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Institute Gives Beysters a Place of Honor for Their Support

J. Robert Beyster and Betty J. Beyster will donate approximately $2.5 million to the J. Craig Venter Institute. The funds will be used to support the completion of the J. Craig Venter Institute sustainable laboratory that is currently under construction at UC San Diego. To thank the Beysters for their generosity, the third-floor ocean-view conference room and terrace will be named the Bob and Betty Beyster Conference Room and the Bob and Betty Beyster Terrace, respectively. “We are very grateful to Bob and Betty for this very generous gift to JCVI,” said J. Craig Venter, founder and CEO of the JCVI. “Their visionary support of our new sustainable building will enable our scientists to continue their groundbreaking research on a variety of genomic fronts” … The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego received a $1 million pledge from local philanthropist Bob Payne over a five-year period. The funds will be used to pay for the retrofit of a clubhouse, which will be renamed the Bob Payne Family Branch, and help cover program costs. “Bob and his family have been tremendous supporters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego,” said BGCGSD President & CEO Danny Sherlock. “The building and the purpose it serves in the community is the perfect tribute to the Payne family for their continued support.” Payne also served on the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Club of San Diego from 1970 to 1990 and was instrumental in acquiring a closed Safeway store, which was transformed into the club’s Encanto Branch … Locally based Taylor Guitars has pledged 300 guitars to Little Kids Rock. The organization provides music education and free instruments to public schools in underserved communities. “Little Kids Rock and Taylor Guitars share a mutual affinity for fostering creativity through music education,” said Kurt Listug, CEO and co-founder of Taylor Guitars. “Through our gift, we’re honored to enrich the lives of today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders.” The guitars will be distributed to schools across the nation, with the first 40 going to students at PS 34/Franklin Delano Roosevelt Academy in New York City … San Diego-based nonprofit National Foundation for Autism Research received a $15,000 New York Life Community Impact Grant. The funds will be used to support the organization’s Early Autism Diagnosis Outreach efforts in San Diego … Bridgepoint Education Inc. and its two academic institutions, Ashford University and University of the Rockies, participated in the company’s Heroes Day, where more than 400 employees in three states worked to better the communities that they live and work in. Locally, employees from Bridgepoint Education and Ashford University worked to enhance the San Diego River Garden in east Mission Valley by repairing fences, removing debris and creating nature trails. “Bridgepoint Education and Ashford University demonstrated a real commitment to the community by joining us to enhance the River Garden in Mission Valley,” said Rob Hutsel, executive director at the San Diego River Park Foundation. “We were especially thrilled that so many kids participated in the event. It was a wonderful day.” The biannual event serves as a day for employees of Bridgepoint Education to volunteer and give back to their communities … RA Sushi will host the 9th Annual Nicky’s Week fundraiser May 26-June 1. The company will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of a variety of menu items and beverages that week to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. RA Sushi is located in downtown San Diego at 474 Broadway.

Please send Kudos/Giving items to Emily Pippin at epippin@sdbj.com.

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