Al Capone for a Night on August 27, 2011

Paul Gonella chairs the Aging in Place groupI was Al Capone for one night! I even had business cards—“Protection Services…or else.”

The Los Altos Community Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Gala on August 27, 2011, was the place to be for at 1920’s themed gala at Stonebrook Court in Los Altos Hills, and what a night it was! This was one of the most enjoyable of the fundraising events ever held in the Los Altos area! It had the beautiful setting of the grounds of Morgan Manor, fabulous “in-character” costumes worn by assorted flappers, gangsters, and speakeasy types of all ages, 1920’s automobiles, and your photo memories of the event ready when you left. This was paired with a gourmet dinner and dessert, champagne, and an auction of fabulous prizes. Not only that, there was gambling (legal, of course!) following the auction, where my lovely wife, Ellen, lost all of our money! The evening was fantastic and memorable!

The “Godfather” of Los Altos volunteers, Roy Lave, ably assisted by his “gun molls” Penny Lave, Lani Dorff, and Nancy Manning, put on this event in grand style!

Since I retired from teaching for over 40 years in Los Altos, I have spent a great deal of my time volunteering, speaking and advocating on behalf of “older” folks in the area. I really enjoy doing it! My generation is often called the “Silent Generation,” after the Great Depression and WWII generations, and before the baby boomers. I like to think of us as the “reflective” generation. It’s not special treatment that we desire, but more inclusion in the community, such as the night at the Los Altos Community Foundation Gala. We have a lot to give, and on that night, we felt that we belonged! It was a wonderful feeling!

I have been the chairman of a Los Altos Community Foundation committee called the “Aging-in-Place Committee.” Its key purpose to assist in as many ways as possible to help keep my “Silent Generation” involved in the community and living in their own homes for as long as they are able. We strive to bring the sense of “community togetherness” to all ages that live in our area, and I believe we have been very successful! I urge everyone to support all of the activities of our wonderful umbrella organization, the Los Altos Community Foundation!

Paul Gonella
just call me “Al”