At Touchstone Climbing, we are dedicated to being an active member of our neighborhood and to giving back to our community. Since we first opened, it has been a high priority for us to reach out to individuals and groups in the communities that we serve. We are committed to offering youth-at-risk and adults-in-need a unique experience where they can push beyond their own preconceived notions of their limits to explore a potential which might otherwise go unrecognized. We are also committed to supporting local schools and other charitable events through donations to a wide variety of fundraisers. Here is a partial list of the groups that Touchstone has made donations to in the past year.
Crocker/Riverside PTACrocket-Deane Ballet SchoolCypress Mandela Inc.Cystic Fibrosis FoundationDaly City Youth Health CenterDanial Webster SchoolDavis Waldorf SchoolDel Paso Manor PTADiscovery Montessori PreschoolDISH - Delivering Innovation in Supportive HousingDogfestDonald Lum ElementaryDowntown Fresno - Over The EdgeDublin Elementary SchoolDudley Elementary SchoolEast Bay Agency For ChildrenEast Bay Asian Youth CenterEast Bay Community Law Center - EBCLCEast Bay Gay Men's ChorusEast bay WaldorfEBALDC - East Bay Asian Local Development Corp.Ebenezer Church of Good RaffleEcology Project InternationalEdna Brewer Middle SchoolEl Camino High SchoolEl Cerrito Preschool Co-opElk Grove Elementary SchoolEmerson ElementaryEvergreen Little LeagueExceptional Parents Unlimited FundraiserFair for FacesFairmont PTAFairmount ElementaryFaith Lutheran ChurchFamily Bridges, Inc.Family Healing CenterFamily HouseFirefighter Chili Cook OffFirst Hill Elementary SchoolFood Bank of Contra Costa and Solano CountyForest Hill ElementaryFrancis House CenterFrederiksen Elementary PFCFrench American International SchoolFresno County Employee Walking ChallengeFresno Fire Chiefs FoundationFresno Gym Co - Taiko RaffleFresno Pacific UniversityFresno Rescue Mission - Golf Tournament RaffleFresno Sheriff's Dept. - Explorers ProgramFresno State Staff Training DayFresno Survivor of Suicide Loss (SOS)Friends of Potrero Hill PreschoolFront Street Animal ShelterFSU - Communication Dept. AuctionFSU - DAAWG ClubFSU - Public Health Services AuctionFSU - Viticulture FundraiserFulton - El Camino Recreation and Park DistrictGates and Bridges PreschoolGay Asian Pacific AllianceGeorge Peabody ElementaryGeorge Washington Carver School of Arts & ScienceGerman Shepherd Rescue of Northern CaliforniaGGU PILFGibson Elementary SchoolGirl Scouts of Northern CaliforniaGirl VenturesGirl Ventures - Walk-a-ThonGlobal ExchangeGlorietta Elementary SchoolGoodwill IndustriesGrace Cooperative PreschoolGrand Lake MontessoriGreater Sacramento Chapter of ALSGreen Hills Elementary SchoolGreen Valley Elementary SchoolGreen Valley Theater Co.Grid AlternativesGrowth and Learning Opportunities (GLO)Grub ClubGSRNC German Shepherd RescueHadassahHappy Days PreschoolHappy Hollow FoundationHarding PTAHarper for KidsHarvey Milk School - Friends of Harvey MilkHastings Public Interest LawHayward High SchoolHearst ElementaryHemophilia Foundation of Northern CaliforniaHercules Running Rebels Track TeamHeron School PTSAHidden Hills Hawks Education FundHillcrest SchoolHoly Angel Elementary SchoolHoly Name SchoolHoly Names UniversityHomeward Bound Golden Retriever RescueHousing Trust Silicon ValleyHuman Trafficking Cheat Sheet/ Polaris ProjectIn Alliance Skills for People with DisabilitiesIndian Valley Elementary SchoolInternational Bird RescueJapanese Bilingual Bicultural ProgramJapanese Culture & Community of Nor. Cal. (JCCCNC)JCC East BayJefferson Elementary SchoolJoaquin Miller Elementary SchoolJob Corps