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Meal program endowment established for San Diego's Ronald McDonald House

SAN DIEGO – Providing San Diego residents with the opportunity to double their impact, the Joseph Clayes III Charitable Trust is establishing a $500,000 matching gift and endowment to fuel Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego’s “More Than A Meal” campaign to transform its kitchens and dining room in order to better serve the families of hospitalized children.

Community donations to the “More Than A Meal” campaign will fund a full renovation of the current kitchens and dining room at San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House. For every dollar donated to this vital project, a matching dollar will be allocated to the Joseph Clayes III Meal Program Endowment.

The charity provides a range of services – including lodging, education programs, emotional support and meals – to families who have a critically-ill or injured child being treated at San Diego-area hospitals. In addition to guests staying in the 55 overnight family suites at the house, any family member with a hospital-issued wristband is welcome to enjoy a cost-free meal, three times each day, every day of the year.

In 2013, The Clayes Charitable Trust’s inaugural gift to the house created the Joseph Clayes III Endowment Fund with a $3.5 million gift, providing a permanent, unrestricted source of funding for the house.

Trulette Clayes and Brendan Holmes, co-trustees of the Joseph Clayes III Charitable Trust, were instrumental in creating this opportunity to grow the charity’s endowment, while also giving the community a chance to have a greater impact on the families who rely on the house’s many services. This most recent $500,000 contribution carries on the extraordinary legacy of transformational giving by the Joseph Clayes III Charitable Trust.

“Providing families with a warm meal gives them the chance to reconnect with each other and recharge so they can continue to provide support for their hospitalized child,” Chuck Day, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego, said. “We are honored to receive this generous gift that will inspire folks to help our house nourish more than 14,000 family members a year and will also add to our endowment funding, providing support well into the future.”

“The kitchen and dining room are the heart of San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House and the centerpiece of The Joseph Clayes III Great Room, so I am certain my uncle would be pleased to play such a pivotal role in supporting these families through trying times.” Trulette Clayes, niece of philanthropist Joseph Clayes III, said. “Families who spend time here receive more than just a meal, they are welcomed into a physical and emotional sanctuary, where they can care for themselves, so they can continue to provide strength for their child in the hospital.”

Joseph Clayes III was born and raised in Anaheim and became a successful financial and real estate investor and avocado rancher. He was a strong advocate for children’s health and welfare, which is what initially drew the trustees to Ronald McDonald House.

“Joseph was a firm believer that ‘if you have, then you should give,’ so it was important to us that in addition to continuing his philanthropic legacy through this additional endowment contribution, that we inspire others in the community to do so as well,” Holmes, a Bonsall resident and Clayes’ longtime friend and business partner, said. “We’re hopeful this matching gift will provide that inspiration.”

To learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego, visit

Submitted by Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego.


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