This year’s brunch was tough because the volunteers had to be careful with how the food was handled and they couldn’t stay and mingle with the guests to hear their stories.

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

During this difficult holiday season, it’s wonderful to hear heart-warming stories. So let’s shine a spotlight on the Rotary Club of Morgan Hill that served a delicious — and safe — holiday brunch to people at the city’s Safe Car Park.

The tradition started last year the morning of Christmas Day. This year was tough because the volunteers had to be careful with how the food was handled and they couldn’t stay and mingle with the guests to hear their stories.

Chris Foster prepares potatoes for the brunch.
Photo courtesy Morgan Hill Rotary

Marcie Haley, a Safe Car Park case worker with the county, texted this message to the Rotary members: “It was lovely. People really appreciated the effort that went into it. We have some left for tonight and tomorrow, so nothing goes to waste. I have to rave about the scrambled eggs and potatoes.”

The intent was to provide the guests at the Car Park a moment when they could enjoy what they might have when they were in their own homes and let them know someone cares, said John McKay, a Rotarian involved in the organization.

“The food was wonderful and there was plenty of it,” he said. “We also gave dozens of pairs of socks and enough nice warm throw blankets for everyone there.

Thank you, Rotarians, for making the Christmas season a little bit brighter for the homeless.

Two Morgan Hill Unified School District employees received honors from the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors for their exemplary service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Noel Weeks, district nurse, and Kristin Stonehouse, human resources specialist, were awarded with the President’s Medal.

Weeks has been with the district since 2016 and served as the single point of contact for the County Public Health for the reporting and notification of positive COVID cases. “She is collaborative, solutions-oriented, and works well under pressure,” said Superintendent Steve Betando.

Stonehouse has been with MHUSD since 2003. When the shelter-in-place order came in mid-March, and the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act was passed in April, Kristin quickly adapted previous processes, informed employees of new leave allowances, and worked with administration on reassuring classified employees about the status of their jobs. “During such a time of uncertainty, Kristin was a comfort to those she serves, labor and management alike,” Betando said. “She diligently researches the ever-changing regulations to have accurate, updated responses.”

2019 Piano Competition participants.
Photo courtesy Gavilan College

Gavilan College’s annual youth piano competition for students in the fifth to twelfth grades will be entirely virtual due to the COVID pandemic. A live feed of the competition will be provided for the public on the music department webpage at The junior division will be for students who are in grades 5-8. The senior division will be for students who are in grades 9-12.

To compete, submit a single, unedited video of your piano performance with the respective application by Feb 5. Each contestant must upload their video to YouTube and provide the URL with their application. Competition is only open to youths who reside in the Gavilan College service area: Hollister, Gilroy, San Juan Bautista, Morgan Hill, Coyote Creek, San Martin and South San Jose. It costs $20 to apply for this piano-playing competition.

Visit for the application form and more details

Marian Filice was a native Gilroyan, born in 1909. Her family moved to Morgan Hill, where she attended Machado School and Severance School but they returned to Gilroy and she graduated from Gilroy High. She had begun studying piano with at the age of 14. At 18, under the patronage of her aunt, Clara Bisceglia, and with the support of her family, she moved to San Jose to undertake an intense course of piano study. Guided by one of the noted teachers in the Bay Area, she became an accomplished musician.

As the year comes to a close, Caitlin Robinett Jachimowicz, 2020 Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year, and  Ron Locicero, 2020 Man of the Year, asked to thank the community for honoring them.

“This year has reminded me once again why I love to call Morgan Hill home. We have faced unprecedented challenges, but I have been in awe at the way the community has come together to support one another,” Jachimowicz said. “I promise to continue to serve you and give back to the community that raised me.”

As a resident of Morgan Hill for more than 40 years, Locicero is inspired to see the community support one another.

“Thank you for your continued support and love for the inclusive playground project,” he said. “I look forward to celebrating with each of you and your families at our grand opening once it is safe to gather again.”

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


Robert Airoldi