We Say Goodbye, and You Say HELLO!
April 2023
Recalling an old Beatles tune, I felt this title was most appropriate for the April Gilroy Foundation eNews....the baton has been passed to our new Executive Director...and the future is very bright!

We also have a few more "feel good" stories that we know you will enjoy!
But first, a HELLO from Jaclyn Muro, Gilroy Foundation's Executive Director:

Dear Members of the Gilroy Community,

I am thrilled to introduce myself as the new Executive Director of Gilroy Foundation. As a lifelong resident of the Gilroy community, I am honored to take on this role and serve the community that I know and love.

I am excited about the opportunity to work with Gilroy Foundation's Board of Directors, staff, and partners to make a positive impact in our community. My vision is to build upon the Foundation's legacy of supporting vital community initiatives and expand our reach to support even more causes that are important to the Gilroy community.

Gilroy Foundation has a strong legacy of making a positive impact in our community, and I am committed to continuing that legacy by collaborating with community leaders, donors, and volunteers to address the challenges that face our community.

I bring to Gilroy Foundation over 14 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including experience in fundraising, community relations, and organizational development. I look forward to working with our dedicated staff and volunteers to ensure that we continue to create positive change in the community and build a strong foundation for our future.
I welcome your input and ideas as we work together to support the unique needs and aspirations of our diverse community and create opportunities for equitable growth and development for all. I am committed to open communication and transparency, and I look forward to continuing to meet and get to know members of our community.

Thank you for your warm welcome to Gilroy Foundation. I am excited about the opportunity to serve this community, and I look forward to working with you all to achieve our shared vision for the future.

~ Jaclyn (Jaci) Muro

A glimpse into the future? Maybe!

But for ONE day, 7th grader Gio La Corte enjoyed being Mayor for the Day, thanks to grandparents Karen and Frank La Corte! They were the highest bidder at the 2022 "Imagine" Day in the Country Auction and took home this exciting experience for their grandson.

What improvements would Gio like to see Gilroy make? He definitely had some great ideas that he shared with Mayor Marie Blankley! What a great experience!

Thank you, Mayor Blankley, for the generous donation of your time to Gilroy Foundation's premiere fundraiser!

When you see the Youth Board having as much fun as the Seniors they are interacting with, you KNOW this is a wonderful event!

Gilroy Foundation Youth Board had so much fun when they attended the Sweetheart Social at Wheeler Manor on Valentine's Day, they wanted to go back for more.

So, some of the Youth Board members met again with their Senior Friends on April 13 for the Spring Fling Social. Here we are witnessing the power of intergenerational relationships first hand.

It's truly beautiful.

Gilroy Foundation’s Annual Meeting and Charitable Giving Presentation was in person on April 20th after a 3 year hiatus—and what a night it was!

Board President Karen La Corte opened the meeting with a State of the Foundation address, then introducing retiring Executive Director Donna Pray who presented grantees with their awards.

In the 2023 Competitive Grants Cycle, Gilroy Foundation received requests for funding for $125,058. Of that amount, $80,820 was granted. The needs are great in our local community, though funding is limited.

Also, in 2023, $70,475 was awarded to programs from our Donor Advised Funds; $240,065 was awarded to Gilroy charities from our Designated Funds, and our Youth Board awarded a $1,000 grant. Nonprofit Investment Partners received disbursals totaling $141,575. Our total grant awards in 2023 were $533,935.

Jaclyn Muro was then introduced as the incoming Executive Director of Gilroy Foundation to a standing ovation. La Corte then listed several of the accomplishments of Pray over her 28 year tenure as the crowd rose again to offer a celebratory toast to the retiring ED.

We are grateful to Gilroy Foundation Ambassador Wendy Kaefer who was stationed at the back of the room taking photographs of the evening and of each of our grantees. You captured some wonderful memories, Wendy--thank you!

To be able to gather for this night of melancholy and celebration meant so much to all who attended. So many smiles, so many hugs and warm wishes.....
Dear Foundation Friends,
After 28 years serving as Executive Director of Gilroy Foundation, I am now looking forward to my retirement. More time for friends, travelling and most of all, family.  
I am proud of the work I have done to help move the Foundation to where it is today and will continue to support the best community foundation in our region!
When I accepted this position in 1995, we had 7 separate funds and today we have 135! As I have said many times, I have the best job – I work with generous people like our donors who want to support the causes they believe in, and then I get to turn around and hand out grant or scholarship checks to the nonprofits or graduates in our community. 
There has also been many special projects over the years that the Foundation has been involved with. Of course, the most obvious one is the 2019 Gilroy Garlic Festival Victims Fund that we opened after the tragedy. The Board, the Staff and especially our Oversight Committee truly stepped to the plate to help our victims and our community in healing.
There were other projects I was honored to lead for the Foundation. The building of the Don Christopher High School Sports Complex was a rewarding challenge and I loved every triumph and challenge it presented. I am proud to still have the construction hard hat that I needed to put on every time I was at the construction site! Other community projects that I participated in/lead were the Salvation Army shower and kitchen renovations, the first Gilroy Dog Park project, the Gilroy Center for the Arts upgrade, the Downtown Paseo Project, various purchases of equipment such as technology items and transportation vans for clubs and teams for CHS and GHS from the Christopher Ranch, any many more. Another area I am proud of was helping many grassroot groups establish their own nonprofit status, such as Gilroy Compassion Center, Gilroy Takko Exchange Program, Save the Miller Red Barn, South County Tail Waggers, Gilroy Hot Springs Conversancy, Gilroy 150 Anniversary Committee, to name a few.
The people I have partnered with over the years: our Foundation donors, volunteers and staff, and community partners have given me so much satisfaction with the growth I have had and achievements I have benefited from. I thank you all.
And, now, I can be one of many Gilroyans who give their time to be able to volunteer in our community – I’ll finally be able to join in to help rank grant and scholarship applications for Gilroy Foundation, as well as continue to volunteer in other organizations and positions – yet to be determined!
I love being part of the Gilroy community! Again, I thank you all!
~Donna Pray

It has been my great pleasure to work with and learn from all the friends I have made here at Gilroy Foundation for the past 9 years. It was never in "the plan" after I left my first nonprofit opportunity at St. Mary School after 23 years; but sometimes when we don't plan, great things happen.

It all began with a phone call from a friend with whom I had volunteered at St. Mary School in almost every capacity possible. We weren't able to spend as much time together for lunches and days away, with me working at the school, and her beginning to learn and build Gilroy Foundation. But when Donna called and asked if I would come in "for a couple months" for "a few hours two days a week" to start a Development Office, I was all in. What fun we would have and what we could do together again!

And did we ever. . .

So, it is not good-bye, but "I'll see you around town." Watching the Foundation grow and knowing that the future is very bright, I leave friends who are like family with a happy heart.

And, as the greatest philosopher of our time, Fred Rogers, once said, “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”

With great affection,
Your editor--Vicki Campanella
"Give Where You Live"

Thank you to our Sustaining Sponsors!

We are proud that five local businesses continue to support Gilroy's community foundation as a Sustaining Sponsor.

Thank you to:
Christopher Ranch
Pinnacle Bank,
Recology South Valley
RAC Services LLC
Blaettler Accountancy

for your commitment to our community and the work of Gilroy Foundation.
Gilroy Foundation | gilroyfoundation.org