The morning cloud burst worried KC Adams.
“If you give people a reason not to show up, sometimes they take it,” Adams said.
And showing up to Unity Day on Saturday at Anchorpoint Christian High School was all that Adams wanted people to do. When the rain cleared and the sun peaked through the clouds, he breathed a sigh of relief.
“I feel good that my phone is dying, because so many people are calling to say they’re coming,” Adams said.
Adams put together the first-ever Unity Day at Anchorpoint with one simple goal.
“We want to get everyone from the community to say ‘hello’ to each other,” Adams said, who is the small private school’s athletic director, basketball and football coach.
To him, one little “hello” is all it takes. During the morning prayer, attendees were spread out across the auditorium, often with three or four seats between them.
“But the pastor got them together, got them to shake hands,” Adams said. “And now people are talking, now the kids are playing together.”
About 150 people at any given time were on the Anchorpoint campus on Pacheco Pass Highway Saturday – and while the adults listened to a schedule of speakers and live music, the children ran off their energy during a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, jumping in a bounce house or trying the punt, pass, kick challenge.
Adams wanted people to come in wondering where they could get help, find art classes or take their kids to preschool. Beyond gathering face to face, an American Red Cross blood drive gave attendees another way to help each other.
The blood drive directly benefited people with sickle cell anemia, a disease that warps the body’s red blood cells and causes intense chest and joint pain – and often affects the African American community. The only treatment is regular blood transfusions.
Michelle Travlos, a close friend of Adams, organized the drive. Travlos was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia and has sponsored several blood drives in Gilroy. She said 36 people had signed up in advance, and within an hour of the event starting, 10 more had volunteered.
“To get even 30 donors in this area, because Gilroy is a small town, is a big deal,” Travlos said.
Antoinette McCoy, a first-time donor, encouraged people to give blood.
“This process is painless. It’s easy,” McCoy said.
McCoy, a Technology Partnerships Manager at NASA, was at Unity Day with Mocha Moms, a 10-year-old support group for Gilroy mothers.
Mocha Moms president Victoria Baxter said the group was at Anchorpoint to network with mothers who want to spend more time with their families and get involved in their children’s education. Initially, the group targeted African American moms, but it accepts members of all races.
“The African American community is spread out,” in Gilroy, Baxter said. She added that at Mocha Moms events, people who have lived in Gilroy for 20-plus years would meet each other for the first time.
For years, Adams said he had talked among his friends about putting together an an all-day gathering like Unity Day.
“We just went out on a limb and told everyone we knew to just hang out,” Adams said. “And they are and it’s great.”