Giving Back: Spirit of the Fourth

The Spirit of the Fourth committee was awarded $1,000 for the U.S. Marine Corps concert.

Rancho Bernardo goes big to celebrate the nation's birthday on July 4 each year.

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But for those who want to commemorate without the crowds, there's something, too: the Freedom Club concert featuring a the night before.

"It was worthwhile for us to have this fun, more relaxing event as a thank you to the community for all the support," said Valerie Brown, who is part of the Spirit of the Fourth Committee that organizes the celebrations each year.

The Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation, at its , awarded the committee a $1,000 grant to put on the concert.

"We are grateful to the foundation for their support," committee chairman Steve DeMatteo said. "This is a way that we can give back to the community."

Former Marine and current San Diego mayoral candidate Assembylman Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) was a featured guest at .

"The Fourth of July is a really special holiday for me and all of us as Americans,” Fletcher said at the time. “I spent two Fourth of Julys deployed, one was in the Sunni Triangle region of Iraq in 2004 and the other was in Africa in 2006. So it gives a really good appreciation when you come home for being with your family and friends. It’s probably one of my favorite holidays.”

Dematteo said the grant helps cover most of the cost of the concert, and additional fundraising is done to cover the rest.

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