacted by large-scale disasters. In fact, facing a relentless disaster season, families in the U.S. spent more nights in emergency lodging in 2020 than in any other year over the past decade. More than 1 million times in 2020, a person relied on the Red Cross for a safe place to sleep after back-to-back hurricanes, record-breaking wildfires and other disasters. That’s more than four times the annual average from 2011 to 2019. While many know the Red Cross for its large-scale disaster relief efforts during wildfires, hurricanes and other disasters, the most common Red Cross response is home fires. Locally, Red Cross volunteers help hundreds of people every year who are affected by home fires in the Coachella Valley. Thanks to the generosity of donors and the power of volunteers, the Red Cross provides for the immediate needs of home fire survivors. Needs like food, clothing, emergency lodging assistance, recovery support and more. Compassion in action. It’s what the Red Cross does, and it goes beyond disaster relief. Every day the Red Cross provides vital blood products to hospital patients in need. Through Service to the Armed Forces, the Red Cross proudly provides programs and 24/7 emergency communications to service members, veterans and their families. Through the Red Cross, thousands of people each year are equipped with lifesaving skills training, like CPR, first aid and AED training. As part of the world’s largest humanitarian network, Red Cross Red Crescent teams provide relief and hope in nearly every corner of the globe. The Red Cross empowers ordinary people to perform extraordinary acts in emergency situations, connecting donors and volunteers to those in urgent need of help. Whether it’s a wildfire or flood, a call for blood, a call for help after a devastating home fire, or a call from a service member or military family in need, the Red Cross is there. Support the American Red Cross by volunteering, making a donation, or taking steps to prepare your family for disasters. Visit for more information. Thanks to the support of donors and the dedication of volunteers, the Red Cross will continue to be there to lend a helping hand – down the street, across the country and around the world.

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Small Gifts CAN MAKE A

Big Impact $30

FEEDS A FAMILY OF 4 FOR 4 DAYS At Galilee Center, part of our mission is to fulfill the needs of the underprivileged and disadvantaged by providing food, clothing, and other basic needs. Every week, and during the Holidays, we hand out food baskets to families in need.

Due to the effects of Coronavirus, the need for food baskets and other emergency services has tripled.

Your $30 donation will help feed a family of four for 4 days.

Can you help us lift up those in need?

DONATE AT Or mail your donation to: PO.Box 308 • Mecca, CA 92254 Your donation is 100% deductible. ID# 27-3133601 • Ph. 760-396-9100

to Present $451,000 to Coachella Valley Non-Profits BIGHORN Golf Club Charities is distributing over $451,000 to 56 deserving Coachella Valley non-profit agencies through its 2020 BIGHORN Cares grants. BIGHORN Members are honored and proud to help many non-profits in the Coachella Valley, especially during these challenging times. This year, Charities Director Kelly Levy presented the awarded organizations with their donation and had the opportunity to thank the volunteers and board members. “Seeing firsthand the ramifications the pandemic has had on the community has been eye-opening; with the continued gifting from BIGHORN members, we have been able to make a significant and positive influence on the Coachella Valley during this unprecedented time.” Continued on page 49

Congratulations! 2020 RECIPIENTS:

AIDS Assistance Program, Inc. Alianza Coachella Valley Alzheimer’s Coachella Valley American Outreach Foundation American Red Cross Angel View, Inc. Apostolic Church Of Indio Food Pantry Assistance League of Palm Springs Desert Area Boys & Girls Club of Cathedral City Boys & Girls Club of Coachella Valley Braille Institute Rancho Mirage California Care Force Coachella Valley Autism Society Coachella Valley Mounted Rangers-Coachella Valley Horse Rescue Coachella Valley Rescue Mission Coachella Valley Visually Impaired Community Service Cove Communities Senior Association-The Joslyn Center Desert Ability Center Desert AIDS Project Desert Arc Desert Blind and Handicapped Family Services Of The DesertFIND Food Bank Full Of Grace Community Galilee Center Habitat For Humanity Of The Coachella Valley Hanson House Foundation Inc. HARC, Inc-Health Assessment and Research for Communities HEARTbeat at 22Mama’s House

Heart2Heart Foundation Hidden Harvest Integrated Learning Institute Los Medicos VoladoresThe Flying Doctors Martha’s Village & Kitchen Mission Veteran Mizell Senior Center of Palm Springs Olive Crest OneFuture Coachella Valley Operation SafeHouse Of The Desert Parkinson’s Resource Organization Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Read With Me Volunteer Programs Safe Alternatives For Everyone Shay’s Warriors Stan & Bobbie Gold RiteCare Childhood Language Center of Coachella Valley St. Elizabeth Of Hungary Food Pantry United Service Organizations, Inc-Bob Hope USO United Way Of The Desert Variety-The Children’s Charity of the Desert Well In The Desert The Literacy Project The Salvation Army Cathedral City Corps The Unforgettables Foundation United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire Voices For Children YFC Grieving Teens

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A Series of Education Videos, Live Virtual Performances and Providing Instruments To Children Keeps Steinway Society Tuned-In By Pamela Bieri

