One local organization is doing what it can to give back. The Pat on the Back Foundation was launched in June of 2012 by longtime San Diegan Patrick L. Turner.
When I spoke to Turner about what inspired him to start this organization he said, “It’s just something I wanted to start to give back to our community. I grew up in South East San Diego and there’s nothing for the kids to do anymore.” He continued, “I’ve been blessed, God has blessed me numerous times so I just wanted to do something to give back.”
The group has sponsored several events including a trip earlier this month for 35 young people to attend the College Expo in Los Angeles and their first annual Toy Exchange in December which, in addition to the gift exchange, featured a variety of performances by young talent in San Diego.
Turner, a Texas native, moved to San Diego as a child and is the youngest of nine siblings. The Morse High School graduate attended San Diego City College, studying Business Management.
Turner has worked for the City of San Diego for 18 years. In 2008, he bought his first charter bus and started up his own transportation company, PT Production Charters. Two years later he converted the charter buses over to Limo Party buses.
Turner holds various fundraisers for the foundation to sponsor free extracurricular activities for San Diego’s youth and his party bus company is the group’s biggest sponsor. “That’s actually how I started, it started with the party buses, to now just giving back as much as I can when I can,” Turner said.
According to the foundation’s website the mission of the Pat On The Back Foundation is to offer financial support to underprivileged youth to provide them with an opportunity to participate in various sports programs, educational and cultural activities which includes bus trips to theme parks, field trips to museums, animal park visits and any other positive activities that benefit the youth in San Diego.
The foundation is now in preparation for its next sponsored event which will be a July trip for 25 young people to the MLK Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. The trip will be documented by a professional videographer and made available for purchase on DVD.
The Pat on the Back Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.