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DMF: 2020 Year in Review
Betty Wheeler

2020 was a year like no other – a few months of “normal” quickly pivoted to a “new normal” that called for rapid response to emerging needs and changing conditions brought on by the Covid-19 crisis. Our focus: to offer key activities in safe ways, and to sustain our community through difficult times with a robust grants program.

Our grants funded DMCC’s driver program for safe delivery of essentials to seniors, supported St. Peter’s Helping Hands food program, and supported DMVA’s Fuel the Frontline program. Special grants like these totaled over $75,000.

When we realized the direness of the City’s financial situation, we worked quickly to evaluate priority items that had to be cut from the City’s budget, and granted $180,820 to restore funding for specific items that are within our mission, and that support the health and safety of our citizens, community involvement in civic affairs, and residents’ quality of life. We funded fire fighter turnout gear, Beach Safety Center capital improvements, lifeguard support (training; patrol vehicle), the project to extend River Path Del Mar from Grand Ave Overlook to Crest Canyon, and more.

DMF’s First Thursdays and Bluegrass and Beyond programs offered diverse performances early in the year, including jazz, classical, Americana, and bluegrass. After March, First Thursdays took the form of: curated programs with video links, distributed by email, and a live performance streamed to an online audience, with artists in isolation rooms in studio.

DMF Talks found a temporary home on Zoom, with topics ranging from Keeping Our Oceans Healthy (Dr. Octavio Aburto, SIO) to how fruit fly experiments at the International Space Station are advancing human cardiovascular treatment (Dr. Karen Occor).

Other special events included a Virtual Coffee with Sheriff’s Captain Herbert Taft, plus support for holiday canvases painted by school groups to decorate downtown windows.

Young Del Mar: Kid-friendly events included A social-distanced Easter event with Easter-themed decorations placed outdoors for discovery on family walks, and an Expressive Arts Youth Workshop, held online.

DMF is a community foundation powered by committed volunteers and generous donors. To our donors and volunteers, we extend our heartfelt thanks for going the extra mile to help our community thrive in such a challenging year! Best wishes to all for safe and happy holidays, and here’s to 2021!


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