County nonprofits honor volunteers during National Philanthropy Day

Community Foundation for San Benito County hosts 15th annual event during which dozens of local volunteers honored

The Community Foundation for San Benito County hosted National Philanthropy Day Dinner at San Juan Oaks Nov. 15, in order to honor some 45 local volunteers. There are about 140 nonprofit organizations and nearly 1,900 volunteers in San Benito County. Over the past 15 years, approximately 120 companies and organizations have nominated more than 400 individuals, companies and organizations for the honor.

According to the program for the event, approximately 45 organizations honored local community volunteers. 

Jim Ostdick, who recently completed a cross-country trek to promote hiking trails in San Benito County, was the keynote speaker for the event. He told the audience they need not worry about the state of America because during his journey he was treated with respect and honored everywhere he went. He said he was helped along the way by numerous “trail angels,” who would walk with him or give him food and water. He said, at first, he was uncomfortable accepting gifts from strangers, but quickly realized they “needed” to give him something to feel they were taking part in his journey.

As masters of ceremonies, Cheri Schmidt and Larry Barr announced each name, Shawna Miranda and Ted Davis, founder of Teknova Inc., went table to table to hand over the certificates and pose for photos.

This year, the nominating organizations and honorees were:

Aromas Eagles Aerie #72 – Paul Lapidus

Aromas Hills Artisans – Kay Walters

Aromas-SJB Community Schools Foundation – Larry and Viola Willis

Aromas-San Juan Unified School District – Nancy Offermann

Baler Education Foundation – Ernie Pascaul

BenitoLink – Susan Schwabacher Modic

CASA of San Benito County – Jean Murray

Chamberlain’s Children Center – Shon Morrison

City of San Juan Bautista – Shawna Freels

Community Food Bank of San Benito County – San Benito County Nonprofits

Community Solutions – Frank Chavez

Economic Development Corporation SBC – Aaron Jonston

Emmaus House – Vania Alvarez

Fishes and Loaves – Lorry Whitacre

Gavilan College – Tom Breen

Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast – Heidi Arreola

Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation – Ismael and Jeri Hernandez

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital – Joan Moore

Hollister Airmen’s Association – Members of Hollister Airmen’s Association

Hollister Downtown Association – The City of Hollister

Hollister Relay for Life – Bailey and Mario Correa

Kinship Centers-Gabilan Chapter – Sallie Calhoun and Matt Christiano

Pinnacles Quilters of San Benito County – Dianna Smith

Pinnacles Partnership – Richard Neidhardt

REACH San Benito Foundation – Valerie Egland

Rotary Club of Hollister – Amalia Ellis

Rotary Club of San Juan Bautista – Annette Cain-Rhines

The Salvation Army Hollister Corps – Teresa Amaya

San Benito County Arts Council – Louise Roy

San Benito County Business Council – Scott Fuller

San Benito County Chamber of Commerce – Brent Redmond Transportation

San Benito County Free Library – Nina Jorgensen

San Benito County Historical Society – Tom and Lana Maudlin

San Benito Stage Company – Postal Graphics

San Juan Bautista Library Auxilliary – Bernadine Belaski-McGee

San Juan Committee – Sandra Arretche

Sun Street Centers – Valerie Smith

The 33rd District Agriculture Association – Jaynie Little

12 Days of Giving – Bob Tiffany

Women's Club of Hollister – Glenda Goldstone

YMCA San Benito County – Kevin Jeffery

The Community Foundation for San Benito County was created in 1992 to encourage and enable philanthropy. Since its inception, it has donated more than $6,000,000 in grants to organizations that have benefited people in the county. The foundation serves as a hub for charitable collaboration, for the nonprofit community. For more information, visit the foundation’s website

John Chadwell

John Chadwell is a BenitoLink reporter and an author. He has many years experience as a freelance photojournalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer who has worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and underwent graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John has worked as a script doctor and his own script, God's Club, was released as a motion picture in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime that are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to: [email protected]