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Summer 2006

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VCCF Receives $11 Million Bequest; Endowments to Benefit Five Charities

INSIDE Mental Health Initiative Makes First Grants . . . . . . . .3 Record Scholarships Awarded . . . . . . . . . . .4-5, 20 Smith Foundation Grants . .7 Agricultural Summit . . . . . . .8 Destino Grants and 10th Anniversary . .10-11, 18 Investment Performance . .19

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Russell Fischer, a 73-year resident of Camarillo’s Santa Rosa Valley, has left an $11 million bequest to the Ventura County Community Foundation upon his passing at age 93. One of the largest bequests in the history of Ventura County and the Community Foundation, the funds were received in April 2006. Mr. Fischer directed his gift to establish endowments at VCCF to support the work of the Camarillo Library; Ventura County Red Cross; Camarillo Health Care District; Salvation Army; and the Odd Fellows Children’s Home, Gilroy. The law firm of Edsall & Norris, Camarillo, facilitated his estate. Mr. Fischer’s family moved to Ventura County in 1929, developing Hilltop Ranch in the late 1930s before moving to Camarillo in the mid-1980s. He enjoyed a long, prosperous career in citrus farming, claiming the Santa Rosa Valley as his first love. He was an avid reader, thus inspiring the portion of his bequest to the Camarillo Library, where he visited on almost a daily basis. “VCCF is proud to partner with Russell Fischer to translate his love of this region and his regard for specific institutions into ongoing operating support for them,” said Hugh Ralston, VCCF President and CEO. “We are proud to honor the life of Mr. Fischer in perpetuity through the

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Russell Fischer

stewardship of his gift to us. It is an outstanding example of how thoughtful estate giving allows an individual and/or a family to transform causes they believe in, helping to secure a charity’s critical long-term financial stability. Through his incredibly generous bequest and his trust in the Community Foundation, we will ensure that in his name, the good work of these charitable organizations will continue to make a difference long into Ventura County’s future.” Five separate funds, each bearing the name of Russell Fischer, will be established to support the five charities named in his will. The funds will be deposited in the VCCF endowment pool, which manages all of VCCF’s long-term endowment funds. Annual distributions, at the current 5 percent rate approved by VCCF’s board of directors, will be made to each organization beginning in 2007.

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With the summer of 2006 filled with volatilities in the world financial markets, high oil prices and softening housing markets, as well as troubles at home and abroad, it is also refreshing to see the impact that working together can have on strengthening our communities. The Ventura County Community Foundation continues to build its good work in partnership with donors who care about this county and about the nonprofits that are such an important part of the fabric of community life. It is a privilege to be engaged in such good work together. It has been a busy spring, with new funds opening and many donors establishing vehicles to expand their charitable work. We were humbled to receive the $11 million bequest from Russell Fischer and honored to keep endowment funds secure for the five organizations he wished to support in perpetuity. We are equally excited about the 400 other funds now established at VCCF and the impact of the over $8 million in grants made so far this year, including significant grants from the Smith Foundation. We are encouraged by the new programs launched through our Resource Center, particularly with the emphasis on board leadership; and we continue to be energized by the work of the Civic Alliance to develop civic leadership on regional issues that affect all of us. As we complete the second year of our strategic planning, the board of directors has been hard at work developing strategies to implement the goals established last summer in pursuit of our mission: to promote and enable philanthropy – to improve our community for good for ever. !

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Mental Health Initiative Makes First Grants in Ventura and Ojai for Professional Training and Student Bereavement

President’s Letter

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Our planning also takes into account the opportunities and challenges in the investment markets and what changes we must think about to ensure that our long-term investment record continues to honor the basic pledge to our donors: to preserve the capital donated so that it retains – after fees, annual distributions for grants and inflation – its original purchasing power.

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The Ventura County Community Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of its Mental Health Initiative, which will partner with private philanthropy to assist local adults and children suffering from the devastation of mental illness. The Initiative will leverage unrestricted VCCF grant funds to develop or extend effective programs in multiple areas of mental health; to increase public awareness of these often misunderstood issues; to strengthen local nonprofits dealing in mental health issues through new grantmaking, and to sponsor planned giving/estate plan options for families to provide long-term for their affected loved ones.

It also recognizes changes in the philanthropic world including new competition from mutual funds and financial houses, an explosion of nonprofits in this county alone and increased regulatory and fiduciary oversight from local, state and national governments. Some are even suggesting significant legislative changes in both the tax structure that has nourished charitable giving as well as in rules governing foundations, which have remained stable for over 40 years, both of which could have a significant impact on VCCF’s mission and ability to assist donors achieve their charitable desires.

"Our mission remains steadfast: to build capital in Ventura County to sustain long-term philanthropic work here."

As a critical first step in this effort, VCCF convened local public health officials and nonprofit leaders to determine the 2006 Mental Health Initiative grant criteria, a competitive application process. This year’s awards are to the Turning Point Foundation, Ventura, $25,000, and HELP of Ojai, $23,680. The Turning Point’s award will provide training for mental health paraprofessionals, pilot the use of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Certificate curriculum with their staff and interns, and work with local community colleges to implement an official certificate program. The project’s success would create a self-sustaining pool of trained mental health services paraprofessionals in Ventura County, something highly needed.

