In 2002, Laura Hendrickson, an avid beach volleyball player discovered South Mission Beach with 14 beach volleyball courts. Having traveled to many locations throughout the US and abroad as a professional beach volleyball player, it was unusual to have beach volleyball poles with nets and lines already up and available for use. Always wanting to find a good place to be a community servant, Laura took some initiative to take care of these beach volleyball courts. It was a great place to give back and have a sense of purpose. Many nets were falling down, missing and in need of repair and this was the beginning of San Diego Beach Improvement Group. In 2007, this endeavor became an official 501(c)(3) non profit organization.
As Laura discovered the history of the courts and the people involved, she's had the pleasure to work with all the community supporters, beach volleyball and basketball enthusiasts, Parks & Rec, the Mission Beach Town Council, the Mission Beach Women's Club and the City of San Diego to maintain these sports courts.
Bill Walton and several other volleyball individuals originally installed the sports courts in 1997. He has been a huge supporter and advocate for these sports courts throughout the years.
To maintaining these courts, we raise money through direct donations from the players as well as through our events. Currently our primary event is the Annual Polar Bear Classic beach volleyball tournament in December. The money goes towards the purchase of nets, lines, cranks, paint, rims, resurfacing the basketball court and running the non profit. We have many local businesses as sponsors and we appreciate all their support!
We offer membership for those of you that support SD BIG and creating great experiences at the beach! There are 4 categories to choose from: If you love sports at the beach and having the beach well-maintained and beautiful, we encourage you to support our cause. Currently these donations will go directly to the maintenance and equipment needs for the beach volleyball courts. As we make decisions to offer other activities and events, members will have pre-registration and/or a discount to participate.
There are several ways to get involved beyond donations and membership. Please be a member, consider volunteering, being a sponsor, an advertiser or a mentor.
If you love beach volleyball and the beach, consider helping or being a part of our tribe. Contact our founder, Laura Hendrickson at SanDiegoBIG@san.rr.com or call her at 619-888-6743.
WHY WE CHOSE TO BE A 501(c)(3) NONPROFIT
There are many benefits to having a nonprofit 501(c)(3) designation. One of the biggest reasons is to allow our contributors and members, who make donations, to obtain a tax-deductible receipt.
As a nonprofit, we also get discounts when putting on events and other tax breaks that are listed here:
Exemption from Federal income tax;
Possible exemption from state income, sales, and employment taxes;
Reduced postal rates;
Exemption from Federal unemployment tax; and.
Because we want to be completely transparent in our activities, we have provided a separate page to help you know exactly where we are in our process to become an official 501(c)(3), where the money goes and how we run the nonprofit. Visit our page dedicated to these inquiries at Public Reporting and Transparency.
Note: From late 2012-2019, Laura took a break from putting on events for SD BIG and focused on personal activities, enduring a few hardships, but making sure that the nets and lines at South Mission Beach were always up and available to the public. During this time, she neglected to submit some of the governmental required forms and we lost our status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. In 2020, things have stabilized for our fearless leader and Laura is rebuilding the nonprofit, getting all the paperwork in order to get our status reinstated and looking to grow SD BIG into a strong and well-lead nonprofit. Our goals for 2020 as always is to maintain the beach volleyball courts at South Mission Beach, build a loyal and supportive board of directors and hopefully do a few more projects and events that will benefit the beach community that we all love!