The Steinway Society of Riverside County (SSRC) is tuned in with the many technological changes taking place, and adapting its programs to “bring music to children.” Starting in January, all three local school districts will be able to bring Steinway Society’s six Mr. McSymphony music appreciation programs via videos to grades K-sixth. “Since May, SSRC has adapted to the COVID-19 regulations, providing all our programs remotely,” said SSRC Founder Ruth Moir. “The in-class programs will be available to all three Coachella Valley school districts through on our website, Schools will be given a link to choose the grade level they want and show the video to their classes. The videos will be available at no charge. Also in early 2021, Steinway is reconnecting with Eisenhower Memory Care Center to provide live virtual jazz, pop and classical music concerts to its members. The organization had provided its live “Music is Wellness” programs at the center for several years, until COVID restrictions caused the center to suspend its in-person day care programs. “Our first virtual concert will be the Larry Holloway three-piece jazz band,” said Moir. “We are thrilled to offer music to Eisenhower patients and their families once again. The Coeta Barker Foundation funds this important program.” Meanwhile, SSRC has also joined forces with the Academy of Musical Performance (Amp Camp) and the Marquee Academy to get Coachella Valley music students back on their instruments and with instructors. “We are all keenly aware that distance learning is not very effective longterm in teaching music and performance arts, especially to youngsters who are first-time on a musical instrument,” said Moir. “With after school programs (ASIS) -- which formerly had been times for piano and ukulele labs -- suspended until February 2021, we were looking for ways to continue programs with safe, in-class instruction.” Matthew Naylor of Marquee Academy, Will Sturgeon of AmpCamp, and music instructor Jeanie Cunningham of SSRC and Amp Camp, have shared resources to make efficient use of time and space for classroom instruction and performances. SSRC has donated ukuleles and guitars for hands-on music instruction. While the three nonprofit entities operate independently of one another, each have similar missions in providing music and performance arts learning opportunities to local children. SSRC has been invested in musical arts education since founding in 2002. Today it has a menu of musical experiences, musical education and instrumental instruction programs serving thousands of children and young adults each year in the Coachella Valley. Now, with music education videos in schools, instruments on which to learn and practice, and live virtual concerts for our seniors, Steinway is tuned up and ready to perform in 2021.

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New ‘Stepping Up for College of the Desert’ Campaign Seeks to Build Specialized Support The fundraising effort focuses on four main programs that shape student success.

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For the new year, the College of the Desert Foundation launched Stepping Up for College of the Desert, a campaign designed to build support for programs that provide emergency aid to students, career training, free tuition for the region’s high school graduates, and more. The fundraising effort, which debuted January 1, 2021, set a $2 million goal for four critical programs and services identified by the Foundation Board of Directors and Executive Director Catherine Abbott as the most pressing. The four funding pillars include the Student Emergency Fund, Workforce Development, the Fund for Student Success and the plEDGE program. In addition, the foundation of this fundraising effort includes Funding the Future, legacy gifts made by College of the Desert’s Legacy Leaders. “Stepping Up for College of the Desert makes it easy for donors to pinpoint and sponsor the funding areas they are most passionate about,” Abbott said. “Because of their generous gifts, the Foundation has been able to be exceptionally responsive to the needs of students confronted with job losses and other financial issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Stepping Up campaign will help raise the revenue the Foundation needs to continue supporting College of the Students educational goals.”

THE FIRST STEP in the campaign, the Student Emergency Fund, provided $200,000 in urgent, pandemic-related financial aid for basic living expenses in 2020. The Fund helped students with groceries, rent, utilities, gas and other urgent needs that might otherwise have caused them to drop out of school. The Student Emergency Fund is supported primarily by President’s Circle members and employee payroll deductions.

THE SECOND STEP is funding for the College’s Workforce

Development program, which provides training, degrees and certificates in a variety of fields, from architecture to nursing. Part of the fund will cover specialized equipment for planned new facilities at the College’s Palm Springs and Indio campuses.

THE THIRD PILLAR, the Fund for Student Success, provides the Foundation the opportunity to respond to urgent needs on campus. For example, after the 2020 graduation ceremony was canceled due to the pandemic, the Foundation purchased regalia for graduating students to provide a sense of normalcy. The Fund is supported through annual giving packages meant to leverage all Foundation events and College programs giving donors the opportunity to make an annual investment. THE FOURTH PILLAR, and largest funding need, is plEDGE, the College’s award-winning program that provides two years’ free tuition for Coachella Valley high school graduates. PlEDGE has accomplished its goal of increasing the area’s college-going rates, with 6,000 students completing the program since 2017 and many of them going on to four-year universities. Participants in plEDGE are also required to enroll in EDGE, a summer bridge program to boost math and English skills, which allows them to stay on track for completion in two years. The program is funded through foundation partners, donors and the Alumni Association. “College of the Desert is fortunate to have such a solid base of supporters who are committed to improving the future for residents of the Coachella Valley through education,” said Bill Chunowitz, President of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “We look forward to a successful campaign with Stepping Up for College of the Desert!” More information about the program is available online at