While we will be responsive to changes around us, our mission remains steadfast: to build capital in Ventura County to sustain long-term philanthropic work here – in our neighborhoods, in our communities and in this blessed piece of Coastal California. We are committed to maintaining national standards, a self-regulating set of practices and good governance sustained by our colleagues throughout the nation, and we are committed to ensuring that the work of philanthropy in this county can be sustained at multiple levels: in annual gifts; in participating

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VCCF’s grant to HELP of Ojai’s Student Bereavement Program will train five additional Marriage & Family Therapist interns to expand services to students in need of grief and loss counseling, and create a program manual/training presentation for countywide agencies interested in starting a similar student bereavement program. Over the past five years, VCCF has awarded grants totaling $184,228 to ten local nonprofits providing mental health services, funded from its designated endowments, field of interest funds and Community Response Fund. Given the visibility of the Proposition 63 funds allocated to the county, VCCF wanted to highlight the important needs in the community, and stimulate additional resources. VCCF funds supporting this initiative included the Ruth Daily Livingston Fund, Irene Morris Endowment Fund, the E. Wright Daily Fund, the Community Response Fund as well as contributions from an anonymous donor. For further information on the VCCF Mental Health Initiative, please call 805-988-0196, ext. 121.

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VCCF Awards $900,000+ Scholarships to Ventura County Students

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The Ventura County Community Foundation handed out 277 awards at its 2006 Scholarship Awards Reception May 25 at Buena High School, Ventura, completing the largest number of scholarships ever awarded by the Foundation, a near 50 percent increase over last year. A record 3,500 applications were received by VCCF, which has 60 scholarship funds totaling $13 million that have been set up at VCCF by donors, bequests and as memorials invested in the future of Ventura County youth. New funds this year include an expansion of the Orfalea Nursing and Health Field Scholarship Awards to support nurses and those pursuing EMT or radiology tech careers, plus the new Orfalea Scholarship Awards Fund, making awards for students majoring in early childhood education, teaching and other majors, or who are non-traditional learners. Students whose parents are employed as a nurse, a teacher (preschool-grade 12)

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The first student loans were also funded under the Medical Education Fund, which provides forgivable loans for nurses practicing in Ventura County. The fund was established last year by the Board of Supervisors to encourage the employment of more local nurses.

The Heyne family presents the first Jan Heyne award.

New memorial funds made their first awards this year, including the Jan Heyne Memorial Scholarship Fund, honoring the memory of a Thousand Oaks resident who was killed last year. With a preference for arts, humanities, natural or physical science majors, three awards were presented by Tim Heyne and his children, Christian, Genevieve, and Jeffrey. Other new funds making awards for the first time this year included the Bob Beltramo Memorial Scholarship Fund for Athletic Sportsmanship, the Margaret A. Tompkins Oxnard Monday Club Scholarship for an Oxnard student, and the Mary R. and James R. Galbraith Scholarship for graduating high school seniors with a minimum 3.0 GPA who demonstrate financial need. “We are delighted to partner with so many dedicated and generous donors, each of whom has made an investment in the future of Ventura County students. This is a key element of the Foundation’s mission to promote philanthropy,” noted VCCF President

Ms. Ruth E. Johnson and children.

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VCCF Partners with VC Star on Star Scholars

or who work at a nonprofit agency were also eligible to apply.

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Hugh Ralston. “We are proud to continue the tradition of one generation staking the next.”

Message to Our Volunteers:

“We couldn’t have done it without you!”

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“We are also enormously grateful to the many volunteers who help VCCF’s dedicated scholarship team review applications, ensure technical compliance with the donor requirements, and make recommendations to the VCCF board,” noted VCCF Chair Mary Schwabauer, a longtime volunteer with the scholarship effort. “We could not have done it without them.” A reception to honor the volunteers who processed, reviewed and provided vital assistance to VCCF staff was held at VCCF’s offices on June 14.

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For the third year in a row, VCCF is partnering with Ventura County Star to provide a scholarship to every student recognized as a Star Scholar, the top high school seniors at every high school in Ventura County. Winners are chosen by their own schools based on grade point average, attendance, school activities and community service. The Scholarship Fund for Ventura County is partnering with the Star in part because it can provide scholarships at every high school in Ventura County.

and foundations – to fund awards at every high school in the county and extend the investment in education to leaders of the next generation,” said VCCF President and CEO Hugh Ralston, at the annual awards banquet held in April at the Reagan Library. He reminded the students: “As you leave this place, remember there are many here in Ventura County who believe in you and in what we can accomplish.”

“We’re pleased to provide each 2006 Star Scholar with a scholarship award. VCCF is raising funds from across the county – from businesses, individuals

Thanks to the support of over 125 donors, 80 percent of whom are first-time supporters of this program, the Scholarship Fund

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As with all scholarships offered through VCCF, students chosen to receive VCCF Scholarships met the eligibility criteria and deadline for submission, which was mid-February 2006. To apply for 2007 scholarships, students must apply between December 30, when the applications and all available scholarship opportunities are posted online at www.vccf.org/scholarships, and mid-February 2007. In addition, hard copies are mailed to all county high schools, community colleges and local universities and colleges.

VCCF is pleased to share the following notes we have received from students. To all the people at VCCF: First of all, I want to thank everybody for selecting me for the James C. Basile Scholarship, and for making it possible. I had started to doubt myself, and when I opened the letter, I became so filled with joy. I am so happy and excited, and I will do everything in my power to further my learning and to prove to you that you did not make a mistake in selecting me. This is truly an overwhelming experience, and I want to thank you all for getting me one step closer to achieving my goals. ...Steve Uribe Fillmore

For further information or to contribute to the VCCF scholarship program, visit www.vccf.org/scholarships; or, if you have specific questions regarding the scholarship process, contact Virginia Weber at vweber@vccf.org or 805-988-0196.

