After 24 years working as a dedicated volunteer, SPS Shareholder Rick Schenkel recently served as MC for a gala celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Water Buffalo Club (WBC).
The 75-member WBC provides time and financial support to smaller children’s charities, as well as hosting events that foster a sense of well-being for under served children throughout the Los Angeles area.
“Our objective is simple: to help out underprivileged kids and have fun doing it,” says Rick, current Treasurer and past President. “Since our inception, we have supported over 180 charitable organizations, literally touching the lives of thousands of Los Angeles County residents.”
Let’s just say the anniversary bash was a blast. Saturday Night Live alumnus Dana Carvey provided a side-splitting set. Additional entertainment was provided by kids from Get Lit, a leading nonprofit presenter of literary performance, education and teen poetry programs in Southern California. Get Lit’s efforts received a WBC donation this year.
That’s not to mention the lucky raffle winner, who is taking seven friends on a private Lear Jet to Las Vegas for a night on the town.
The WBC Mission
While there are many benevolent groups across the country, the WBC is one of only a handful that focuses on smaller grantees, with budgets of not more than $350,000. “We look to fund one-time capital expenditures and generally avoid funding operating budgets,” says Rick. “Also, each member of the WBC makes an annual contribution that covers our administrative costs and expenses.”
Over the last quarter century, WBC has donated $3 million to local charities. Gifts include refurbishing nine school libraries, feeding over 15,000 people at Thanksgiving, and sponsoring 10,000 kids to attend events such as a day at Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles Dodger games and trips to the Observatory.
“One of my favorites is Christmas in July, where we invite 200 inner-city kids to a day of fun at the Santa Monica pier,” remarks Rick. “All of our guests go home with lots of gifts and much needed school supplies.”
Here is a partial list of organizations who received grants this year: Falcons Football and Cheer, Better With Books, Hollywood Indies Little League, Slam! and Dream a World of Education. If you’d like to know how you can become involved with WBC (www.waterbuffaloclub.com) call 310-556-8100.