Giving Back to San Diego with Irene Valenti

FINE magazine applauds Ms. Valenti and the countless other San Diegans who give back to our community every day.

Irene Valenti

In the Spirit of Giving

San Diegans love to give back. It could be the year-round sunshine that brings out the best in people. We love our galas, our food drives and our fashion shows. We have ladies who lunch and gents who golf—all for the good of others.  We are a community that gives and is home to many philanthropists.

One prominent community philanthropist is businesswoman Irene Valenti. You might know her as the face of her well-known Matchmaking company, Valenti International, but you might not be familiar with her philanthropic work which spans 27 years.  She is a Rancho Santa Fe Rotary member/Paul Harris Fellow and has received numerous commendations and distinctions for her service.  In 2005, Ms. Valenti formally established The Valenti Foundation, a 501 (c)(3), as a means to help transform the lives of San Diego’s most vulnerable.

The Valenti Foundation lends support to numerous charitable organizations, including Mainly Mozart, Kids Korp, Ronald McDonald House, Rady’s Children Hospital, Orchestra Nova, Friends of San Pasqual Academy, Falcon Ridge Equine Rescue, Country Friends and many more.

A major charitable event that Ms.Valenti hosted benefited children in need. With Father Joe Carroll of Father Joe’s Village as the guest of honor, the event supported the development of “A Children’s Village.” This project was created to give 200 neglected and vulnerable children not only a home, but also a sense of purpose, character, and dignity.  The Valenti Foundation was presented with a special commendation from then councilman, now assemblyman, Brian Maienschein for supporting Father Joe’s Village.   As San Diego’s largest homeless services provider, Father Joe’s Village offers a wide variety of housing and services to those in need.

In addition to supporting causes for children and the elderly, Ms. Valenti is passionately dedicated to animals – especially horses. With the Valenti Equestrian Club located on her Rancho Santa Fe property, Ms. Valenti has hosted and supported many fundraisers benefitting creatures large and small. She hosted “For the Love of Horses,” with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars La Jolla, benefitting Saving Horses. This non-profit organization rescues horses and provides equine-assisted therapy programs.

Most recently, Valenti International welcomed Breeders’ Cup to San Diego for the very first time, by helping raise funds and awareness for Thoroughbred Charities of America. This charitable organization works to provide a better life for Thoroughbreds by supporting qualified re-purposing and retirement organizations, as well as backstretch and farm workers that care for Thoroughbreds.         

And when wildfires burned over 100,000 acres across Northern California this fall, Ms. Valenti jumped in to help with donations and the collection of funds, supplies and warm blankets for the victims.

“So much of this giving would not be possible without the assistance of wonderful friends, clients and the Rotarians, who give so much of themselves without expecting anything in return,” says Ms. Valenti.  “I especially enjoy being able to provide random acts of kindness, helping those who just need that little boost to get them over a tough spot in their lives.”

FINE magazine applauds Ms. Valenti and the countless other San Diegans who give back to our community every day.   May we all embrace the spirit of giving now and throughout the coming year.