2012 is the year of the Champion at the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center

By Erin Weidner

Executive director of the RSF Community Center

This new year began with greatly appreciated support in response to our year-end appeal. The handwritten notes of goodwill and encouragement were appreciated in equal measure to the generous donations you sent in or donated online. The RSF Community Center is in a unique and challenging position in that we do not receive any federal, state or municipal funding. Our programs are only partially funded by participation fees and membership dues (only $85 per year for an individual resident membership) and the balance is funded with donations and fundraisers.

Celebrity Poker Tournament: This Saturday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m.

Who will be the “Champ of the Ranch”?! We’ll find out on Saturday. Since we’re talking about fundraisers making up the difference in our budget, here is an opportunity to put your cards on the table, literally. Join us at the RSF Garden Club at 6 p.m. for our Celebrity No-Limit Texas Hold ‘em Poker Tournament. Join poker celebrities and local sports luminaries including tennis player Mark Philippoussis, MLB greats Kurt Bevacqua and Brett Boone, and NFL punter Steve Weatherford, among others, for an exciting evening of No-Limit Texas Hold ‘em to benefit the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center.

Martin Katz’s John Matty has stepped up in a big way with our top prize of an Hermes Clipper watch for the soon-to-be-crowned Champ. Owen Perry has generously offered a week stay at the beautiful Via Del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto in Mexico. We’ll have a San Diego jazz combo, the Jazz Club, playing Sinatra and Bennett tunes from the Great American Songbook live during the cocktail hour, and during the first break in play, as well. Michael Parziale and Dan Morilak with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, as well as Robert Zeps of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu have come in as new sponsors this year.

The Faltinsky Family stepped up early as our King of Diamonds event sponsor for this evening’s festivities.

There’s plenty for you to do whether you purchase a Spectator Pass ($100) which includes a Learner’s table for those of us not as familiar with the game as those at the Player tables. We’ll have local wineries, a local distillery and area restaurants serving their food and pouring for you. There are opportunity drawings and silent auction items (including golf, spa, dining, travel and casino packages) as well. We look forward to seeing you there!

Sign-ups are live online for Session 3 of our After School programs

We have some exciting new offerings next session! Glee – Show Choir comes for the first time to the RSFCC and we expect it to be a sellout. We have several Pee Wee offerings this time, and Coach Mike is even offering Lil Kickers and Lil Sports Stars which are intro classes to sports.

Rock Band is back due to popular demand and we will also offer Cartoon Drawing. Robb Daly will run three classes- Fun Food Factory, Kitchen Chemistry and Wild Woodshop. Karate is new this session with a Pee Wee class as well as an Introductory level class for the older youth.

And if music and dance are more to your child’s liking, we’ve got Hip Hop Dance and Music and Motion rounding out the offerings. You can find the complete course descriptions online at

Girls Junior Dunkers will be here before you know it!

Registration is open online and our free pre-season clinics are slated for Feb 7, 14, and 21 from 5-8 p.m. here at the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center Gym.

Tech Thursdays begin Jan. 19 at 11 a.m.

Tech Thursdays began in response to a few requests from local nonprofits and members asking how to accomplish various functions online, and I was glad to sit down and show them. We’ve got Wi-Fi if you want to bring your own laptop or we have Mac laptops that were generously donated, as well as a few PC laptops if you only have a desktop at home. We’ll walk through a different topic each week beginning with some online sharing. Topics currently slated include Google Docs, Calendar, Excel, Picasa (photos), Inbox Tips, LinkedIn etc. These are very interactive, user-friendly get togethers. The only thing you need to bring is your curiosity or a tech question you’d like to have answered. It will be a low-key “class” driven entirely by the participants.

These classes are free to members and residents. There is a drop-in fee of $10 for non-members (so why not join!)

Come along on a Low Tide Beach Walk Monday, Jan. 23

Monday Jan. 23 is our third Low Tide Beach walk at 3 p.m. We’ll meet up at the Community Center to ride down together at 2:45 p.m., or you can meet us at Fletcher Cove, at the base of Lomas Santa Fe Drive, at 3 p.m. There is plenty of free parking.

This will be a leisurely stroll, and sunshine or clouds, we’ll be there as it’s just a matter of dressing appropriately.

We’ll search for seashells, sand dollars (I always find at least one) and other gifts laid out for us by the sea. A local ocean enthusiast will join us to help us better understand tides as we walk and talk. Last month there were several members who couldn’t find us down at the beach, so this time I’ll bring a bright red cabana with RSFCC taped to the side, so that we’ll have a meeting spot. You can also bring my direct number with you as it will forward to my cell phone.

Ongoing activities at (your) RSF Community Center


Mondays & Wednesdays at 9:15 a.m.

Join this fun group of neighbors and friends in the gym each week with music that you can’t help but move to!


Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:15 am

This class is held in our sun-filled Herrick Room with floor to ceiling windows.

(Join us this month for some free demo days as potential new instructors audition for this group. Make your vote count.)


Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m.

This group is open to any resident of Rancho Santa Fe and has been meeting weekly for more than two years. This is a great way to get involved in the community while polishing your presentation skills.

Tech Thursdays:

Thursdays at 11 a.m.

This drop-in class offers a participant driven topic each week in a friendly, non-stress environment. Bring your own laptop or tablet and we’ll all learn together.

This new year brings us great opportunities to join together as a community. All it takes is someone to “champion the cause” and we can make new programs happen — or bring them back. We’re bringing back Newcomers with board members John Hansch and Tim Cusac actively on board. Shirley Corless is championing a Retirees Group to gather monthly at local restaurants. Joe Zagaro brought the idea of a drop-in Family Sports activity on a Sunday afternoon each month — we’re looking at soccer, basketball and volleyball (in the gym, and once it warms up, at the beach) rotating through the lineup. Kerry Witkin at The Private Bank has championed a ballroom and swing dancing group and we’re working with some potential instructors already. If Kerry has his way, we’ll have a New Year’s Eve dinner dance at the end of 2012 right here at the RSFCC gym, complete with a big band. I think we can do it!

Please drop me an email at or give me a call direct at 858-756- 1480 if you’d like more information about any of these activities or if you have ideas you’d like to champion. How fun.