2018 Gardner Awards Dinner A Great Success

Volunteers Honored for Going Above & Beyond!

Los Altos Community Foundation’s Gardner Awards is always an anticipated community event and this year’s celebration, Above & Beyond, was no exception. A sold-out crowd of 250 community leaders, volunteers, nonprofit and business leaders, gathered at the University Club in Palo Alto on March 21 to recognize 19 dedicated volunteers from local nonprofits who selflessly give their time and talent for the benefit of our community.

Master of Ceremonies, comedian and tech entrepreneur Sean O’Kane, led the festivities with both humor and genuine appreciation for each of the honorees who were then invited to the stage to receive awards and a handshake from Los Altos Community Foundation Executive Director, Joe Eyre – as well as enthusiastic applause.

Larissa Robideaux, Executive Director for Center of Excellence in Nonprofits, provided the inspiring keynote which touched on her father’s dedication to nonprofit service and why the service one gives is the legacy one leaves.

John W. Gardner said that “True happiness involves the full use of one’s power and talent,” and that certainly rings true when realizing the many contributions of these volunteers.

The following is a list of the 19 volunteer Gardner Awards honorees along with a few words of appreciation from the nonprofits they represent:

Joan MacDonald, Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC)
“A founding parent of CHAC, Joan is CHAC’s best ambassador, always promoting CHAC’s mental health services to children and families in our community.”

Midori Adams, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley
“Midori’s care, advocacy, and consistent attention to the needs of foster youth demonstrate her deep commitment to helping children and Child Advocates.”

Phil Rose, Community Services Agency (CSA)
“Phil’s commitment to CSA, the community, and people in need make him a deserving recipient of the Gardner Award.”

Kathie Franger, Day Worker Center of Mountain View
“Kathie exemplifies and inspires what is best in the human spirit. Her passion for social justice makes her an important player in all her work supporting the Day Worker Center.”

Phyllis Dorricott, El Camino Hospital Foundation
“Phyllis is a volunteer, leader, and donor par excellence! We are grateful for her dedication to El Camino Hospital and the health of our community.”

Michelle Galbraith, Festival of Lights Parade Association
“Michelle’s outstanding efforts have enabled the Festival of Lights parade to grow and continue to delight children and adults of our community.”

Sue Gale, Friends of Deer Hollow Farm
“Sue has transformed the Friends Board and fundraising, enabling the Farm to thrive and host more than 100,000 visitors a year.”

Natalie Kataoka, Grassroots Ecology
“Grassroots Ecology proudly honors Natalie for her extraordinary service to improve our natural world – and her inspiring dedication, integrity, and kindness as a Grassroots volunteer.”

Mike Hacker, Hope’s Corner
“Hope’s Corner is grateful to Mike for his volunteer and fundraising efforts. We honor him for his passion and dedication to our mission.”

Bob Kresek, Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF)
“LACF salutes Bob for his creative and innovative ideas that always place our donors and the community at the forefront of what we do.”

Jennifer Carlstrom, Los Altos Educational Foundation (LAEF)
“Jennifer’s service on the LAEF Board and passion for public education and student advocacy has contributed greatly to the goal of achieving educational excellence in our community.”

Eleanor Watanabe, Los Altos History Museum
“As the talented, creative, and future-oriented Co-President of the Los Altos History Museum Board, Eleanor pushes the museum to embrace new possibilities.”

Nancy Williams, Los Altos Stage Company
“Los Altos Stage Company thanks and salutes Nancy for her dedication to the arts, and for supporting live theater in our community.”

Bob Adams, Mentor Tutor Connection
“Mentor Tutor Connection salutes our co-founder and tireless volunteer, Bob, for his leadership, passion and energy in growing MTC to serve all 22 public schools in Los Altos and Mountain View.”

Sharon Barkoff, Music for Minors
“Music for Minors thanks Sharon for her insight, commitment, and inspiring leadership that helped spur MFM’s growth to now reach 25,000 children in schools throughout Silicon Valley.”

Judy Crates, MVLA Challenge Team
“MVLA Challenge Team honors Judy for her very active involvement in the issues that influence children and adults in our local community. We are grateful for her time, energy and passion.”

Rachel Botsford, MVLA Scholars
“MVLA Scholars is thrilled to honor Rachel for the incredible and unwavering support, advice, love, and encouragement that she has provided to her two Scholars. She has truly changed their lives.”

Doug Kundrat, Peninsula Youth Theatre
“Peninsula Youth Theatre thanks and honors Doug for his enthusiastic leadership in transforming our set building department and his ongoing support of PYT.”

Chuck Lindauer, Rotary Club of Los Altos
“Rotary Club of Los Altos is pleased to honor Chuck, the informational technology ‘go-to’ volunteer for the club and many community nonprofits. He exemplifies our club motto: ‘Service Above Self’.“

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.

 

Joe’s speech:

Acceptance speech after receiving AFP award:

On behalf of Los Altos Community Foundation I’m honored to accept this award and be standing in the company of all the incredible current and past award winners.  Thank you to AFP Silicon Valley for hosting this wonderful event and to Laura Bajuk of the Los Altos History Museum for nominating us for this award.

As the saying goes, “it takes a village” and that truly exemplifies the Los Altos Community Foundation.  I want to thank our board for their leadership and guidance, and the Foundation staff for their dedication toward providing high-quality, personal service.  And most importantly, I’d like to thank our many donors and volunteers who enable us to carry out our mission. Many of you are in the audience today.

Los Altos Community Foundation is now in its 25th year, and I would be remiss if I did not also recognize and thank our Founder, Roy Lave.  For 23 years Roy grew this Foundation – as a volunteer — from an idea into a respected institution that has inspired local philanthropy, developed generations of civic leaders, and built a stronger community.  Roy and the Foundation creatively and effectively integrated grantmaking with the Foundation’s direct service programs, its portfolio of startup nonprofits, and charitable funds.   I would not be standing here today without his vision and commitment.

Our focus, community philanthropy, often does not get the headlines like curing cancer, eliminating poverty, or solving terrible diseases in Africa.  However, what we do is the essence of the American spirit, neighbors pitching in together to improve the place they start and end each day, the place they call home.  Strong, caring communities are the bedrock of our great country and I’m proud that Los Altos Community Foundation has been recognized for this effort.

Little description of photo and the award:
Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF) received the 2015 Outstanding Foundation Grant Maker award at the 28th annual Silicon Valley Philanthropy Day celebration, hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter on November 20, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Nominated by the Los Altos History Museum, LACF received this award in recognition for its demonstrated commitment to philanthropy through financial support and community involvement.  The event drew over 700 community leaders, philanthropists, corporate sponsors, and fundraisers.