( Director of Public Information and Marketing)
Irvine Valley College’s theatre department received an anonymous donation of $15,000 through the Orange County Community Foundation, handing the check to IVC’s Theatre Department Director, Ron-Manuel Ellison.
Ellison said that this money will be useful for many fields of the department.
“Some of the money will go for scholarships for our students in the program, while other portions will be put into the student showcase,” Ellison said.
Ellison explained that the showcase gives students a chance to produce and direct their own show, funded by the department.
He also mentions that another portion of the donation will be used for any equipment or new technology necessary for the department.
The middle man in all of this, the OCCF, is headed by director Al Tello.
The OOCF, as Tello puts it, serves as an outlet for donors who seek a chance to grant gifts to nonprofit organizations.
Tello explains that this foundation’s layout resembles that of The United Way, in which both foundations find charitable places for benefactors to fund.
“This particular foundation helps find donor’s the best place to make wise donation decisions” Tello said.
Tello said that most people are unfamiliar with the OCCF because of the lack of advetising spent to spread the word.
“We like to publicize these special gifts so people know what others are doing to encourage more donations,” Tello said.
Beside this donation, Tello says the OCCF has received even larger amounts of money in the past, one of them being $50,000, given by an anonymous donor.
“Many organizations have popped up around the country doing the same work we do. I know there is one in Boston and a large one in San Francisco that recently opened up,” Tello said.
He also mentioned that the benefit of making donations through their foundation is that tax write-offs do apply whereas simply writing money to a school does not.
In the case of IVC’s anonymous donor, Ellison said, “The gift was given because the benefactor had seen our work and obviously liked what we do”
Ellison says he has received these donations regularly throughout his 20 years of work at IVC, and know that the community will continue to express their appreciate of the theatre through donations.