Inspiring the Future: Giving Back


Photography by Mark Davidson and Pat Lassy

Countless Coachella Valley residents are familiar with BIGHORN because of its compassionate and philanthropic Members who have altered and improved the lives of so many.

BIGHORN Members have always been privately generous. But since 2005, they’ve come together to give as a community, and the incredible impact has surpassed their wildest dreams! After a successful grassroots campaign raising $1.5 million for Hurricane Katrina, Members raised another $11 million to establish the Eisenhower BIGHORN Radiation Oncology Center. Soon thereafter, BIGHORN Golf Club Charities (BGCC) was formed paving the way to reach out to the diversity of needs of the entire Coachella Valley.

Twelve years later, three highly visible, successful and inspiring programs are supported by Members’ generosity. As Charities Manager Danielle Ortega shares, “We have something for everyone. If your passion is children, BIGHORN Cares has funded Boys & Girls Clubs, educational trips, after school programs, and activities for special needs kids. BIGHORN Behind a Miracle (BAM) assists local cancer patients by providing the latest medical equipment, transportation to treatment, and resources to cover life’s basic costs. And the BIGHORN Scholarship Program supports college education for veterans and students.”

This wide blanket of humanitarianism was recognized in November 2016, when National Fundraising Professionals (NFP) gave BIGHORN Golf Club Charities the Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation Award! BIGHORN Cares has supported our local Boys & Girls Clubs valley-wide, fixing their dilapidated gyms, enhancing play spaces, and funding air-conditioners to keep thousands of kids engaged in healthy activities and off the streets.

A BIGHORN Cares Grant funded the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission’s Food Prep and Cook Training Program which gives the homeless practical experience in using restaurant equipment to help them get jobs. We are proud to fund: Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, Find Food Bank, Full of Grace, Hidden Harvest, Mission Outreach Project, Martha’s Village & Kitchen, and The Narrow Door for feeding and clothing our growing out-of-work population.

“To say that BIGHORN Members have big hearts would be an understatement,” said Harold Matzner NFP spokesperson in his speech at the honoring event. “Their giving is visionary. And at their helm is their Chairman and my dear friend, R.D. Hubbard, who believes in helping people thrive and develop into their best selves.” From an audience rapt with awe over BIGHORN’s disbursement of over $100 million in charitable contributions since 2005, Mr. Hubbard received a standing ovation. It was a humble moment of pride and accomplishment for every BIGHORN Member who has chosen to be a part of this actively generous Club.

Supporting Underserved Non-Profits: BIGHORN Cares Just three years old, BIGHORN Cares has already given 132 grants totaling over $1.32 million to well-deserving non profits across the lowest-income parts of the Coachella Valley. Most are smaller, devoted organizations that lack established donors yet work tirelessly to squeeze the most from their tight budgets to serve the most people.

Attending to the most at-risk sectors of our community, these organizations feed, house, and air-condition the A BIGHORN Cares Grant funded the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission’s Food Prep and Cook Training Program which gives the homeless practical experience in using restaurant equipment to help them get jobs. We are proud to fund: Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, Find Food Bank, Full of Grace, Hidden Harvest, Mission Outreach Project, Martha’s Village & Kitchen, and The Narrow Door for feeding and clothing our growing out-of-work population.homeless.

They provide meals, school supplies, clothing, and enriching programs to children, and they move young people off the streets and back on track to building a future. Through the BIGHORN Cares grants, disabled kids and adults have the opportunity to hear, see, or play sports for the first time. Area veterans have a chance to go to school and receive counseling. Anti-bullying and youth suicide prevention programs are supported, along with job-search assistance for low-income families. And the list goes on.

Danielle visits each finalist in a process of due diligence that ensures funds will be used responsibly. “I’ve lived in this valley my whole life and I didn’t know even a quarter of all the non-profits we have here,” she says. She has had the privilege of seeing BIGHORN’s compassion in action firsthand, witnessing children with disabilities hit their first home run in the Baseball Buddies program and emotionally abused and neglected boys at Father’s Heart Ranch work together to plant a garden, play on a playground, and enjoy air-conditioning in a safe, nurturing environment that prompts them to turn away from the dead ends of drugs and crime.