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Desert Charities News – •

Events in Motion

Politics and economics aside, we really are all in this together, when it comes to our social outlets. Not being able to freely attend a concert, museum, or gala has made us appreciate them all the more. For those of us that work in the events field, we’ve had a heck of a ride too. But we can’t get down, we have to remain positive and take our victories (even small ones) where we can get them. This is what we at AVSU do…and it is what we continue to do…every day, every hour, every minute. In this great uncertainty where our most treasured get-togethers are rescheduled or altered, we find ways to problem solve. In November, the weather turned nice and we finally got to do some outside events. We were as delighted as the attendees to see real human beings dressed up, finding purpose to chat about everything and nothing, in the fresh air. As the holidays hit and we had to deal with more restrictions, we were bolstered by who we are as a social species. We crave interaction, whether it’s in an online ZOOM fundraiser or spread out under the stars at a drive-thru. Sadly, some annual events have cancelled altogether, but others are hopeful their programs can go forward or be fitted to our new normal. Whether it’s a relaxed outdoor in-person gathering or done through technology, we’re able to be in different locations, build a backdrop for speakers, help them with teleprompter, run presentation content, all while live-streaming to a free or paid branded web address. Where we want to be, possibilities are endless. The days when we’ll roam through a hotel ballroom, rub elbows in a theatre, sit on the sidelines at our favorite desert sporting event, or attend an in-person fundraising gala are getting closer. We’ll enjoy each other’s company again without the overwhelming fear of another lockdown. Until then, AVSU remains ready to collaborate with our clients on how to create small, socially distanced events, or flexible hybrid/virtual interactions. For more information on AVSU, find us at

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Desert Charities News – •

January/February/March 2021

(left to right) Richard Balocco, President/CEO of Desert Arc, Event Chair & Board Member Nancy Singer, Jay Chesterton, Vice President of Hotel and Food & Beverage at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, and Brooke Beare, Event Emcee and Desert Arc Board Member. Photo Credit: Pat Krause.

11th Annual

Golf Classic Fundraiser Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Renowned Eagle Falls Golf Course At Fantasy Springs Resort Casino

Fisherman's M&G 4.625 X 6.375 090319.pdf 1 9/3/2019 9:26:09 AM









the many outstanding programs Desert Arc, established in 1959, offered by Desert Arc,” stated Nancy to provide vocational training and services to people with developmental Singer, Event Chair & Desert Arc Board Member. “Each and every year we and intellectual disabilities, has are grateful for the support of the announced plans for its 11th Annual community, as well as staff members, Golf Classic Fundraiser on Wednesday, as we continually strive to enhance April 7, 2021 at Eagle Falls Golf Course the lives of over 730 developmentally at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in disabled adults,” Singer continued. Indio, California. Entry fee to This event will participate is $ 375 per feature a BBQ Lunch, person, which includes a Shotgun Scramble Desert Arc a round of Golf, a Format, an Awards delicious Lunch and the Reception, as well Has Been Awards Reception. Golf as a Live Auction. Championing Foursomes are priced Renowned Architect at $1,250. Awards Clive Clark designed The Rights of Reception only tickets the par 72,6715 yard are $ 85 per person. Eagle Falls Golf Course People With Numerous sponsorship with challenging Developmental opportunities are water features, for the available starting enjoyment of all golfers and Intellectual at $ 200 for a Tee who participate. Disabilities for Sponsorship, all the Desert Arc Board way up to $ 10,000 for Member Nancy Singer Over 60 Years In a Presenting Sponsor. will serve as this year’s Our Valley Proceeds raised support Event Chair, along with the various Desert Arc Mistress of Ceremonies programs and services. Brooke Beare, Board “The Member and community’s Immediate Past participation in Chair of the Desert this important Arc Board. fundraiser for “It’s so terrific Desert Arc to continue the will have an legacy Desert Arc immediate and has created over profound impact the past 60 + years on the people we serve, ” stated Richard for developmentally disabled adults Balocco, President/CEO of Desert and their families in our community,” Arc. “Some of the players are new to stated Brooke Beare. “The services Desert Arc, and we are grateful for their and opportunities Desert Arc provides involvement and look forward to our are due to the generous contributions continued friendship. Many of the of the players and sponsors, who golfers are longtime friends and have participate annually in this fun golf played a significant role in our over 60tournament for a very good cause,” year history of making a difference in Beare continued. The event will commence with a BBQ the lives of people with disabilities. All in all, our donors’ belief and generous Lunch starting at 11:00 am, followed support of our mission means the by the Shotgun Scramble at 12:30 pm, concluding with the Awards Reception world to us!” Balocco continued. For additional information on Desert at 5:00 pm at Fantasy Springs Resort Arc and this significant fundraising Casino. event, please call 760-404-1368 or visit “It is my honor again to chair this year’s Golf Tournament to benefit

Desert Charities News – •

January/February/March 2021

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CVRM Remains Open During Uncertain Times Open letter from the Executive Director Dear Friends, First of all, I hope that this message finds you safe, happy and healthy! As of today, COVID has escalated throughout the world and our valley. Please know the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission has been and is open, and accepting new people in need (after testing COVID negative). We follow all CDC guidelines, are COVID tested, fever scanned, masked, sanitized and committed to serving people experiencing homelessness. CVRM is serving meals to all in need, every day. In-house program clients are served with social distancing in our cafeteria, in shifts. All outside people in need of meals come for to go boxes, which are available for breakfast, lunch, dinner. CVRM facilities are free of COVID, and we pray that continues. To ensure the safety of our guests and staff, we are actively working with the Riverside County Public Health Department, our city officials, and the Governor’s office on best practices for our shelters. I humbly ask you to remember us today. Coachella Valley Rescue Mission must continue serving men, women, and children with nowhere else to go. We are their safety net. As precautions for our staff, clients, and volunteers, we had to temporarily suspend all volunteer involvement. Staff is stretched thin, as are our resources. We need your help right now. Please pray protection over CVRM, and the precious clients we serve–many of whom have underlying health issues. We trust in God as our sustainer, provider, and healer. As a friend, I humbly ask that you consider to support us; to provide critical care and services our community relies on. Friends, I know this a scary, unsettling time, but together we will get through. Bless you,

