AFP Awards Day

Thanks to Laura Bajuk for nominating us for the Outstanding Foundation Grantmaker. This was a fun event that helped connect us with the fundraising community.

Celebrate Community Foundation Week

Los Altos Community Foundation is joining more than 750 community foundations nationwide as they celebrate Community Foundation Week November 12-18, 2015.  Created in 1989 by president George H.W. Bush, this week recognizes the work of community foundations across America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.

Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF) is proud and excited to be in our 25th year of strengthening our community by stimulating local philanthropy and civic engagement.  Look for our Report to the Community this week in the Los Altos Town Crier to for a colorful summary of our local impact through grantmaking, our managed and incubated programs, funds, and events.

This is all possible with the passionate involvement and support of our donors, fund owners, Board of Directors, volunteers, and Legacy Circle members.  As you think of your year-end giving, we encourage you to invest locally through LACF, to ensure that our community becomes better and is an even more vibrant place in which to live, work, and play.









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What is TACO

‘TACO’, the Terrible Adult Chamber Orchestra, is a group of people of all skill levels who like to play music for the joy of making music together.

Founded and directed by Los Altos resident Cathy Humphers-Smith, a former director of Music for Minors in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, TACO began as a weekly gathering of musical friends in her living room. When the group grew to over 20 musicians, it became a non-profit under the umbrella of the Los Altos Community Foundation and moved to rented classroom space at Hillview Center.

As TACO continued to flourish it became an official class offered by the Los Altos Park and Recreation Department, which enabling them to meet at the larger Los Altos Youth Center.

Now one Sunday each month, 75 musicians ranging in age from teens to 80s converge to make music.

Creating this monthly sight-reading orchestra gave local musicians a place to keep their music alive, without the intense weekly commitment and stressful auditions sometimes required by other orchestras.

As one TACO participant said, “I love the music this month and I’ve been practicing, though some pieces are too fast for me. But I know I will have fun no matter what happens to my ability to hit the notes”.

Ms. Humphers-Smith, a pianist and choral conductor, said she “…always fantasized about an all-inclusive orchestra, one that welcomed people of all levels, where everyone helped each other to improve, without the insistence on perfection and without attitude.”

Los Altos Community Foundation is proud to support TACO through our non-profit fiscal sponsorship program and through our Community Grants program.





Los Altos Foward is hosting the next Club 55

Join Los Altos Forward, the Assistance League and CAFE for Club 55+



Pictures from the 2015 LACF Foundation Brunch

Thanks to all who made the brunch a success! We’re glad you made it and we will see you at the next event.


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LACF now accepting Community Grant Applications

The Los Altos Town Crier is reporting that the LACF Community Grants Program is accepting applications for funding.

And we are! Applications are due by September 22.

We are using an online application this time so click here to apply.



Starting our 25th Year with Frozen and Cakes

A Gaggle of Elsas


It was a beautiful Friday night in Los Altos to view Frozen on the big screen.

So, we decided to help celebrate by bring cake. We invited all the Elsas up to blow out the candles.

Thanks for all of your support of LACF in the past and going forward.



LACF’s Community Impact Update July 2014 – June 2015

Los Altos Community Foundation just completed its fiscal year on June 30th. Annette Graff and Ruth Patrick at 2015 Gardner awardsWe’re proud of the Foundation’s accomplishments and its local impact, thanks to the contributions of our many generous donors. Following is a brief impact summary of the LACF programs and grants enhanced our community over the last year.

 LACF: Making a Difference in our Community

Our programs and grants address the needs of our youth, seniors, women and vulnerable populations within our community:

  • E3 Youth Philanthropy Program engaging local high school students in philanthropy
  • MVLA Scholars providing college scholarships to local high school students
  • Community Services Agency in support of their Senior Fall Prevention Project
  • Day Worker Center kitchen upgrade to bring up to commercial code
  • Mentor-Tutor Connection providing tutoring and mentoring at elementary and high schools
  • Westwind 4-H Handicapped Riding Program
  • Animal Assisted Happiness to assist special needs children in LA/LAH
  • Center for Age Friendly Excellence (CAFE) advocates for senior friendly communities
  • Child Advocates of SV for Court Appointed Special Advocates for foster children
  • Community Health Awareness Council for their Teen Talk Program
  • Family & Children Services programs benefiting youth and young adults
  • SV Faces enabling local high school students to attend diversity-awareness camp
  • Heart2Heart Teens helping high school students graduate and become leaders
  • Krause Center of Innovation supporting their Merit program at local schools
  • JustREAD and JustMATH in-school tutoring programs at MVLA middle and high schools
  • Bullis Boosters Camp for under-served 2nd-4th graders
  • Mountain View Police Activities League to help fund mentoring program
  • KLD (Kick, Lead, Dream) Summer Soccer Camp for at-risk students
  • Family Engagement Institute for tuition-free summer school kindergarten-readiness program
  • Friends of Deer Hollow supporting environmental education programs for our children
  • RotaCare (El Camino Hospital) for gynecological services for the uninsured
  • CarbDM for the Annual Bay Area Diabetes Summit
  • WOMEN/SV supporting victims of domestic violence in our community

