Each engraved brick leading into the entry of The Country Friends’ Consignment Shop in Rancho Santa Fe shares how the nonprofit has touched people. On Nov. 10, supporters of The Country Friends gathered to celebrate its second annual Legacy Brick Unveiling.
According to Deborah Cross, board president of The Country Friends, the gathering was a time to present bricks to honor those who have contributed funds, time and talent to its Legacy Campaign.
“This unveiling is a very important part of our Legacy Campaign. We launched the campaign a few years ago to raise $1 million,” Deborah Cross said. “The first half of a million is to pay off our construction loan that was used to remodel this entire facility. The other $500,000 is to start an Endowment Fund so that we don’t have to reach into our operating capital to maintain this beautiful building.”
To date, the Legacy Campaign has reached a quarter of its goal. Cross said The Country Friends paid down its construction loan by about 50 percent.
“This just frees up more money for us to donate to our funded agencies,” she said, adding how the bricks represent those who have taken part in the campaign in one way or another.
Along with donors, other bricks have honored past board presidents of The County Friends as well as chairs for their annual Art of Fashion event. Other recent bricks recognized a couple of local businesses who have supported the nonprofit’s endeavors such as jeweler John Matty Co. and Mille Fleurs Restaurant.
The Country Friends was established in 1954 and has funded nearly $14 million for local human care agencies.
Deborah Cross was also quick to point out that thousands of bricks are still available for purchase. Next year, on Feb. 16, The Country Friends will be hosting its Giving Hearts Dinner and Dance at the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club. While the 2019 funded agencies will be announced, there will also be plenty of opportunities to purchase the bricks to benefit the Legacy Campaign.
Deborah Cross said her husband, Les, has also been instrumental in the Legacy Campaign serving as chair. Every year, he said, there are more requests for grants. In essence, reaching the goals of the Legacy Campaign will enable The Country Friends to fund more organizations.
“When we pull this off, it will free up around another estimated $100,000 a year — this increase is what we can give out to local charities just by raising $1 million,” Les Cross said.
The Endowment Fund will help pay for the costs of running the Consignment Shop in addition to as-needed repairs. The nonprofit won’t need to dip into its operating budget.
“This building was donated to us. It’s a beautiful old lady here in the Ranch, and we’ve got to keep it looking nice,” he said.
To learn more about The Country Friends and its events, visit thecountryfriends.org.