Our Grants

It is our honor to help our fellow San Diegans through our grant program. Below are some of our grant recipients throughout the years. To protect their privacy, first and last names may not be displayed.

To request a grant, click the “Request a Grant” button.

Rob Benzon / Daniel J. Ferbal Memorial Scholarships 2024

The Rob Benzon / Dan Ferbal Foundation (RBDFF) is proud to have awarded two scholarships through the annual PFLAG Scholarship Awards to two deserving LGBTQ students pursuing higher education.

The Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship: Awarded to Sada C.

Sada is planning to study psychology as an incoming freshman at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the fall of 2024. She plans to research alternative therapies for treatment-resistant mental illness while also promoting queer liberty on campus. Sada is humbled to receive this scholarship from the Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal Foundation and is grateful for the educational opportunity.


Grant awarded in June 2024

Daniel J. Ferbal Memorial Scholarship: Awarded to Hisami O.

Hisami is a graduating senior at High Tech high Media Arts, planning to study legal and environmental studies at Williams College in the fall. She is a strong advocate for intersectional causes and believes more democratized higher education to be a focal component of increasing gender equity. She is so grateful to be receiving this scholarship!


Grant awarded in June 2024

Stephone W.

The Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal Foundation approved a grant request for Stephone W., who desperately needed emergency rent assistance.

Stephone has many health challenges, which prevented him from working. He suffered a stroke, and while slowly recovering, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. As the main financial provider for his wife and three small children, the family was in crisis when Stephone fell behind in the rent.

With help from RBDFF, the family’s threat of eviction was prevented.

Grant awarded in April of 2024

Caroline A.

The Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal Foundation approved a grant request for Caroline A., who suffered a terrible fall down a flight of stairs in a freak accident-she was tripped up by a small dog while she was dog sitting. Unfortunately, the fall dislocated her right shoulder and tore her rotator cuff. Her injury required several surgeries and extensive reconstruction.

This unfortunate situation prevented Caroline from working for an extended period of time, while she recovered and received therapy. Subsequently, she fell very behind in her bills.  RBDFF approved a grant that provided much needed funds for food and bills during this very difficult time.

Grant awarded in March of 2024

Perla V.

The Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal Foundation approved a grant request for Perla V.

Perla became a widow, after her husband died unexpectedly. She is now a single mother of two small children. Perla suffered extreme financial hardship when her husband passed suddenly from an unexpected illness. He was the main provider for his family. Perla was worried she and her children may lose their home as she was months behind in her rent.  RBDFF approved a grant to assist Perla with several rent payments. We are proud to say that with our assistance, we helped Perla and her children from being evicted and possibly faced with homelessness.

 Grant awarded in January of 2024

Elizabeth D.

The Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal Foundation approved a grant request for Elizabeth D., to benefit her son Mason, who is suffering with Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer.

Elizabeth needed to stay home from her job for an extended period of time in order to care for Mason during his cancer treatments. Due to her unpaid leave from work, Elizabeth was struggling financially and was very worried she would not have the funds to continue to buy much needed sanitation supplies for their home to protect Mason’s fragile health.  RBDFF funded Elizabeth’s grant to provide her with months of supplies needed to keep her home safe for her ailing child.

Grant awarded in January of 2024

Scott Carlson / Dan Ferbal Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal Foundation has again answered the call to assist with the costs of the
annual Scott Carlson/Dan Ferbal Community Thanksgiving Dinner. The dinner was held this
year at the San Diego LGBTQ Community Center on Thanksgiving Day.

This tradition began in 1988 when Scott Carlson hosted a Thanksgiving Celebration for
HIV/AIDS patients. In 2020, In remembrance, our founding board member and past president,
Dan Ferbal’s name was added to the title of this annual event, and the tradition of giving
continues to provide a hot Thanksgiving meal for those in need in our community.

The dinner now includes people with cancer and other ailments, homeless people, and anyone
needing a safe and inviting place to come together as a community on this holiday. More than
600 individuals benefited this year from the 2023 Thanksgiving feast.

Grant awarded in November 2023

The Imperial Court of San Diego Turkey Drive

The Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal Foundation approved a grant request from The Imperial Court of San Diego for assistance with their annual purchase of turkeys to distribute to those in need within the San Diego Community. The beneficiaries of these holiday turkeys are impoverished, struggling seniors, needy members of the LGBTQ Community and those living with HIV/AIDS. This is an additional food drive to the Scott Carlson/Dan Ferbal Thanksgiving dinner, and our foundation was honored to support this worthy cause.

Grant awarded in November 2023

Children of Holiday Magic Project

Children of Holiday Magic Project annually produces thousands of 12-page activity/coloring and interactive CD books that are distributed during the holiday season to sick, hospital-bound children at Rady’s Children’s Hospital of San Diego. The Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal Foundation was proud to underwrite the printing costs for these much-anticipated “Care Deer Pack” children’s books for hospitalized children.

Grant awarded in November 2023

Holiday Toys Wounded Warriors Children

Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal Foundation approved a grant to purchase and deliver toys to the children of the Wounded Warrior Project in collaboration with Luis Fitch of the Warm Smiles Project. Johan Engman, owner of the Breakfast Republic and Fig Tree Café and his team provide a meal yearly to the families, and the Warm Smiles Project and the Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal Foundation hand-delivered toys to the children on Christmas Day. This grant ensures that hundreds of children in need will receive a holiday gift. Many of these children reported that this was the only toy they receive for the holiday!

Grant awarded in November 2023

Sean R.

The Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal Foundation approved a grant request for Sean R., an employee
of a local catering company and supporter of our Launch event and our mission. He never
dreamed that he might need to ask us for help.

Sean and his wife Aubrey were expecting their first child in September. Earlier in the year Sean
severely broke his leg and tore every ligament in his ankle. He was out of work for over 3
months. Sadly, disability benefits were not enough to cover his household expenses to survive,
and he used up the savings set aside for their baby expenses. Rob Benzon/Dan Ferbal
Foundation stepped in and granted funds to help pay several months of rent and some of their
family’s overdue utility bills. We kept his family from becoming homeless and the lights on for
this family in need.

Grant awarded in August of 2023