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Promises2Kids Raises $1 Million for Local Foster Kids

Plus St. Germaine Children’s Charity’s pledge to help homeless mothers and children, and grants promote access to nature in underserved communities

Jolene Perry, Tonya Torosian, Deborah Marengo, Joan Waitt, Raegan Prior, and Kevin Prior at Promises2Kids' 10th anniversary Dream On Concert Gala

Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas serenaded more than 600 guests during Promises2Kids' 10th anniversary Dream On Concert Gala on June 11. The open-air event at a private La Jolla estate raised more than $1 million for the local nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children in foster care. Executive Chef Jeffrey Strauss and Pamplemousse Grille prepared a special menu for the evening.

“Due to the overwhelming support from the community at the gala, we were able to surpass our goal,” Promises2Kids CEO Tonya Torosian said. “As a result, we are now able to take on an additional 50 former foster youth in our Guardian Scholars program and are seeking 50 community volunteers to serve as mentors for these young people.”

Guests also heard former foster child Kadiedra tell her touching story. The resilient young women never lost sight of her goal of pursuing higher education and now wants to combine her love of animals with her business acumen.


St. Germaine Children’s Charity awarded San Diego nonprofit Home Start a $16,000 grant to support its Maternity Shelter Program, which provides housing and support for pregnant women and young moms facing homelessness. Home Start helps with parenting classes, childcare assistance, and enrolling in school, along with counseling, substance abuse prevention, job training, and more.

“The award will truly advance Home Start’s ability to provide services to children living in poverty who require immediate, comprehensive solutions to ensure their safety and healthy development,” CEO Laura Tancredi-Baese said.

Last year, Home Start’s MSP program helped 40 women and their 45 children get out of abusive living situations and avoid living on the streets.


A dozen local programs aimed at connecting, protecting, and increasing access to nature, especially in underserved communities, have been awarding grants in various amounts totaling $558,000. The Opening the Outdoors grants were made possible by funding from the Satterberg Foundation in partnership with San Diego Grantmakers, along with donors and environmental endowment funds at The San Diego Foundation.

“These 2018 Opening the Outdoors grant projects will promote equity across the region by ensuring thousands of San Diegans who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the outdoors are now able to explore nature and improve access to green space in their communities,” said Nicola Hedge, director of environmental programs at The San Diego Foundation.

Recipients include the Earth Discovery Institute, San Diego Zoo Global, the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, Wildcoast, Casa Familiar, the Back Country Land Trust, and the Escondido Creek Conservancy.

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