United Way Gala at Swank Farms a big success

The event was sold out two weeks ahead of time and the auctions brought in top dollars.
Phil and Vicki Fortino handled the live auction. Photo by Leila Sadeghian
A view from the upper floor of the massive Swank Farms event barn. Photo by Leila Sadeghian.

This article was written by BenitoLink intern Leila Sadeghian.


On Nov 5, the United Way of San Benito County hosted a Gala and fundraiser at Swank Farm’s Bonnie’s barn. It was a fun night with lots of dancing, music, food and community togetherness. Over 160 guests attended. $31,000 was made during the live auction, $23,000 for the 12 Days of Giving fund (including $10,000 from Intero Foundation), and $4,725 during the silent auction.

There were a variety of fun, whimsical, auction items including a 10-foot tall decorated Christmas tree, downtown Truckee getaway, and Pajaro Dunes staycation as well as holiday floral arrangements and wreaths made by San Benito High Floriculture Dept.

Food was catered by Fisher’s Catering of Hollister with San Benito High culinary students and Farm House Cafe.

Organizations benefitting from grants included Hope Services, Salvation Army, Community Food Bank, Sun Street Centers, BenitoLink, Martha’s Kitchen, Junior Achievement, CASA, Emmaus House, YMCA, Catholic Charities, San Benito County Arts Council, Girls Inc. and Senior Citizens Legal Services.



The BenitoLink Internship Program is a paid, skill-building program that prepares local youth for a professional career. This program is supported by Monterey Peninsula Foundation AT&T Golf Tour, United Way of San Benito County, Taylor Farms and the Emma Bowen Foundation.


Help us bring on more interns! As a local nonprofit news organization, BenitoLink needs community support to continue developing important local programs like our youth and Latinx intern training program. You can keep it going strong by going to our BenitoLink donation page.

Leila Sadeghian