The winners have been announced. The Gavilan Community College Board of Trustees released the names of the recipients of the Community Spirit Awards for 2021.


By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

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.

As was done last 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 Rose and one or more members of the Gavilan College Board of Trustees. The award presentations will be captured on video and then posted online for the community to celebrate and enjoy.

“We not only educate our students, but partner with and celebrate the individuals, organizations, and businesses that create the rich tapestry of life in the communities we serve,” Rose said. “It is a special honor to present these annual awards.”

The Shoe Palace owners are stepping up as good corporate citizens. The owners donated a large truck full of shoes, sweats, hats, and shirts to Cecelia’s Closet Nov. 10 and previously contributed $5,000 to the Local Heroes fund feeding local medical professionals supporting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited to be working with Cecelia Ponzini,” President John Mersho said. “We want to invest in her and the city of Morgan Hill.”

Mersho said the company had options to move their headquarters to Las Vegas or Dallas with much better monetary and tax incentives, but elected to keep its base in South Valley.

“We really wanted to stay in Morgan Hill,” he said.

The company annually donates about 45,000 pairs of shoes. They employ more than 400 people and by February hope to add another 100 to 150.

“This is just the beginning,” Mersho said.

Congratulations to the Shoe Palace and Cecelia’s Closet. Sounds like a great partnership is afoot.

Water is always a precious resource in Morgan Hill and with this in mind, the city’s permanent watering restrictions have been designed to best manage the city’s potable water supply, according to a release from the city. From Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, 2022, watering is limited to Wednesdays only between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. and to no more than 15 minutes per station.

Complete rules and restrictions can be found at mhvalueswater.com. Customers can report water waste online or by calling the Water Waste Hotline at (408) 310-4195. For more information, visit mhvalueswater.com, email [email protected] or call (408) 310-4169.

These restrictions will help avoid or minimize the effects of drought, climate change and the unreliability of the imported water infrastructure that serves the city of Morgan Hill.

Marisa Otto, the local Edward Jones financial advisor, is supporting the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program by using her office as a drop-off location for this year’s toy drive.

Local residents may help needy children in the area by bringing in a new, unwrapped toy to the office, 275 Tennant Ave, Suite 205, during regular business hours through Dec.15. Monetary gifts cannot be accepted.

“With the holiday season around the corner, we are all getting ready for the festivities,” Otto said. “And as this is the season of giving, now is a great time to remember the less fortunate in our community.”

Robert Airoldi