Our Largest Gala Yet!

Silicon Valley came dressed to the nines and full of spirit to celebrate the 2017 VMC Foundation Annual Gala, “Puttin’ on the Ritz”. It was an amazing evening and we are truly grateful to everyone who participated. This year was the largest year we have seen yet with a whopping 480 attendees. We also raised more than ever, with over $370,000 for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, ensuring that everyone in our community receives high-quality healthcare regardless of their ability to pay. Truly, this was a magical evening. To view all the pictures from this year’s event, head to our Facebook page and check out our photo album!

The VMC Foundation has so many people to thank for making this year’s gala a success. A special thanks to our event partners, Parsley, Sage Rosemary, & Thyme, Photography By Busa, Modern Collective Dance Co., Nothing Bundt Cakes, Spotlight Entertainment, Black Olive Jazz, Vintage Wine Merchants, Citti’s Florist, Almaden Press, Method42, Burrell School Vineyards & Wine, Corinthian Ground Transportation Services and Hensley Event Rentals. We are also hugely grateful to our event committee for their tireless work compiling an amazing live and silent auction, which raised a record-breaking amount for VMC. And, of course, our deepest thanks to the many event and table sponsors, without whom our gala would not be possible!

If you weren’t able to join us this year for the VMC Foundation Annual Gala, “Puttin’ on the Ritz”, we hope to see you next year. And as always, thank you to our champions and supporters!

TOP TIER SPONSOR

PREMIERE SPONSORS

   

                        

SCVMC Medical Executive Committee

 

FEATURE SPONSORS

Hugh Stuart Charitable Trust

Karen von Holtz

TABLE SPONSORS

AbbVie Logitech/Jonathan Johnson
Asterias Biotherapeutics Dennis Low
Bristol-Myers Squibb Maricich Health
CareMeridian, LLC Joe Parisi
Centre for Neuro Skills Rehab Without Walls
Karen Dang Registered Nurses Professional Association
Charles Davidson Foundation Robert Lee & Associates
Marcelle Dougan Rutan & Tucker, LLP
Christina Egan – SCVMC Volunteer Services Santa Clara Family Health Plan
Elaine Elkin SCVMC OBGYN
FIRST 5 Santa Clara County SCVMC Newborn Medicine
Gardner Health Services SCVMC Physical Medicine & Rehab
Dolly Goel & Friends SCVMC Senior Leadership
The Health Trust John A. & Susan Sobrato
Heritage Bank Sorci Family Foundation
Hitachi Data Systems Toeniskoetter Family Foundation
HomeStreet Bank Turner Construction
Earl Johnson Union Bank
Learning Services Corporation

We also want to thank our event sponsors & gala committee!

Judy Cosgrove, Karen Dang, Elaine Elkin, Joseph J. Albanese, Inc., George Kahwaty, Caryn Laird, Anita Lorenz, Karen Roberts, City of San Jose Councilmember Don Rocha, San Jose Water Company, Silva Watson Moonwalk Fund, Michelle Tipton-Burton, Kristine von Holtz, Chris Worrall

The Hero Squad

 

Are you a volunteer superhero? Are you a people person who loves to be social? Do you want to attend fun local events for free? If so, join the Hero Squad!
We’re a team of outgoing, fun individuals who like having fun as well as making a difference. We are looking to expand our Hero Squad with more like-minded individuals and hopefully you will be one of them!
Event Background:
The Heroes Run is a 5k, Fun Run, and Obstacle Course created in partnership by the VMC Foundation, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Clara County Fire Department. The Heroes Run raises funds on behalf of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and directly benefits children’s health services. This year marks the 5th year of the Heroes Run, and it’s expected to be the biggest one yet.
Volunteer Position Description:
The Hero Squad is a group of volunteers who are committed to the Heroes Run and its mission. Volunteers will be asked to attend monthly meetings where we discuss outreach strategies and opportunities to promote the Heroes Run. Small teams of Hero Squad members will lead initiatives to raise money and gain participants by attending local events and spreading the word. Other outreach strategies will also be implemented as discussed in monthly meetings. These can be as simple as putting flyers on cars, organizing radio ads, to even setting up booths at other runs to promote the Heroes Run. Know that we will ask you to wear a hero costume, or at minimum a Heroes Run t-shirt! (if you don’t have your own, we will provide one!)
Skills Desired:
· An outgoing personality and ability to engage with potential registrants.
· Ability to quickly learn about the Heroes Run in order to correctly answer questions.
· Available to attend some evening and weekend events.
Perks:
· 2 free Heroes Run registrations for you and a friend
· Paid entry for you and a friend to attend events where you are promoting the Heroes Run
· Snacks will be provided at monthly meetings
· Free Heroes Run swag
· Pride knowing that you are helping make Santa Clara County a better place by supporting our public hospital. The only hospital that accepts everyone regardless of ability to pay.
Commitment:
· August through November
· Attend Monthly Meetings
· Promote the Heroes Run twice a month at various events or in various forms
· Communicate efforts and results with the Heroes Run manager
Be a hero and join us!
If interested, email Ignacio at Ignacio.Vallejo@hhs.sccgov.org

