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Costumed Characters and Charitable Donors Turn Out for Meals on Wheels’ Over the Rainbow Gala

Plus Jewish Family Service of San Diego ups the ante on its Centennial Countdown Campaign, and Bank of America’s push to end homelessness

Meals on Wheels Board Member Diana Ramirez Jones and event co-chairs Debbie Case and Cari Pavao with Dorothy and her pals at the Over the Rainbow gala.

Meals on Wheels San Diego will be able to help out more seniors thanks to the generous donors who contributed a total of $235,000 at this year’s Over the Rainbow Ball on June 9. The Wizard of Oz-themed gala at the Sheraton Harbor Island also included the ninth annual Chef Appetizer Challenge, after which Chef Jeremy Loomis of Top of the Market took home the chef award. Meals on Wheels’ whimsically themed annual gala is its largest fundraiser. The money raised will help support the independence and well-being of more than 3,400 local seniors.


From left: Ernest and Evelyn Rady, JFS CEO Michael Hopkins, Board Chair Marie Raftery and Dr. Bob Rubenstein.

Jewish Family Service of San Diego upped the goal for its Centennial Countdown Campaign after the Rady Family Foundation pledged an additional $6.5 million to the cause. JFS has raised about half of its now $50 million goal so far and the Rady Family Foundation will now match $23.5 million. The gift is the largest known commitment to a Jewish community organization in San Diego and one of the most significant nationally.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the Radys and our donors,” JFS CEO Michael Hopkins said. “This campaign will sustain JFS long into the future, insuring our ability to help our neighbors facing hunger, homelessness, and significant challenges that we can’t even imagine today.”


Bank of America is doling out $532,500 to more than 40 local nonprofits working to address homelessness and break the cycle of poverty that lands so many San Diegans on the streets. The various grants focus on providing the some 9,100 transients in the region both shelter and support services, job skills, and other resources that can put people on the path to financial stability.

“So many people are just one life event away from being homeless or needing to depend on basic needs services such as food banks or shelters. But through strategic philanthropic investments into San Diego’s incredible nonprofit network addressing fundamental services like hunger relief, shelter, and education, Bank of America can deploy capital to advance more economic opportunities in the region,” said Rick Bregman, San Diego Market President for Bank of America.

Among the organizations receiving grants are the Alpha Project; Barrio Logan College Institute; Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County; the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank; Just in Time for Foster Youth; Kitchens for Good; National Veterans Transitions Services, Inc.; Reality Changers; San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center; San Diego Workforce Partnership; St. Madeline Sophie’s Training Center; St. Vincent de Paul Village; United Way of San Diego County; and Workshops for Warriors.

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