Category Archives: RSF News

Rancho Santa Fe House Big Draw for Ronald McDonald House Raffle


The famous Ronald McDonald House charity chose a home in Rancho Santa Fe this year for their Dream House Raffle. This is the 11th year that the raffle has taken place, and its purpose is to help support children and the families of children.

The dream house for this year in Rancho Santa Fe has six bedrooms and eight bathrooms. It’s custom-built and the house is on top of a ridge that has an impressive scenic view of mountains going out into the ocean for over 2.4 acres.

The houses are always donated by the original homeowners according to Chuck Day, who is the CEO of the San Diego chapter of the charity. There are actually many multiple prizes in the charity, around 1300, and because of the limited numbers of people entering, the chances of winning are around 1 in 50.

It’s not just houses either, it’s also cars like an Audi or a Mercedes-Benz, and even vacations to exotic locations like Hawaii or Apple computers are potential prizes.

The Grand Prize is the Rancho Santa Fe house for a reason though, since anyone who wins the raffle can decide that they want 2.1 million dollars instead, provided that enough people enter the raffle.

In the event that someone takes the cash instead of the home, the owner will receive the home back again. Homes such as the one in Rancho Santa Fe are usually big draws, since last year’s event raised more than $3 million for charity and was one of the most successful events that Ronald McDonald House had ever done.

The Latest from the Helen Woodward Animal Center


December was an exciting month for the Helen Woodward Animal Center. After loosing both a close family member and a beloved pet in 2014, an anonymous donor decided to pay all the fees and go through the process of adopting a puppy– but without taking the puppy home. Instead, this donor asked that the puppy go to a family with young children.

So, when the Saxton family chose a lab to take home with them, they didn’t know just how special this day would be. The Ranchos Santa Fe Review online describes:

“The family was incredibly touched and surprised when they were informed that Dasher’s adoption fee had been covered by the anonymous angel. Unable to thank their donor, the family gave the hugs and love to their new puppy instead. Jonah Saxten explained it simply. ‘Best Christmas present ever!'”

This event embodies the animal center’s mission statement, which is about people helping and animals and animals helping people. Helen Woodward, the animal center’s founder, inspires this philosophy. She was a woman determined to make the world a happier place to live in for both people and  animals. The center runs on this principle, and this donation shines as an example of the joy and bond that exists between humans and their pets.

The Helen Woodward Animal Center is known for its fundraising events and family activities, in addition to finding good homes for pets. If you are interested in adopting a pet volunteering, or learning about the center’s impact, check out

Rancho Santa Fe Continues Massive Cutback in Water for Last November


According to a recent report in the Rancho Santa Fe Review, citizens of Rancho Santa Fe recently cut back significantly on their use of water last November in order to do their part to conserve water.

On average, citizens that drew water from the public supply only used 376 gallons of water on average in the month of November, which was down from 584 gallons used in the month of September.

This is partly due to the fact that less water is needed in November anyway since this is traditionally when it rains more in the area. The fact that local restrictions in the San Diego region were recently in effect could have had something to do with it as well.

However, not all of the recent cut back is attributed just to mandatory laws or seasonal variation. One board member in the area claimed that local citizens understand that there’s a drought on and that it’s important for them all to conserve as much water as possible to help out, and that is exactly what’s happening.

It’s apparently not just the Rancho Santa Fe region cutting back either, since other local cities also cut back including Streetwater and Valley Center. The city of San Diego also cut back 17 gallons on average from a total of 82 gallons in September.

But considering the large amount used in the Rancho Santa Fe region, their massive cutback over that period will likely have one of the largest effects on water conservation in the area.

Rancho Santa Fe 5th Graders Excel In National Spotlight


December was a big month for a group of 5th graders from R. Roger Rowe school in Rancho Santa Fe, California. These 5th graders were a part of a robotics team that competed in the First Lego League Southern California Championship.

The 5th graders have named their robotics team the maze runners. As part of the competition they were asked to choose any topic related to learning and then to create a way to help people learn their chosen topic more effectively.

The Maze Runners chose “learning a foreign language” as their topic of choice, and their solution for improving the learning of a foreign language was eloquent enough to earn them a second place finish over all.

The students enjoyed competing and visiting Legoland in San Diego where the championship was held. Rancho Santa Fe residents should be proud of the education system in Rancho Santa Fe because it is offering exciting opportunities for learning like the robotics club, and because prestigious honors like the ones received by the maze runners show that the teachers, volunteers and community members are successfully investing in students.

