Brick campaign raises funds for The Country Friends

RANCHO SANTA FE — The brick entry leading up to the front doors of The Country Friends’ Consignment Shop tells a story. Each brick is dedicated to its Legacy Campaign while recognizing those who have devoted their time and talents.

The Country Friends just sold its 100th brick.

Les and Deborah Cross, president of The Country Friends, celebrate the 100th brick for the Legacy Campaign. Courtesy photo

According to Deborah Cross, the president of The Country Friends, the Legacy Campaign began a couple of years ago, and the reasons were twofold. The first purpose was to pay off the group’s building construction loan and the second to create an endowment fund moving forward to maintain the building. 

The goal was to raise $1 million.

“And we are about 15 percent there,” Cross said. “It takes time and a lot of effort.”

Cross shared that the Consignment Shop property was donated to The Country Friends many years ago. When it was time to expand the group redid the whole retail area. The Country Friends own the entire property, including the five rentals on site.

“We’re able to pay our operating costs from our rental income from these properties,” she said. “Again, always with the objective of giving away more money.”

Cross said her husband, Les, got very involved with the Legacy Campaign along with the organization’s chief financial officer, Janean Stripe. 

Cross pointed out that her husband was happy to lend his expertise as a former CEO. 

Past presidents of The Country Friends as well as the Art of Fashion chairs receive bricks. The Country Friends is selling bricks at $300 for the smaller size and $600 for the next size up.

“You can dedicate these bricks to your family, children and pets,” said Cross, adding that people can personalize the Legacy endowment experience.

Cross said the bricks enhance the entrance of the consignment shop. She described it as a conversation piece about The Country Friends and their goals.

“The bricks are a great opportunity to start a conversation about The Country Friends and our Legacy Campaign,” she said.

It took two years to have 100 bricks laid in their place. And there is plenty of room for more. The next goal is another 100. 

“We’re just going to keep continuing and running different kinds of campaigns and different kinds of events all about the Legacy Campaign,” Cross said.

As far as Cross is concerned, there are a lot of reasons for people to be excited about this campaign. For starters, The Country Friends is all about giving money to charities.

“Every year, we zero out our books and give every penny we make away,” Cross said.

And because their rentals allow The Country Friends to pay its operating costs, that means the group can give more money to those in need.

“Every net dollar we make at our events and from the consignment shop goes right back out to our funded charities,” she said. “By creating this legacy fund, we think we can probably get up to $250,000, $300,000 a year.”

To learn more about The Country Friends and its Legacy Fund, visit TheCountryFriends.org or call (858) 756-1192.

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