Head StartJohn Muir Elementary SchoolJose Ortega PTAJust For The Fit of It - Lunchbox FundraiserJust for You ParkletJW HouseKensington Hilltop Elementary SchoolKeys SchoolKidstockKingsburg HighKittredge Parents Association (KPA)KIVAKnights of ColumbusKP DragonsLa Clinica de La RazaLakeside Presbyterian Center for ChildrenLana Cafe Golf TournamentLas Juntas Elementary SchoolLaurel Hill Nursery SchoolLeConte elementaryLeukemia & Lymphoma SocietyLGBT Community CenterLiDestri Food & Beverage Co. Employee FairLife HouseLincoln Hills Golf ClubLittle Elephant MontessoriLiveFree Helping Hands ProgramLoco BlocoLongfellow Elementary SchoolLotus Bloom Child & Family Resource CenterLycee Francais De San FranciscoMadera PTAMaitriMaking Waves Education ProgramsManzanita schoolMaple Creek Elementary SchoolMarin Elementary SchoolMathew Turner PTAMatthew Perry - Foundation for Sustainable DevelopmentMercy High SchoolMission Ave Open SchoolMission El Camino Soccer ClubMission Kids PreschoolMission Neighborhood Health CenterMonte Gardens Elementary SchoolMontessori Parents' Committee of Parkside SchoolMonteverde SchoolMt Diablo Unified Elementary Physical Education ProgramMujeres Unidas Y ActivasMurwood ElementaryMustard Seed SchoolMutual Housing CaliforniaNew Spirit Charity AcademyNew Sprouts Chinese SchoolNext Move Sacramento Emergency HousingNia HouseNOCCSNoe Valley Nursery SchoolNorCal Services for Deaf & Hard of HearingNorth Oakland Community Charter SchoolNorthcreek Academy and PreschoolNorthgate High SchoolOak Hill SchoolOakland Fire DepartmentOakland Parks and Recs.Oakland TechOakland Youth ChorusOffice of Student AffairsOne Fifty Parker Avenue SchoolOpportunity CampOpportunity JunctionOracle Health FairOur Lady Grace SchoolOur Lady of Mercy Catholic SchoolPacific Primary PreschoolPacifica Co-op Nursery SchoolParents Association for Catholic Education (PACE)Parkmead Elementary SchoolPayne Home & School ClubPeace Lutheran MinistriesPhoebe Hearst ElementaryPiedmont Tri-SchoolPierce High School FBLAPixie Play School a Parent Cooperative PreschoolPlaymates PreschoolPleasant Hill Elementary SchoolPleasant Hill Middle SchoolPortola SchoolPotrero Hill Democratic ClubPrecita Valley Community CenterPresentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary SchoolPrison University ProjectProject Open Hand'sPros PugPublic Radio AuctionR.E.A.C.H WestRainbow DaycareRancho ElementaryRandy Yamata FoundationReady to Learn Fun FairRedding SchoolRedwood Day SchoolResQpaws Volunteer OrganizationRichmond District Neighborhood CenterRichter Center - FSURio Americano High SchoolRio City LaCrosseRiverview Elementary SchoolRobert Semple Elementary Parent Teacher GroupRocky Mountain Nursery SchoolRonald McDonald HouseRoosevelt Middle SchoolRoseville Community PreschoolRoss Valley Nursery SchoolRudgear Meadows Swim TeamRuraq MakiRusty Bindings Ski ClubS. F. Community SchoolSacramento Area Bicycle AdvocatesSacramento Asian Chamber of CommerceSacramento City Unified School DistrictSacramento Country Day SchoolSacramento Dream CenterSacramento LGBT Family and Friends Picnic DaySacramento Pig Bowl AssociationSacramento PoliceSacramento Salvation Army CitadelSacramento Sheriff's AcademySacramento Veterans Resource CenterSacramento Youth SymphonySacramento Zoological SocietySacred Heart Cathedral PrepSafetyville USASan Francisco Auxiliary for ChildrenSan Francisco BeautifulSan Francisco Waldorf SchoolSan Francisco Women Against RapeSan Francisco's Hep B FreeSan Jose JazzSan Mateo County 4-HSan Ramon Valley High SchoolSanta Clara High School (PTSA)Save Nature.orgScot Jones Medical Benefit ShowSea Crest SchoolSemester at Sea Alumni ChapterSeven Tepees (DYH)SF Bike CoalitionShalom SchoolSierra College FoundationSierra Curtis Neighborhood AssociationSierra Foothill ConservatorySierra Oaks SchoolSkyline PreschoolSonoma County Farm BureauSoroptimistSoroptimist InternationalSpecial Education Enrichment and Development Foundation of LafayetteSpringwood Swim ClubSt. Brendan SchoolSt. Cecilia Mothers' ClubSt. Dominic SchoolSt. FelicitasSt. Francis Elementary SchoolSt. Francis of Assisi Elementary SchoolSt. Ignatius Parish SchoolSt. Ignatius SchoolSt. Isadore school foundationSt. Joseph Notre Dame High SchoolSt. Joseph Notre Dame High SchoolSt. Jude Hospital FundraiserSt. Mary schoolSt. Mary's Center GalaSt. Michael's Episcopal Day SchoolSt. Michaels Episcopal Day SchoolSt. Monica SchoolSt. Paul's Episcopal SchoolSt. Paul's SchoolSt. Paul’s Preservation FundSt. Peter & Paul ChurchSt. Philip the Apostle SchoolSt. Robert SchoolSt. Theresa SchoolSt. Thomas More School Parents' ClubSt. Timothy SchoolSt. Philomene Church Parish FestivalSTANDStar AcademyStar of the Sea SchoolStone Lake Elementary SchoolStreet Smarts ProgramSts. Peter & PaulSuisun Marsh Natural History AssociationSun Valley SchoolSundown Serenade (SABA)Sunnyside Elementary SchoolSunset Neighborhood Beacon Center (SNBC)Sunset Ranch ElementarySunset Youth ServicesSusan G. Komen FoundationSutro Elementary SchoolSutter Middle SchoolSutter Roseville Medical Center FoundationSweatin' for McKinley - Train Hard or Go HomeSycamore Congregational ChurchSynergy SchoolTeam Horace PTOTeen Challenge InternationalTeevan Productions (LEAP)Telegraph Hill Neighborhood CenterTenants TogetherTerrapins Swim ClubThe Bar Association of San FranciscoThe Berkeley SchoolThe Gay Austin SchoolThe Hilldale SchoolThe Laurel SchoolThe Oral Lee Brown FoundationThe Orion FundThe Saklan SchoolThe Thick Rich OnesThe YMCATheatre Bay AreaTheodore Judah Jog-A-ThonTiny Tots Pre-SchoolTown School for BoysTri Valley Animal RescueTriage Consulting GroupTRISTulen FoundationTweet for a CauseTwo Rivers Elementary SchoolU.C. Davis Medical CenterU.C. Davis School of Bariatric Surgery ProgramU.C. Davis School of Veterinary MedicineU.C. Davis Wine Tasting BenefitUnitarian UniversalistUnited Iu-Mien CommunityUniversity of California BerkeleyUniversity Preparatory School Educational FoundationUOP McGeorgeVacaville Jets Youth Hockey OrganizationValhalla Parent Faculty AssociationValley View Middle SchoolVeggielutionVenetia Valley PTAVictory Christian SchoolVietnamese Youth Development CenterVista Grande ElementaryVoluntary Services CommitteeWagner RanchWah Mei SchoolWalden Center and SchoolWalnut Creek Pony BaseballWalnut Heights PTAWardrobe for OpportunityWashington SchoolWE Care Services for ChildrenWellspring Women's CenterWest Bay Pilipino Multi-Service CenterWild & Scenic Film FestivalWind youth servicesWinship-Robbins Elementary SchoolWomen's Daytime Drop InWomen's EmpowermentXtreme Hike - Cystic Fibrosis FoundationYeah! - Youth Engagement Advocacy HousingYESYgnacio Valley PresbyterianYick Wo Elementary SchoolYMCAYMCA BuchananYMCA YoloYoga at McClatchy SchoolYoung Minds Advocacy (YMAP)Yuppi FridaysYWCA Co-Op Preschool
