Two local nonprofit organizations were surprised with $10,000 each. Representatives from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation interrupted two live news broadcasts of News Channel 3’s News at 4 p.m. The first happened on Wednesday afternoon while reporter Marian Bouchot was interviewing Desert X Founder and President Susan Davis. Then, on Thursday while Bouchot was interviewing Ronnie’s House for Hope Founder and President Jennifer Loza, another surprise was presented.
“These surprise grants are an exciting extension of our partnership with News Channel 3,” said Catharine Reed, Vice President of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. “There are so many nonprofits in our valley with amazing hearts serving fantastic causes. It’s extremely gratifying to help these organizations help others.”
Awarding the unexpected grants is part of the promotional process for the Berger Foundation and News Channel 3 to announce its open application period for twelve $25,000 grants that will be presented throughout 2023. Applications are open to all nonprofit organizations and tax-exempt public schools serving the Coachella Valley. Typically between 70-100 nonprofit organizations apply for the annual grants. Desert Biennial, which organizes Desert X, and Ronnie’s House for Hope were two Coachella Valley Spotlight applicants that were not selected during the last grant period, but those applications came into play when considering where to award the unexpected $10,000 grants.
“It’s difficult for our advisory board to choose only 12 recipients from many worthy applicants each year,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2. “Selecting a few additional recipients for these grants and surprising them on live television during our new 4 p.m. newscast was really exciting!”
Desert Biennial is the nonprofit behind Desert X, which has mounted three successful art exhibitions – in 2017, 2019 and 2021. The organization is preparing to launch Desert X 2023, which will run from March 4–May 7. The site-specific installations by acclaimed artists from around the world will focus on the desert landscape and its relationship with water.
“Receiving this surprise grant was truly unexpected,” said Davis. “We are so grateful for these funds, which will go toward our expanding education program that provides students with opportunities to learn about the world through art.”
Ronnie’s House for Hope provides support for children, teens, and their families following a death. The nonprofit accomplishes this through peer support groups and education. Ronnie’s House for Hope offers a safe place for sharing experiences, feelings, developing coping skills, and creating connections with others who understand.
“I really just couldn’t believe it,” said Loza. “This gift will fund grief groups for the entire school year for a multitude of kids and their families. It’s going to make a huge difference. We are beyond thankful.”
For information about Ronnie’s House for Hope visit www.ronnieshouseforhope.org. For more about Desert Biennial, go to www.desertx.org. To learn more about the Coachella Valley Spotlight and to apply for a grant, visit kesq.com, and click on the Coachella Valley Spotlight logo on the home page. The deadline for grant applications is noon on September 28, 2022.