Dear VCCF: Thank you so much for the generous scholarship! Receiving it was an honor and such an unexpected thrill. I am working hard this summer lifeguarding and teaching swimming lessons to help pay for college, and the money will ease the burden of tuition. I admire the qualities in which your foundation is based, and I will make you proud!

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for Ventura County will be providing 76 recipients with awards of $500 each.

How Do We Choose?

...Elessa Green Newbury Park !

Star Publisher Tim Gallagher and California Secretary of Education Arnold Bursin flank three Star Scholars at the Reagan Library reception.

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Social Justice Giving Circle Plans $50,000 in Grants award $50,000 in grants. The goals of the Social Justice Fund Giving Circle are as follows:

Hosted by VCCF, the Fund will operate as a giving circle, with each member of the circle contributing to the grants budget and participating in all grantmaking aspects: identifying priorities, setting up the request for proposals, reviewing proposals and participating in the grant decisions. Thanks to the support of the McCune Foundation, the Rosenberg Foundation and more than 70 local donors and organizations, the giving circle has started an 18-month process to learn about social justice issues in Ventura County and

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Social Justice Philanthropy reduces the need for charity and social service programs. It invests in nonprofit organizations that work for structural change and opportunity for those who have the least educational, economic, social or political resources. The difference between "charity" and social justice grantmaking is that charity "helps people" but does not change the conditions in communities that cause problems. Social justice grantmaking empowers people to organize and create long-term changes for themselves and society.

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What is Social Justice Philanthropy?

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This year, California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) and The Channel Islands Harbor Foundation, Inc., were awarded a total of $4 million from the Martin V. and Martha K. Smith Foundation. The foundation is a support organization of VCCF and was founded by Ventura County developer and business leader Martin V. “Bud” Smith. Since 1994, the foundation has funded nonprofits in Ventura County through an annual grant program.

Make grants that engage, educate and empower those in our community who are directly impacted by social inequities, i.e. helping people help themselves. Focus on removing and bridging structural and institutional barriers to equal opportunity. Strengthen grassroots organizations that work for social, political, gender, environmental and economic equity.

CSUCI will receive $3 million over five years. The grant will be used for the creation of the Martin V. Smith School of Business and Economics, to promote excellence in faculty research and scholarships, and to fund student scholarships. The recent contribution is in addition to an original $5 million gift made by the Smith family in 2000 and establishes the first-named school at the CSUCI campus.

Bring Ventura County’s progressive donors together to contribute in an intellectually stimulating way, meet like-minded individuals and have fun. Connect grassroots groups and donors in discussion about equity issues facing our community.

The total gift of $8 million represents the Smith family’s commitment to the creation of an academic institution that will enhance student learning as well as play a role in the life of the community. “We are truly honored by these gifts and the family’s continued outstanding generosity to the growth of this university,” said CSUCI President Richard R. Rush.

For more information on the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County, contact Tina Knight, director of grants & scholarships, at 805-988-0196, ext. 120, or via email at tknight@vccf.org.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

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The Channel Islands Harbor Foundation, which was formed to assist in the creation of a marine education center for the Channel Islands Harbor Department, will receive $1 million over four years to support the construction of the Channel Islands Boating Instruction and Safety Center. The first payment will be made in mid-2007 when construction begins.

...Margaret Mead

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Martin V. “Bud” Smith

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The Social Justice Fund for Ventura County is a recently established donor-advised fund. Its purpose is to support grassroots groups working for social, economic and environmental justice and to promote equality of opportunity to ensure full participation of all members of the community.

Smith Foundation Provides $4 Million in New Grants

The Channel Islands Boating Instruction and Safety Center will be used for recreational and educational activities for the public. “All the residents of Ventura County will share in the benefits that this new center will bring to Channel Islands Harbor, and we give our heartfelt thanks to the Smith Foundation for their support,” said Channel Islands Harbor Foundation President Bob Snyders.” This gift certainly adds to the legacy created by the Smith family’s appreciation and care for this community.” “These two significant gifts represent investments in two key community assets which our family was involved in, and cares about very much: the Channel Islands Harbor and the new university. All of us at the Smith Foundation are pleased to be partners in strengthening these two vital programs in Ventura County,” noted Smith Foundation President Margie Tegland. For more information regarding the Smith Foundation, visit http://www.vccf.org/fundingcycles.

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Ventura County Sustainable Agricultural Summit Inspires Community to Take Action

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member) Hugh Ralston. It is encouraging that a wide array of leaders can come together to learn from each other and to build networks for future collaboration, communication and cooperation. Both co-sponsors of the summit received a grant from the Hansen Trust, and other funds for the summit were raised by an active steering committee with representatives from both organizations.

On March 30, more than 350 people attended the Ventura County Sustainable Agricultural Summit in Oxnard, presented by the Ag Futures Alliance (AFA) and the Ventura County Civic Alliance (VCCA). A key purpose was to educate and inspire participants to focus on regional stewardship and sustainability.

as an essential part of life in Ventura County. An initiative of VCCF, VCCA is a coalition of business and community leaders founded in 2001 to bring economic, environmental and social equity interests (the “3Es”) together to address complex regional problems and promote a healthy and sustainable future for the Ventura County region.

