In the 35 years since my family moved to Rainbow, it hasn’t changed much, except for Interstate 15 having been built right through it. The high water table has caused a building moratorium in the valley which is northeast of Fallbrook and south of Temecula. So, although the population has slowly grown, there are only a little more than 2,000 residents there and, despite being small, Rainbow has a strong community spirit.
A chilly wind was blowing on Saturday, May 22, but it did not dampen the spirits of the crowd that showed up at Rainbow Park for the 16th annual Rainbow Days Picnic. Put on by the Rainbow Property Owners Association (RPOA), the picnic is a community celebration with a variety of activities.
Vallecitos School’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) conducted its annual plant sale at the preschool’s playground at the school, which is next door to the park on Fifth St. Two dozen local nurseries donated the wide selection of plants that included trees, rose bushes, succulents and flowers in a rainbow of colors. Students were available to load purchases into the buyers’ vehicles and the new principal, Dr. Rich Smith, was on hand to help out. All proceeds went to the school’s interscholastic athletic program.
Over at the park, representatives from the Mission Resource Conservation District handed out reusable grocery bags while promoting conservation, and a member of Save Our Southwest Hills recruited residents for an upcoming 5K run/walk race to raise funds for the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve.
Members of the RPOA, a volunteer organization, were able to vote in the group’s yearly elections at the ticket table where everyone could buy their meal and raffle tickets. Dozens of donated prizes, (including gift certificates, sports balls and exercise equipment), were raffled off over four hours while members of the Rainbow Volunteer Fire Department barbequed hamburgers and hot dogs before joining the younger kids in some challenging games.
Each year the games, run by Johnny and Maria Maneri, include old-time favorites like the three legged race and water balloon toss, along with some new ones that they come up with for people of all ages. The highly sought after prizes for the top winners are always water shooters (water guns on steroids); the kids seem to have more fun when water is involved.
Musical entertainment was provided by Sinatra with a Z (Michael Sinatra and Franco Z, aka RPOA Treasurer Bill Harding) who performed some Rat Pack favorites for a delightful hour.
For several years, my mom, sister and I have run the bake sale table for Rainbow Valley Grange with the proceeds going to buy dictionaries for the third graders at Vallecitos through the Dictionary Project. Everyone likes to get dessert after the delicious lunch; so, although the crowd seemed smaller this year, we made more money than we did last year. Now we will be able to buy another box of dictionaries which was our goal, so we considered it a success. We also won seven prizes in the raffle between the three of us, making a good time even better.
The community’s support for its kids and the school also showed in the success of the first annual golf tournament put on by the PTO, in partnership with Rainbow Oaks Restaurant, on May 10 to benefit the school’s sports program. According to PTO and school board member Rachel Bishop, the event raised just more than $4,000, exceeding all expectations.
Besides supporting the school, RPOA works to keep Rainbow rural and to keep its roads safe. A community clean up day, an official Rainbow t-shirt and a Walk of Fame at Rainbow Park are now being planned by association members. More information can be found at http://www.rainbowca.com.
News on events at Rainbow Community Church, Rainbow Valley Grange or local businesses can be found on the Rainbow blog run by resident Jonnie Fox Flanagan, (http://rainbowcommunity.blogspot.com), who also sends out e-blasts to alert the community about the latest local news.
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