Cal Coast Cares Foundation inaugural fundraiser event

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Longevity matters. California Coast Credit Union, as successor financial institution to San Diego Teachers Credit Union, lays claim as the oldest credit union in San Diego, founded in 1929. 

Longevity matters. California Coast Credit Union, as successor financial institution to San Diego Teachers Credit Union, lays claim as the oldest credit union in San Diego, founded in 1929. 

The organization’s dedication to serving students and educators has continued throughout the enterprise’s history, even as the company evolved. The credit union has provided student scholarships since its inception, and teacher grants were added with awards initiated three years ago. A particular focus of the awards has been scholarships for youngsters in the foster system, who experience unique financial challenges in pursuing education. Foster youth have a 50 percent dropout rate in high school. Only 10 percent enter college, and only three percent graduate.

In 2015, the organization set up an affiliated nonprofit, Cal Coast Cares Foundation, to further support specific education projects through scholarships and grants. According to Todd Lane, CEO of Cal Coast Credit Union and Vice Chair of the Cal Coast Cares Foundation, the foundation “really got going” in 2016. Around $50,000 was given to students and teachers last year.

On Oct. 24, Cal Coast Cares Foundation staged its inaugural fundraising event at the Soledad Club in San Diego, titled “Illuminate Pathways.” Ticket sales and bids on silent auction items brought in money for the foundation’s yearly scholarships and grants. The entry paths to the club facility were decorated with luminarias lighting the way. Candles and festive golden bulbs strung overhead continued the theme of “illumination” through learning. Small-bites cuisine was provided by the French Gourmet. Award-winning student musicians and Michael Jackson impersonator Dev entertained the event goers.

“The financial need for foster youth is real. We really want to grow this year after year after year,” Lane informed attendees during the short formal program.

The money distributed benefits recipients throughout the community, including residents of East County during 2017. Student scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded to Karsyn Swift from Steele Canyon High School, who plans to attend the College of Idaho, and to Sharayah Moore from West Hills High School, planning to attend Azusa Pacific College. Teacher grants this year went to Santee educators for a varied mix of projects. Betty Grable, a sixth grade teacher at Santee Elementary, received $1,930 for the Sphero SPRK robots project. Fifth grade Santee Elementary teacher Molly Maloy, was awarded $954 for Breakout EDU kits. Joseph Kearney, who teaches fourth and fifth graders at Santee Elementary, was given a $1,300 grant for kits to teach coding and robotics. The credit union further sponsors four annual scholarships for students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges.

Cal Coast Credit Union has 160,000 members enrolled in Greater San Diego and Riverside Counties. The financial institution has over 600 ATMs in San Diego County, with branches in Santee, La Mesa and El Cajon. The foundation is set to add community members to its board in coming days.

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