By Lin Banks, President, Capitola Foundation
Q) What is the Capitola Foundation?
A) The Capitola Public Safety and Community Service Foundation (Capitola Foundation) is a non-profit organization that was organized in 2005 by (then) Capitola Chief of Police, Rick Ehle, and local businessman, Christian Thompson.
It was established for the public purpose of assisting the Capitola Police Department and its community partners to enhance public safety through the promotion of community-oriented policing and problem-solving programs, crime reduction Initiatives, and community outreach/education efforts within the City of Capitola and surrounding communities.
Q) How does the Foundation assist the Police Department?
A) We assist in so many ways! We are the major funder of their police dog program, having helped with the purchase & training of the police dogs. We purchased kennels for the dogs, so that they can travel safely in police vehicles. We funded the purchase of new weapons for all sworn officers so that they all carry the same weapon; if more than one officer is involved in an action, all have the same weapon and ammunition — this is potentially life-saving for all involved.
We also funded new badges for all the officers — what a morale booster that was! We help fund National Night Out (1st Tuesday in August) annually, where folks from the neighborhood come together with first-responders at Jade Street Park for an evening of fun activities for the kids, and a free BBQ for all.
And we are there to roll up our sleeves! It is a great community outreach. But perhaps the biggest major contribution was funding the repair of the CPD after the devastating floods in March 2011.
Q) Who else benefits from the Capitola Foundation?
A) The Foundation continues to reach out to the CPD, POA and City of Capitola — and beyond! We contribute annually to Safe Ride Home on New Year’s Eve, VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service), the Jr. Guards Program, O’Neill Sea Odyssey, Fallen Officer Foundation, Operation Surf, Jacob’s Heart. Most recently we made a substantial donation to help fund construction of the new public library in Capitola.
Q) Where does the money that the Foundation donates come from?
A) We rely on private donations from folks like you, as well as donations from local businesses. The Foundation has two annual fundraisers; the Capitola Rod & Custom Classic Car Show (second weekend in June) and the Foundation Golf Tournament (first Friday in October).
Q) What is your relationship with the City of Capitola? Aren’t you part of Capitola’s city government?
A) We have a great working relationship with the city; in fact, the Chief of Police and two officers, the City Manager and two members of City Council sit on the board, as does the CEO of the Capitola-Soquel Chamber of Commerce. But the Capitola Foundation is a separate organization from the city.
Q) So, the Capitola Rod & Custom Classic Car Show and the Foundation Golf Tournament are not city or Chamber of Commerce events?
A) No. That is a misconception. The Foundation members come together as private citizens to plan and produce these fundraising events.
Q) How many people are involved in the Foundation and who are they?
A) There are presently 19 members. We are local folks from all walks of life — retired folks, local business people, and as mentioned, City employees. We also have outstanding volunteer support from local residents, especially during our fundraising events.
Q) What can the public do to support the Foundation and it’s causes?
A) GIVE WHERE YOU LIVE!Consider donating to the Capitola Foundation. Our proceeds go directly back into the City of Capitola and surrounding communities.
Q) What if someone is interested in becoming a member of the Foundation?
A) We encourage anyone who wants to be actively involved in working to support our community to check out www.capitolafoundation.org and learn more about us. Our contact information is listed there, too.
Q) Where and when are the Foundation meetings?
A) Meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month in the Community Room at City Hall in Capitola. All are welcome to attend.
For more information visit https://capitolafoundation.org