Tim and Carol Rochford are asking the community to rally around youth in need as a difficult year comes to a close.
The Rochfords are giving Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside $50,000 as a challenge gift — the Rochford Rally — to encourage members of the community to match it.
“Let’s start off this year, even though we’re still facing it with this cloud hanging over us, let’s start off with a positive,” Tim Rochford said.
“And it doesn’t matter the size of that check, but that you’re part of that train, that giving train … get into that momentum to be part of it,” Rochford said. “And you would be surprised — a lot of people are giving who have been giving, but those maybe giving for the first time will maybe step up and kick it up a notch. They’re going to learn that it comes back.”
Rochford said he and Carol are “blessed to be able to do this, and that is contagious.”
“There’s such joy in doing that, not because you want your name up in lights, but the fact you know you’re putting a smile on a child’s face, and that is priceless,” added Rochford, who with Carol owns the Burrage Mansion in Redlands and founded the Rochford Foundation for underserved youth.
Rochford said that because of the financial burden the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on parents for much of 2020, “why not put yourself in a position to help contribute … it’s not a hand out, it’s a hand up.”
He said the Club has been a “bridge back to normalcy” by providing academic and nutritional support. The Club expanded its hours in May to be open all day for the kids of working parents, and has distributed groceries weekly since March.
Rochford said Redlands has a history of people coming together to support causes, “whether it’s writing a check or whether it’s giving their time.” He said he is optimistic about the future and hopes that in a year, the Club will have its annual Holiday Extravaganza for hundreds of kids at the Burrage Mansion.
“In the meantime, what we’ve got to do is make sure we provide those bridges for these kids until we get back to that normalcy,” he said.
The Club replaced Holiday Extravaganza with a drive-through event at the Club Dec. 21 and 22, where members received a toy and a book and their family received a bag of food. Rochford held a drive-through event for the community at the mansion earlier in the month.
Community members who want to join the Rochford Rally can contact the Club at 888-822-6535; go to www.BeGreatIE.org and designate “Rochford Rally” in “Notes” on the Donate page; or email email@example.com —Joy
Posted: Dec. 24, 2020