LACF Keeps Seniors Connected, Engaged and Healthy

One of LACF’s unique roles is to bring groups together to solve systemic issues in our community. LACF helps local groups quickly create programs and build a tight collaborative web of reciprocal support for the benefit of our seniors.

Through its grants, programs, and funds, LACF is able to test, evolve, and improve social entrepreneurship ideas – which often leads to unexpected new approaches and activities.

The following is a compelling example of how this approach is helping seniors in our community:

Center for Age-Friendly Excellence (CAFE), an LACF incubated program, launched the Senior Inclusion and Participation Project (SIPP), also under LACF, to help address senior isolation and loneliness issues. SIPP’s popular Digital Tech Workshops partner teen tech ambassadors with seniors to help them learn how to use today’s electronic devices – and empowers them to become more confident and connected in our digital world.

Collaborating with SIPP, LACF’s Block Action Team (BAT) leaders learn about the loneliness epidemic facing many seniors in our community and how to help them. BAT leaders receive the tools and resources to connect with seniors who are often unseen by the rest of the neighborhood to help keep them safe, engaged, and healthy.

Now in its third year, Club 55+ attracts over 100 seniors to its monthly community building summer social events. A project of LACF-sponsored Los Altos Forward, this “pop-up” nightclub evolved out of the ever-popular First Fridays in downtown Los Altos and offers fun – and unique – social opportunities for seniors.

Aligned with our mission of increasing local philanthropy and engagement, LACF’s programs also help the community get involved in helping our seniors. For example, Rotary Club of Los Altos helps sponsor and provide volunteers for Club 55+ events, cross-promotes SIPP’s Digital Tech Workshops, and works with its high school Interact program to recruit teens to serve as tech ambassadors at the event.

Working together, we create a great community in which to live, work, and play for our families and neighbors.

Planning to leave a gift to charity after you’re gone? Maybe not, without the proper documentation.

Many people donate planned gifts to charities as a way of establishing their legacy and making the world a better place for future generations.

There are many ways to leave a charitable planned gift. One common way is by naming a charity as a beneficiary of a retirement account, such as an IRA or 401k.

The tax benefits of doing this can be dramatic. When leaving an IRA, or portion of an IRA, to charity, the full value transfers to the charity. In contrast, if an IRA is left to a non-spouse beneficiary, such as a child or estate, income taxes can significantly reduce its net value.

But there is something to watch out for.

IRA plan administrators may not be legally required to notify IRA beneficiaries that you have passed away or that they are a beneficiary. Therefore, a charity named as a beneficiary of an IRA may never find this out. This could lead to the funds remaining with the plan administrator in the retirement account and eventually being handed over to the state’s “unclaimed property” division.

As the donor of a planned gift to a charity, you can prevent this situation by notifying your professional advisors of your current beneficiary designations and their contact information. Retirement beneficiary designations should be included with your estate planning documents. Also, be sure to notify beneficiaries, such as charities, ahead of time so that they’re aware that they may be the recipient of a planned gift.

By doing these simple steps now, you’ll ensure that your intentions will be honored and your favorite charities will benefit from your generosity. It also provides the opportunity for the charities to thank and recognize you while you are alive.

For more information, please visit LACF Planned Giving or contact Joe Eyre at

Los Altos Community Foundation Awards $84,500 in Grants to Local Nonprofits

Los Altos Community Foundation recently awarded $84,500 in its spring 2018 grants cycle to 18 local nonprofits and programs. These organizations address the needs and improve the quality of life for seniors, youth, and vulnerable populations in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.

The grants support nonprofit programs such as Community Health Awareness Council’s (CHAC), development of increased cultural and racial literacy by its Clinical Supervisors and interns, Parents Helping Parents’ outreach and support services to families with special needs children. And Peninsula Symphony’s popular summer pops concert in downtown Los Altos.

“LACF’s community grants help local nonprofits more effectively address community needs,” said Joe Eyre, Executive Director. “We’re proud of how these grants enable the development of new programs for greater local impact.”

