The content of this article is sponsored by Harrah’s Resort SoCal. To find out more, please visit the Harrah’s Resort SoCal website.
On a sunny afternoon in Funner, CA, 15 non-profits went home big winners. June 7, 2019 marked the fifth year Harrah’s Resort SoCal awarded charities from San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties a total of $150,000 in grants.
“Since 2002 Harrah’s Resort SoCal and the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians have given back a portion of their profits to those in need in the local area,” said Senior Vice President and General Manager Darrell Pilant. As of 2018, the resort and the team have donated over $4 million in cash and in-kind donations, along with over 150,000 volunteer hours to help the local communities. “We are committed to supporting a diverse range of charities,” Pilant added.
In 2015, Harrah’s Resort SoCal kicked off a unique format for selecting the causes that it supports. All-in 4 Change, the brainchild of Corporate Citizenship and Communications Manager Sheryl Sebastian, allows citizens to nominate and vote for the causes they care about. “This year was our largest yet,” Sebastian said. “We had over 158 applications for grants and 23,343 votes submitted online.”
The two-phase “America’s Got Talent” style competition invites charities to apply for a chance to “win” a cash donation. Each organization is vetted by a committee of Harrah’s Resort SoCal teammates, then the chosen charities are put to a public vote during the month of April.
By May 2 the top 15 charitable organizations were notified of their winning accomplishment. "We are honored and deeply moved by all the organizations that are recognized this year as well in-past years too,” said Rincon Tribal Chairman Bo Mazzetti. “We are fortunate to be a part of recognizing what these organizations are doing for the communities. We congratulate all the recipients of this year’s organizations and thank them all for what they have achieved."
At the June 7 luncheon, representatives from each of these organizations had the opportunity to collect their awards, enjoy lunch provided by Harrah’s Resort SoCal, all while rubbing elbows with other like-minded, hard-working and generous humanitarians from around Southern California.
This year’s top three All-in 4 Change winners included:
- 1st Prize: $55,000 awarded to Kitchens for Good.
- 2nd Prize: $25,000 awarded to the Mitchell Thorp Foundation
- 3rd Place: $15,000 awarded to the LGBTQ Community Center of San Diego.
Fourth place and a $10,000 grant was given to San Diego’s Habitat for Humanity and fifth place along with $5,000 was granted to San Diego Oasis. In addition, 10 honorable mentions were presented along with grants of $4,000 to each well-deserving charity.
With applause, tears and cheers, the event was a heart-warming reminder of how much stronger we are thanks to the good works of so many. From supporting diversity, to keeping our coasts clean, to supporting families in need each of these organizations are winners. Pilant closed the event by stating: “Without you or community would not be the vibrant place we all live and work in, so thank you.”
To see the full list of this year’s winners and learn more about the All-in 4 Change grant program, visit HarrahsSoCal.com/all-in-4-change.