18th annual Philanthropy Night takes place Nov. 10

By Staff Report

Roll out the red carpet and raise a toast to celebrate the South Valley’s unsung heroes at the 18th annual Philanthropy Night.

The Oscars of hometown generosity are coming to the Morgan Hill Community Center  6 p.m. Nov. 10 when the Morgan Hill Community Foundation honors 25 dedicated do-gooders  who go above and beyond to make our community a better place.

From tireless volunteers to big-hearted donors, the event puts a spotlight on those working quietly behind the scenes to lift up local nonprofits. Their selfless acts of service deserve a night of celebration and applause, said MHCF president Bob Lipscomb.

“I look forward to the annual philanthropy awards as they provide insight into the significant impact non-profit organizations and individuals have on our local community,” he said.

The program will include a video montage showcasing and recognizing the work of the organizations and their honoree volunteers, a review of grant awards to nonprofits supporting the local Morgan Hill area, and acknowledgment of donors and sponsors who enable these local grants. The program will conclude with an awards ceremony and presentation to each of the 2023 Philanthropist Honorees.

MHCF has conducted a celebration of philanthropy for the greater Morgan Hill area dating back to 2005. This annual event provides recognition to individuals who have been nominated by their organization for the impact in our local community.

This event will include both live presentation and pre-recorded segments to ensure an organized, fast-paced program. Focus will be placed on the stories and actions of the honorees who do heartfelt work in our area.

Jona Denz-Hamilton, a local radio personality, will return as the master of ceremonies for the 17th year.

Established in 2002, the foundation is dedicated to a “give where you live” philosophy, emphasizing the connection of local resources with the needs of the Morgan Hill Area.

At Philanthropy Night, attendees will discover a mix of pre-recorded video presentations prepared by the nominating organization and the Philanthropy Honorees. Steve Cox, a MHCF board member and philanthropy event chairman for the past four years, collaborates with each organization on the video presentation.

“The videos are so enjoyable to produce, witnessing the dedication and fun that goes into each one,” he said. “It’s our foundation’s mission to support nonprofits, and I take great pleasure in using our platform to spotlight the mission and work of numerous outstanding local organizations.”

Philanthropy Night is one of the MHCF’s fundraising events, using sponsorship and ticket sale proceeds to support local nonprofit grants. The foundation operates a grants committee that assesses requests alongside a community advisory committee, distributing available funds to support these organizations. It is also establishing a long-term grants fund to ensure sustained support for local nonprofits.

A number of individuals and organizations are providing support through sponsorships this year, including Ladera Grill, Persing Family Fund, and Steven and Marilyn Pifer, as well as event sponsors Anaerobe Systems, Silicon Valley Clean Energy, Neil Berman — ROLM attorneys, GraniteRock, Foster Rosconi attorneys, Ponzini Community Garage, Pinnacle Bank, Heritage Bank, Kent Construction, South Bay Piping Industry, Recology, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

“Local individuals, businesses and organizations generously support this event and our organization every year,” said board member and event vice-chair Matt Wendt.

Tickets are limited and sold on a first-come, first-served basis, often selling out quickly. Find event details, including ticket purchase information, at www.morganhillcf.org

The nominating organizations and honorees for the 2023 Philanthropy Awards are:

AAUW Morgan Hill Branch — Suman Ganapathy

BookSmart Community Advantage — Emily Shem-Tov

Child Advocates of Silicon Valley — CJ Young

EAH Housing — Santa Clara County Library Bookmobile

Edward Boss Prado Foundation  — Rotary Club of Morgan Hill

Empowering the Fatherless  — Cynthia Baugh-Hunter

IASC Circle of Giving — Tamijselvy Muralidharan

Kourtney’s Kause — Kristina Andrews

Land Trust of Santa Clara Valley — Ken Schreiber and Kevin O’Day

Leadership Morgan Hill — Christopher Foster

Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce — Shirlee Locicero

Morgan Hill Community Foundation — The Susan and Charles Berghoff Foundation

Morgan Hill Community Law Enforcement Foundation — Mike Johnson

Morgan Hill Historical Society — Margaret Rodrigues

Morgan Hill Unified School District — Cecelia Ponzini & Edward Boss  Prado Foundation

Poppy Jasper International Film Festival — Fran Fitzharris

Rebekah Children’s Services — R.A.C. Services LLC

Rotary Club of Morgan Hill — Christopher Foster

San Martin Neighborhood Association — Sharon Luna

Scouting BSA Troop 730 Morgan Hill — Lynn Liebschutz

South Valley Science and Engineering Initiative — Peggy Martin

Susan and Charles Berghoff Foundation — Cricket Rubino

Wreaths Across America/South County — Larry W. Carr