Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin is offering Hope & Opportunity to children in Sonoma County. Our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. From our 32 Boys & Girls Clubs in Cloverdale, Geyserville, Healdsburg, Guerneville, Monte Rio, Windsor, Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park, we serve over 6,000 young people every year, empowering them to have academic success, choose healthy lifestyles, and build good character and leadership. Club programs are very affordable or free and aim to instill in youth a sense of belonging, influence, usefulness and competence.
Actor Denzel Washington says, “Without the Boys & Girls Club, I wouldn’t be where I am today, but more importantly, I wouldn’t be who I am today.” Every day after-school and during the summer, we open our doors in 8 Sonoma County communities and say, Great Futures Start Here.
The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center’s children’s education program is committed to offering free, affordable, and accessible programs, as well as scholarships to low income schools and students. Our programs bring hands-on art, cartooning, animation, and science activities to over 15,000 children a year in five counties, with 75% of those children living in Sonoma County. Thirty-three percent of the children we reach live in under-served, low-income communities. This year, thanks to funds from the Schulz Classic, the Museum partnered with Anova education to develop and introduce free access programs for visitors of all ages with special needs. This initiative is making the Museum accessible to all populations through special events during which they can explore the Museum at their own pace without the distraction of other visitors. One family experiencing these programs explained, “It’s hard to pay for events like these because special needs services cost a lot. A free event was extraordinary!”
Sonoma Academy is a premier independent college preparatory school (grades 9-12) that offers an important educational choice for high school students in the North Bay. Though Sonoma Academy’s campus is within walking distance to the homes of some of the most underserved families in the county, the reality of an independent high school or college education is an unattainable dream without sufficient funds to offset the costs. The founders of Sonoma Academy designated generous gifts to create a permanent scholarship endowment to provide access to qualified students based on their financial need, motivation, academic achievement, leadership skills, and desire to attend a four-year college or university. The endowment, together with funds from charitable events such as the Schulz Celebrity Golf Classic, enables Sonoma Academy to provide three million dollars of financial aid to over 50 percent of its families each year. One hundred percent of the funds donated to Sonoma Academy by the Sonoma County Children’s Charities are awarded directly and immediately to these students, and have a profound impact on their lives and futures. Sonoma Academy and its families are deeply grateful to have been beneficiaries of the Sonoma County Children’s Charities. Since 2002 the donations from SCCC to the Sonoma Academy Scholarship Fund have provided 4-year scholarships to over 70 deserving students! Several years ago, thanks to a generous gift from the Lytton Rancheria tribal government to the Schulz Celebrity Golf Classic, Sonoma Academy was able to award a 4-year Lytton Rancheria Scholarship, designated for a Native American student. Since it opened in 2001, Sonoma Academy has graduated over 600 alumni who have attended colleges and universities across the United States and Europe, many of whom return to settle in Sonoma County, to carry forward this legacy of support and opportunity for all Sonoma County families.
PDI Surgery Center, located in Windsor, is the only nonprofit organization in California providing restorative dental treatment under general anesthesia to children suffering from severe tooth decay. Our mission is to maintain a sustainable dentistry resource that will serve low-income children who need safe sedation for dental treatment, as well as providing prevention education and promoting oral health both at PDI and in the communities we serve.
Children come to PDI with infections, blackened teeth that have decayed down to the gum line, and require general anesthesia to perform surgical treatment. Many of these children are in such intense pain that they develop anxiety and cannot sit still long enough to allow a dentist look at their teeth. A typical patient is a 3 years old with 14 to 18 cavities. Eight percent of our patients are children up to the age of 21 who have developmental disabilities.
We receive referrals from dentists, doctors, mobile dental vans and dental clinics. Our facility has two operating rooms that provide surgeries to 12 children each day. Since opening in 2008 PDI has treated more than 17,000 children. That’s 17,00+ kids whose futures are brighter because they won’t be sitting in school with tooth pain so severe they are unable to concentrate. They will be able to eat nutritious meals and no longer be embarrassed about their teeth. They can smile with confidence as they play and grow with their peers. They will be able to do their best in school and look forward to a successful future. That is something for us all to smile about. Together we make kids smile!
Santa Rosa Catholic Charities Family Support Center
Through its grants to Catholic Charities’ Family Support Center, the Schulz Celebrity Golf Classic is one of the largest contributors to ending family homelessness in Sonoma County. Because of the contributions of the Classic, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa has been able to reduce the time that families spend on the waiting list to get into shelter. Catholic Charities programs such as Rent Ready (how to be a good renter), Work Ready (resume development, skills assessment etc.), and Credit Ready (financial education) have enabled families to move more quickly out of shelter, ready for the independence and responsibility that comes with having a home. Last year alone, Catholic Charities was able to move over 650 parents and children into a place of their own! At the Family Support Center, kids waiting to make that move build confidence and develop a sense of achievement through one on one tutoring and homework help. Field trips and birthday parties provide happy relief and hope for children while their parents are working hard to break the cycle of homelessness. As one of our 12 year old residents said, “Please tell anyone who gives Catholic Charities anything that “I” say THANK YOU!”