Published in the August 1 – 14, 2018 of Morgan Hill Life

Robert Airoldi

It was a beautiful early July Saturday afternoon at Operation Freedom Paws, which held a dedication ceremony to celebrate the raising of the American Flag on a new pole that was recently installed at their San Martin facility.

The raising was performed by the American Legion District 28 Color Guard in front of about 150 people.

“To our clients, especially our veterans, the flag flying at our center represents many things: who we are and what we stand for as a group, a family and a nation,” said Mary Cortani, president and executive director.

Founded in January 2010, Operation Freedom Paws is a nonprofit that matches dogs with individuals who have Post Traumatic Stress, Complex-Post Traumatic Stress and/or Traumatic Brain Injury symptoms, or other physical, neurological, psycho-logical or mobility needs.

They train the individual to train their own dog, and then certify them together as a service dog team. Most of the dogs come from rescue shelters. Each is then matched to a specific client’s physical and psychological needs. There is no charge to the client — all they ask is a commitment to complete the 48-week program.

This unique opportunity enables clients to feel safe and secure, and to manage their day-to-day lives. The very special therapeutic canine-human relationship helps them get back out in their communities and begin to view their future with renewed hope.

“When I was drafted in April 1968 I stood in front of the flag of our country and raised my right hand and took an oath to serve our country,” said client Denny McLaughlin. “After Vietnam and many years of turmoil I found OFP. It has become a fun, safe place for my dog Abbey and me. To be able to see our country’s flag flying brings a lot of my life full circle.”

I’m glad we have a program that is producing results for our vets. Good job, Operation Freedom Paws!

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George Guglielmo

Congratulations to Guglielmo Winery for winning a medal for each and every wine that was submitted into five different wine competitions for a total of 18 medals. They included one Best of Class Medal, two Double-Gold Medals, two Gold Medals, seven Silver Medals and seven Bronze Medals.

The Best of Class and Double-Gold Medal was awarded to the 2017 Private Reserve Pinot Blanc, Un-oaked, from Monterey County in the Central Coast Wine Competition, in the Other Dry Whites Class. This Private Reserve Pinot Blanc is composed of 100 percent Pinot Blanc grapes from Monterey.

The second Double-Gold Medal was awarded to the 2014 Private Reserve, Estate, Petite Sirah in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. This estate vineyard has produced Gold Medal winning wines year after year.

“We are proud to have received these awards, which recognize our commitment to produce the best wines possible from the historic Santa Clara Valley,” said winemaker George Guglielmo.


Just another example of some of great wines being produced here in South Valley.

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Image result for Morgan Hill Community FoundationIt’s that time of year.  The Morgan Hill Community Foundation welcomes nonprofits to participate in this year’s annual philanthropy celebration, scheduled for Friday evening, Nov. 9. Co-hosting with Pacific Gas & Electric Company, the MHCF helps local nonprofits showcase the dedicated work of Morgan Hill’s philanthropists and volunteers selected by each participating nonprofit.

To complete an Honoree Information Form on behalf of a local nonprofit, please visit for an online form and instructions. Honoree information forms are due by Sept. 7. All honorees are celebrated equally. It’s not a competition with one final winner.

Philanthropy Night honorees come from any nonprofit in Morgan Hill that wishes to honor a person, company or group that has made a significant contribution to the nonprofit in the current calendar year. It could be that a person has volunteered for many hours or provided financial support. The nonprofits determine the criteria appropriate for its group, thereby making it a fair consideration no matter how small or large the nonprofit is. It is a fun evening when the community can celebrate together.


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