Published in the June 7 – June 20, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

FastFrame manager Leah De Lane told us the shop specializes in framing needlework, which is an art unto itself, and decided to have a competition to showcase the talents of needlework artisans in and around the community. They partnered with local business, Madonna Needleworks, to have their first FastFrame Needlework Competition which was announced in October 2016. The winners were selected in two categories, painted canvas and counted cross stitch, and were announced at a reception last month. They were selected based on the variety of stitches used, coloration and textures of threads, dimensionality, and technical achievement.

Congratulations to Mary Bertken (counted cross stitch) and Pat Rusch (painted canvas). De Lane told us they will be announcing the next needlework competition soon. Anyone interested can contact FastFrame or Madonna Needleworks.

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The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill raised more than $58,000 at the annual Dazzle fundraiser dinner and celebration at Clos LaChance Winery. This year’s event raised a record amount to help the community.

“The Rotary Club of Morgan Hill looks forward to throwing this party every year,” said club president Theresa Kiernan. “It is one of two major fundraisers we do annually to raise money to support our philanthropic efforts locally, nationally and internationally.”

A great big thank you to all Rotary Club members, sponsors and guests for helping the club raise money for their continued philanthropic efforts for our Morgan Hill residents.

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Riding your bike to school can be a lot of fun, but when your school is located a distance from any neighborhood, it creates many challenges.

However, these challenges aren’t insurmountable when a community works together, and the staff and parents at Charter School of Morgan Hill proved that on Bike to Work/School Day.

More than 100 students and parents made the trek to CSMH thanks to the commitment of staff members, parent volunteers and police officers. The trek began at the head of the Coyote Creek trail off of Malaguerra Avenue and Cochrane Road and continued for seven miles to the school.

Organizer of the event, Kathy Funke, said riding her bike to work/school is a fun way to start her day and she enjoyed the opportunity to connect with the students and extended community while riding. What a great way to start the day!

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Photo by Robert Airoldi About 200 residents gathered May 29 to honor the men and women of the South Valley who have given the greatest gift of sacrifice during their service in the American Armed Forces.

One of the great traditions in Morgan Hill are the annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day celebrations organized by Vietnam veteran Ed Bowers at the downtown Veterans Memorial.

This year, about 200 people crowded at the intersection of First Street and Monterey Road to watch the proceedings that included the singing of our National Anthem, a prayer, patriotic songs by the children who sing at the Patriotic Sing during Freedom Fest, the reading of the honor roll, laying of wreaths and the playing of Taps to end the ceremony. It’s truly awesome to see our residents honoring those who died for our country. Makes me proud to live here in the home of the brave and the land of the free.

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Photo by Robert Airoldi
From left, So-Cal team members, Paul Hernandez, Trent Davis, Bill Hall, Kevin Crowell, Marc Harrier, Bob Giambalvo and Sal Santangelo. Not pictured was eighth teammate Benny “Boom Boom” Bontempo.

On a personal note, our Third Annual Mid-Cal Cup golf tournament came to thud of an ending as the So-Cal men bested the Nor-Cal men 9 to 6 in a Ryder Cup style, three-day event in Nipomo. The tournament has grown from eight, to 12 to this year 16 players, however Benny “Boom Boom” Bontempo from So-Cal learned just days before the event that he had bladder cancer and was forced to cancel his appearance.

But, thanks to the sportsmanship of the other 15 players, So-Cal was not forced to forfeit his matches. And in another move of sportsmanship, a closest-to-the-pin contest was held and the group raised more than $300 to cover Bontempo’s entry fee. Nor-Cal Captain Chris Yacenda won the overall contest and donated his $100 prize. The golf is fun, the competition is fierce, but the best part of the weekend is hanging out with our Nor-Cal pals and re-connecting with our So-Cal friends. Looks like we need a bit more practice before next year’s tournament. See you next year, boys!

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Congratulations to Cecelia Ponzini, founder of the Edward Boss Prado Foundation which operates numerous charitable causes in South Valley. The Morgan Hill residents received an honorary degree from Gavilan College. Also honored as the keynote speaker at the Gavilan graduation this year was Danielle Rhinehart. The Gilroy native spoke about her struggles with dyslexia that caused her to take nine years to earn her associate arts degree at Gavilan. She went on to get a Bachelors and Masters degree in Communications Studies from San Francisco State University and became a writer. For five consecutive years, Rhinehart has organized the artists for the Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras.