Living in Discovery Bay is a little like living on a secluded island.

While some find the small-town atmosphere desirable, and many enjoy the ‘live where you play’ lifestyle, the unincorporated community doesn’t always offer all the amenities found in a larger town. Local resident Jim Mattison decided to address these gaps when he founded the Discovery Bay Community Foundation (DBCF) in 2014.

“Since Discovery Bay isn’t a city, we are kind of on our own out here,” said Mattison. “Everything that gets done is done by individuals. We started the foundation to fulfill the needs of the community that are not being fulfilled by the county. We are a tax-exempt, public charity that raises funds and is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Discovery Bay.” 

Through the DBCF, Mattison brings together people and organizations to make a difference. By planning events like CPR classes, concerts and the annual triathalon, the foundation raises funds to spend on local outreach. Last month, the foundation granted the Byron Union School District (BUSD) $7,500 to divide among its three schools and another $2,500 to All God’s Children Christian School (AGC). 

“It was great to see that Jim and the foundation have a heart to help the small schools here,” said Jennifer Leypon, principal and director at AGC. “We are very grateful for everything they have facilitated. They have made a big difference through their commitment to helping the kids in this town, and it warms my heart.”

Donations aren’t all the foundation has been working on this year. Following a summer packed with successful concerts, a weekly farmers market that ran from April through September and the monthly Cars and Coffee gatherings, Mattison has forged a partnership with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office to create a pilot Sheriff Activity League (SAL) in Discovery Bay.

“Teen outreach is something else we are working on,” Mattison said. “There’s no SAL program in Contra Costa, so we are going to be a pilot program. Then, we can take the program to other unincorporated areas, like Richmond and Knightsen.”

The foundation is also getting into the spirit of the season by working with Bella Torre Estates (BTE) on the Halloween Bash Spooktacular. BTE is an event venue in Byron, and part of the proceeds from this spooky bash will go back to the foundation and its interests. BTE’s plans for the evening include a costume contest, live music, dancing, food vendors and local Bloomfield wine.

Future plans are coming together quickly. Mattison intends to bring back both the farmers market and Cars and Coffee next summer, along with the popular triathlon, which was cancelled in 2016, due to the blue-green algae situation on the Delta.

“The triathlon will come back next year, on April 22,” he said. “This winter, we’ll also be working on the skate park and our Pacific Coast and Water Rescue Foundation (PCWRF) group here in Discovery Bay.”

Through the PCWRF, Mattison is setting in motion the plans for a powerboat instruction course that can be taught in Discovery Bay. The class will take place in the spring and cover skills and regulations for the beginner to advanced boater.

Pati Gonsalves, 2015 President of the Discovery Bay Chamber of Commerce, is the foundation’s treasurer. 

“I came on board initially to help Jim and his team promote their organization with a new website and social-media strategies,” said Gonsalves. “Now, we want to take the foundation to the next level, setting up grants and funding options for those who want to help and just need a conduit.

“It’s a great purpose to be involved in. We receive gifts from people who care, and we invest these gifts and make grants each year to local charities. We connect local generosity with local needs.”

For more information or make a donation, visit http://dbcf.info or call 925-698-1590.

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