Chinatown Youth Community CenterMission HighPathways for SuccessImmaculate Conception AcademyBayview YMCAPaul RevereArchbishopSEO ScholarsBurton High SchoolCanon BarcusLick WlimerdingSFSU -Grow through AdventuresFriends SchoolCASA -Children's After School for ArtsIslamic SchoolGateway High SchoolWind SchoolKings Canyon Middle SchoolSanger Boys & Girls ClubWomens EmpowermentOptions For YouthMalcolm X Elementary SchoolHearts Leap SchoolPet Network Humane SocietyPark Day ScoolRoss Valley Nursery SchoolThe Saklan SchoolOakland TechGerman International School of Silicon ValleyPiedmont Children's ChoirProspect SierraHighlands PreschoolBAM PTABlue Skies for ChildrenDisabled Sports USA Far WestMadera Elementary SchoolJoaquin Miller Elementary SchoolEcole Bilingue de BerkeleyBuddhist Church of OaklandJefferson School PTAEl Cerrito PreschoolChildhood Illness SupportEmerson FundVenetia Valley PTAThe Principled AcademyBay Area Rescue MissionWalden Center and SchoolElla Baker Center for Human RightsMonteverde SchoolFamily Catholic EducationChildren's Health GuildLe Conte Elementary PTACamp Kesem berkeleyMontclair Community Play CenterEast Bay Agency For ChildrenEggsterExpanding Your HorizonsGolden Bear Rec CenterNorth Oakland Community Charter SchoolAssociated Parents Club of PiedmontI Run 4 Cal 5kAffordable Housing Assoc.Leukemia and Lymphona SocietySun Valley SchoolSchool of the MadeleineHayward High SchoolGlobal ExchangeSt. James Christian SchoolSt. BaldricksBerkeley Budhist TempleWomens Daytime Drop InFamily bridgesYESHabitot Childrens MuseumThe Berkeley SchoolMarin ElementaryBerkeley Youth OrchestraEscuela BilingueGoodwill IndustriesSWE Society of Women EngineersCEIDJohn Muir SchoolThe Berkeley Chess SchoolMedicine in ActionWillard Middle SchoolPeter Pan NureryAsian Health servicesAsian American Cancer Support NetworkOakland east bay gay men's chorusBerkeley Humane SocietyOakland Fire FightersMustard SeedWind SchoolMustard SeedTherapeutic Rec. ServicesWomens EmpowermentCHP/SWAT
On March 15th, Women's Empowerment, a non-profit based in Sacramento, made their 50th visit to Pipeworks. We were able to catch up with leaders and participants in this amazing program to get the scoop on their partnership with Pipeworks.
"Sacramento Pipeworks has been working with Women's Empowerment since 2004," said Pipeworks manager Vaughn Medford. "They are headquartered only a couple blocks away from the gym, so it is not unusual to see a group of women 10-15 power walking over to the gym on Fridays. They use the gym to work out in the weight area and do cardio. The members have become accustomed to seeing the group, and we're all supportive of such an important cause."
Recently, Ben Kumli, a faculty Lecturer for San Francisco State’s Recreation, Parks and Tourism Department, brought nearly twenty students to Mission Cliffs. The students had a great experience climbing at the gym with many of them speaking about the supportive environment and the challenges they were able to overcome. "They are still talking about how awesome it was!" said Kumli.
Ever wonder what happens to the ropes after the gyms use them? Touchstone repurposes retired ropes in various ways.Recently, Mission Cliffs donated some ropes to a local Boy Scout Troop unit 29, based at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco. The troop has approximately 30 boys, ranging from 11-17 years old, and 5 adult leaders who help run the program.
"The core mission of the Boy Scouts is to teach character, citizenship, and fitness, and we often use the outdoors as our classroom," said Troop Leader Brian Chu. "As someone who knows the lessons that climbing can teach about courage and perseverance, I wanted to share that with the boys, None of them have been climbing before, so it'll be an exciting experience for all."
The boy scouts use the retired ropes to practice knots and belay technique before venturing to the climbing gym. "If it goes well, we'll plan an outdoor trip to Pinnacles or Castle Rock this summer," said Chu.
Recently King Middle School visited Berkeley Ironworks and had a chance to give climbing a try! The middle school children sent back these thank you cards along with some glowing reviews.
