Leigh O Cortez Educational Leadership Scholarship Fund
Leigh Elizabeth Otey loved her kindergarten teacher so much that she knew her calling was to teach. Shegot to work quickly, becoming an elementary school bus driver at 16 years old. Her enthusiasm took her to Europe where she taught during a semester abroad. Early childhood education was her focus and Leigh Cortez earned her Master’s Degree in the subject from Long Beach State. She taught in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southern California and Hawaii. Her experience with children from many social and economic backgrounds motivated her to instill a sense of empathy and understanding for others in her students. This went beyond any formal curriculum and led parents to line up on registration day to ensure Leigh would teach their children.
She was a mother of two and a Marine Corps wife who played a significant role with her husband, Chris, achieving the rank of Major General. The Leigh O. Cortez Educational Leader Scholarship Fund honors her legacy and enables working teachers to earn their Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or a related discipline.
Neil McNeil III Memorial Fund Neal McNeil III was extremely passionate about investing and helping people prepare for a secure financial future. After he passed away in February, McNeil’s family, friends, and colleagues wanted to honor him by making a difference in the lives of students, specifically those pursuing a degree in finance engineering or mathematics. Established by Stratos Wealth Partners and Ibis Capital, McNeil’s former employers, the Neal McNeil III Memorial Fund will provide resources for scholarships, workshops, and other educational programs. A matching grant has been offered for up to $10,000 and McNeil’s family, friends, and colleagues hope to substantially exceed that figure.
Jonathan Tarr Foundation
The Jonathan Tarr Foundation was established in 2001 in memory of Jonathan Tarr who died in a tragic auto accident. He was only 17 and would have been a high school Senior. He attended a Continuation High School offering alternative education curriculum. Jonathan was employed as a part-time courtesy clerk at Von’s Companies Stores through a school sponsored Work/Study for Credit program. He danced Hula and had a love for the ocean and surfing. Jonathan was a competitive soccer and lacrosse goalie. However, the extracurricular activities alone did not define this special young man who had great potential but did not live long enough to fulfill his dreams. Jonathan’s legacy now lives on through the Windows of Opportunity Scholarships which are provided to middle to underserved students not usually targeted for academic assistance with post secondary education.
Edward and Betsy Blodgett Foundation
When Ed Blodgett retired after 22 years of service with Brandes Investment Partner, he and his wife Betsy established a donor advised fund with CCF. Ed stated that the fund has two substantial benefits for their family – to continue their diverse philanthropic endeavors and to receive the maximum tax-deductible benefits. Ed and Betsy’s philanthropic giving spans from nonprofit organizations on the West Coast to their second home in the Adirondacks, upstate New York. It was important for the Blodgett family to have a fund that allows for diverse giving and includes their family in their philanthropic decisions.
Full Circle Fund
June and Rick Collins opened a fund that allows them to have the ability to support diverse causes as well as for tax planning purposes. Choosing to open a donor advised fund with CCF was an easy choice. June has been involved with the Foundation for over seven years. It was because of her relationship with people at the Foundation and because of the “live here, give here” mission that made opening a fund at CCF the right decision. June is a founding member of Hand to Hand, a giving circle at the Foundation. “having the opportunity to know people in philanthropy really made me ready for this,” stated June. Rick’s passion is supporting programs for veterans. Rick and June are enjoying their new philanthropic adventure together. They recently provided funding to purchase a beach wheelchair that gives people with disabilities access to sand and water. The wheelchair was donated to the City of Encinitas.