Community Resource Center prepares for 40th birthday bash

The nonprofit Community Resource Center will celebrate 40 years of serving the North County community

To celebrate 40 years helping the local community with issues including homelessness, hunger and domestic violence, the Community Resource Center in Encinitas will host a birthday bash on Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Paying homage to 1979, the year the nonprofit opened, the party will have a disco theme.

“We want to have fun and celebrate the success of the Community Resource Center over the last 40 years,” said John Van Cleef, the center’s executive director.

Upon walking into the activity center at the fairgrounds, guests will be able to place their names on a timeline to mark the years they first got involved with the center, illustrating the lives it has impacted over the years.

The services the Community Resource Center has offered throughout North County have grown substantially since it opened a thrift store out of the back of a pickup truck in 1981. A domestic violence hotline, counseling for children and a food pantry have been added over the years as it’s grown into an organization that topped $3 million in contributions and grants last year.

“We really wanted to capture an experience where people remembered the early days of the center,” Van Cleef said of the planning for the birthday bash.

Honorees include former Community Resource Center board member Evelyn Weidner, who put together its early fundraising events, such as the first Polynesian Night at Weidners’ Gardens; Laurin Pause, who served as executive director from 2004 to 2014 and oversaw construction of the center’s domestic violence shelter; Shea Homes, a company that donated the resources to build that shelter.

“There are a lot of people who have made the CRC what it is,” said Van Cleef, who joined the center one year ago.

Guests are encouraged to wear ‘70s-themed garb for the event’s disco theme, which will include music from that era played by DJ Loczi. There will also be a three-course dinner, beer and wine, a live auction and games.

“We want people to have fun, but also reflect and be moved by the things we can do together,” he said, adding that the center will continue “expanding our footprint to meet the need.”

Ticket are available at $200 per person, $2,500 for a reserved table for 10 and $4,000 for a VIP table for 10. The Community Resource Center is located at 650 Second St. in Encinitas. For more information, visit