The overarching goal of the conference was to educate and inspire participants – farmers, policymakers and consumers – to take positive, collaborative action toward regional stewardship and sustainability. Karen Schmidt, VCCA project coordinator, conference coordinator and co-chair, noted that the summit focused energy on steps that “all participants can take to ensure that sustainable agriculture is a thriving part of our county’s future.”

“VCCF was pleased to be a sponsor of this civic effort, as we did the 2004 Farmworkers Housing Summit,” noted VCCF President (and Civic Alliance

AFA is a collaborative forum for members of the agricultural, environmental and civic communities to develop strategies for preserving agriculture !

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Attendees included representatives from more than 200 different agricultural businesses, banks, government agencies, nonprofit groups, schools and communities in Ventura County. More than 100 farmers and others directly involved in agriculture participated, in addition to county supervisors, city council members, and more than 30 other city and county officials. The Summit featured local and external speakers and panelists, a town hall forum, and a showing of the film “Good Stewards” – a 15-minute documentary about the agricultural stewardship responsibilities and actions of farmers, consumers and

Success is often hard to judge with conferences, but early indications reflect engagement and a commitment to follow through. Of 160 Ag Summit participants who responded: • 132 indicated an intention to take direct action to support agricultural efforts in Ventura County. • 62 were willing to speak to decision makers. • 57 said they would like to show the “Good Stewards” video to foster education in their community. • 81 expressed interest in joining a community action taskforce or committee.

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policymakers. The film was produced specifically for the Summit and will be used as a tool for ongoing education, outreach and advocacy. Since the Summit, the organizing committee and conveners have been working to coordinate link efforts county wide as well as to produce a report with results to be shared throughout the county. Other priorities include: • Launching ongoing e-news/action alert communications to Summit participants.

• Posting Summit presentations and streaming Summit highlights on the Web (check www.agfuturesalliance.net for updates). • Expanding and linking AFA and Ventura County Civic Alliance (VCCA) committees on agricultural stewardship, regional planning, land use, and livable communities, regional indicators, workforce development, farmworker housing, and farmworker health.

of future agricultural issues and scenarios in Ventura County.

• Working with the Roots of Change Fund, Ecotrust, and UC Davis to undertake a “Vivid Picture” analysis

For more information, please contact Karen Schmidt at 805-988-0196, ext. 122, or kschmidt@vccf.org.

Civic Alliance Elects New Leadership Team for 2006

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David Maron has been named as Chair of the Civic Alliance. He replaces VCCF board member Stacy Roscoe, who steps down after three years as chair. David Maron has served as a leader in several capacities during the life of the Alliance, chairing the civic engagement committee and the fundraising committee as well as serving on the steering committee. “We are delighted that he has agreed to serve as chair,” noted Roscoe, a retired executive with Procter & Gamble and a well-respected leader in several nonprofits throughout the county. “With the assistance of the steering committee, I am confident

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that the Alliance will continue its important work in shaping civic leadership in response to regional challenges.” Maron is the founder and owner of Maron Computer Services and is a longstanding business leader in the county. He has served on various nonprofit boards, was elected to the Camarillo Health Care District in 1994, chaired the county’s tobacco allocations committee, and is host of the Adelphia TV show, IMPACT. The new chair noted, “It is a pleasure to work with such a diverse group of community leaders dedicated to Ventura County’s future. The Civic Alliance’s strength is the neutral perspective we take when researching regional issues and collaborating with

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David Maron

other organizations to sustain our region’s quality of life.” Joining Maron on the steering committee are Susan Lacey, Bill Buratto, Carmen Ramirez, Carol Taylor, Celina Zacarias, Chuck Maxey, Dao Doan, Marv King, Hugh Ralston, Nancy Mayerson, Nancy Stehle, Ron Bottorff and Stacy Roscoe, all Alliance members. Karen Schmidt continues to serve as the project coordinator for the Alliance.

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Destino Awards $100,000 in Grants Focusing on Health Access to Support the Latino Community

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Destino: The Hispanic Legacy Fund, the only endowed fund in Ventura County supporting Latino organizations, has awarded $100,000 in grants to ten nonprofit organizations with programs in family strengthening or in reduction of obesity in the Latino community. Sponsored by the Ventura County Fair and Ovations/FanFare, a grants reception was held April 13 at the Derby Club at Seaside Park in Ventura to recognize this year’s grantees. The keynote speaker was Frank Quevedo, vice president of Southern California Edison and a well-known philanthropist and community advocate. He is chairman of the board of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and widely respected as a leader and philanthropist in Southern California. “This is one of the largest amounts Destino has ever granted in a single year,” said Henry “Hank” Lacayo, chairman of Destino’s Vision Committee. “It was made possible thanks to the commitment and compassion from many Destino Founders who have renewed their gifts and the dedication and motivation from both the Destino Vision Committee and Destino Business Council who have helped our fund to grow steadily over the past ten years.”

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Destino’s 2006 grantmaking focused on family strengthening and reduction of obesity and chronic diseases related to obesity in the Latino Community, needs that were identified in VCCF’s 2003 Latino Health Needs Assessment – the first ever study on healthcare needs of underserved Latinos in Ventura County.

This was the third consecutive year Destino has focused on health access issues in the Latino community, as a result of a collaborative partnership with The California Endowment, which supports Destino’s grantmaking and capacity building through its innovative and pioneering Focus Funders Program.

Southern California Edison's Mike Montoya (left) and Rudy Gonzales (right) join keynote speaker Frank Quevedo (center), Destino Chair Lacayo and VCCF's Ralston in celebrating a $10,000 contribution.