LACF’s Spring nonprofit grant recipients also include:

  • Adolescent Counseling Services to support its Outlet Program serving local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
  • Family Engagement Institute to fund youth field work and intern opportunities in the FEI Child Development Academy and Stretch to Kindergarten programs.
  • Festival of Lights Parade Association for annual operating expenses associated with the Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade.
  • Grassroots Ecology to support local programs integrating nature education with hands-on actions to improve the ecosystem.
  • GreenTown Los Altos to support their Safe Routes to Schools program.
  • Hope’s Corner, Inc. for access and referrals to critical services that improve the lives of the homeless and vulnerable in our community.
  • Los Altos History Museum to support the upcoming bilingual, youth-produced exhibit, “Inspired by Juana: La Donna de la Frontera.”
  • Los Altos Stage Company for expanded Mainstage productions and youth and family education programs in 2018.
  • Los Altos Village Association for purchasing cost-effective, energy-saving LED lights in the trees lining Main and State Streets and parking plazas.
  • Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence for comprehensive services addressing the needs of 75 domestic violence survivors from local communities.
  • Peninsula Bridge to support the Peninsula Bridge Mountain View Middle School Academy that closes the achievement gap for hundreds of underserved, yet high-achieving students each year.
  • Senior Inclusion and Participation Project (SIPP) for raising awareness of the senior loneliness and isolation epidemic and to reduce its impact on elders in our local community.


Stretch to Kindergarten participants enjoy a recent lesson.
Stretch to Kindergarten participants enjoy a recent lesson.

“Many thanks to LACF for its generous support of the Family Engagement Institute’s Development Academy and Stretch to Kindergarten programs,” Betsy Nikolchev, Executive Director, FEI said. “The Institute is a hallmark, award-winning equity program for Foothill College, and LACF’s support will provide opportunities for our local youth to gain experience and contribute to their community.”

For more information on LACF’s grant-making programs and processes, please visit:

LACF Grant Making 



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’.“

Announcing the LACF Legacy Circle Challenge!

Legacy Circle Trees Logo

Longtime community members Claudia and Bill Coleman have offered a generous Legacy Circle Challenge:

They will match each new legacy gift to LACF before June 30th with a $500 donation.

“We believe so strongly in the work LACF is doing that we offered this challenge to inspire others to join us in leaving a permanent legacy for our community.”  – Claudia and Bill Coleman

You can help LACF realize the Coleman ’s challenge and become of member of the Legacy Circle by including LACF in your estate plan.  (If you have already done this, please let us know!).

Save the Date:

If you have already included LACF in your estate plans, or are interested in doing this, please join community leaders at LACF’s annual Legacy Circle luncheon on May 4th.  More details coming soon.

For more information on LACF’s Legacy Circle please see: or contact Joe Eyre at

LACF Legacy Circle

contact Joe Eyre at

E3 Program Now Accepting Applications for 2018-2019

E3 Youth Philanthropy Program members completing a service project at Deer Hollow Farm. From left to right: Jaime Villarreal, Deer Hollow Farm; Gray Tynefiled; Lauren Kiachian; Oliver Yu; Naomi Zimmerman; Kian Nikzad


E3 Youth Philanthropy, a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation, is now accepting applications from students entering 10th or 11th grade this fall.

E3 educates, engages, and empowers local youth to create positive change in their communities. Students who live in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills or Mountain View, and/or attend school in one of those three communities are welcome to apply.  Applications will be accepted March 1 – 30, 2018.

Apply for E3

The E3 program term is a two-year commitment. Students meet twice a month in Los Altos, from 7:00-9:00 pm, mid-August through May.

Through E3, program participants will:

  • Learn from local philanthropists about nonprofits and the positive impacts of strategic giving
  • Design and participate in service projects
  • Connect with local nonprofit organizations
  • Become effective grant-makers and deliberate funding priorities
  • Research, analyze, and advocate for potential grant recipients
  • Develop leadership and communication skills

Visit the E3 Youth Philanthropy page to learn more

E3 Students service project
E3 Youth Philanthropy Program members completing a service project at Deer Hollow Farm. From left to right: Jaime Villarreal, Deer Hollow Farm; Gray Tynefiled; Lauren Kiachian; Oliver Yu; Naomi Zimmerman; Kian Nikzad


2017 LACF Brunch Pictures

Thanks to all that made the 26th Annual LACF Brunch a huge success!

Special thanks to Carl Guardino, President and CEO Silicon Valley Leadership Group for his presentation on Values-Based Leadership.

We were also excited to honor long-time LACF Board Member and community leader, Dennis Young, for his many contributions.

Dennis Young and Joe Simitian