Borax Visitor Center Foundation


Celebrating and supporting the Borax community

Celebrating 20 Years of Community Giving

Giving back to our communities is a hallmark of business for U.S. Borax and our parent company, Rio Tinto Minerals. The Borax Visitor Center Foundation—made up of company and community leaders—oversees the disbursement of Visitor Center funds through an annual grant program.

The Borax Visitor Center Foundation Grant Program supports nonprofit, tax-exempt, and governmental organizations in and around Boron, California—the location of our U.S. mine. Founded in 1998, the Foundation has returned more than $300,000 in funding, including nearly $100,000 in scholarships, to the community over the past two decades.

Each year, the Foundation awards thousands of dollars in grants aimed to improve public education, health and human services, and historic preservation. The funding for these grants comes from Borax Visitor Center gift store proceeds, visitor donations, Borax employee payroll donations, and company contributions, with Rio Tinto Minerals matching 50 cents on each dollar that our employees give.

Borax Visitors Center

Borax Visitor Center
The Borax Visitor Center, located at the Borax mine in Boron, California, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Schools visiting on field trips can apply for transport reimbursement through the Foundation.

Previous Grant Awardees

2018 Winners

  • 20 Mule Team Museum for facility repair
  • Boron Alive for the annual Thanksgiving dinner
  • Boron Junior-Senior High School for field trip and book scholarship funds
  • Boron High School Seniors for continuing education scholarships
  • Boron Seniors Center for facility fencing
  • Boron Wildcat Youth Football and Cheer for safety equipment
  • Community Action Partnership for health outreach
  • Muroc Joint Unified School District for student backpack and bike helmets
  • Reggie’s Kicks for Kids for shoes and athletic equipment
  • West Boron Elementary School P.A.C. for field trip fund
  • Wind in the Willows Pre-School for childcare fund

Eligibility 

Applications will be accepted only from governmental entities, such as schools, or from non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) organizations, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. Eligible organizations must focus on one or more of these areas:  

  • Education 
  • Health and human services 
  • Community improvement 
  • Historic preservation 

Organizations must also be located in and provide services to one or more of these California communities: 

  • Boron 
  • Desert Lake 
  • North Edwards 
  • Aerial Acres 
  • Kramer Junction 

Religious, political, or fraternal organizations or those outside the grant area are ineligible.

Guidelines

Directors of the Borax Visitor Center Foundation review and award grants to eligible organizations annually.

Grant requests fall under one of two categories:

  • Funding for a specific program or project. Applicants need to provide budgetary information for that project only.
  • Funding for day-to-day operations. Applicants should use the most recent expense and revenue dollars for your entire organization.
  • Awardees of grants from the previous year also need to submit a letter that thoroughly explains how their organization spent that grant funding and how the grant affected the local community.
How to Apply
Application entry dates and forms, as well as a list of awardees, will be posted on this page when available.

For more information, contact Borax Visitor Center Foundation representative Mary Beth Garrison at marybeth.garrison@riotinto.com.

Borax Visitor Center Foundation Board of Directors

  • Richard Cohen
    Directing Manager—Boron Operations, Rio Tinto Borates
  • Renny Dillinger
    Manager—MTS, Rio Tinto Borates
  • Mary Beth Garrison
    Manager—Government Affairs, Rio Tinto Borates
  • Jim Boghosian
    Operational Manager, Bo’s Fitness Center
  • Kevin Cordes
    Superintendent, Muroc Joint Unified School District
  • Ron Fox
    Superintendent, Rio Tinto Borates
  • David Liebengood
    President, ILWU Local #30
  • Randy Smith
    President, Boron Chamber of Commerce
Administrative Conditions 
The Borax Visitor Center Foundation Grant Program is intended to be a continuing program. However, the Foundation retains the right to suspend, change, revoke, or terminate the program at any time.

Rio Tinto Borates is a global leader in the supply and science of borates - naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. Refined borates are essential nutrients for crops. We are 1,000 people serving 500 customers with over 1,700 delivery locations globally. We supply 30% of the world's need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles east of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto

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