“We are enormously grateful to The California Endowment for their support of Destino and their $25,000 matching contribution to expand our grants pool this year. We could not have reached our goals and this level of support without the Endowment and the matching contributions from Southern California Edison, Haas Automation and PacifiCare Health Systems Foundation,” Lacayo added.

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Meet the 2006 Grant Recipients

“All of these contributions will make a telling difference in the lives of Latinos throughout Ventura County and in the ability of these ten organizations to sustain their important work,” said VCCF Chair Mary Leavens Schwabauer. “All of us at VCCF are proud of the partnership with these donors and contributors to do this good work and to further the impact of philanthropy in Ventura County.”

City Impact will receive the largest grant, $18,183 for their Healthy Living Program that addresses obesity and related chronic diseases by providing weight and body mass index measurement; nutrition education; healthy cooking classes; and exercise programs for low-income Latino families in Port Hueneme, South Oxnard and El Rio. El Centrito de la Colonia will receive $15,000 to expand the services at the Family Resource Center at Driffill School, which provides family support,

Destino Founders and members from the Vision and Grants Committees join 2006 grantees.

parent education workshops, case management, health insurance enrollment, and youth activities to families in the city of Oxnard. Clinicas del Camino Real will receive $13,000 to perform outreach to migrant and seasonal farmworkers to engage in testing for obesity-related disorders (such as diabetes) and will engage them in a high-contact program for weight loss, weight maintenance and disease management.

The Boys & Girls Club of Oxnard & Port Hueneme, Boys & Girls Club of Ventura and Westminster Free Clinic will each receive $10,000 for their work in reducing obesity in Latino communities. Additional grants to be awarded include: $8,500 to Mixteco/Indígena Community Organizing Project, $7,000 to El Concilio del Condado de Ventura, $5,000 to Camarillo Hospice, $3,317 to Friends of the Blanchard Community Library, and $13,000 to Clinicas del Camino Real.

resource centers and Neighborhood for Learning sites in Oxnard, Port Hueneme and El Rio. Ocean View School District, South Oxnard, was awarded the second grant in the amount of $6,604. 349 students are expected to be served by both programs.

Committee Chair Hank Lacayo. “Reading skills are fundamental to success in our society, and Destino is proud to partner with these two organizations to make a difference and to strengthen the skills for these children to get a start on their reading literacy.” For further information, please call VCCF at 805-988-0196, or visit www.raisingareader.org.

Destino Launches Raising a Reader Program

For the first time ever, the nationally respected Raising a Reader program is offered to Oxnard and Port Hueneme Hispanic preschool children through the Latino Literacy Initiative of the Destino: The Hispanic Legacy Fund, an endowed fund at VCCF. The Latino Literacy Initiative is a complement to Destino’s annual grants program, and is designed to expand annual grant support for programs strengthening

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literacy programs serving the Latino community. This year’s reading literacy program is funded by the generosity from the Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Montecito Bank & Trust, and Scripps Howard Foundation.

training for the implementation of the Raising a Reader program. These funds are to enhance the early childhood literacy efforts in Ventura County with a focus on serving Latino families with children ages zero to five.

Destino has granted two three-year awards to City Impact and Ocean View Early Education School to assist with books, supplies and staff

City Impact and El Centrito de la Colonia, Oxnard, received the first Destino grant of $15,025 to implement Raising a Reader at seven family

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“Destino is grateful to our three key funders in getting this program launched this year,” noted Vision

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VCCF Resource Center Goes On the Road – Workshops Throughout the County.

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In an ongoing effort to provide a broad array of management assistance workshops, networking opportunities, seminars and community meetings aimed at advancing nonprofit professional development and management excellence, the VCCF Resource Center for Nonprofit Management has introduced a new method of delivering information to interested individuals. Rather than relying solely on nonprofit staff, volunteers and board members attending its popular workshops at the Resource Center in Camarillo, the Resource Center is going to them. Beginning in May, remote workshops have taken place or are scheduled to occur throughout Ventura County – in Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and downtown Oxnard. Topics include “Fund Development Research,” “Building Better Bridges to Local Government,” and “Budgeting Basics for Organizations.”

Resource Center workshop instructors are leaders in their respective fields and provide a practical perspective that can be put to use immediately. Each workshop is designed to encourage a co-learning environment, where ideas are shared and resources optimized. “After receiving feedback from attendees, it became clear that we needed to expand our offerings geographically in order to reach a broader audience,” said Dena Jenson, director of the VCCF Resource Center. “Many people said they would have liked to attend our training sessions but were discouraged from doing so because the location or timing was not convenient for them. This also affords us the opportunity to showcase various nonprofit organizations and !

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the important work they do.”

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Conducting Thousand Oaks training and New workshop locations workshops in locations beyond the VCCF offices in Camarillo has helped to strengthen relationships and increase the center’s involvement in the community, noted Jenson. “This is the first time we’ve orchestrated these types of events in a concerted effort,” she said. “The response from attendees has been extremely positive.”

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The Resource Center Library for Nonprofit Research and Development upgrades its online capabilities with access to the Foundation Directory Online Professional Database. Library visitors have free online access to more than 80,000 United States-based foundations, grantmaking public charities and corporate givers, including links to more than 7,400 grantmaker and corporate Web sites and IRS 990-PF and 990 returns as well. Expanded application guidelines for larger funders are available as are the latest Foundation-specific news, requests for proposals, and key staff affiliations and publications.

