An endowment for Pacific Pride Foundation has resulted in the permanent Chad Robert Phillips Memorial Fund.
The endowment was made possible by a large gift from Clay Tedeschi, the Santa Barbara County foundation announced in a news release.
“Santa Barbara resident, Chad Robert Phillips, was a fun-loving beautiful young man with a loving family and friends,” said foundation Executive Director Kristin Flickinger. “Like many members of the LGBTQ+ community, he was also plagued by demons and drank to numb the pain. Last August, he tragically lost his life at the age of 37.”
She continued, “Clay Tedeschi, a Santa Barbara philanthropist and long-time PPF supporter, was a close friend of Chad’s. To honor his life and ensure other young LGBTQ+ people struggling with mental health and addiction issues get the care they need, Clay has pledged $250,000 to create this memorial fund in Chad’s honor. The fund will support PPF’s youth programs and counseling services for youth and anyone affected by adverse childhood experiences.”
PPF is starting a campaign to match this pledge and fully fund the Chad Robert Phillips Memorial Fund, with a $500,000 goal. This fund is designed to expand PPF’s counseling programs and build a comprehensive development program.
“I don’t know if any of us can make a difference, but I believe, however large or small our attempts may be, it is a life imperative that we try to make things better for others,” Mr. Tedeschi said in the news release. “The causes we can choose to support are limitless. In this instance, I have reflected on over 70 years of my experiences.
“It has taken me a long time to appreciate how little I have known about the experiences of others in their life’s development, especially during formative years. My brief friendship with Chad gave me insights into worlds I did not know. Chad brought to life an understanding for others often easily overlooked. I am thankful to Chad for that. I believe PPF’s youth programs and counseling services do make a difference. That is why I have established this endowment, and I would be honored to have you join me in supporting them.”.
Lynn Cunningham Brown, the PPF board chair, expressed the board’s and staff’s appreciation for Mr. Tedeschi’s donation.