King City Recreation Department received a $2,000 grant to help provide free swimming lessons to children. (Contributed)

KING CITY — Southern Monterey County Foundation (SMCF) has awarded nearly $24,000 in grants this year to more than a dozen nonprofit organizations providing services in King City and surrounding areas.

Guided by an advisory board of local community members, SMCF raises funds to provide grants each year to strengthen communities in southern Monterey County, from King City to points south.

“I support the SMCF because I have always believed in the power of people helping people,” said Oscar Avalos, chair of the SMCF Advisory Board for 2023. “It feels good to know that our grants are making a positive impact in our South County community.”

SMCF, an affiliate fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County, has granted more than $192,000 to projects and programs benefiting South Monterey County residents since 2014.

Grant-making is made possible by the support of local individuals, families and businesses. The 2022 grants were also supported in part by Chevron.

Among this year’s 14 grant recipients is the King City Recreation Department, which received a $2,000 grant to help fund its Swimming Lesson Program that provides free swimming lessons to children.

“We are so grateful for the Southern Monterey County Foundation’s continued support of our Learn to Swim program,” said Andrea Wasson, City of King recreation manager. “This grant allows us to provide lessons to children who may not otherwise be able to afford them and teaches them a skill that can last a lifetime.”

Other $2,000 grantees are: King City Boxing Club, for providing positive activities for youth; Kinship Center, a member of Seneca Family of Agencies, for the King City Mental Health Clinic; Special Kids Connect, for a Spring Resource and Emergency Preparedness Fair for special needs families; Read to Me Project, for home-based early literacy and reading program; City of Greenfield’s Greenfield Community Science Workshop, for science mobile clinics in San Ardo and San Lucas; Girls Inc. of the Central Coast, for substance abuse prevention for girls; Hesperia Hall Foundation, for a promotion video for Hesperia Hall; and Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services, for a transportation program.

In addition, O’Neill Sea Odyssey received a $1,815 grant for ocean education and climate resiliency for King City, and Partnership for Children was awarded $1,500 for increasing access to medical care for children with serious illnesses and supporting their families.

Receiving $1,000 grants each are Legal Services for Seniors, for no-cost professional legal services for low-income seniors in South Monterey County; and Harmony At Home, for bullying prevention programs for southern Monterey County schools. Sol Treasures also received $500 for social media outreach.

SMCF provides an opportunity for donors to pool philanthropic resources to strengthen communities in South Monterey County. For more information or to support the SMCF fund, visit

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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