Published in the June 6 – 19, 2018 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Every spring, the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill hosts the Dazzle fundraiser dinner and party. And while organizers said` the final numbers are still being tabulated, they anticipate this year’s event exceeded last year’s record of $58,000 raised. Guests arrived the evening of May 25 to a reception in the grand salon of Clos LaChance winery while viewing the raffle and auction items.

Among the many auction items, Dazzle Chairperson Rachel Hill created a unique Volkswagen bus bar complete with granite surface and beer tap (see photo).

The evening’s gourmet dinner was enjoyed before the band Notorious blew the roof off with their high-energy show playing to a packed dance floor from 8 to 10 p.m. “I’ve never seen so many Rotarians still on the dance floor at the end of the night,” Hill said.

  • •             •

A grant of $30,000 spanning two years to fund Teacher Learning Labs can do a lot of good in our public schools. Kimberly Beare, the public information officer for the Morgan Hill Unified School District, told us that a team of six teachers from Barrett Elementary received the Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation California Educator Leveraging Innovation by Growing and Honoring Teachers (LIGHT) Award. The Barrett team includes Dawn Petty, Teresa Colbert, Jen Myers, Diane Wilson, Heather Oliver and Janet Lammers.

“This award is going to allow us to jump-start a program of math instruction that we believe will be super engaging and empowering to the students,” said Barrett Principal Mary Alice Callahan of the award. “We are super excited and every teacher engaged in the grant is looking forward to beginning this summer as we meet and study together.”

Barrett teachers will work in collaboration with their grade level teams so that all teachers can try out aspects of the learning that the six teachers share. Sounds like a great opportunity for teachers, thus their students.

  • •             •

The Magical Bridge Foundation is getting closer and closer to raising the remaining funds necessary to build the inclusive Magical Bridge Playground in Morgan Hill. Beginning late last year and continuing into the spring and summer, the Morgan Hill Unified School District held a fundraising campaign to help. Students throughout the district joined together to donate coins and dollars and may families in school communities donated online. Ultimately, they raised $21,000, and donations are still being accepted at

The city of Morgan Hill dedicated $2 million toward the playground, which will be built at Community Park, and the county of Santa Clara matched that amount with an additional $2 million. Magical Bridge Foundation is working directly with the Morgan Hill Community to fundraise the remaining amount. Magical Bridge Playgrounds are heralded as the nation’s most innovative and inclusive, welcoming visitors of all abilities, disabilities, sizes and ages. With an underlying message of kindness, the physical and social barriers of today’s typical playground are removed and give everyone a place to play. Great job!

  •            •             •

Mason Soliman


Hey, what a great idea! Alissa Crispin’s third-grade class at Charter School of Morgan held an idea fair May 17 to encourage students to think outside the norm. Each student set up a paragraph and a 2D or 3D model about their proposed contribution to Morgan Hill.

Mason Soliman wrote about why it is important to keep local lakes, oceans, and beaches clean in her paragraph. “For my 3D or 2D model I made a poster board that had my paragraph on it along with pictures of ocean animals being saved and how I am going to help clean the ocean,” he wrote us.

Some students made their model like a diagram of what they might build in the future, he said. “Like if someone said that they were going to make a hospital in Morgan Hill, they might make a model of what their hospital would look like with clay or Legos or cardboard and paint…. Then, on the day of our idea fair, our friends and family came to see our ideas. We also invited people from the community, like the city council and the mayor. We were really excited to share our ideas for the future of Morgan Hill.”

Imagination rules the world. Go make the world better with your ideas, kids.

Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi is the editor of Morgan Hill Life newspaper. If you have a story idea or an Around Town column item you want to tell him about, you can reach him at (408) 427-5865 or at
Robert Airoldi