Suzie  used her left foot to hold a paint brush and created amazing works of artistry

A drawing of “Fluffy and Zeek,” named after Suzie’s pets.


By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Hope comes from many sources like Suzie Tabata, a talented artist born with cerebral palsy who spent time during her life as a client of Hope Services. In her memory, the Tabata Living Trust recently made a donation of nearly half-a-million dollars to the nonprofit.

With unstoppable perseverance, Suzie pursued her interests and creative outlets with passion. She learned to type with her toes and to communicate through a word processor, and she learned to use sign language.

Art is where Suzie truly shined. She used her left foot to hold a paint brush and created amazing works of artistry.

Sue Bell, director of human resources at Hope Services, has a piece titled “Fluffy and Zeek,” named after Suzie’s pets. “The art was made by Suzie when she was my client years ago,” she said. “I cherish it and continue to proudly display it.”

Suzie’s parents, Janet Tabata and Flyer Crata, had been long time donors to Hope Services and included the organization in their giving.

“We are profoundly grateful to them and the Tabata Living Trust for this generous donation which will be especially impactful as we recover from the global health crisis during which time we continue serving clients,” said Chip Huggins, president/CEO of Hope Services.

With potential vaccines still in trials, the number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19 still rising, and a potential resurgence because of the reopening of businesses, the fight against the coronavirus needs to continue.

As an American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine Diplomate, Dr. Kusum Atraya found a way to help. She is collecting not-in-use CPAP and BiPAP machines from the community, which will then be converted into ventilators for those suffering from COVID-19 worldwide.

“As a sleep specialist dentist, I treat patients with sleep apnea and snoring with custom-made dental devices, so many of my patients have CPAP machines collecting dust in closets,” Atraya said. “Because the machines are difficult to get used to, patients often switch to oral appliances or stop seeking treatment altogether. So, I thought there must be more people in the community with unused units who might donate them. My goal has always been to help people, so I thought this was something I could do to give back to the community.”

Atraya is urging patients who are not able to use their CPAP to consider donating these devices.

As a thank you for donating a device to the cause, she will give a free consultation and $500 off an oral appliance, an alternative treatment for sleep apnea and snoring. Atraya will be collecting CPAP and BiPAP machines at both of her offices in Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Please call the Gilroy office at (408) 842-5037 or the Morgan Hill office at (408) 778-7700 prior to delivering your CPAP device to their offices, as they are not fully reopened yet.

Thank you, Dr. Atraya.

Braydon Burkhardt of Morgan Hill Troop 730 completed his project for advancement to the rank of Eagle Scout, June 14, at the Leverton Masonic Center in Morgan Hill. Troop 730 is chartered by the Masonic Lodge of Morgan Hill and Gilroy.

Scouts are required to propose, manage and complete a major service project to demonstrate leadership skills and perform a project that benefits the community before they can advance to the highest rank in Scouting, Eagle.

Braydon noticed that, although Scout Troops and the American Foreign Legion both have dignified ceremonies to honorably retire worn out American flags, there was no conduit for the community to get the flags to them. He decided to install two public depositories. Braydon funded the project and purchased the boxes. He painted them and had appropriate signage installed. He worked with potential hosts and selected The Coldwell Banker offices at Tennant Station and the Leverton Masonic Center on West Dunne Avenues the sites. He installed the boxes and turned over the keys to the Masons to manage the collections in perpetuity.

Braydon Burkhardt has been a Scout for seven years. A graduating senior at Sobrato High School, he will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in fall and studying electrical engineering.

Anyone having a worn-out flag can drop it off 24 hours a day at the drop boxes. They are similar to mailboxes. You pull a door open, place the flag into it and close the door.

Great job, Braydon! Good luck at Cal Poly.


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

Robert Airoldi