AAUW will do a “virtual run” that will be held April 19 to April 26 to raise funds for its programs, scholarships

Children enjoy the 2019 AAUW Wildflower Run. Photo courtesy Susan Brazelton

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Wow! These are surreal times we are living in and will continue to live in for the next several weeks, or perhaps longer. Sitting in my downtown office I look out on sparse Monterey Road traffic. A lone walker or runner passes by infrequently. Those who are still working are finding little traffic on area freeways and streets. Restaurants are offering take out only and grocery stores shelves are empty of toilet paper, bleach, household cleaners, and rice, pasta, canned goods, and non-perishables.

It seems day by day more and more people are sheltering at home, at least locally. Social media is rife with stories of people being productive either by working at home or completing long awaited projects.

And while many events have been postponed or canceled, the Morgan Hill branch of the American Association of University Women’s annual Wildflower Run fundraiser, which had to be canceled in late March because of the virus, is now a “virtual run” that will be held April 19 to April 26. A virtual run can be run or walked from any location you choose such as on the road, on a nature trail, or even on your home treadmill. You get to run at your own pace and time yourself. Before your run, your T-shirt, bib, and other swag will be waiting for you at the designated (drive-through) packet pickup location (or you can request it to be mailed to you). In addition, the AAUW is providing all participants the opportunity to enter a drawing for many wonderful prizes.

Learn more at and register at www.WildflowerRun.org.

We love the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival so are sad to find out the organizers canceled this year’s event to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and keep people safe.

The festival board held an emergency meeting March 12 and made the unanimous decision after much discussion, said festival director Mattie Scariot.

“Everyone thought it was the best thing to do for the safety of the public,” she said. “We felt like we needed to respond to the fears that our community had. We’re just thinking about our community right now and the unknown of what is going to happen and just listen to what the CDC has to say.”

The festival plans to move ahead with smaller events throughout the rest of the year, showing blocks of films and panel discussions once the threat of the coronavirus has diminished.

“We’re going to take some panel discussions and some blocks of film and focus on our educational program throughout the year and use that to help us fundraise,” Scariot said.

The annual festival would have been a week-long celebration of independent filmmaking with showings of blocks of films and panel discussions in Gilroy, Hollister, San Juan Bautista and Morgan Hill. More than 40 filmmakers had planned to attend, many from other countries. The festival jurors had made a selection of 205 films, with special days devoted to showing Chinese and Mexican films.

For more information visit PJIFF.org.

Kaden Kim

But it’s not all bad news. Kaden Kim, a student at the University of California, Berkeley who graduated from Live Oak High School in 2018, emailed us about a project he and a few friends have developed.

They have built a website to inform the U.S. population of the coronavirus, displaying tables and maps of the stats. They update the page every four hours. Check it out at livecoronaupdates.org

“We have more than 300,000 views in less than two weeks,” he wrote.

The site has up-to-date stats and data on the coronavirus in every state, and country affected. It also has a live news articles feed. All of the information of the site is from many verified sources, he said.

“My goal was to help everyone stay educated and informed on this topic, in real time,” Kim said.

Well done, Kaden.

The Peace Officer Wives of California hosted their inaugural Corks and Coppers Benefit at the Lightpost Winery in Morgan Hill March 7. Sixty-five people attended the lighthearted social event which raised money and awareness to support peace officers and their families. The benefit is part of their three-pillar concept; Inspire, Educate, Interact.

Peace Officer Wives of California Inc., Faith.Wife.Hero is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to seeing law enforcement families thrive. Healthy policing begins at home. For more information visit faithwifehero.com.

Robert Airoldi is the editor of Morgan Hill Life. Reach him at [email protected]

Robert Airoldi