The VMC Foundation Annual Gala, “Puttin’ on the Ritz”

Join us for the party of the year!

The VMC Foundation Annual Gala, “Puttin’ on the Ritz” is happening on September 23, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Villa Ragusa in downtown Campbell.

[button link=”www.vmcfoundation.org/gala”]buy tickets[/button]

Experience a 1920’s Jazz Club inspired evening with music by Black Olive Jazz

Dazzle in 1920’s or black-tie attire

Savor the delectable cuisine of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme.

Taste great local artisan wines.

Bid on unique auctions items.

Dance the night away with DJ Haun Solo

Feel the love knowing that all proceeds go to the VMC Foundation, and benefit Santa Clara Valley Medical Center – the public health & hospital system of Silicon Valley

Our First Ever Scavenger Hunt!

Events & Adventures presents;
The VMC Foundation Scavenger Hunt

JOIN THE HUNT!
A creative and fun way to help raise funds for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC).

SCVMC is the largest and busiest hospital in the Silicon Valley region, and the only one that provides care to all, regardless of ability to pay. The VMC Foundation is the nonprofit organization that helps make it happen by raising donations from the community.

Come out and help us raise much needed dollars in a unique and creative way. All the while hanging out with friends and having a good time doing it.

Here’s the plan:
Prior to the event, you will create your team of 5. On Sunday, July 23rd we will meet at Rookies Sports Lodge Downtown, 99 S First St. San Jose at 1PM. With your team, we will go over the rules of the game, grab a pre-event cocktail and head out on a fun scavenger hunt! The hunt will last about 2 hours, and after we will reconvene for food, drinks, and prizes!

Now, what makes this scavenger hunt a unique volunteer opportunity is that all the participants will be fundraising while playing! The scavenger hunt has been created to earn points for items obtained. Every item secured in the scavenger hunt should be able to be used in the VMC Foundation’s silent auction. We will provide all the tools needed to procure items from local vendors such as gift cards, hotel stays, and priceless opportunities! Of course, we will also have fun challenges and questions along the way to score some extra points!

The team that finishes with the most points will get an awesome prize sponsored by Logitech! Drinks and snacks will be provided at the end of the hunt while the scores are being tallied.

A few things that will be helpful to bring:
– A car with a full tank (yes, you will have the option to travel during the hunt – it’s not necessary, but might just give you that extra edge. Just make sure you have room for your teammates!)
– A fully charged smart phone (trust me, you will want it – lots of points will be earned by using your phone!)
– A GPS unit
– A pen & notepad
– Running shoes (this is a competition!)

Start creating your teams now & don’t miss this fun event!

VMC Farmers’ Market Opens May 10

Join us for live music and fresh produce as we kick off the 2017 Farmers’ Market season at VMC!

The party before the party!

We’re trying something new this year; a party to get ready for another party.

The VMC Foundation Annual Gala “Puttin’ on the Ritz” will be held on September 23rd, 2017 at Villa Ragusa in Campbell, CA.   This is the party you know and love (and will hopefully sponsor/attend).

But to ensure that our gala has the amazing silent and live auctions that it always does, we’ve organized a special “Gala Gift Gathering Party” prior to the actual event. Join us on June 9th, 2017 from 4:30PM-7:30PM for drinks, food, and a live performance from Scared of Spiders (Chris Wilder’s jazz trio), all while raising donations for the VMC Foundation! (Location will be emailed after RSVP)

It’s a casual event that’s free* to attend.  And you’re invited!

What is the Gala Gift Gathering Party?

The Gala Gift Gathering Party is a casual get-together designed specifically to “gather gift items” for our auction. The reception will be held in the home of our own generous Debbie Burdsall and offers a fun and convenient way to donate your auction gift. The required gift minimum is $50 in value, but of course the more the better!*

Size is limited and reservations are taken in the order received. Please bring your donation and completed forms with you. Download the Auction Donation form here.

