Gilroy Rotary doles $32K to community

Gilroy Rotary gives more than $30k in grants

Is giving better than receiving?

It’s a close call for a handful of local benefactors and grant recipients: Both groups were smiling Tuesday when the Rotary Club of Gilroy handed out $32,490 in annual charitable giving grants to 30 area organizations that included schools, nonprofits, community organizations and branches of the city.

“This is clearly the reason why several of us are in Rotary,” said chapter President Deanna Franklin, addressing a banquet room full of attendees inside the Rotary Club on Hecker Pass. “When we get to present to all of you grant monies to help you with your programs, it just warms our hearts to be able to do this.”

It was certainly uplifting to hear a number of educators within the Gilroy Unified School District share what their grant money will help accomplish. The woodshop facility at Gilroy High School, the theater at Antonio Del Buono Elementary, the library at Christopher High School, the computer lab at Rucker Elementary and the Ballet Folklorico program at Glenview Elementary are a handful of entities benefitting from the Rotary’s philanthropy.

Considering the fact GUSD is faced with losing $3 to $7 million in state funding next year, this week’s grant giveaway was a bright spot amid budget blues.

A gamut of other grant recipients are sprinkled throughout the community:

Saint Joseph’s Family Center will designate its $500 award for providing enrichment programs to the children and families it serves. An after-school fitness program for young girls – the Bay Area Sports Initiative (BAWSI) – will use it’s $1,170 grant to purchase T-shirts and pedometers. The Teri Davis Patane Memorial Horse Camp will be able to purchase $500 worth of new helmets and boots. Since the Gilroy Museum is only open two days a week, the Gilroy Historical Society will use its $1,000 award to produce a video tour of the museum and its displays; something Society President Connie Rogers wants to share as an education tool with local schools.

The list continues, running the gamut from Kids Discover Arts to the Salvation Army; from Little League to the Gilroy Community Youth Center.

“We had over $53,000 in requests from well over 40 organizations, so some did not get money this year,” said Jay Baksa, former city administrator and member of the Rotary’s Charitable Grants Committee. “But one of these days, we’ll be able to give money out to everybody.”

To view the entire list of grant recipients, check out the PDF posted with this story.

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