The Conrad Prebys Foundation will award nearly $78 million in grants to local organizations that support the arts, higher education, medical research, health care, youth development, and animal conservation. The grants will help fund 121 projects ranging from pediatric music therapy to endangered animal care to emerging pathogen research. “The grantees have exhibited an extraordinary level of resilience, innovation and compassion during this very challenging time, and it is these organizations that will heal our community in the months and years to come,” said Erin Decker, director of grantmaking for The Conrad Prebys Foundation. “The foundation is proud to be a part of their story.”
Among the recipients is the San Diego Opera, which received a $350,000 sponsorship for its 2021 spring and fall seasons. Facing pandemic-related closures, the opera shifted its live performances from their traditional venues, San Diego’s Civic and Balboa Theatres, to an open-air stage: the parking lot at Pechanga Arena. Its drive-in-style performances, which started with La Bohème last fall, have been a hit with supporters.
“Conrad was a passionate supporter of the arts and a frequent San Diego Opera audience member,” said General Director David Bennett. “His legacy lives on with this gift and we are pleased to name The Conrad Prebys Foundation our season sponsor. This gift enables us to safely share the transformative power of live music with the community he so generously supported and loved.”
The opera’s season will continue with a one-night-only drive-in performance of songs written in response to the pandemic April 24, and the opening of The Barber of Seville the following night.
Other grants will go toward the creation of a scholarship fund for nonprofit leaders of color at the University of San Diego, two new San Diego Blood Bank bloodmobiles, a new East County facility for transcenDANCE, Scripps Research’s efforts to combat emerging pathogens, the Autism Tree Project’s programs for kids who face pandemic-related social interaction challenges, and the Tariq Khamisa Foundation’s Safe School Program for kids impacted by gang violence.
“During his philanthropic years, Conrad experienced so much joy through the act of giving to causes he was passionate about,” said Tony Cortes, a longtime friend of Conrad Prebys and board chair of The Conrad Prebys Foundation. “The foundation hopes that these gifts—including the many matching opportunities being funded—will inspire others to feel that same ‘jump-up-and-down’ joy through giving.”
A Chula Vista man made history last week with a milestone blood donation. Al Conde visited the San Diego Blood Bank Thursday to donate his 100th gallon of blood, making him the 36th person in the blood bank’s database to do so. Conde has been donating blood since the early ’80s, when a friend’s child needed donor blood after heart surgery.
Starting Saturday, Jimbo’s grocery stores will be collecting money to help Casa de Amparo fight child abuse and neglect. Shoppers at stores in Carlsbad, Carmel Valley, Escondido, and 4S Ranch will have the option to donate $1, $5, $10, or more during checkout. The funds will go toward Casa de Amparo’s trauma-informed therapy, monitored parental visits, and safe housing programs.
“With the help of the community and Jimbo’s, our goal is to raise awareness and intensify our programs to end this vicious cycle of abuse in San Diego County,” said Kathy Karpè, director of development for Casa de Amparo.