Darla Burkett

Executive Director, Coachella Valley Rescue Mission










Live Hybrid Virtual



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Desert Charities News – •

January/February/March 2021

Photo from left to right: Board Chairperson Clara Levrault, Judy Vossler and Dr. Quinton Egson

By DeAnn Lubell


is a multi-media production company based out of Palm Desert. Co-Owners Wolf Mearns (Cinematographer) & Doug VanSant (Director) met in Philadelphia in 2010 while Wolf was attending University Of The Arts & Doug was attending Temple University. They formed Tracker Studios in January of 2020 and had to quickly pivot their creative focus in reaction to COVID-19. Tracker Studios has recently worked in partnership with several desert non-profit organizations such as Animal Samaritans, McCallum Theatre and The Living Desert to develop fun and exciting ways to hold events virtually that would have otherwise been completely canceled to due COVID-19. It has been their honor and pleasure to share the missions, visions, and values of these amazing organizations and to help raise vital funds and spark inspiration during these trying times. To learn more, visit or call 442.282.8669

With Your Support, We Continue to Serve and Grow Proud to welcome to our veterinary clinics in Thousand Palms and Indio Dr. Arthur F. Klomhaus, CMO, DVM Dr. Raquel Heskett, DVM Dr. Randall Ruble, DVM Appointments, Adoptions, Community Programs 760.343.3477 Capital Campaign Opportunities 760.601.5700 Planned Giving Opportunities 760.712.4795

Photo by Ray Mancilla

Judy Vossler

Awarded National Honor From The Boys and Girls Clubs of America Long time Coachella Valley resident, businesswoman, and humanitarian Judy Vossler was recently awarded the coveted National Bronze Medallion from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for nearly 30 years of exceptionally devoted and exemplary service as a member of the board of directors of the local Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley. Eligibility for the National Bronze Medallion requires that the recipient be an interested and active member of a Boys and Girls Club board of directors or an active member of an organization created specifically for the promotion and assistance of Boys and Girls Clubs. Evidence of such service may be demonstrated by faithful attendance at meetings; service on committees; leadership and effort in the development of programs and projects; efforts in raising funds; and efforts in interpreting and promoting the work of one’s affiliated Club or Clubs. Judy Vossler exemplifies the above and more. Not only has this amazing woman dedicated nearly three decades to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley she has also been a central figure in the business, civic, and social development of the Coachella Valley for 40 years. Vossler has served on the governing boards of The Ophelia Project, La Quinta Historical Society, Coachella Valley Cemetery District, Museum Associates Council for the Palm Springs Art Museum, Coachella Valley Economic Partnership, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation/Healthy Family Foundation, and the Desert Town Hall lecture series.

“Judy is a prime example of excellence of service that represents all of our board members,” said Dr. Quinton Egson, president and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley. “She epitomizes what a phenomenal board member is all about. Since 1992, Judy has dedicated time, energy and passion to our mission leading to the sustainability and growth of our organization. It is truly an honor to recognize her with this prestigious national award. We are grateful and blessed to have her as one of our leaders.” Vossler’s elegant antique copper National Bronze Medallion is mounted on a green grosgrain neck ribbon and carries the inscription “For unusually devoted service to boys and girls.” “I am surprised and honored to receive this award,” said Vossler. “My decades of involvement with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley have been the highlight of my community service. I owe my thanks to the exceptional management and dedicated staff who serve over 6,000 youths in four clubhouses. Additionally, I am proud to be just one of a hardworking board of directors committed to our mission of providing a “safe haven” of activities that build academic achievement, leadership skills, and all-around good citizens. Seeing the smiling faces of energetic youths and grateful parents is all it takes to make me want to do all I can to help the kids reach their potential. I am grateful to live in the desert and to participate with the outstanding programs of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley. For more information, please call 760-836-1160 or go to

January/February/March 2021

Desert Charities News – •

DATE C H A N GE Animal Samaritans Hires New Chief Medical Officer low-income pet owners in need Animal Samaritans is pleased of critical care for the pets, and to announce the hiring of their participated in non-veterinary new Chief Medical Officer community outreach for the for their veterinary clinics in elderly. He also helped plan and Thousand Palms and Indio, Dr. execute “FastArthur Klomhaus, N-Furriest,” a 5K DVM. Prior to Charity Racing joining Animal Dr. Klomhaus’ event in Colorado. Samaritans, Dr. journey to the Klomhaus was the During Dr. General Practice Chief Medical Klomhaus’ tenure Manager at VCA at VCA Valley Officer position veterinary hospital Animal Hospital in with Animal in Indio and Indio, the hospital regularly treated Samaritans spans added four new animals requiring specialty services more than two immediate and (Oncology, decades. urgent care. Radiology, “We’ve hit a home run,” notes Animal Samaritans’ CEO Tom Snyder. “Veterinarians are in high demand across the county, and doctors of his caliber and experience are a rare find.”

