Barbara Harper

Philanthropist

For most of her life, Mrs. Harper has been actively involved in raising funds for civic projects – most benefiting children – that have become her personal legacy. An effective volunteer fundraiser, Mrs. Harper started her community fundraising when in Los Angeles, with the John Tracy Clinic for children.  In the 80's she assisted the Parents Who Care program which created non-alcoholic graduation parties and awareness of drinking and driving to high school students.

In 1997, she spearheaded the founding of a nonprofit organization, Friends of the Powerhouse, whose mission it is to assist the City of Del Mar with the ongoing renovation and preservation of the Powerhouse and other related projects. Under her leadership, Friends of the Powerhouse raised millions and the new Powerhouse Community Center officially opened in 1999. Later they assisted in funding a new children’s playground in Powerhouse Park. This June a new Safety Center and head lifeguard tower will be completed because of fundraising by the Friends of the Powerhouse.  For five continuous years she lead the Celebrate the Champions fundraiser, raising over 2 million dollars for scholarship programs at UC Davis & UCSD. 

Mrs. Harper also served on the executive board of the San Dieguito Boys and Girls Club for over 20 years.  During her tenure, she served as the first female President, as well as the fundraising chairman during a campaign which raised $5.9 million for a state of the art swimming pool and new club building in Solana Beach. 

As the Founder of the Center for a Healthy Life Style, located on the campus of the Boys & Girls Club, Mrs. Harper leads the charge of bringing awareness to children of all ages about healthy eating and living. The Center includes an organic garden with a cottage for cooking classes available to the community. Students learn how to garden as well as tips for healthy eating. The Center assists local schools in bringing healthier lunches to their students.

Today Mrs. Harper lives in Del Mar with her husband, Joseph Harper.  Mr. Harper is the President of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.  They have four daughters and nine grandchildren.

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