Suggested items to consider as a donation:

* Dinners/Hosted Parties

* Community Items (Gas Gift Certificates, Oil Change Certificates, Manual Labor, Construction work)

* Restaurant Certificates

* Computers/iPads/etc.

* Vacation homes

* Experiences (Hot air ballooning, Kayaking, Ski & Snowboarding passes)

* Sports Memorabilia

* SF Giants/Golden State Warriors/SJ Sharks/SF 49ers/Stanford Tickets

* Fine Wine & Champagne

* Golf Packages

* Jewelry

* Cash Donation

* A unique item or package that no one else has or can get!

 

To RSVP, please email Julie Ott with how many guests will be attending and their names. Can’t wait to see you there!

Great Highway event raised 100k+ for Neonatal ICU

The Redwood City-based event center The Great Highway hosted their annual Lobster Feed on February 4th with one thing on their mind – babies! Founder Rozalyn Mendence toured VMC in early 2016 and was inspired by the life-saving work of VMC staff of the Neonatal ICU (NICU). As she learned, the VMC Foundation was actively fundraising to replace the Giraffe Bed isolettes that house the newborns during their first weeks of life in the NICU. The machines simulate the safety and conditions of a mother’s womb and help VMC staff save lives. Roz committed to raising $40,000 at her annual fundraiser, almost double what they raised last year, enough to buy a single Giraffe Bed unit.

With her partner Gary Pollack, Roz got to work and organized the most successful Lobster Feed in her company’s history. Over $100,000 was pledged! Which means we aren’t just buying ONE giraffe bed, we’re buying TWO! The event was attended by over 150 of their friends and colleagues and was truly memorable. From giant boats of lobsters to pristine classic cars, a signature drink (the “Oh Baby”) and giraffe themed decorations, this event was eye catching, fun and inspiring. Thank you The Great Highway for a night we will never forget.

The State of the County 2017

Last night the President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Dave Cortese gave his State of the County Address to a standing-room-only crowd. He spoke for sixty minutes, far longer than his previous SOC address.

…because in 2017, I think you’d agree, there’s more to discuss.

President Dave Cortese (second from  left) with a crew of us who fought for Measure A last year: Ben Field, Betty Duong, Tom Steyer, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, me, Supervisor Cindy Chavez and Derecka Mehrens. 

A reminder: The County owns and operates Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and the Health & Hospital System of which it is part–the busiest healthcare deliverer in Silicon Valley and making up roughly half of the 19,000 employees of Santa Clara County (not including some 25,000 home care workers, according to President Cortese, whom he also praised).

But no matter where in the County one works, Dave’s message resonates and in my view, informs how we must think and act: 2017, Dave proclaimed, will be the Year of Compassion.

I was sitting in a section of the Board Chambers last night reserved for we who helped pass Measure A, the County’s historic supportive housing bond. Along with my colleagues Kevin Zwick and Derecka Mehrens, we applauded throughout Cortese’s speech and took pride every time he referenced the bond measure to upend the housing crisis. And the reason we did, he reiterated again and again, was that ours is a compassionate community.

At times he openly defied recent federal threats to our region’s marginalized and underserved, referencing the recent County lawsuit to defend sanctuary policies. It says a lot about our County that this was the strongest applause line of the night: All the work we’ve done, all the people we’ve helped, all the distance we’ve come… We are not going to turn back and abrogate our responsibilities now.

His message of dogged determination and the need for deliberate compassion certainly resonated with me. See what you think; here is Dave Cortese’s State of the County Address (and it’s been edited somewhat; don’t be afraid). Read it and let me know what speaks to you.

A great victory…and the future it informs.

yes-on-aThere is an adage that goes “success has a thousand parents; failure is an orphan”. This, obviously, speaks to people and organizations who seek credit for a good thing happening. Sometimes that’s unjustified and unfair.

But what about when a great success really does come about because so many stood up and stepped up? That’s powerful and profound, and that’s exactly what happened in Santa Clara County this summer and fall…and the victory came together the night of November 8, 2016, when Measure A was approved by the voters.

…not that we knew it at the time.

We needed 66.67% to win, and it took nearly two weeks to certify that we won with 67.67%. Obviously, we won by a very, VERY narrow margin of a single percentage point.