According to an article in the Rancho Santa Fe Review, “Rancho Santa Fe Fifth Grade Robotics Team Wins Awards At FLL Southern California Championship” by Lorine Wright, the team also received the Judges Inspiration Award. Wright wrote that,

“The team excelled in the core values part of the competition, which places an emphasis on teamwork, cooperation, professionalism and friendly competition.

The Maze Runners team is Nora Gavreau, Logan Johnson, Jake Malter, Malcolm McDonough, Dylan Powell, Brandon Powell, David Scuba and JT Young.”

Rancho Santa Fe News: Famous Local Daughter of WWII Ace Supports Charities


According to the Rancho Santa Fe Review, a local philanthropist from the area is the daughter of a World War II ace pilot, and she’s supporting a number of charities.

First and foremost, Kay Isaacson-Liebowitz helped to co-found the World of Children Award for advocating for children. But she also helped serve on the national committee for the National World War II Museum.

Ms. Isaacson-Liebowitz’s father had a number of kills during World War II which put him on a list of aces. He also flew in the Korean War as well.

Both Kay Isaacson-Liebowitz and her husband focus their efforts on helping children by providing awards for those who advocate in their favor. The pair have traveled around the world to grant the World of Children award to various different people.

This means that between the advocacy for children around the world, which had a recent banquet in New York City that raised over a million dollars, and her involvement in the World War II museum due to her famous pilot father, Mrs. Isaacson-Liebowtiz is easily one of the more famous philanthropists in the Rancho Santa Fe area.

The couple together plan to travel to Cambodia and Laos in a few months to help support the program’s efforts involving pediatric hospitals in the area.

Additionally, the couple frequently invites people to join them in helping to support children advocacy programs worldwide on their site.

Overall, it’s likely Kay will be having people ask her questions about either herself and her charity or her pilot father for some time to come.

Rancho Santa Fe Residents No Longer #1 Water Users In California


According to new numbers released in October by the State Water Resources Control Board, the residents of Rancho Santa Fe, California have lost their dubious designation as the number one water users in the state after putting new water regulation laws into motion.

This is good news for the town, as just one month prior in September they held the not-so-glorious distinction as being the #1 users of water in the entire state. Official numbers say back then they ranked in at using 517 gallons a day. That’s nearly four times as much water used by other average San Diego communities.

In the face of water reserves running low, Rancho Santa Fe’s water supplier, the Santa Fe Irrigation District enacted their own mandatory water restrictions such as only watering lawns three days a week and only for ten minutes, unless special water saving sprinklers are being used. Additionally, San Diego enacted new regulations as of November 1st of this past year. The regulations included strict times about when sprinklers could run and for how long, as well as a limit on watering plants. The regulations appear to be working well, so a team to enforce these rules has not been hired.

The reduction of water use can be linked to the new regulations as well as the community taking notice, and cutting back. One resident says it’s not entirely the fault of the community. “A lot of residence’s pay gardeners to tend their lawns, and they just don’t pay attention,” Laura de Seroux said. “That’s the way it is here.”

Rancho Santa Fe News: Dolphin Fountain Property on Market


According to the San Diego Reader, a home at 16715 Camino Sierra Del Sur at Rancho Santa Fe with water fountains shaped like dolphins and balustrade walls is currently on the market.

This home was constructed in the year 2000, and it’s notable because of its huge living area space of over 17,000 square feet and its 14 baths and 10 bedrooms. The property includes 2.5 acres of land nearby.

The property also has a wrought iron gate, and a resort style feel. It even has its own full outside kitchen complete with a working pizza oven. There’s a covered eating area and a lounge area by the pool as well.

One of the floors is for the main owners with two bedroom suites on the north side of the home. There are 2 secondary bedrooms and specific quarters for personnel to maintain the house on the south side of the property.

The home even has a working full gym that has all the hookups for a full theatre for any owners that want it. There’s also a full spa tub and a balcony for viewing the property.

The home is currently on the market and has been since March, and the asking price is $11.5 million, making it one of the more expensive houses in the area.  The house’s swimming pool is completely unique with the dolphin fountains ant the bridge that goes out in front of them.

Some people consider the unique property and pool to be one of the most impressive residences in the Fairbanks Ranch area.

Rancho Santa Fe News: Famous McKay Christmas Village Model


One of the more famous homes for Christmas in Rancho Santa Fe belongs to someone named Dianne McKay. Here are a few reasons why her home is famous every Christmas.