Joe Eyre and Dennis Young (LACF honoree)

LACF supported community building programs, events, and organizations:
  • Los Altos Block Actions Teams (BATs) connecting neighbors and preparing for disasters
  • Leadership Education Advancement Program (LEAD) developing future community leaders
  • Los Altos Dispute Resolution Service (LADRS) helping neighbors resolve disputes
  • Annual John W. Gardner Awards recognizing exceptional volunteerism our local non-profits
  • Morning Forum of Los Altos supporting distinguished speakers series in our community
  • Community School of Music and Arts to support the free Community Concert Series
  • City of Los Altos Summer Concert Series
  • Los Altos Stage Company community theater
  • Ye Olde Towne Band free community concerts
  • Festival of Light Parade float refurbishment and sponsorship
  • Los Altos History Museum funding for the “Silicon Valley: The Lure & the Legends” exhibit
  • Los Altos Forward sponsoring City Council Candidates’ Forum and Community Conversations
  • Los Altos Forward building downtown vibrancy with First Fridays
  • Los Altos Village Association for the sponsorship of Los Altos Movie Nights
  • Glorious Fourth of July Community Picnic
  • GreenTown to make Los Altos more environmentally healthy and vibrant
  • Neutra House preserved historic building and offering a beautiful non-profit meeting center
  • Peninsula Symphony for the Summer Pops Concert in downtown Los Altos


Your support of the Los Altos Community Foundation makes our community a better and more desirable place to live, work and play. If you have any questions or suggestions on how LACF could better serve the community, please feel free to call or email me at any time.

Thank you for your support,
Joe Eyre
Executive DirectorZoey at Glorious 4th 2015
650 949-5908

Read more about LACF on our Blog

LACF helps sponsor Friday Movie Nights Downtown

Los Altos Community Foundation is pleased to announce that we are one of the sponsors for Friday Movie Nights.

This has been a very popular community building event and we hope to see you there.


Read more about LACF on our Blog

Community Grant Recipient Profile: Stretch To Kindergarten

Gabriel was in a shell of fear and shyness as he approached kindergarten according to his mother.

“After just six weeks my son Gabriel feels more confident and now is comfortable raising his hand to ask and answer questions in front of the class”, said Gabriel’s mother Cynthia.  “He is coming out of his shell of shyness.”

Gabriel is in a class this summer with a number of other children starting kindergarten in the Los Altos School District this fall.

Stretch To Kindergarten (STK) is a program of the Family Engagement Institute, a recent LACF Community Grant recipient.

STK offers a tuition-free, parent-participation, spring and summer kindergarten readiness program for socioeconomically disadvantaged children.

STK works to cultivate strong, enduring partnerships among families, schools and the community to give children, most of whom have not attended preschool, the skills and support to help them successfully transition into kindergarten.

STK works with children in small groups to develop their English language skills, self-regulation and social skills, as well as reading and math skills.   Children also learn to separate themselves from their parents and to advocate for themselves, something kids without preschool experience may not yet have had the opportunity to learn.

It’s not just the kids who learn.

Parents and caregivers volunteer in the classroom and attend parent/child workshops which provide information on transitioning to kindergarten, family literacy, parenting, children’s academic and social development, nutrition and physical health, emotional well-being, volunteering in the schools, and community resources.

STK Director Carmen Ponce said she is dedicated to creating a nurturing community to engage the whole family in making this important transition to school.

“It really lays a solid foundation for the students’ long-term success if the parents are involved with their children’s school and are connected to teachers, administrators and other parents so they can reach out for support.”

Stretch to Kindergarten, founded in 2009 by Elizabeth Simons, a former teacher of Spanish bilingual elementary school classes and now president of the Heising-Simons Foundation, is now a cornerstone of the Family Engagement Institute at Foothill College.

STK serves families of children registered for kindergarten in nine local school districts, including Mountain View Whisman and Sunnyvale, in addition to the Los Altos School District.

Los Altos Community Foundation is proud to support the work of the Family Engagement Institute and Stretch to Kindergarten.