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Chumash Charity Golf Classic to help rebuild Rancho Alegre Boy Scout Camp near Cachuma Lake

Chumash Charity Golf Classic to help rebuild Rancho Alegre Boy Scout Camp near Cachuma Lake

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has named Los Padres Council of the Boy Scouts of America the main beneficiary of the tribe’s annual Chumash Charity Golf Classic to help rebuild Rancho Alegre Boy Scout Camp near Cachuma Lake.

When the Whittier fire ripped through the Santa Ynez Mountains near Highway 154, it leveled 47 of the 50 buildings at Rancho Alegre and the Outdoor School on its way to scorching more than 18,000 acres and destroying 16 homes.

Rancho Alegre had been a camping destination for Boy Scouts and the Outdoor School had been a educational magnet for schoolchildren for more than 50 years, and the Los Padres Council immediately launched a campaign to rebuild Rancho Alegre better than before.

Rebuilding, modernizing and improving Rancho Alegre will require an estimated $15.5 million. While insurance claims are anticipated to cover $9 million of the total, Los Padres Council must raise $6.5 million to complete the project.

In the meantime, with the camp still closed, Scouts are attending camps farther away, and the Outdoor School has been temporarily relocated to the smaller Camp Whittier.

The Chumash chose the reconstruction fund for the golf tournament proceeds as a way to contribute to the cause, a tribal spokesman said.

“One of the amazing traits of this community is our instinct to pull together, pitch in and provide help when tragedy strikes,” said Kenneth Kahn, tribal chairman. “During the Whittier fire, many brave citizens had an opportunity to rise to the occasion and shine in an emergency situation.

“When the tribe was asked if we could provide transportation for 80 children and staff who needed to evacuate Circle V Ranch, we sent buses to help our brave first responders complete a dramatic rescue,” Kahn continued.

“We were ready to help in the moment, and we’re pleased to help Los Padres Council, Boy Scouts of America in the aftermath as it strives to rebuild a facility that has meant so much to young campers throughout the years.”

The Chumash Charity Golf Classic will be held Aug. 21 and 22 at the Alisal River Course in Solvang.

“We are honored and thankful that the Phoenix Campaign to rebuild Rancho Alegre is the beneficiary of the Chumash Charity Golf Classic for 2019,” said Carlos Cortez, Scout executive and chief executive officer of Los Padres Council. “Rancho Alegre’s 215 acres provided a unique outdoor education experience to over 4,000 fifth- and sixth-graders annually through the Outdoor School plus hundreds of Scouting adventures.”

Cortez thanked the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians “for supporting our efforts to not only rise from the ashes of the fire but to build a unique community resource available to all families.”

In addition to raising money for Rancho Alegre reconstruction, the two-day tournament will help fund the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians’ Technology in Schools Program, which is aimed at fulfilling high-tech needs in Santa Barbara County classrooms.

Since the inaugural event in 2005, the annual tournament has raised more than $1.4 million for local charities and nonprofit organizations.

Past beneficiaries of the tournament have included the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, the Dream Foundation, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Barbara County, Lompoc Family YMCA, Unity Shoppe and local schools and museums, among others.

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Jonata Middle School students now have an additional 48 new Google Chromebooks to use for schoolwork following a delivery from the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation. The donation, valued at more than $13,000, was the fulfillment of a grant request made by the Buellton school, which submitted an application through the tribe’s Technology in Schools Program for the 2018-19 school year, a tribe spokesman said.

This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, associate editor for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at


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News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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