The Del Mar Foundation celebrates 1982 as its founding year, but preliminary work to establish the Foundation occurred in 1981. The Foundation was established in part to manage the Del Mar Day event and its finances, following the success of the first Del Mar Day in 1980. From the beginning, the founding Directors (Lou Terrell, Joel Holliday, and Bill Kirwin) articulated an expansive and ambitious vision for the fledgling organization, including cultural and arts programming, raising and granting funds for the benefit of the Del Mar community, supporting the City’s acquisition of open space and other key properties for public use, and establishing an endowment to meet long-term needs.
Del Mar Day 1981 offered a wide array of athletic competitions, children’s events, live music, a picnic, and more, starting at 7am with a 10K Beach Run that had 602 participants, and closing with an 8pm Evening Dance. The archives include a photo album with over 100 images from Del Mar Day 1981, illustrating some of the day’s activities, with fascinating glimpses of what Del Mar looked like in 1981. Del Mar Day 1982 was a similar success, both in terms of the event itself and its financial results, raising over $23,000, to support the programs of the Foundation and provide seed money for the next year’s Del Mar Day.
DMF’s digital archive files (at right, or below on phones/small screens) include key documents from 1981 and 1982, including incorporation papers, the original bylaws, tax and other documents, and Del Mar Days files and photos.
In 1983, DMF’s longest-running program, the Summer Twilight Concerts, made its debut, under the leadership of Lou Terrell, who as Del Mar’s Mayor was one of DMF’s Incorporators, and served as a founding director. Summer Twilight Concerts were originally held at Seagrove Park, since Powerhouse Park did not yet exist. Check out the “groovy” poster featuring the six concerts offered that first season.