Ophthalmology, Emergency and Critical Care). Additionally, in 2019 the hospital increased its floor space by 3,000 square feet to house more doctors and serve more clients.

Dr. Klomhaus’ journey to the Chief Medical Officer position with Animal Samaritans spans more than two decades. Before graduating from Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and completing a Medical and Surgery internship at VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado, he volunteered for Colorado State University’s Pet Hospice Program and locally at the Morongo Basin Animal Shelter.

Animal Samaritans SPCA., a 501 (c) non-profit organization, started in 1978 and brought the first free Humane Education program and first low-cost spay & neuter clinic to the Desert. As the Coachella Valley’s most comprehensive animal welfare organization, they strive to one day eliminate the needless suffering and abuse of homeless and unwanted animals. Programs and services in place to save the lives of healthy and treatable animals include prevention through humane education, affordable spay and neuter and a full menu of standard care veterinary services, animal sheltering, animal rescue, pet fostering and pet adoptions. In addition, volunteers from their Animal Companion Therapy program visit people in special needs classrooms, nursing homes, and local hospitals. More information is available by calling 760.601.3754 and by visiting

Additionally, he worked as a Veterinary Technician at the former Animal Emergency Clinic of the Desert in Thousand Palms, and Desert Veterinary Specialists in Palm Desert. He also provided Vet Technician assistance to Animal Action League, a local non-profit that, like Animal Samaritans, provides affordable spay/neuter services. While in medical school, Dr. Klomhaus was voted president of his class. In this role, he helped establish a scholarship fund for

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Desert Charities News – •

Continues Its Slate of Virtual Programs In The New Year

January/February/March 2021

LifeStream Blood Bank, the exclusive supplier of blood products and services to all Coachella Valleyarea hospitals, continues to carefully monitor lower-than-anticipated inventory largely caused by pandemic-related shutdowns of formerly reliable sources of blood collection. The closure of schools, churches and businesses has resulted in several hundred LifeStream blood drives being cancelled since spring 2020, projecting to more than 30,000 pints of blood not available for patients in need.

Creative programming remains the centerpiece of the center during the COVID-19 pandemic The Joslyn Center will maintain its robust slate of programs, both online and off, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues into the new year. “The Joslyn Center is here every day, serving seniors and older adults in our community,” said Executive Director Jack Newby. “Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not stopped. We are offering special on-line classes, calling all our members, and providing counseling and support.” The center’s virtual programs cover a variety of subjects and range from educational to social to just plain fun. Its YouTube channel boasts a myriad of exercise videos – including calisthenics, guided meditation, chair yoga, and more – that are accessible anytime. For those who need help getting online, the center offers one-on-one technology tutoring and group classes and once mastered, weekly Zoom chats and a monthly virtual book club. On its Facebook page,, the center offers a virtual learning series weekdays at 2:00 pm and for fun, a free, live “Blingin’ Bingo game – complete with prizes - every Tuesday at 2:00 pm. For information and entertainment, there is the Joslyn Variety show every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The Joslyn Wellness Center has also adapted its programs for the virtual world. Its mainstay–ProblemSolving Strategies, a free, confidential counseling service – is now being offered by telephone or video conferencing. Brain Boot Camp, a two-session course on improving brain health and boosting memory will be held via Zoom on January 13th and 20th with a second online session scheduled for February 17th and 24th. The Aging Mastery program, a 10-session course that teaches how to develop positive aging behaviors in all aspects of life, will also be scheduled this winter. As always, The Joslyn Center’s nutrition programs – Meals on Wheels and Penny’s Pantry – continue to operate. All COVID-19 safety protocols are followed either when meals are being delivered or when guests come to the center to shop in the pantry on the first and third of the month. “For as long as the pandemic lasts, The Joslyn Center will continue to create safe, socially-distanced programming to help lessen the isolation and loneliness that our seniors are experiencing during this challenging time, ” Newby said. For more information on The Joslyn Center’s programming, contact Rebecca Ruffing, program director, 760-340-3220, ext. 102 or or visit

“Just since fall, our monthly blood collection has been 3,000 to 5,000 pints of blood fewer than projected,” said Rick Axelrod, MD, LifeStream’s president, CEO and medical director. “We have been able to satisfy all hospital needs, but with a daily inventory that usually hovers between one and two days in reserve, our community is vulnerable to a sudden, emergency need.”

“I urge the Coachella Valley community to step forward at this critical juncture and give blood,” said Dr. Axelrod. “Remember, if stay-at-home orders are in place, such orders do not extend to voluntary blood donation, which is an essential medical-related function.”

The greatest need is Group O (O positive and O negative) blood, the most popular for surgeries and non-planned needs. Donor safety is LifeStream’s #1 priority. All donors and staff are required to wear face coverings (coverings with one-way intake valves are not sufficient), and submit

to temperature checks and a verbal COVID-19 symptoms check before being allowed to enter donor waiting areas. LifeStream enforces social distancing guidelines and has enhanced already strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Walk-ins are welcome; to set an appointment at LifeStream’s Rancho Mirage or La Quinta centers, call 800-TRY-GIVING or visit LifeStream also tests all whole-blood donations for presence of COVID-19 antibodies. Donors who test “positive” (results are posted on the donor’s passwordprotected online portal) can follow up by making COVID Convalescent Plasma (CCP) donations that could potentially assist patients currently battling the disease. “Each CCP donation can help up to four COVID patients,” said Dr. Axelrod. “Think of what just 1 hour of your time can mean. Your donation helps up to three patients; if you quality for CCP donations you can return for 1 more hour and help four more patients.”

