We wholeheartedly agree that most youth organizations are worthy of financial support, but this case is not what it seems after speaking with Imperial Irrigation District officials.
The Southwest Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts did get $10,000 for its New York trip, but not as a single donation from IID. Rather, SAVAPA joined forces with the IID Employee Relief Fund committee to stage a fundraising golf tournament and split the proceeds of $20,000.
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The ERF is a nonprofit, employee-led group separate from the IID that was put in place to provide relief to IID employees and their families in times of need. ERF’s creation was necessary because IID is a public agency and cannot provide funding to its employees in that way.
That said, ERF has had a fundraising golf tournament for many years, and had intended to cancel this latest one, but opted to combine efforts with SAVAPA.
Champion told us through their combined efforts they had 144 paid golfers, 18 tee sponsors and three platinum sponsors, including a $10,000 donation from Kenny Construction, which does work for IID.
As for donations from the IID, there is a mechanism in place for the IID to donate to organizations like SAVAPA, Little League, Boy Scouts of America, etc. Champion said to go to the IID Web site and find the “About IID” tab, where there is an application process to seek donations.
Who gets those funds and how much is decided by a committee made up of two members of the General Manager’s executive department and one person from the finance department.
Requests of $2,500 or less can be decided by the committee. Requests of $5,000 or less can be signed off by GM Kevin Kelley and requests more than that amount have to go to the IID Board of Directors.