The Bob Hope USO on the Home Front Van transports troops and equipment 52 miles daily to and from the 29 Palms base to the Palm Springs Airport thanks to a BIGHORN Cares Grant.

BIGHORN Cares funded technological innovation to bring California State University San Bernardino’s Neurofeedback Program to 100 ADHD and ADD school children, helping their brains to function clearer and achieving amazing results.

The Allen family is the lucky recipient of a childcare grant for Veteran students attending College of theDesert who use their GI benefits to fund their education. Families are excluded from state grants to fund childcare subsidies so BIGHORN Cares has stepped in to cover costs.

The first year of the program, Danielle says she followed a dirt road to reach an after-school program in Thermal. “It was run by a sweet nun who told me the kids come all summer long so they aren’t exposed to local drug dealers,” she says. “Across the valley, kids aren’t eating becausethere are no school lunches during the summer. Thermal is 20 minutes away, but it’s a completely different way of life.” One that is vastly improved by BIGHORN Cares Grants.

The charities have come to know each other and foster relationships among themselves. Father’s Heart Ranch has started to use the anti-anxiety computer program from CSUSB to help their boys who represent some of the worst-case scenarios for their age group.

Danielle receives heartfelt updates, photos, and videos from BIGHORN Cares recipients that she passes along to Members. “We funded a science camp for 25 fifth-graders. They were so excited to dissect a squid! It was an amazing experience they would never have had in their Coachella classroom.”

Creating Educational Opportunities: BIGHORN Golf Club Charities Scholarship Program
In addition to assisting veterans at College of the Desert, this program has raised over $6 million and gifted over 500 The Allen family is the lucky recipient of a childcare grant for Veteran students attending College of the Desert who use their GI benefits to fund their education. Families are excluded from state grants to fund childcare subsidies so BIGHORN Cares has stepped in to cover costs. community college, four-year university, and graduate program scholarships. These scholarships advance career opportunities and significantly change the lives of the recipient scholars, BIGHORN employees, and their families. Employees have also been eager to participate in BIGHORN’s English as a Second Language program.

“Our annual Holiday Toy Drive started during the recession,” Danielle says. “The kids who received toys when it started are now in the scholarship program. I have photos of them with their toys; now they’re in college!” Over 2,200 gifts have been placed in the hands of deserving children since 2006. “It’s amazing to work for a place that cares about the community as much as BIGHORN does and has the means to do something about it,” Danielle praises.

Elevating Patient Care and Saving Lives: BIGHORN BAM
BIGHORN Behind a Miracle (BAM) has a reputation for its hardline fight against breast cancer on a local level, but its advanced radiation therapy technologies have healed patients with a myriad of cancers. In 2017, BAM celebrated a Decade of Miracles. The millions of dollars BAM has contributed to Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center have given patients their best chance at beating cancer and significantly evolved the desert’s medical care as a whole.

Each year, the organization touches families, improves care, eases financial and transportation burdens, alters outcomes, saves lives, and brightens the future of breast care patients valley-wide.

Supporters of BAM have raised over $7.5 million over the past 10 years for cancer patient support services, breast cancer diagnostic technologies, and educational scholarships. Through BAM’s generous donations, two new BIGHORN BAM Vans transport radiation and chemotherapy patients to treatment. More than 10,000 rides have already shuttled patients in need who would normally rely on public transportation.

BAM also supports The Pendleton Foundation’s outreach to give financially strapped cancer patients grocery and gas gift cards they need to survive. Talk about changing people’s lives!

The contagious enthusiasm of the organization’s leaders has spread to fellow BIGHORN Members, valley donors, volunteers, and sponsors. A genuine spirit of giving has helped BAM grow, rippling out to make a grassroots difference like no other and recognized as a model for fun and active fundraising.

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