This month the Fallbrook community lost one of its beloved members, Dennis David, after a three month battle with ALS. Though his passing deeply saddened all those he touched, his legacy and his mission to help kids will live on through the foundation that he cared so much about.
Opportunities for Kids was started in 2000 by Dennis David. He had been tutoring elementary children from low-income families. Realizing that they didn’t really have any fun activities, he decided to take five of them to a Friday night high school football game. At the game, their eyes were as wide as saucers as they watched the older boys beating the pants off the other team. They were struck by the bright uniforms, the lights, the packed stands, and the fact that out there on the field they saw boys that “looked just like them.” After the game Dennis took the kids onto the field to meet some of the players. One of them, Gio Morales, got down at their eye level and talked with them about how important school was and how much he loved being a part of the football team. He told them that they too could play football if they tried hard and stayed in school. In that moment, looking at their bright, adoring eyes, Gio knew that if these kids were given the opportunity to play sports and be part of a team, they would have a reason to strive and excel at school and realize their full potential. He told Dennis and one of the player’s moms, Kathleen Gillis, that the community should find a way to reach out and help these kids.
Dennis, along with his faithful board, began Opportunities for Kids (formerly called Fallbrook Youth Scholarship) and began their mission in 2001. They began raising money so that local kids from low-income families could participate in sports, and in 2003 they expanded their program to include music, tutoring and other activities. These are kids whose families wouldn’t normally be able to afford the costs that come with these programs, giving them the chance to flourish in their environment, understand what it means to push themselves, and feel like a part of their community. Dennis truly believed that one person can make a difference in the world and the Fallbrook community is eager to keep this program going as a tribute to Dennis and the kids that have been impacted by the program. For his ten years of service as the Executive Director of Fallbrook Youth Scholarships he received the 2008 David Chow Foundation Humanitarian Award. This prestigious award recognized Dennis’ commitment to his community and his invaluable work with kids.
Most of the past fundraising for this program was done by Dennis himself, along with his dedicated board members, including Kathleen Gillis, who will be taking over as the Executive Director. She intends to host local fundraisers and reach out to the community to keep this truly important program running.
To donate to this program and help local kids become the next leaders of our communities, please visit their site or contact Kathleen Gillis at email@example.com or call Ph. 760-703-4981 for ways you can help support this program.