A record eight-year total of more than a half million dollars raised for the Mission Hope Cancer Center and other community nonprofits is a milestone for CoastHills Credit Union and its community foundation. In the last four years, CoastHills has raised more than $282,000 for the Santa Maria-based cancer center through “Rancho Vino,” its annual fundraising event.  Another $287,558 has been raised over eight years through the credit union’s “Peak Performance” employee pledge campaign and other CoastHills events to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network, the Foodbank, Jack’s Helping Hands and other local nonprofits.

In December, CoastHills presented a $75,000 check to the Mission Hope Cancer Center from proceeds of the 2014 Rancho Vino event. The funding will provide crucial support for those undergoing cancer treatments. Rancho Vino is a popular wine and food tasting gala that includes a silent and live auction.  Nearly 300 people attended.

“We consider ourselves so very fortunate to have the friendship and support of the CoastHills team,” said Stephanie Grogan, vice president of philanthropy for the Marian Foundation.   “It takes a tremendous amount of work to put on an event like Rancho Vino, and the CoastHills staff once again poured their hearts into this effort on our behalf,” added Dr. Robert Dichmann, medical oncologist and medical director for the Mission Hope Cancer Center. “There are numerous other causes that CoastHills could be concentrating on, but we are grateful they have chosen cancer care as their focus over the last four years. We cannot express our gratitude enough.”

“CoastHills exists to serve the community,” said Jeff York, president and CEO of the 58,000 member credit union.  “As a credit union, our entire focus is on our members and our vision of making a difference in our neighbor’s lives.  It is truly what drives us, every day.”  York described the Rancho Vino event as a “culmination of months of planning, weeks of preparation, and a day of dedicated volunteers making the magic happen.”  He said it is an event employee volunteers look forward to because they can see the tangible results of their efforts and the difference the funds make to the communities in which they live. “We have a service promise at CoastHills that strives to give our members a “wow” experience,” York said. “That energy is pervasive across the organization, and includes a sense of service in all that we do, including our volunteer commitments.”

Over the last four years, CoastHills staff volunteered nearly 20,000 hours across such diverse groups as local animal shelters, youth sports teams and service organizations.  The credit union encourages volunteerism, on and off the clock.

In addition, CoastHills’ $20,000 annual high school “Gold Standard Scholarship” program supports local high school seniors with college scholarships.

Its annual “Make a Difference Day” each October involves every CoastHills employee in a hands-on community support event ranging from school makeovers to last year’s project to build and donate 200 bikes to foster kids. First, more than 200 employees rallied together to build the bikes, and on Saturday, October 25, 2014, national Make a Difference Day, employees delivered the bicycles to six foster care facilities throughout the credit union’s five-county field of membership: Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

“This is such an incredible project, we have so many requests for bikes, especially around the holidays, you can’t imagine the freedom of the kids getting a bike for the first time,” said Kim Davis, with CASA of Santa Barbara County. “This is absolutely incredible, the first of its kind partnership with CASA. CoastHills, you are awesome!”

York acknowledged Davis’ appreciation along with the leaders of the cancer center. He said from CoastHills’ perspective, these philanthropic efforts hit home that “’Another great day’ is more than a tagline, it’s the effort we bring to the table every day.”