The Malibu-based nonprofit Malibu Dolphin Charitable Foundation announced it recently donated funds to several local charities, using excess funds after canceling its annual citizenship awards reception due to the pandemic. Recipients include the Malibu Community Labor Exchange; Malibu’s Community Assistance Resource Team, to help fund meals to the homeless; the Hand In Hand program at Malibu Jewish Center & Synagogue, with funding to underwrite programming for special needs adults; KBUU 99.1 Radio Malibu, for transmitter upgrades and signal expansion; and the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation.

The annual Malibu Dolphin Awards were originally established 30 years ago by The Malibu Times’ publishers Karen and Arnold York to recognize those making extraordinary public service efforts in service of the community. In 2017, the Malibu Dolphin Charitable Foundation was established as a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit in order for it to survive beyond the Yorks’ ownership of the newspaper. 

“Other than the scholarships and a few emergency grants given over the years, we don’t make direct donations to other nonprofits. Instead, we use our funds specifically for public service training programs along with our annual Dolphin Awards event,” co-founder Karen York wrote while announcing the donations. “However, we had to cancel last year’s Dolphin Awards (due to the pandemic), so we found ourselves in the unique position of having extra funding in our budget. That’s when the board decided to use that money to support specific community nonprofits that have been especially hard-hit during these difficult times.”

Meeting by email, foundation board members voted unanimously to select the recipients and the amounts of each donation. In addition to the Yorks, other board members include Terry Adamson, Scott Tallal, Steve Weinberg, Gail Wilburn and Anthony York. Karen wished to recognize all of these board members along with foundation event planner, Mary Higgins.  

The foundation is supported by several local corporations and institutional donors along with several dozen individual contributors. “Like many nonprofits, we have an annual fundraising program at the end of each year in order to fund our operations for the year following,” said Tallal, the foundation’s treasurer. “The typical individual donation is $50 to $100, but for this year we received an extraordinarily generous donation of $2,500 from one local family.”

As a side note, Karen wrote, the foundation was still planning to host the awards reception, as soon as possible.

“We will probably combine last year’s [canceled] 2020 event with this year’s 2021 Dolphin Award winners and schedule it for the fall to ensure that everyone is properly recognized!” Karen wrote.

The mission statement of the Malibu Dolphin Foundation is to “provide recognition and financial support to the many worthwhile and inspirational individuals, organizations and community projects that enhance the quality of life for all of Malibu’s citizens. 

“Our efforts will include, but not be limited to, community, educational, environmental and health initiatives, disaster preparedness and relief, assistance to families in need and those organizations and individuals whose efforts address our society’s critical challenges and the unmet needs of their fellow citizens,” the foundation wrote.

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