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By Dan Bane, mayor of San Clemente
Happy December! It’s hard to believe we are already closing out 2019 and preparing for 2020.
In the spirit of the holidays, I wanted to highlight a few of the exceptional nonprofit organizations that have dedicated their time and talents to making San Clemente a better place for all.
In a time when division seems to rule the day, these folks are leading the way to show us what can be accomplished when we work toward a common goal for the good of the community. The San Clemente City Council was proud to work with these groups (and many others not highlighted here) to accomplish some amazing things in 2019 and to plan for an even better 2020.
San Clemente Skatepark Coalition (scskateparkcoalition.org): The San Clemente Skatepark Coalition (SCSC) was formed in 2016 with the goal of improving and expanding Ralphs Skate Court at Richard T. Steed Memorial Park by adding lights and additional skate terrain.
Future goals also include creating additional, more centrally located skate parks. Toward that end, the Coalition (with assistance from the Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Foundation) raised $50,000 this year toward the installation of lights at Ralphs Skate Court.
SCSC held a “Light It Up!” event to formally christen the new lights. Without the efforts of SCSC and the generosity of many local businesses and donors, the lighting project at Ralphs Skate Court would not have been possible.
PierPride (pierpride.org): PierPride is a local nonprofit dedicated to working in partnership with the city and community stakeholders to fill the gaps between city funding and the needs of the historic San Clemente Pier.
PierPride’s 2019 project—to be completed in 2020—aims to make various improvements to the Pier restrooms, including the following: drinking fountain/water refill station, new exterior paint, new restroom flooring, skylights in the restrooms, new exterior light fixtures, and public art on the restroom’s façade.
PierPride swiftly met its goal of raising $50,000 to fund these improvements, which along with funding from the city, will allow a complete makeover of the Pier restrooms. PierPride also recently completed its 2018 project, which funded the design and replacement of the educational signs located on the Pier and also added fishing line recycling canisters on the Pier.
As a councilmember, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with the many fabulous volunteers (and donors) that make PierPride such a success. In a few short years, PierPride has already done so much to preserve and enhance one of our greatest community treasures.
San Clemente Little League (sclittleleague.com): San Clemente Little League (SCLL) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1954 with the mission to provide a safe, instructional and fun environment to bring “America’s Pastime” to more than 1,000 local children each year.
SCLL raised and donated $38,000 to completely renovate the infields for two of the baseball fields at Vista Hermosa Sports Park and has committed to funding the costs of renovating the infields for the other two fields.
As if this was not enough, SCLL also covered the costs—approximately $81,050—to install shade structures at the Vista Hermosa Sports Park baseball bleachers. As a former Little Leaguer, I cannot thank SCLL enough for its efforts to enhance the baseball experience for our San Clemente youth.
The quality of our parks and recreational facilities is one of the many things that makes San Clemente such a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Thank you, SCLL, for your efforts and generosity.
Beyond those listed above, there are many great nonprofit organizations in San Clemente that are doing incredible work for our community. During this holiday season, I hope you will consider donating to one (or more) of our wonderful local charities.
Dan Bane is the mayor of the city of San Clemente and was elected to city council in 2018.