By Anne Christensen


The Santa Ynez Valley Foundation received a gift of $250,000 from the Bill Foley family, who are longtime winemakers and philanthropists in the region. The gift will ensure the Valley Foundation continues to provide much-needed support to local organizations responding to the effects of COVID-19 in the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos valleys.

“We want to give back to this wonderful valley we call home, especially during this unprecedented time,” said Lindsey Foley on behalf of the family. “The Valley Foundation is uniquely positioned to distribute funds to local charities, across many different areas, that need donations the most.”

“This is a truly transformative gift to the Valley Foundation,” said Hayley Firestone Jessup, president of the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation Board of Directors. “As we pivot to a more long-term strategy, we are exploring avenues to best support the local educational, cultural, senior citizen, and safety-net organizations on the front lines of response.

“These funds will help support the rebuilding of these organizations post-coronavirus.”

Photo contributed

In March as a local response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation launched the Coronavirus Relief Fund to expedite emergency grants to the most vulnerable in the local area. To date, the emergency relief fund has awarded some $75,000 to local organizations.

In addition to providing grants to a variety of local non-profits, the Valley Foundation continues to provide grants to organizations that are part of the Food for SYV coalition, created in response to the increased demand for food and necessities in the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos Valleys brought on by COVID-19.

All donations to the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation’s support nonprofit organizations in the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos Valleys. Funds donated to the Valley Foundation’s Coronavirus Relief Fund will directly support local charities involved in relief efforts. All donations are tax deductible.

All donations will be distributed to organizations in the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos valleys to meet basic needs during the pandemic including rent, food, and medical care. 

Donations of cash may be made on the foundation’s website at or by check to 485 Alisal Road, Ste. 272, Solvang, CA 93463. For more information about the Relief Fund or the Foundation, contact Anne Christensen, executive director, at or 805-688-2991.

For more about the Foley Family, visit

Founded in 1991 by Stuart C. Gildred, the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations that deliver programs and services to residents in one of five focus areas: health and human services, senior programs, youth, education and cultural programs. Funds from the foundation’s endowment, and support from donations provide funding for these annual grants.