January/February/March 2021

Desert Charities News – •


Offers H

To East Coachella Valley Community Galilee Center has seen a significant increase in those seeking assistance due to the Covid-19 crisis. With funding made available by United Way of the Desert’s COVID Recovery Fund, and in partnership with Desert Healthcare District and Foundation, Galilee Center has been able to better meet the demands that go beyond their traditional aving lost his job services. Since 2010, Galilee Center due to Covid-19, a has endeavored to lift up single dad with two those most in need by children was left with no providing necessities for disadvantaged children and safety net or savings to fall families in the East Coachella back on. He was directed Valley. The organization to Galilee Center where is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by he was able to access their Claudia Castorena and short-term relief programs Gloria Gomez with over 90 including utility and rent percent of those served, essential farmworkers. These assistance as well as much minority families are among needed food for his family. the working poor that have struggled to stay afloat amidst the devastating circumstances brought on by this pandemic. Since the start of Covid-19, Galilee staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to minimize its impact on at risk folks to provide: • Over 20,500 food baskets to 3,150 families


• One-month rent assistance to 225 families • Diapers and baby formula to 1,816 babies • Nutritional drinks and adult diapers for 355 Seniors During the month of November alone, Galilee Center assisted 62 families with COVID-19 Cash Relief funds to offset unpaid bills. 28 families received Rental Assistance and over 750 Thanksgiving Food Baskets were distributed. In addition to the annual planned Christmas Food Basket Giving Day,

2020’s Christmas Toys for Children event recorded all 350 available spots (1,400 children) to receive gifts within the first four days of open registration. As Covid-19 is expected to impact much of 2021, Galilee Center anticipates critical need as this on-going crisis continues. They have partnered with wholesale providers to stretch every dollar during this pandemic and are, therefore, seeking cash donations to continue their programs and replenish their Covid-19 Cash Relief fund. Those wishing to further help those most vulnerable to the impact left by the Covid-19 crisis are invited to visit to learn more and donate or call 760-396-9100 for additional information.


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Continued from page 9

unique needs and position of each Native American students. With a mission to provide personalized services and cultural integrity, students can then use their education and experiences to benefit their local and tribal communities. In the Fall of 2020, fifty-five (55) undergraduate students enrolled at CINC, a 22% increase from the previous Fall and a 162% increase from the first term in Fall 2018. CINC offers and currently provides concurrent enrollment opportunities for high school students who look for the experience and benefits of college courses while still in high school. American Indian students face incredible hurdles; thus, reaching them in high school provides a positive head start to college. The California high school graduation rate for American Indians is 11.4% lower than the overall rate and the college-going rate is 14.4% lower than the overall rate. CSU and UC graduation rates are also over 11% lower than the overall graduation rates. CINC provides a much-needed bridge between high school and a four-year institution. Even more, California is the home to over 114 federally recognized tribes and many others that are not recognized, and yet this state, rich with nearly 800,000 Native Americans, has zero accredited tribal colleges to serve these underserved communities. While CINC targets the underserved Native American population, CINC is open to all who students interested in the growth and development through Indian education. CINC is a monumental establishment that will educate, strengthen, and empower the tribal communities, local communities, and beyond. CINC is already changing the lives of many. About California Indian Nations College California Indian Nations College is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit, twoyear tribal college chartered by the TwentyNine Palms Band of Mission Indians. CINC serves the region with fully-accredited culturally-responsive college courses, personalized student support, and community services, that includes a high school equivalency program, tutoring, and individualized advising and mentoring. CINC provides a pathway to cultural integrity, cultural revitalization, and the stabilization of Native American traditions and values that benefits both the Native and non-Native students. To learn more about or donate to California Indian Nations College, call 760-834-0593 or visit, like California Indian Nations College on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CINCollege

Desert Charities News – •

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January/February/March 2021

Health Equity Drives Revivals Volunteers Integrated Learning Institute Celebrates It’s Thirtieth Year! umber n a t s u j n a h By Cynthia Moses It is more t It is a long history of hope and help for those who struggle to learn, and we are ready to celebrate their ongoing success! We have contented ourselves with private rejoicing for the time being while we wait for the opportunity to celebrate with our friends, supporters and many grateful families. For parents of children who struggle to learn, finding effective intervention can be a challenge. Integrated Learning Institute (ILI) provides tools for learning that offer hope. The purpose of Integrated Learning Institute is to equip students who have learning problems to become independent learners. In order to accomplish the goal of developing independent learners, ILI employs the methodologies of The National Institute for Learning Development (NILD). NILD Educational Therapy is not tutoring or special education, both of which are compensatory in nature and concentrate on helping the learner access academic content in spite of the learner’s weaknesses. NILD Educational Therapy works to strengthen those weaknesses that keep the student from learning efficiently.

Despite the pandemic, customers, volunteers, and donors are keeping busy and engaged making sure Revivals Stores is open and continuing to make a vital financial contribution to healthcare access at DAP Health Center. For some, it has made their commitment even stronger.


hen they see the care provided by DAP Health Center throughout this health crisis, volunteers at Revivals Stores list DAP’s commitment to public health as one of the main reasons they continue serving this community-conscious Coachella Valley chain. ”DAP shows up for people with medical care and social services, no matter what, day after day,” says Revivals volunteer John H. “What DAP provides to patients is unparalleled, and that’s why I’m here.” Revivals is known for the uniqueness and high quality of any merchandise making it to the sales floor. It also changed Coachella Valley resale by combining vintage and retail, a strategy that keeps a variety of customers returning. This might look effortless but making this all come together during COVID requires skilled teams of volunteers, all driven by the belief that everyone should have access to healthcare in this community, regardless of their ability to pay. 100% of Revivals Stores profits (about $1 million annually) support comprehensive healthcare for the 8,000 residents of the Coachella Valley who call DAP their healthcare home. The resale store chain’s broad community of generous donors guarantees a steady supply of stellar resale merchandise alongside brand-new furniture and home décor. Early Safety Modifications Paid Off A major funding source for DAP Health, Revivals Stores implemented COVID safety measures over weeks of planning during the early months of the crisis. They include social distancing markers throughout the stores and some minor policy changes. To keep safety a priority, fitting rooms were closed, returns are Continued on page 49

Instead of adapting the learning environment to a student’s unique learning struggles, ILI employs an individualized, intensive intervention to strengthen thinking and reasoning thereby increasing the students’ capacity to learn. Students become active participants in their own learning. Individual potential is unlocked. Students emerge not only better prepared to make the grade, but to also make the most of whatever comes their way and succeed beyond the classroom. What people are saying: “I am very impressed with the thoughtful work NILD accomplishes in training educators to meet the learning and emotional needs of students. NILD members demonstrate an understanding of the learning process and an appreciation of the unique style of each child. They are a group that truly focuses on the whole child, touching both the hearts and mind of students, and reinforcing learning, hope, and resilience.” Robert Brooks, PHD., Faculty. Harvard Medical School, Author, Raising Resilient Children.

Watch for our celebration event announcement in late spring or early fall 2021! For more information visit our website www.integratedlearninginstitute. org, email or call 760-218-9773.

January/February/March 2021

Desert Charities News – •

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Disney Star Asher Angel Launches New Competition To Say “Boo2BULLYING” We’re EXCITED to announce our partnership with Compete @compete_hq. They’re a new competition app where you can win instant rewards for showcasing your talents or vote for others. Compete in sports, dance, beauty, fitness, art, and the weird and wonderful.... whatever your heart desires.

Third Edition of Desert X Will Open FEBRUARY 6 THROUGH APRIL 11, 2021

What we love the most about this app is that it 100% against bullying! Yes!!! Can you believe it? Finally a platform that allows you to share your talents with the world and not have to worry about cyber bullying! Teenage icon ASHER ANGEL found fame at an early age, starring in a string of hits including the Disney series ‘Andi Mack’, and movies such as ‘Shazam!’. But despite his popularity, Asher has been the subject of online bullying and trolling, a problem which continues to blight many of his generation and is a major contributing factor to the alarming increase in teen suicides. Read more about the launch, click on Boo2Bullying Blog A GoFundMe page has been set up supporting Boo2Bullying and their incredible work. To join the challenge and support this amazing cause, download Compete on the app store Compete - The Home of talent & Instagram @compete_HQ n BIGHORN CARES

Continued from page 38

BIGHORN Cares funds specific projects by local non-profit organizations that demonstrate a real need and make an impactful difference in the community. The types of organizations receiving grants service a broad range of people and programs and create a brighter future for individuals, their families, and their communities. Since its inception in 2013, BIGHORN Cares has donated more than $3.4 million to support over 361 specific projects for local non-profits that demonstrate a need and make a real difference in the quality of life for people the Coachella Valley. BIGHORN Cares board members include Joan Dale Hubbard, John Beury, Edward Burger, Carl Cardinalli, Claire Gagan, James Hummer, and Chairman Joe Kirby. n REVIVALS

Desert X announced today that its third edition of the recurring sitespecific art exhibition will open on schedule from February 6–April 11, 2021 at sites spanning 40 miles across California’s Coachella Valley. Among the first art experiences in the region since widespread lockdowns and shuttering of arts and cultural institutions due to the global pandemic, the outdoor exhibition will prioritize a safe and free visitor experience, and returns with an expanded board of directors and new support from corporate and individual donors.

Exhibition Will Be FREE and OPEN TO ALL

Continued from page 48

no longer accepted, and customers now bag their own products unless it is a larger item that requires assistance. “We quickly focused on how we could provide shoppers a safe Revivals experience,” says Dane Koch, DAP director of retail. “Acting early has led to us being able to keep our doors open today and into the future.” Revivals Stores Roots Are in Healthcare Equity The financial contribution that Revivals Stores provides to DAP Health is more important today than ever before, according to David Brinkman, CEO. “The AIDS crisis taught us that a community response is the most effective response if we want to address gaps in healthcare,” he said. “When people are in need and in fear, we must remember our humanity and take a place on the front lines.” As DAP continues fighting to end HIV in the Coachella Valley, it has is also addressing healthcare inequities in this community, which COVID has increased.

