Published in the May 10 – 23, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Photo courtesy Katcha Burnett
From left, Katcha Burnett, Abbie Holmes and firefighter Phil Gallegos.

The giving spirit of our community is strong. Local listing agent Katcha Burnett with Intero Real Estate Services proved that recently when she purchased a box of Girl Scout cookies for every firefighter in Morgan Hill to thank them for their service.

The cookies were purchased through third-generation Morgan Hill resident and scout Abbie Holmes. Burnett and Holmes gave the cookies to Morgan Hill Battalion Chief Phil Gallegos.

Burnett has helped Holmes’s family buy and sell homes locally for several years. “The Holmes family are very involved supporting the community, so I thought I’d be the ‘glue’ this time, supporting a local scout troop, a local cookie sales scout, and every firefighter in Morgan Hill.”

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The Morgan Hill Community Foundation told us that the 2017 grant application submission for nonprofits is open and the deadline is June 1. Submission requirements and application information are available at

Completed applications should be sent to MHCF, Attn: Grants, P.O. Box 1974, Morgan Hill, CA 95038. Please use the current application posted on the website; applicants using outdated forms will be disqualified.

In addition, the MHCF scholarships are offered through the local school district’s existing scholarship program. The general application and guidelines are available through each high school’s career and guidance counseling centers.

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Looking for a stress-free commute to Mountain View? Well, the Valley Transportation Authority announced that it wants to ease the stress and is offering a free one-week trial on Express Bus 185.

This offer is available only the week of May 8 to 12 to the first 100 riders who sign up. For tickets and details visit Express Bus 185 offers round trip services from South County to Mountain View with reclining seats, Wi-Fi and more. It’s time for residents to start enjoying their commute to work again and say goodbye to driving in gridlock. Give it a try!

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The Leadership Morgan Hill class of 2017 has come up with its project. They will be assisting the city of Morgan Hill in making necessary upgrades to the municipal dog kennel. Currently, a simple kennel open to the elements holds dogs for three days or less.

The class recognized the need to improve the old, basic kennel to provide better care for pets as they spent their time in “doggy jail.” Using their new skills, they did a needs assessment and met with city officials. A plan was developed under the new class project guidelines and it was approved by the Leadership Morgan Hill Board of Directors. At least one fundraiser is planned and residents can donate directly to the class project at

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Calling all artists! The city of Morgan Hill, with support from the Library, Culture and Arts Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission, is sponsoring a call for artists to submit proposals for the design, fabrication and installation of public art at the planned downtown parks.

According to the city, the project seeks to add new elements of distinctive public art and provide an opportunity for the community to think creatively and imaginatively about public park spaces.

Earlier this month, Patty Curtis won this year’s Downtown Wine Stroll poster contest and Diane Grosman from Winter Haven, Fla., is the winner of this year’s Gilroy Garlic Festival poster contest. (See our story on the front of Section B.)

Submissions are due June 30, 2017. For details about the process, qualifications, criteria and submission, visit

For more information about this project, contact Chris Ghione at (408) 782-9154 or email

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Nikhita Gopisetty

Congratulations to Nikhita Gopisetty, a sophomore at Oakwood High School, who won the AAUW state final championship of the Eleanor Stem Allen Memorial Speech contest.

She competed against finalists from Roseville and Alhambra AAUW branches. The topic was: “Is it Time to Pass the Equal Rights Amendment?” Nikhita took home the first place cash prize of $1,500. Nikhita is active in advocating for diabetes research and education and she is planning to speak before Congress on type 1 diabetes research. Great job, Nikhita!