A reminder, in case you’re late to this party: Measure A provides $950,000,000 to build supportive housing, low-income housing and to help first-time home-buyers.  The lion’s share, paid for with a property tax increase, will kick Silicon Valley’s homelessness crisis to the curb. That crisis is arguably the worst in the nation, and county voters demonstrated on Election Day that they have heart, they want to help, and they embrace the common good. Considering the results at the top of the ticket, this victory and the compassion it reveals is extremely important.

What’s also electrifying is the number of non-profit organizations that got involved, many for the first time. To do that, their leadership needed to confront and reject a myth that 501c3 tax-exempt charities cannot “do politics”. I’ve written about this myth before, and this summer and fall after jumping in head-first to this effort, I worked to educate and urge my colleagues in the “public benefit sector” that contributing time, talent and treasure to Measure A was

  • Perfectly legal;
  • A moral obligation;
  • A path to your own success, and;
  • The only way we were going to win.

Let’s explore these four areas a little…and at the end, I’ll explain why.

Perfectly Legal. That is, if you follow the rules. No big deal; we do it every day. It’s legal to drive your Corvette 70MPH. But only on some roads. If you’re sober. And you’re a licensed driver. Rules…we learn them and abide by them. In the case of charities and elections, California’s rules are quite clear: Your charity cannot officially support a candidate, but you can support a non-partisan initiative or measure so long as it relates to your mission (why homelessness and health care are related should be evident, but if it’s not don’t worry: It will be by the end of this essay).

The general rule is 20%–that is, a nonprofit charity can donate 20% of their annual budget to a ballot initiative in California, and spend right around that much staff time advocating. There are reporting requirements that get a little complex, but not nearly as complex as, say, your annual audit!  Again, it’s a matter of learning the rules and following them. If you’re lucky and can afford it, a nonprofit or election lawyer is smart to engage…or better yet, talk one into joining your board!

Here is a great place to start to learn the details of campaign/lobbying rules…and remember, rules change all the time, so don’t just rely on one source of information.

A Moral Obligation. Those who work for/run nonprofits do so to get rich and buy jet airplanes. Kidding! We are fiercely dedicated to the idea of reconfiguring parts of the world for the betterment of others. We love animals and want them safe. We detest prejudice and injustice. We want to slow climate change so it doesn’t destroy Florida.  Or, in the case of Measure A, we feel that everyone deserves a place to live and that homelessness is worth fighting.

None of that makes us saints or even unusual. People who run hotels and who sell falafel for a living also care about these things…if they didn’t, Measure A wouldn’t have passed. But here’s the difference: If you work for a homeless shelter or a food bank, you understand the issue WAY better than the average person. If you and your agency sit on the sidelines while the community discusses supportive housing, the issue and level of discourse is short-changed. Your voice is necessary. Your opinion piece in the newspaper is vital. Your agency’s money is a bit greener. Your endorsement counts…more than that of others. Not getting involved is simply not okay.

A Path to Your Own Success. Homelessness, for example, is sad and awful. That’s why people are compelled to help. Also, homelessness is expensive. I knew the number was big, having spent time with so many providers, but even I was shocked when I learned that Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (the hospital my agency supports) spent nine hundred million dollars over a four-year period providing care for people who are homeless. Add in other county (tax-payer provided) interventions like law enforcement and social services, and you’ll find we spend over five hundred million in just one year, not counting the program budgets of the dozens of nonprofits on the front lines.

And the real tragedy? People are, generally speaking, NOT getting better. How could they? Managing people’s chronic health conditions while they’re living in a creek bed? Helping people with mental health conditions while they’re living under a freeway overpass? What the ping pong balls do we expect? This is why the housing first model makes logical sense, and why so many nonprofits ultimately came aboard the Measure A Campaign: Working hard to serve people whose lives aren’t measurably improved by your service is soul-crushing—among people like doctors, nurses and social workers whose hearts and souls are huge.

Fundamentally, the heroes of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center—along with my colleagues who run nonprofits like HomeFirst, The Health Trust, Destination Home, Momentum for Mental Health, Catholic Charities…they care about people. When asked why a hospital foundation was all-in on a homelessness measure, I would often site those great agencies and say “I want their work to work better.”

The Only Way We’re Going to Win. Like it or not, campaigns are expensive. Cheap compared to the homelessness crisis, but still. We faced the longest ballot in California history, and local measures are way, way down near the bottom. To earn the attention and vote of enough Santa Clara County residents this year, we figured we’d need to raise a million and a half bucks. At least.

