Click HERE to see stories published in the June 5 – June 18, 2019 Morgan Hill Life

Get your dancing shoes on. The annual Friday Night Music Series kicks off a 12-week run June 14 with the ever-popular Houserockers, and the annual Fourth of July celebrations are right around the corner.

Freedom Fest President Jeff Dixon told us the nonprofit is in need of volunteers to help out with the many events that take place in early July. They could use help during the July 3 Family Music Fest, the Fun Run before the parade, the parade itself and the evening fireworks.

“Despite the recent growth in Morgan Hill, we still have a very community-oriented city,” Dixon said. “In Morgan Hill, it’s still more common to volunteer and support the community than it is to not.”

The organization is a group of all volunteers who work year round to plan and produce the events we all love so much. Please consider helping out. Visit to sign up.

The FNMS begins June 14 and as a member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, one of the volunteer duties I’ve undertaken every year for the past six years, is running the beer and wine booth. And, it is one of the most fun “jobs” I’ve had while working with awesome people helping out the Chamber. Seeing the friendly faces dancing, enjoying a glass of wine or cold beer, or just catching up with old friends and enjoying a beautiful summer evening at the Morgan Hill Downtown Amphitheater brings a smile to my face.

We have a few new things planned for this year — and an amazing lineup of bands. See you there! It’s gonna be a fantastic series!

We got word from Sobrato High School Class of 2014 graduate Emilie Allaert — who joined the Peace Corps after graduating from U.C. Davis last year — that she is now working in the Eastern Province of Zambia in the small village of Umi. “Here there are many challenges surrounding health care, but the most prevalent is the mortality rates that exist due to the lack of a proper facility to care for pre/postpartum mothers and newborns,” she told us.

Currently, Umi has a one-room health post where laboring mothers have to compete with other sick patients for space. Often times they have no choice but to birth their children outside on the ground.

“This community’s vision is to create a center where women can stay before their delivery dates so they don’t have to make the long journey to the health post while in labor,” she said. “We also want this center to be exclusively for women to access family planning resources and have children. If you are able, please consider donating to her project at

The Morgan Hill Unified School District was recognized last month with the 2019 Suicide Prevention Advocate Award. The district has taken steps to respond to students who may have suicidal intentions or have tried to commit suicide. “It is vital we provide this support for these students who may feel there is no other option,” said Coordinator of Student Services Jessie Swift. “Every life is important and we want to send that message to our kids.”

This year, the district developed two key partnerships: Kognito, a health simulation company that uses technology, science and role-playing conversations to improve emotional and physical health; and the HEARD Alliance, a community of healthcare professionals who promote emotional well-being and aim to prevent adolescent suicide.

“This success of these programs cannot truly be measured,” said Superintendent Steve Betando. “Although actual suicides and attempts are quantifiable, it is impossible to know how many potential suicides or paths to suicide have been averted due to the work our staff does through actions each day or because of program influence.” Well done, everyone.

Finally, congratulations to the Gavilan Hill Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America, which celebrated their 40th anniversary May 22. It all began in March 1979 when a group of women interested in the art of hand-stitched needlework formed the first chapter called Tri-Counties. The name was changed to Gavilan Hills in 1991.

Members participate in monthly meetings, programs, correspondence courses, and local, regional and national events, most notably, the 2010 EGA National Seminar, “Stitching on the Barbary Coast,” held in San Francisco. They also host community educational outreach programs, fostering the art of hand-stitched embroidery for all ages, beginners and veterans alike. While enjoying the camaraderie of each other, they teach, learn, and seek to keep needlework heritage and traditions. For information on joining, contact Kathleen Gay at (510) 579-0273.