Porcelain Dream

McKay’s home has over a hundred structures made of porcelain, and almost one thousand figures to inhabit the Christmas scene she has made. The porcelain village is festooned with cotton in order to give it a properly snowy tone appropriate for Christmas.

The scene has an intense amount of detail in it that includes blinking lights to show inhabited homes. There’s even a trolley that moves around and stops at various points around the village just like it would in real life.

There’s also an opera house that has figurines dancing to popular music.

Realistic Movement

The display allows McKay to control everything with a few remote controls that are carefully hidden underneath part of the rig. This is done through an elaborate system of wires.

The display started out as partially a way for McKay to show the scenes to her children, but once they were too tall and destructive, she had to transplant the scene from knee height to a large display that was taller.

Most of the models are individually purchased collectibles.

Some of the most impressive parts about the display in the house are the little details which include the famous Time Square falling ball, and an area that shows a bit of New York City. The simulated village has become something of a Christmas tradition and attraction to locals to the area.

Rancho Santa Fe Students Show Off Their Science and Technology Skills

Rancho Santa Fe Students

Rancho Santa Fe parents and educators have a lot to be proud of, especially as of late. As The Coast News reported previously, the Rancho Santa Fe Maze Runners are one of the reasons why parents have been grinning from ear-to-ear. The plucky group of inquisitive, R. Roger Rowe School 5th graders put on one heck of a show at the November 2014 Escondido Robotics Qualifier. So much so, that they earned a spot in the illustrious, must anticipated, First LEGO® League Southern California Championship. It is set to take place at LEGOLAND® in Carlsbad on Saturday, December 6th. We certainly wish them well and can’t wait to hear about their success.

The R. Roger Rowe 5th graders are not the only Rancho Santa Fe residents getting ready to show off their knowledge of science and technology. Just ask the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation about that one. They helped local children and educators participate in the Hour of Code last Monday, December 15th. It was part of National Computer Science Education Week, which is designed to inspire our country’s next generation of tech-savvy entrepreneurs.

During the one hour program, children from Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch and elsewhere across the country will be watching educational videos featuring some of the best computer science minds that the world has to offer. They’ll also be completing tutorials that will help them actually sit down and engage in drag-drop programming with a gamification-like feel. So not only will they be given a chance to participate in a nationwide event, they’ll be walking away from it with additional, valuable skills.

Given the direction that our country is taking in terms of STEM education, workforce building and PISA rankings, events like the Hour of Code are clearly of great importance to us all. Parents that wish to learn more about it and other similar events would do well to talk to their children’s school officials. Right now, the Rancho Santa Fe School District has its own robotics program, math pathway and other initiatives that will help the kids think critically and be successful in today’s tech driven economy. Kudos to them for their ongoing efforts too.

Rancho Santa Fe News: Community is On Track to Get New Pool/Fitness Facility

Rancho Santa Fe Community Pool

Rancho Santa Fe – In late November 2014, the residents of Rancho Santa Fe made their thoughts known about a proposed pool and fitness facility. By all accounts, a sufficient number of residents are in favor of moving forward with the proposal, which could mean more recreational opportunities for homeowners with ties to The Covenant in the foreseeable future. As it stands now, residents already have access to a number of fabulous sporting options, including playing golf and tennis.

Of course the recent “yes” vote is just one step in a long road to the construction of the new facility. In the meantime, Rancho Santa Fe residents with an interest in the venue’s development should stay in contact with their local homeowner’s association as well as The Covenant’s Health Club and Pool Committee. There is typically no cost to attend the committee’s meetings and minutes taken from those get-togethers are typically posted online for interested homeowners to review at their leisure.

It has long been known that swimming, and aquatics in general, are good for Rancho Santa Fe residents of all ages. It allows them to use the water’s inherent temperature, continual resistance and buoyancy related properties to their advantage as well as remain social. That said, once the pool and fitness center are in full operation, residents will undoubtedly be able to choose from a wide variety of healthy activities.

For now, many residents and area visitors have the option to continue taking advantage of the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe’s private, heated, saltwater pool and fitness center. Saltwater pools, by the way, tend to have several advantages over chlorinated ones. For example, they are usually a lot kinder to swimmers’ eyes, hair, skin and swimsuits. Plus, they don’t have that chemical smell many Rancho Santa Fe residents look to avoid. For more information about the benefits of saltwater pools, please contact the Inn’s staff directly.