“Nonprofit board members play a critical role toward sustainability of the nonprofit sector,” noted VCCF Board Chair Mary Leavens Schwabauer. “In many instances board members are faced with new responsibilities and roles. VCCF is a natural partner to help, advise and share the benefit of our common experiences.” According to Schwabauer, nonprofit board members act as stewards of public trust, in partnership with donors and community leaders, and hold in their hands an increasingly important segment of the region’s economy.

Monthly hands-on orientation and training sessions are being hosted; the next summer session will take place August 7 from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

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Building Board Leadership will engage local nonprofit boards of directors and individual board members in a process of skills building, networking and information sharing. Under this initiative, the following are planned:

With approximately 2,500 nonprofit organizations in Ventura County vying for qualified board volunteers, the Building Board Leadership initiative was designed to highlight the importance of good governance practices, particularly as demands for public accountability increase from donors and from state and national governments. The program addresses issues important to nonprofit board members – including vision and mission, legal obligations and oversight responsibility, compliance, board and volunteer management, roles and responsibilities of a board member, and working with the CEO and staff.

VCCF Resource Center Library Expands Online Capabilities

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“The consequences of the work of nonprofits in Ventura County, in excess of $1 billion annually, are directly felt by thousands of our neighbors and friends,” said Schwabauer.

In late May the VCCF Resource Center for Nonprofit Management launched Building Board Leadership – a comprehensive strategic initiative to strengthen leadership practices and governance structures in the Ventura County nonprofit sector. More than 100 people attended the two kickoff events held in Oxnard and Thousand Oaks.

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• Quarterly Board Chair Roundtables will be coordinated, providing networking and sharing among new and seasoned board members. • Board Leadership Institute, an intensive leadership training program to elevate volunteer board members’ ability to govern local nonprofit organizations and to demonstrate leadership on behalf of the nonprofit sector, will be launched focusing on board governance, orientation, vision and mission, legal obligations, roles and responsibilities, among other topics. • A mentoring program between seasoned and new or prospective board members. • Consultants commissioned by VCCF, enhanced by VCCF’s experienced board of directors and staff, will provide direct assistance to local boards of directors including leadership development, board self-assessment and strategic planning. • Public convenings will be held to explore key board leadership issues, including how to work more effectively with staff and consultants. • Tailored training programs will be developed in partnership with local businesses. For more information or to become involved, contact Dena Jenson at 805-988-0196, ext. 128, or via email at djenson@vccf.org.

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VCCF Establishes New Funds for Fiscal Year 2006 Since October 1, 2005, new funds established at VCCF include the following:

Donor-Advised Funds

Agency Designated Funds • • • • • •

Berry Research Library Endowment Fund Channelaire Chorus Fund Finestone Library Fund Focus on the Masters Endowment Fund Moorpark Education Fund Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation Fund • Russell Fischer Funds for the American Red Cross, the Camarillo Health Care District, the Camarillo Library, the Odd Fellows Children’s Home and the Salvation Army • Simi Valley Senior Services Endowment Fund • Ventura Music Festival Fund

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How to Get Involved

Those interested in contributing to VCCF funds simply designate where they would like to donate their money and write a check made payable to VCCF. Or, please call Susan Clements, director of donor relations, to donate via credit card. To start a fund, individuals should contact either Hugh Ralston or Susan Clements directly, and you will be guided through the process to make sure your wishes are carried out. Donor-advised funds are designed to benefit the programs each individual donor designates as part of the purpose of their fund. By working with VCCF, donors receive a charitable deduction for any gift to their fund in the year of the contribution. The Foundation sets up all the necessary paperwork and donors have the opportunity to access a ready reserve of staff’s information and expertise about the local nonprofit sector.

• Ann Marie Education Fund • Anogia Fund • Bob Beltramo Memorial Scholarship Fund for Athletic Sportsmanship • Foothill Technology Enrichment Fund • Susan Izumo Memorial Fund • Vivian Klemz Memorial Scholarship Fund • Ynez Parker LaDow Fund • Sylvia H. Mack Fund • Orfalea Scholarship Fund • Harold B. Parker, Jr., Charitable Fund • Social Justice Fund for Ventura County

Named Funds (contribution or pledge of $10,000) • John and Elizabeth McGrath Fund (Heritage Fund) • Ginger Wilson and Family Fund (Women’s Legacy Fund) • Ventura County Star Fund (Destino) If you would like to participate in one of the programs listed, or extend the ability of VCCF to make a difference in Ventura County, please call us to see how you can participate in our good work. All VCCF funds are listed on our Web site at www.vccf.org, and details about our competitive grant programs and our field-of-interest funds and grants programs are also available through the Resource Center or on our Web site.

Come join us!

For more information call 805-988-0196, ext. 115, or email sclements@vccf.org. !

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Simi Valley Partners in Philanthropy

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For many, Simi Valley is a gateway to Ventura County, nestled in the beautiful hills surrounding the Santa Susanna Pass. For VCCF, it is full of neighbors, fellow county residents, a community full of donors and nonprofit partners who sustain our mission to promote and enable philanthropy. Endowment funds nurturing the future are the lifeblood of VCCF, and we continue to partner with key organizations – including the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center and the Simi Valley Library, both of which have growing endowments at VCCF, the latter started in 2002 with a $4,400 contribution from the Friends of the Library. “We work hard to build the resources to sustain our work in the future,” notes Library President Linda Bankard. “VCCF provides us with the partnership that will honor our donors’ wishes into the future and provide consistent operating support in a safe and secure way to budgets that always seem stretched thin.” VCCF’s scholarship funds got a significant boost with a bequest from Simi Valley attorney Jim Basile, who provided his scholarship fund with sufficient monies from his estate that the Basile Scholarship now provides $300,000 annually in $5,000 grants to students (renewable up to four years) who want to attend college. And newly established funds provide ongoing support in the name of the late Supervisor Jim Dougherty to the !

