Developer surprises Rancho Santa Fe student with big donation


By Claire Harlin

For a Rancho Santa Fe high school student, a newspaper article about her fundraising efforts for a Type 1 diabetes camp ended up connecting her to an L.A. donor who matched her contribution, enabling at least 30 kids to attend camp this summer.

Erin Hook, a sophomore at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, organized a service project called Shots for Sponsors, in which she contributed $5 for every “kill shot” or “ace serve” made during her 2011-12 season with Coast Volleyball Club. To qualify as a “kill shot” or “ace serve,” Hook has to score on that shot.

A Type 1 diabetes patient herself, Hook attended Camp Conrad-Chinnock, located in the San Bernardino Mountains, last summer. Tom Wilson, the L.A. developer behind businesses such as San Diego’s Fish Market restaurants, also has a daughter is Type 1 diabetes, so when a friend forwarded him the newspaper article about Hook’s efforts, he wanted to get involved.

At that time in March, the Rancho Santa Fe Review reported that Hook had raised $2,800 for Shots for Sponsors, and she has since raised nearly $4,000 more — more than any single supporter for the camp.

Then, Wilson and his wife, Paula, offered to match what Hook raised. The couple tracked Hook down by calling The Bishop’s School, who relayed the Wilsons’ contact information to Hook.

“I was really surprised because I wasn’t really sure how he found out about me,” said Hook. “Of course, I was really happy too. It was such a great thing out of the blue.”

Wilson invited Hook to his parents’ home in Rancho Santa Fe and presented the student with a check for $6,300. Altogether, Hook was able to donate about $12,600 to Conrad-Chinnock, enough to provide 30 campers a full-ride scholarship to the camp.

Hook’s mom, Lori Temko, said the funding means a lot to families dealing with diabetes because medical supplies can be so expensive, even with insurance.

“If you have more than one child, especially, it’s expensive to send your kids to camp,” Temko said, adding that the camp gives parents a week “off” with no worries because they can rest assured that their child will get the medical attention they need at camp. At Conrad-Chinnock, kids have constant access to snacks to keep blood sugar in check, and there is an endocrinologist and medical staff on site at all times.

Temko said Wilson still calls her daughter to check in and see how she is doing.

“He is just a wonderful, generous man who really thinks the camp is worthwhile,” said Temko. “It was really out of the blue for everybody. He said he just wants to keep following [Shots for Sponsors].”

For more information on Hook’s project, follow the link: