Memory of children’s advocate lives on

Vallie Bishop, who died March 5 after a two-year battle with

A beloved local child services advocate who passed away in March
will be celebrated today when a nonprofit organization renames its
largest conference room in her honor. Full article
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A beloved local child services advocate who passed away in March will be celebrated today when a nonprofit organization she dedicated years of her time and finances to renames its largest conference room in her honor.

Vallie Bishop, who died March 5 after a two-year battle with colon cancer, will be recognized noon Wednesday at Rebekah Children’s Services in Gilroy, where she served as vice chair of the community advisory board and helped plan the organization’s annual holiday fundraiser.

The 57-year-old Bishop, the former owner of Gavilan Honda, also left “a chunk of money” from her estate to the organization, said Melissa Driscoll, development and community relations manager for Rebekah Children’s Services.

“She was really involved with all of our events. She really was someone who was consistent,” Driscoll said. “Without her, there is definitely a void that may never be filled.”

The new name for the room, which can hold upward of 50 people, will be the Vallie Bishop Room, Driscoll said.

Photos of Bishop’s and her “million-dollar smile” will be permanently affixed to the room’s walls, as will framed notes from her closest friends revealing Bishop’s caring, generous nature, said Bishop’s husband Rich Devlin.

“On Wednesday, I firmly believe Vallie will be there, smiling on all of us,” Devlin said. “I think it’s a fantastic honor. It keeps her image and her name alive for everyone to see for a long time I hope.”

Per Bishop’s wishes, the exact amount she left the center will not be made public, but two things were made clear by Devlin and Driscoll: It’s a lot of money, and it will go a long way to helping local children.

“She wanted to know the care would continue in some small way with her help,” Devlin said.

“I’m pretty proud of Vallie for this whole thing.”

Eleanor Villarreal, a longtime friend and former co-worker of Bishop’s added, “She did it from her heart. It’s fabulous she’ll be recognized in that fashion, hopefully for a very long time.”

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