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Simi Valley Boys & Girls Club as well as scholarships to graduates from (Moorpark and) Simi Valley High School who are attending one of Ventura County’s community colleges. In the past year Simi Valley has also established new endowment funds. The Simi Valley Senior Center chose to open an endowment fund at VCCF in response to the requests for donors to build a long-term financial pipeline to support the work of the center, many of whom were remembering the center in their estate plans. “It is a natural for us, as many look to the safety of VCCF in ensuring that contributions are dedicated to the work of the Senior Center,” noted Senior Center President Joe Beautz. The DiRaimondo Foundation chose VCCF as its partner in building an endowment to sustain a scholarship program to honor the memory of Tony DiRaimondo, a paramedic killed in Iraq in January 2004. In May 2005, the first recipients of this assistance for paramedic training received $10,000 from the DiRaimondo Fund at VCCF, the first of annual awards in Tony’s name.

the Samaritan Center, which provides assistance to the homeless in the form of showers and a safe place to wash clothes, work with staff, look for jobs and a hot meal, and even get their mail. VCCF is facilitating a board process that is not only looking at strategic planning options, but also setting the stage for the next five years of programs. The Resource Center is also exploring moving some of its virtual programs to locations in Simi Valley as well as scheduling a session of its series of exploring the interaction between nonprofits and local governments, based on a successful launch this summer in Thousand Oaks. As in every other part of the county, the Community Foundation is working with donors to promote and enable philanthropy and to build the capital that can sustain Ventura County and its nonprofits into the future. We are proud to work with our neighbors in Simi Valley and look forward to more good work in the future.

Consulting work on board leadership and strategic planning is underway in another important organization serving the needs of Simi Valley residents,

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Michael Silacci Joins VCCF Board

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Michael L. Silacci, executive director of external affairs for AT&T in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, has been elected to the VCCF board of directors.

Staff Leadership Awards

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predecessor companies – Pacific Bell and SBC.

“Mike has been active on various VCCF committees, including serving as founding chair of the Ventura County Civic Alliance; he has served faithfully and generously. We are delighted to have him join the Community Foundation in a more formal leadership position. We look forward to working with him in the coming years,” said Mary L. Schwabauer, VCCF chair of the board. Silacci has more than 23 years of experience in various management assignments in corporate accounting, information systems, finance, regulatory and external affairs. In addition to AT&T, he has also held positions with

The quarterly Staff Leadership Awards are another way that VCCF recognizes the extraordinary work of its staff and provides recognition for work “above and beyond” the normal workload.

He has a long history of community involvement and is currently active with a number of community organizations including California State University, Channel Islands/Alumni & Friends Association; Camarillo Health Care District; El Concilio del Condado de Ventura; Los Angeles Sports Council; Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA); Ventura Education Partnership; and the Ventura County Leadership Academy. Silacci is finishing his term as chair of the board of the United Way of Ventura County.

For the 4th quarter of 2005, Susan Clements and Konitha Chear of the Donor Relations Department were recognized for their outstanding work in completing multiple mailings to donors, many of which were redesigned and significantly improved donor communications. These included donor fund statements with expanded investment performance and manager information, a new Donor Connections quarterly newsletter, the year end appeals and mailings for the Civic Alliance. For the first quarter of 2006, Hoa Tran and Gina Gomez from the Grants and Scholarships Department were recognized with the SLA. Hoa Tran stepped in as a new program officer and absorbed three new grant cycles and programs, “without skipping a beat,” noted VCCF President Hugh Ralston. “With the launching of the Mental Health Initiative and the Raising a Reader program, she did a tremendous job in expanding VCCF’s programs,” he continued.

Silacci currently resides in Newbury Park with his wife of 19 years, Liz, and their two children, Natalie, 16, and Michael Dean, 14.

President’s Letter...continued from page 2

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with others in grantmaking around issues of community priority; in building donor-advised, designated and undesignated funds; and in working through the complexity of donor-directed charitable work effectively and efficiently.

At its heart, a community foundation builds community through the work of philanthropy. And in the summer of 2006, that is some of the most important work to be done in our country. The good news is that we can do it together.

Please look for materials this fall as the board’s strategic planning work is articulated in ways that matter most to you as donors, contributors and neighbors. The plan will reflect our ongoing commitment to work with you in creating a legacy, investing in youth, simplifying charitable giving, strengthening local nonprofits, partnering with others, building community capital and focusing on community priorities.

Let us know how we are doing, and how we can help you make a difference in Ventura County.

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Gina Gomez, who supports the scholarship and the grants program as the program assistant, continued her masterful job of coordinating the largest influx of scholarship applications while – at the same time – VCCF made its largest number of grants in a sixmonth time period. Awardees are recognized and given a gift certificate in appreciation of their special efforts.

