By Kristina Houck
Solana Beach resident Terry Lingenfelder will be honored as “Volunteer of the Year” by the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito at the second annual Youth of the Year Gala Aug. 8 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Lingenfelder, 87, has volunteered with the nonprofit organization for more than 40 years.
“It is a big honor and was a big surprise,” said Lingenfelder, who moved to Solana Beach from Del Mar in 1983. “There’s other people probably more deserving. It’s an honor they selected me.”
A member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito’s board of directors since 1971, Lingenfelder served as board president 1979-1981 and 1999-2001, and has served as chairman of the foundation board since 2012.
“This award is in recognition of Terry’s outstanding leadership, dedication and tireless efforts in sustaining and expanding our mission at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito,” said David Crean, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito. “He is a strong promoter, supporter and major contributor to all programs and activities that we offer. We could not have been as successful as we are without his vision, involvement and hard work for over 43 years.”
Lingenfelder has played a mayor role in the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito’s financing and fundraising initiatives. In 1974 — just his third year on the board — he helped launch the organization’s longest running fundraising event, Bucks for Boys & Girls.
“It was kind of a scary situation at first, but we had a lot of great accomplishments,” said Lingenfelder, owner and president of Terral Investment Company, which launched in 1963. “We were very successful. We had that party for just over 40 years and we earned over $4 million over that period.”
Lingenfelder also helped lead the board’s first major capital campaign in the mid-1980s to build a swimming pool at the organization’s Harper Branch on Lomas Santa Fe Drive.
“Swimming pools were nonexistent in North County, at least in our area,” Lingenfelder said. “We live on the water and the whole idea was that it would be great to teach kids how to swim.”
The organization broke ground on the project before it had raised the $350,000 needed for construction and maintenance of the pool for two years, Lingenfelder noted.
“We wanted to show the public that we were going to build the pool and complete a project they could be proud of,” he said. “If that pool saved one life, one child’s life — there’s no amount of money that could equal the value of that life at all.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito has since built a nationally recognized aquatics program. In 2005, Lingenfelder was instrumental again in securing major donors for the Share the Dream Campaign, which raised more than $8 million to renovate the Harper Branch and Pardee Aquatics Center in Solana Beach.
With his company’s offices located across the street from the center, Lingenfelder is reminded every day about the programs Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito offers children and teenagers in the community. Founded in 1966, today the organization serves more than 21,000 youth in the San Dieguito community through its seven branches.
“I think the best part is to watch some of these young kids start out from nothing and 25 years later, come back and say, ‘The Boys & Girls Clubs helped make me what I am today,’” Lingenfelder said. “That’s why we do what we do — so all young people can have a chance.”
The gala will take place Aug. 8 at the Infield Pavilion at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The event will feature horse racing, silent and live auctions, dinner, dancing and entertainment. In addition to Lingenfelder, the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito will honor its Youth of the Year.
Proceeds will benefit programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito.
“It’s more fun to give than receive,” Lingenfelder said. “It makes you feel good inside when you give somebody the advice or help they need.”
“Get involved and become a doer,” he encouraged others. “Help your community be better.”
For more information about the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito and the gala, visit