But here’s the problem, which is really the central message of this rambling treatise: Lots of nonprofits didn’t even know they could get involved! What an untapped resource (I reasoned), and opportunity to exceed those fundraising goals. By the time I jumped in, our badass County Supervisor Cindy Chavez had already convinced several charities to give big, and the VMC Foundation immediately endorsed and gave (gulp) $100,000. This was not funny-money; this was operational reserve. This was a risk.

cookieNow, we’d done that before and more than once, so I also saw that my obligation was to help educate other 501c3’s that they needed to ante up. Boy, did they ever! By November the Measure A Campaign had raised a whopping $2.3 million. There has never been a time in Silicon Valley where more nonprofits joined housing developers, wealthy progressives and other stakeholders to amass such a war chest. All that money was turned into direct mail to voters, radio, TV, YouTube, and (not making this up) 15,000 cookies given out on college campuses…anything really, to rise above the Clinton/Trump noise and Be Heard. We also hired seasoned campaign professionals – the best we could find.

The nonprofit community stepped up in other important ways. Many of us are members of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, and together, we convinced them to withdraw their initial opposition to Measure A. We wrote letters to editors, penned opinion pieces for every newspaper in the valley, and spoke at every community gathering we could find. Closer to November 8, we got on the phones and never stopped dialing. We pounded the pavement with literature. We went bananas on social media. If not bananas, then

gingiegingerbread.

Election Night, November 8, 2016. The shock of Donald Trump’s victory muted what would have otherwise been a great celebration: Measure A passed—by a hair. This is revealing on a number of fronts. First, we needed every agency, every donor, every dollar to win. Had any of our handful of six-figure contributors sat on the sidelines, we likely would have lost. And because giving means commitment, agencies that contributed were also there with volunteers walking and phoning. It took every one of them to get us across that goal line.

Second, this victory speaks to who we are in Silicon Valley. With civility and compassion in short supply nationally, we dig deep and find it here. We’ve done it before, many times, for similar reasons: If Washington won’t help us solve problems, we’ll solve them ourselves. For example, with the election of George W. Bush in 2000, Santa Clara County leaders realized no one was going to help us provide care to underserved kids. Thus, the Children’s Health Initiative was created by county officials, labor leaders and funders who responded to the problem and built an innovative solution to it. Years later, it would be replicated by most counties in the state. Years still later, Governor Brown made it the law of the land. As a result, every child in California has access to health coverage.

That’s a major triumph, right? That’s why my third and final point is that we must keep the band together. Pundits and newspapers described Measure A as “game-changing”, a “hail Mary pass”, “staggeringly ambitious” and “unprecedented.” Every nonprofit who joined the coalition should feel proud and electrified, because all of us, together, made it happen. I’ve already described how every ounce of energy and every dime donated was necessary to win, so now let’s ask the obvious question: What’s next?

Keeping a coalition together is never easy, but the “other” major event of November 8 reveals that we simply must. If Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act is actuated, if persecution of specific religious groups is encouraged, if trickle-down economics widens evenangela further the economic canyon swallowing more and more in our community…well, you get it. We’ve got our work cut out for us.

So, even loosely, we nonprofits have to stay united to further the progressive policies on which we agree. We have become a multi-celled customizable action tank for addressing needs. As the greatest needs emerge, and as solutions are proposed, and to the degree those solutions require a massive coalition of idealistic leaders, we must be ready and be together. If you’ve read this far, you may very well be one of those idealistic leaders. We’ve proven we can do amazing things. You are awesome. We are awesome. Let’s meet for coffee soon. I’ll buy.

VMC staff raises $2,000 to help end sexual assault

Members of VMC’s team: Matt Gerrior, Tau Gaoteote, Chris Wilder, Jerry Wright, Gilbert Gutierrez, Steven Hernandez, James Crew, Paul Lorenz, and Erick Bourassa.

On Wednesday, June 22, a team of male VMC staff participated in the YWCA’s 14th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundrasier at Santana Row. The event, in which men walk a mile in high-heeled shoes, is a lighthearted way to increase awareness about the very serious issue of violence against women.

From the YWCA: “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes may look like a stunt with men racing in heels, but it’s actually a statement about men’s roles in ending violence against women and drawing attention to the issue that is connected to strict gender roles and expectations of men.”

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes has become an international event that engages men in raising awareness and funds to stop sexual assault and domestic violence. Funds raised from Walk a Mile in Her Shoes make it possible for YWCA Silicon Valley to provide critical response, intervention, and comprehensive support services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

The VMC team, led by Jerry Wright, raised $2,000 toward the $68,000 total raised by all participants this year. Congratulations and thank you to all who participated in this important community event!