Mike Beasley, Second Harvest Food Bank and Rocca’s Market honored


Staff Report

Gavilan College announced its 2020 Community Spirit Awards last month.

At their October meeting, the Gavilan College Board of Trustees announced the recipients of the Community Spirit Awards for 2020. Among those who are honored with the award are Morgan Hill resident Mike Beasley, Second Harvest Food Bank and Rocca’s Market in San Martin.

The awards are presented annually, in each of the communities served by Gavilan College, to honor the people and institutions that contribute to improving the quality of life in each community. Each of the three sets of awards includes an individual, a business, and an organization.

In most years, the awards are presented at breakfast ceremonies in Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and San Benito County. This year, due to COVID-19 concerns the awards will be presented outdoors in a personal visit to each award-winner from Gavilan College Superintendent / President Dr. Kathleen A. Rose and one or more members of the Gavilan College Board of Trustees. The award presentations will be filmed and posted online.

  • Mike Beasley received the award under the Morgan Hill/San Martin Individual category.

Mike Beasley

When Mike Beasley retired from his career at IBM he decided to dedicate a portion of his time to solving problems in the community — applying his business experience to the greater public good, according to a Gavilan press release.

“He was a founding board member of the Gilroy Compassion Center in 2011 and since then has served as vice chair, advisor, advisory board chair and this year became the board chair of the organization dedicated to addressing homelessness in South County. In Morgan Hill, the Compassion Center is a partner in the FOCUS Safe Parking program with Morgan Hill Bible Church and the Interfaith Alliance. As Board Chair Mike has been instrumental in recruiting and hiring the agency’s first paid, full-time executive director. Mike has spent countless hours advocating, researching, team-building, and planning with the Compassion Center. He is dedicated to long-term solutions for homelessness and building the team to make it happen. Mike has never sought any public attention or personal recognition for this work, but his impact has been great and has helped to provide a pathway to housing for homeless people in South County.”

  • Second Harvest Food Bank received the award under the Morgan Hill/San Martin Organization category because it is a pillar in Silicon Valley.

According to the Gavilan press release: “They work tirelessly to combat hunger serving more than 250,000 children, families, and seniors each month throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties at 1,000 different sites. Gavilan College began working as a partner with Second Harvest in 2016 when the food pantry was launched. Second Harvest has worked with Gavilan to retrofit our room, provide ongoing training such as food safety and CalFresh application assistance, in addition to delivering the food they stock our pantry with at no cost. Second Harvest staff go above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service, guidance, and support. During COVID-19 Second Harvest led Gavilan and a number of other partnering agencies to transition services into a drive through distribution with safety protocols, easy and flexible ordering capabilities, and additional training. Second Harvest allows Gavilan College to serve thousands of needy families throughout our service area each year. to thrive.”

  • Rocca’s Market receives the award under the Morgan Hill/San Martin Business category.

The press release quotes Robert Airoldi’s Around Town column in a Morgan Hill Life issue in April that described the generosity of local people during the pandemic: “Meanwhile, in San Martin, Rocca’s Market General Manager Dan Keith is helping families with a week’s worth of food. Keith and Rocca’s are supplying up to six families per day with essential food, including meat, bread, milk and produce, subject to what’s in stock. ‘A lot of people are going through hardships and I just wanted to help take care of people in need,’ Keith said. What began as a personal project has quickly turned into a community coming together, he said. ‘It’s amazing,’ Keith said. ‘I’m so proud to be a part of this community.’”

In the past, Rocca’s has served as a donation station for toy drives, and is known for its local community orientation. A customer quote on its website, says: “Rocca’s is all about San Martin, it is the best market in Morgan or Gilroy, prices are the best, but most of all the family is friendly, helpful and takes care of our community. Meat is the best!”

Other recipients of this year’s Gavilan Spirit awards are:

  • Lillian Silva for the Individual category in Gilroy,
  • Togo’s Eatery on First Street in Gilroy for the Business category in Gilroy,
  • Leadership Gilroy Class of 2020 under the Gilroy Organization category,
  • Al Bonturi for the Individual category in San Benito County,
  • Hollister Community Outreach (Linda and Patrick Lampe) for the Organization category in San Benito County,
  • Pinnacle Farms for the Business category in San Benito County.

Robert Airoldi