by RICK COHEN, Avila Beach Foundation
Greetings, fellow Avilones. As we march into March, who knows what lies ahead?
We DO know that daylight savings arrives this year beginning Sunday, March 14th. We DON’T yet know to what degree Major League baseball is able to return to normal operations, nor do we have a firm grasp of how much longer it will take for all willing area residents to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations. Life trudges forward with little disruption for some of us and greater upheaval for others. Here in Avila Beach, much looks fine and dandy on the surface, but not quite as much if we dig a bit deeper.
Here at the Avila Beach Community Foundation, we continue to monitor the status of the agencies, programs, and projects we support with badly needed funding. As reported previously, our 2021 grantees were given the option to spend their grant funds in any ways deemed essential to continue operating or re-opening their organizations. Ordinarily, we mainly fund specific programs, services, or projects, but the past year has called for flexibility. When we sent this year’s grant award agreements, we asked recipient agencies to let us know how they intended to use their funds, and I want to share the following summary with you, which lists agency name, grant amount, and intended use of funds:
- Avila Beach Civic Association ($8,000): Community Center building maintenance, repairs, utilities, taxes, etc.
- Avila Beach Jr. Lifeguards Program ($5,000): General equipment purchases, scholarships, transportation.
- Bellevue-Santa Fe Charter School ($3,000): Offset operational costs due to Pandemic response, such as increased health/safety measures, instructional technology oversight/repair/replacement.
- Cancer Well-Fit ($4,000): Continue/expand wellness program for cancer survivors in our community.
- Central Coast Aquarium ($5,000): Provide vital upgrade and maintenance of exhibits housing sea-life creatures.
- KCBX Public Radio ($1,800): Maintenance of transmitter that serves Avila Beach and South County.
- Pt. San Luis Lighthouse Keepers ($4,300): Facility maintenance and operations.
- Noor Foundation of SLO ($3,700): Clinical operations expenses such as medical supplies, outsourced diagnostics, and medical staff.
- Operation Surf ($2,000): General expenses for the week-long program held in Avila Beach that serves wounded military veterans.
- Peoples’ Self-Help Housing ($2,000): Supportive housing services for residents of Lachen Tara Apartments in Avila Beach.
- Port San Luis Mutts Mitts Project ($5,000): Purchase of dog waste bags and dispenser upkeep supplies.
- Surfrider Foundation ($1,000): Purchase of laboratory supplies for the Blue Water Task Force program for sampling water flowing into San Luis Creek and Avila Beach.
- Avila Beach Life Publication ($4,000): For monthly mail delivery of this local print news publication to residents and businesses in Avila Beach and Avila Valley.
- SLO County Regional Transit Authority ($3,700): For seasonal operation of the free Avila Beach Trolley.
- PathPoint($10,000): For seasonal removal of sand transference and debris that collects along the beach boardwalk, planters, and gutters on both sides of the Avila Promenade.
Moving along, I am pleased to announce the winner of our drawing among those who correctly completed the Bob Jones Trail Walking Quiz. Congratulations to Suzanne T. in San Luis Bay Estates, who chose a gift card from Blue Moon Over Avila as her prize. And I want to thank SLBE resident Rich N., who responded to my request last month seeking news of good deeds, actions, or activities noticed during pandemic times.
“We often see small groups of people picking up trash on the beach in the early morning. I’m guessing these are Avilones who think it important to keep the beaches clean, as do we. In a few short months, we’ve encountered wildlife needing assistance (one-legged seagull, dead sea lion, a pelican unable to fly, a distressed deer in Indian Hills, and a limping great blue heron on the golf course). Knowing who to call has been challenging and not always successful, but in terms of shout-outs, the people at Pacific Wildlife Care have been the most responsive and caring to deal with. Several evenings I’ve seen groups of Junior Lifeguards trainers on the beach. I’ve marveled at the exuberance, energy, and pure joy many of these young people bring to their task of training kids not much younger than them.”
Thank you for sharing, Rich!
I will continue to make space available in my column for community “shout-outs” like those above. In these challenging times, it’s even more important to recognize exemplary or heart-warming efforts. If you have any to share, I ask that you please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s it for now, fellow Avilones. See you at the beach!