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A Thank You to Donors Due to the volume of individual donations and contributions to VCCF funds and programs since our last newsletter – over 2,500 since October 2005, we are unable to list all of our donors in this newsletter. Please look for a listing in our upcoming annual report and on VCCF’s Web site at www.vccf.org. We thank you for your generous support of the good work of the Community Foundation, expanding the impact of philanthropy in Ventura County.

Hugh J. Ralston President & CEO

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Left to right: Gina Gomez, Program Assistant, Grants; Susan Clements, Director of Donor Relations; and Hoa Tran, Program Officer

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VCCF Mission Statement

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To promote and enable philanthropy to improve our community for good for ever.

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Celebrating a Decade of Difference with Destino

Charitable Gift Annuity Rates

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Destino is celebrating its 10th birthday in 2006. Launching the celebration in January with a reception honoring Founders at Oxnard’s Herzog Winery, Destino’s 10th anniversary committee is keeping busy. Coordinated by Destino Vision committee members Celina Zacarias, Priscilla Herrera and Virginia Espinoza, two more events are planned to mark the impact of ten years of

Vision Committee members Celina Zacarias (right) and Frank Moraga join Mariana Cendon (for Mi Estrella) at the Founders reception.

For One Life

For Two Lifes

(yourself)

(yourself and another)

Age

Rate

Age

Rate

60

5.7%

60/65

5.5%

65

6.0%

65/70

5.7%

70

6.5%

70/75

6.1%

75

7.1%

75/80

6.6%

New Founders Gail and Jerry Brown join Hank Lacayo in celebrating Destino's 10th.

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8.0%

80/85

7.3%

85

9.5%

85/90

8.4%

Destino’s leadership in Ventura County: a reception honoring all the grantees in August and a gala reception this October honoring some special leaders in the Latino community and the launching of a major new initiative regarding scholarships for Ventura County Latinos. For more information, please call Susan Clements at 805-988-0196, ext. 115.

90+

11.3%

90/95

10.1%

For more information about eligibility requirements and program details, contact Hugh Ralston at hralston@vccf.org or call 805-988-0196, ext. 116.

Looking to get a higher monthly return on your investments at a guaranteed rate? To help a local charity? To expand Ventura County’s philanthropic resources? Perhaps you wish to leave a legacy for good for ever? Open a charitable gift with VCCF and benefit a local charity, the Community Foundation and the community. • VCCF annuities provide guaranteed income to donors. • The annuity rate is determined by the donor’s age at the time the gift is made; individual rates apply to specific ages. • VCCF annuities can support nonprofits throughout Ventura County.

Investment Performance/VCCF Endowment Funds

JOIN THE DESTINO PHOTO CONTEST

**Custom Index is 50% Russell 3000/15% MSCI EAFE after taxes/35% Lehman Brothers Aggregate Bond * The Manager Index is composed of the Russell 3000/Lehman Bros. Aggregate Bond/MSCI EAFE components based on the actual allocation percentages of the Total Fund.

As a way to celebrate Destino’s 10th anniversary, we are having a photo contest to identify the five photographs that demonstrate the impact of Destino grantmaking in Ventura County. The winning photos will be given a cash prize at the 10th anniversary grantee reception in August. For details, see the Destino page on the VCCF Web site (at www.vccf.org), or call Susan Clements, director of donor relations at extension 115. (All photos submitted will become the property of VCCF.)

At the VCCF scholarship awards reception everyone enjoyed the tasty treats.

Roxbury 7.8%

Intech Large Growth 6.2%

Lateef 6.1%

Bernstein Diversified Value 15.1% Montauk Triguard 0.2%

Eubel Brady 4.8%

Archstone 2.1% Aetos 2.0%

Westcliff 12.8%

PIMCO Total Return 27.1%

EuroPacific Growth 15.8%

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Vocational Career and Technical Education Scholarship Fund Completes First Year

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earn certificates in office management and administrative assistance. Several are on their way to success as Ventura County's newest entrepreneurs.

With three additional awards announced at the May Scholarship Reception, VCCF’s Vocational Career and Technical Education Fund (VoCaTE) has completed its first year of funding students pursuing careers directly in the working world. Twelve awards, made in December 2005 and May 2006, were made to students who are not directly pursuing a four-year college, but instead seeking training and technical education in various fields.

The fund was established with a gift from HAAS Automation, the largest machine tool builder in North America, and includes both an endowed portion and contributions for annual grantmaking. In this first year of awards, each student received a $2,000 grant to further training critical to success in the changing workforce of Ventura County. For more information on the VoCaTE program, or to make a contribution to the 2007 awards cycle, please contact Virginia Weber at VCCF.

Four of the 12 students are studying for their LVN (Licensed Vocational Nursing) certificates, five of the recipients are studying to earn their cosmetology and esthetician licenses, and three recipients are enrolled in business programs to

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1317 Del Norte Road, Suite 150, Camarillo, CA 93010-8504 805-988-0196 Fax: 805-485-5537 vccf@vccf.org www.vccf.org

Investing in Ventura County. For Good. For Ever.

RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED Board of Directors Mary L. Schwabauer, Chair Ronald L. Hertel, Treasurer Sally S. Yount, Secretary Denis A. Dupuis Robert J. Katch Henry L. "Hank" Lacayo Terri Lisagor Timothy J. McCallion Alfredo Plascencia M. Carmen Ramirez Stacy A. Roscoe Scott B. Samsky Michael L. Silacci Pierre Y. Tada Robin C. Woodworth

President & CEO Hugh J. Ralston

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Oxnard, CA Permit No. 210


Highlights Newsletter Summer 2006