The Coast News Group
Raising awareness and funds for the California Fire Foundation are Jerome Strack, general manager of the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe; Janet Lawless Christ, founder of JoyWorks Network; and Ned Vander Pol, deputy chief of the Vista Fire Department. Photo by Christina Macone-Greene
CommunityCommunityRancho Santa FeVista

Fundraiser nets over $3K for wildfire victims

San Diegans came together on Dec. 7 to help raise funds for the California Fire Foundation to provide recovery and relief efforts for California wildfire victims. Janet Lawless Christ, Rancho Santa Fe philanthropist and founder of the JoyWorks Network, and The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe partnered for a unique holiday shopping experience at the inn. 

More than 700 shoppers took part in the complimentary Holiday Pop-Up Shoppe raising over $3,000. Shoppers meandered through public spaces at The Inn starting in the lobby, through the breezeway, Library Room, Huntsman Pathway to the Spa Courtyard. At every turn, there was something for everyone. 

Lawless Christ said it was intrinsically necessary to make the event free of charge. 

“I think it was important for our event to be complimentary so that it would increase attendance and encourage a wide variety of shoppers,” she said. “We also wanted our shoppers to spend their money with the vendors, and with their donations going to the California Fire Foundation. The California Fire Foundation is doing such incredible work with the victims of the wildfires. I think we, who were spared such loss and grief, wanted to share the bounty of what we have been so lucky to receive.”

Ned Vander Pol, deputy fire chief of the Vista Fire Department, was on hand representing the California Fire Foundation. The foundation was established in 1988.

“Our primary function is to give out through our SAVE Program $250 Mastercard gift cards so that people who lose their homes to structure fires can get their immediate necessities,” he said. “We’ve been really busy lately with Camp fire and Woolsey fire giving out 10,000 gift cards.”

Vander Pol said the organization also has a Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation in place if firefighter or other personnel lose their life in the line of duty. 

Many guests spoke with Vander Pol about the recent fires and thanked him along with all the other firefighters out there for their heroic service. 

Lawless Christ said The Inn is a perfect gathering place for people of all ages and is in the heart of the community.   

“The mix of high-end vendors and live music added to the holiday festivities as well,” Lawless Christ said. 

Vendors for the day included Studio Julies, Plantology, Grazia Bella Handbags, Children’s Books by Adrienne Falzon, Chatter Chatter Sip & Splatter, Rancho Santa Fe Jewelers, It’s a Luv Thing, J McLaughlin, PS I Love you, Set & Stone, Branch Out Market, NC Olive Oil, Bendl’s Custom Shirts, Cosbar Cosmetics, author Richard Lederer and more. 

Lawless Christ described the fundraising event as a resounding success. 

“I also hope that everyone went away with the true meaning of the season, which involves joyous gathering, fun shopping all the while really benefitting others who need our help,” she said. “As a community we have so much to give.”

To learn more about upcoming collaborative events between JoyWorks Network and The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, visit To learn more or donate to the California Fire Foundation, visit