The Gilroy community rallied Aug. 19 to support relief efforts in Maui, Hawaii following the wildfires that swept through the island.
Gilroy City Councilmember Fred Tovar partnered with the Gilroy Firefighters Association L2805 to organize the “Gilroy Fill the Boot” for Maui fundraiser.
Seen donning vibrant Hawaiian shirts, local firefighters stood outside the Gilroy Premium Outlets on Aug. 19, holding fireman’s boots to collect funds for the relief efforts in Maui.
Following the boot collection event, several local businesses, including Bottles & More, Nick the Greek, Pour Me Taproom, Old City Hall, Settle Down Brewery and Tempo pledged to donate a portion of their sales between 3-7pm to help with the relief effort.
The Gilroy Fill the Boot campaign was not isolated, as similar initiatives were held across the Bay Area. From the Stanford Shopping Center to Santana Row, to the Gilroy Premium Outlets, three Fill the Boot for Maui events were held in collaboration with fire unions from Santa Clara County, Mountain View, Palo Alto, NASA Ames, Milpitas and San Jose.
The combined efforts of these events amassed $34,132.66 in donations. Gilroy contributed $12,332 to the total funds raised.
“The response we saw from our residents, businesses and visitors to Gilroy on Saturday was truly heartwarming,” Tovar said. “Our ability to come together and make a difference, even for those that are miles away, is truly inspiring.”
Tovar extended his gratitude to all who played a part in making the event successful. Everyone that attended, volunteered and generously donated had a pivotal impact on the success of the event, he said.
The appreciation also extended to Gilroy Firefighter Steven Hayes for his role in helping to organize the event and to the local firefighters and their families who dedicated their time and energy to support this cause.