A Gift for Giving
A glance back at the empowering and inspiring 2010 campaign.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Rescued dogs that would otherwise be put to sleep will get a second chance at life. Hungry families will receive fresh Salinas Valley produce and seniors will receive free legal services. Thousands of kids and teens will be paired up with mentors, receive tutoring on math, science and citizenship and learn to paint, sing and dance because our community opened its collective heart and pocketbooks and donated $629,200.82 to local nonprofits.
It turns out Monterey County gives well – and generously, to boot. The total, which includes a $100,000 match from the Monterey County Weekly Community Fund, broke all records – and eclipsed rather hopeful expectations – for the Monterey County Gives! campaign. (The match means participating nonprofits will receive around another 20 percent on the moneys raised.) As in previous years, people gave what they could, be it an $80,000 anonymous donation to Chartwell School, $5 to International School from a teacher or $1 each from 100 youngsters who all pitched in to help Ariel Theatrical.
And, thanks to that kind of community support, at least one nonprofit gets to keep dancing.
Dance Kids Monterey County had planned to hang up its pointe shoes for good after the 2010 production of The Nutcracker. The 17-year-old program, which had allowed thousands to perform and given scholarships to hundreds of kids who could not otherwise afford dance classes and tickets to see the holiday ballet, was out of money. In November 2010, executive director Alan Richmond and his wife, Carol, who founded the organization, told dancers and parents that the upcoming Nutcracker would be its last.
But the community wanted an encore – and it looks like more tiny dancers will continue to don tutus with Dance Kids after Gives! raised nearly $4,000. Next the nonprofit’s hosting a community “brainstorming session,” Richmond says, 10am this Saturday, Jan. 29, at Sunset, San Carlos and Ninth, on how to cement its stability (call 809-1122 for more information). “We’ve booked Sunset Center for Dec. 9, 10 and 11  for The Nutcracker,” he says, “with the hope that we will come up with the necessary funding. Our plans are: We are going to continue on faith.”
With this brand of community support demonstrated by Gives! 2010, that faith seems well-founded.