The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County logo
January 2019 Edition
"Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."
~ Desmond Tutu

Dear Members of The Community Foundation Family,

As we begin a new year, we reflect on how far we have come together in the past year and what we look forward to in this coming year.  We were honored to celebrate our 20 years of impact with you in 2018, a great way to reflect on the importance of our shared mission for a more thriving community.  The committed donors and community partners such as yourself are crucial to the Foundation’s impact on our community.
Looking to this new year, we are excited to continue to offer "In Our Backyard" sessions, build upon the success of our Women's Legacy Fund and Professional Advisors Luncheons, lift up local high school seniors with generous scholarships, and partner with the nonprofits that work everyday to address so many needs across our county.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions in person or by email about how we can work together in 2019.


Heidi H. McPherson
Chief Executive Officer
Spotlights and Highlights
Disaster Relief Fund Grants
Thanks to the generosity of our community, The Foundation has been able to support recovery efforts for the victims of the Camp, Hill and Woolsey fires. More than $35,000 has been raised for the Disaster Relief Fund and $22,000 has already been awarded to those in need in northern and southern California.

$12,000 - Torres Community Shelter, Chico, CA
Torres Community Shelter provides emergency housing and food for those impacted by the Camp Fire in Butte County.

$5,000 - Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank, Thousand Oaks, CA
Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank provided food to hundreds of families impacted by the Hill and Woolsey fires.

$5,000 - American Red Cross, Pacific Coast Chapter
American Red Cross was on the ground with blankets, safe shelter, help with navigating complicated federal and state resources during stressful times.

Once again, thanks to everyone who supported the fund with a donation. Special thanks to the Performing Arts Center for promoting our Disaster Relief Fund during December performances. 
Firefighters at Camp Five Nov 2018 - by Stephen Lam - Reuters
Nominate a Woman for the Prestigious Women of Distinction Awards by February 1st 

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County’s Women’s Legacy Fund partners with Cuesta College each March to celebrate the Women of Distinction Awards. The awards honor four Central Coast women for their professional and civic contributions. The honorees are nominated by their peers and chosen by a selection committee. The ceremony and awards celebrate Women’s History Month (March) and recognize the contribution that women have made in the areas of volunteering in the community, their profession and in philanthropy.

To nominate a woman for the 2019 Women of Distinction Awards before the deadline on February 1 click HERE. To read more about the awards and past recipients, please click HERE. The awards ceremony will be held at Cuesta College on Thursday, March 21, 2019 from 4-6pm. Tickets for this event will be made available online in February.

Images below are of previous Women of Distinction Award winners.


2018 WOD Award Honorees Betsy Umhofer, Grace McIntoch, Anita Shower, Phyllis Davies
2017 WOD Awards Honorees Mila Vujovich-La Barre, Roxanne Carr, Nancy Walker, Shelly Higginbotham
2016 WOD Award Honorees Cherie Michaelson, Anita Robinson, Libbie Agran, Ann Robinson, Lisa Fraser, Anna Bates
2015 WOD Award Honorees Biz Steinberg, Lisa Ray, Jill Bolster-White, Grenda Ernst
More Than $220K in Year-End Grants Awarded

The Foundation recently awarded $222,500 in grants to 25 nonprofit organizations throughout San Luis Obispo County. These grants will be used to support various programs, covering a wide variety of social services addressing the needs of at-risk populations. This year’s recipients exemplify leadership in programs focused on capacity building, homeless prevention and intervention services, and case management-based emergency assistance funds. Click HERE for a list of grantees. 

The Spring 2018 Grant Cycle will open on January 28. For more information on our grants program, please visit

Help Us Welcome Our Newest Team Member

The Foundation recently welcomed Trish Hammond as the Director of Finance and Administration. Trish's prior experience in accounting, human resources, budgeting, and internal controls makes her the perfect addition to The Community Foundation Team.

Trish comes to us with over 20 years of industry experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and nonprofits which will be an asset to the growth of The Community Foundation. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She lives in Paso Robles with her husband, three children and niece, and she can often be found reading a book from one of her three book clubs.

Trish may be contacted by email at or at 805-543-2323.
Welcome and Fond Farewells
Our Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders from a variety of backgrounds. We are so fortunate to benefit from their collective knowledge and experience. As 2018 came to a close, we said thank you and goodbye to longtime Board members Johnine Talley and Mike Patrick. Although we will greatly miss their contributions, we feel fortunate to gain the expertise of two new board members.

Kathy Tompkins has a lot of experience in working with nonprofits and fundraising. She has served on a number of  boards in our community, including the Community Counseling Center, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and Stand Strong. Kathy and her husband Nick originally owned a produce packing company in Santa Maria and now focus on real estate development with their company, NKT Enterprises. The Tompkins have four children, live in Arroyo Grande and are very active in their community.

Suzanne Fritz has been a member of the Foundation family for many years, most notably as the Chair of the Growing Together Initiative (GTI) Fund Advisory Committee from 2006 until 2017. She is also a Legacy Leader with the Women's Legacy Fund (as is Kathy Tompkins). She has always been a strong advocate for diversity issues. Suzanne is a retired Associate Director of Residential Life and Education though University Housing at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and lives in Atascadero.

Please help us to thank these wonderful women for donating their time and energy on behalf of our community.
Kathy Tompkins
Suzanne Fritz
Scholarships Available for High School Seniors
The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County's scholarship program began in 2000 and has awarded more than $2.6 million to local students. There are more than $250,000 in scholarships for the Class of 2019. The first set of application deadlines is February 1st. Encourage a local high school senior to apply online today. Please follow this LINK for access to applications. For more information about scholarships contact Senior Scholarship Program Associate Angela Hollander via email.
Important Dates
January 28:  Spring Grants Cycle Opens
February 1: Deadline to Submit Women of Distinction Nominations
February 1: Deadline #1 to Submit Scholarship Applications
March 21: Women of Distinction Awards
You can make a difference!
The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is a grant making and education foundation that provides support to charitable organizations throughout our county. The Foundation has provided almost $35 million in grants and scholarships since 1998 and our charitable assets under management have grown to nearly $60 million, and provide support to all aspects of our community in perpetuity. For further information or to donate to any fund, please call 805-543-2323.
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Copyright © 2019 The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County, All rights reserved.

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County
550 Dana Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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