"Omgosh I had so much fun even though I didn't go all the way up. Thank you for letting us use your beautiful gym" -Mia
"Thank you so much for having us! It was like the funnest field trip. :) -Amanda
"Thank you Ironworks for giving me the opportunity to face my fears. Letting us rock climb was a chance to experience something new. It was a lot of fun and I hope I can come again!" -Emma
"Thank you for letting us climb! I really enjoyed it. I was the guy in the blue sweats." -Jovan
"I had so much fun! It helped me get over my fear of heights." -Mark
"Rock climbing rulez!" -Aamna Ahmed
One of Touchstone's founding principles is supporting local communities. All our gyms regularly open their doors to local schools and organizations to give kids a chance to climb. In December a group of children from Guadalupe Elementary School visited Mission Cliffs in the city and had a great time climbing with their teacher. Donna, the manager of Mission Cliffs, was trilled to receive the following Thank You letters in the mail.
Here are some of our favorite excerpts from the thank you letters we received. "After a few climbs I got enough confidence to climb those walls 40 feet high!" -Alex"I had a great time rock climbing at Mission Cliffs today. And thank you for belaying for me too. This is so far my favorite field trip of all time." -Raul "Thank you for being our volunteer. You gave us some really hard walls to climb. Nothing that I couldn't handle. I want to make rock climbing a hobby of mine. I really loved those two hours of my life." -Kevin"Thank for for being my belayer. Thank you for not letting me fall. Well I did fall because I was tired, and then you told me to stand up. Thank you because you did not let me give up." -Ruby"Before we got to Mission Cliffs I was really shaky and scared. The first 2 walls were really scary and I coudn't climb to the top. Then I got confident and on the last 2 walls I got to to top! Thank you for belaying me." -Ingrid"Thank you for beleying for us. Without a belayer I would have been dead." -Jonas"Thank you for letting us rock climb at the gym. If you wouldn't have let us climb I wouldn't have had my first experience. Now my life is rock climbing." -Carol"When I went climbing indoors I felt scared going down but determined going up." -Raymond Teaching kids to climb for the first time is such an amazing experience and we're so glad to be a part of the community in the Misson. If you've brought a group to one of our gyms, please share your photos or stories with us!
A few weeks ago, 12 kids from the Children's Hospital Adaptive Sports program headed over to MetalMark in Fresno. The program provides recreational and athletic experiences for those with disabilities. The kids that came out had an excellent time, fighting their way up the walls.
This young girl was a parapalgeic who managed to campus her way up the wall. The individuals in the groups have physical and health impairments ranging from cerebral palsy to spinal cord injuries. Through hard work and determination, the kids learn that they are able to have athletic lives.
The students have taken multiple trips to MetalMark and plan on returning again soon. This truly inspiring group had a blast at MetalMark.
On Wednesday, January 18th, a group of young adults from the Bridges School in Martinez headed over to Diablo Rock Gym. The group learned the basics of rock climbing. They were taught basic rock climbing technigue, knot tying, and the importance of belaying safely.
"We have been coming here for years. The participants always talk about this experience more than any of our other outings,"said the facilitator from the Bridge School. "They are always asking when the next visit will be. Thanks so much for having us."
Groups like these come to Diablo Rock Gym and the other Touchstone gyms often. They are a great chance to spend time with a group building team skills and cooperative behavior. They are also a ton of fun.
Wellspring Academy Heads to MetalMark
Climbing is a great way to get into shape and have fun. With movement that requires strong muscles from fingers, back, to calves, rock climbing provides the exercise needed to lose weight and tone your body. Recently, MetalMark had a group of students from Wellspring Academies, a weight loss boarding schools for overweight teens and young adults. The school focuses on helping students change their lifestyles to maintain a healthy body and mind.
Cal Prep Heads to Ironworks
On October 12th, fifteen students from Cal Prep headed to Berkeley Ironworks to check out the climbing gym. The students were completely new to rock climbing but the Ironworks staff helped the kids climb for the first time. “The instructors were incredibly conscientious, patient, enthusiastic and skilled, which made the whole experience all the more enjoyable,” said Rachel Niederman, a faculty member at Cal Prep. “The gear check-out/check-in was easy, and the gym was so impressive and exciting for our students to see.”
Last Week, Trooper Johnson, the Youth Sports Program Coordinator, and a half dozen kids from BORP, the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, headed over to Berkeley Ironworks. BORP is the leading provider and promoter of accessible sports and recreation opportunities for children and adults with physical disabilities in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Using ascenders, strong upper bodies, and some technique, the kids had the opportunity to climb for the very first time.