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January/February/March 2021

Editorial Contacts in This Issue Alzheimers Coachella Valley Page 8 Dom Calvano, President 42600 Cook Street Suite 134 Palm Desert, CA 92211 (760) 776-3100 American Heart Association Page 10 Daniel Ruacho, Director of Marketing 4600 Campus Drive Irvine, CA 92617 (480) 773-2355 American Red Cross - Page 37 Brian Daly, Regional Philanthorpy Officer 72559 Highway 111 Palm Desert, CA 92260 (760) 469-8252 Animal Samaritans - Page 45 Tom Snyder, Executive Director 72120 Pet Land Place Thousand Palms, CA 92276 (760) 601-3756 • (760) 343-3477 AVSU - Page 41 Anne Greeson, Vice President/CFO 82855 Market Street Bldg E - 100 Indio, CA 92201 (760) 327-3380 Bighorn Cares - Page 38, 49 Kelly Levy, Marketing & Charities Director 255 Palowet Drive Palm Desert, CA 92260 (760) 610-8218 Boo2Bullying Inc. - Page 49 Dimitri Halkidis, President & Founder 1775 E. Palm Canyon Drive Suite 320 Palm Springs, CA 92264 (310) 435-8528 Boys & Girls Club of Coachella Valley - Page 44 Quinton Egson, President & CEO 42600 Cook Street Unit 120 Palm Desert, CA 92211 (760) 836-1160

California Indian Nations College - Pages 9, 47 Ryan Mariano, Adinistrative Operations Manager 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive Suite 221 Palm Desert, CA 92211 (760) 834-0593 Coachella Valley Rescue Mission - Page 43 Scott Wolf, Development Director 47-470 Van Buren Street Indio, CA 92201 (760) 347-3512 x 239 College of the Desert Foundation - Page 40 Catherine Abbott, Executive Director 43500 Monterey Avenue Palm Desert CA 92260 (760) 773-2561 Desert AIDS Project Page 48, 49 Steven Henke, Director of Community Development 1695 N. Sunrise Way Palm Springs, CA 92262 (760) 656-8401 Desert ARC - Page 42 Kathrene Wales, Director of Development 73-255 Country Club Drive Palm Desert, CA 92260 (760) 346-1611 ext 234 Desert Community Foundation - Page 16 Mary Panesar, Executive Director 75-105 Merle Drive Suite 300 Palm Desert, CA 92211 (760) 674-9080 ext 2 Desert Oasis Healthcare Page 10 Barry Dayton, Director of Marketing 275 N. El Cielo Palm Springs, CA 92262 (760) 320-8814 ext 1504

Desert X - Page 49 Jenny Gil, Executive Director PO Box 4050 Palm Springs, CA 92263 (503) 804-0621 Galilee Center - Page 47 Claudia Castorena, CFO/CoFounder 66101 Hammond Road Mecca, CA 92254 (760) 396-9100 Integrated Learning Institute Page 48 Cynthia Moses, Director 41-550 Eclectic Street Palm Desert, CA 92260 (760) 837-0171 cmoses@ Joslyn Center Page 46 Jack Newby, Executive Director 73-750 Catalina Way Palm Desert, CA 92260 (760) 340-3220 Karen Sorbo - Page 13 President PO Box 4538 Palm Springs, CA 92262 (612) 868-4929 Lifestream Blood Bank Page 46 Angela Ross, Director of Marketing & Public Relations 384 West Orange Show Road San Bernardino, CA 92408 (909) 386-6870 ext 395 Make a Wish Orange County & The Inland Empire - Page 10 Gloria Crockett, President & CEO 3230 El Camino Real Suite 100 Irvine, CA 92602 (714) 573-9474 ext 214

Royal Emerald Pharmaceuticals - Page 14-15 Jackie Devereaux, Communications Director 14011 Palm Drive Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240 (858) 863-6324 (619) 855-7905 cell SoCal Coyotes - Page 4-5 Ron DiGrandi, Senior Vice President 1717 E. Vista Chino A7-468 Palm Springs, CA 92262 (760) 285-7073 The Society of Financially Empowered Women - Page 11 Robert Schein, Founder, CEO 44-495 Town Center Way Suite B Palm Desert, CA 92260 (760) 895-9860 The Steinway Society of Riverside County - Page 39 Ruth Moir, Executive Director PO Box 3015 Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 (760) 341-4130 Think Together - Pages 26-27 Elaine Legere, Director of Marketing & Communications 2101 E. Fourth Strreet Suite 200B Santa Ana, CA 92705 (310) 293-3341 Tools For Tomorrow - Page 12 Andrea Hecht, Operations Manager 42-600 Cook Street Suite 132 Palm Desert, CA 92211 (760) 601-3954 Tracker Studios - Page 44 Doug VanSant, Partner 74804 Joni Drive Uinit 7B Palm Desert CA 92260 (442) 282-8669 The Unforgettables Foundation - Page 16 Monique Guerrero, Operations Manager 345 Pearl Avenue Suite 230 Redlands, CA 92374 (909) 335-1600

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Desert Charities News – •

He has enough things on his mind right now. College is not one of them.

In a time of unprecedented challenges, Think Together helps students learn and thrive. We partner with local schools to provide expanded academic, social and emotional support to kids, to ensure the path to college is open to them. But we can’t do it alone and the students of Palm Springs need your support too.

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