Palo Alto Weekly: Holiday Fund tops $175,000
Publication Date: Jan 19, 1994

CENTENNIAL: Holiday Fund tops $175,000

Firefighters' gift helps fund meet $80,000 Hewlett match

Preliminary final figures on the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund drive shows the 10-week campaign generated $178,990 in community contributions, money that will be used to support Palo Alto area non-profits.

The number of donations also enabled the Holiday Fund to qualify for the entire $80,000 that philanthropist William R. Hewlett pledged to give on a one-for-two basis. The match brings the total earned for the campaign to nearly $259,000.

"We are overwhelmed with the generosity of this community," said Centennial Executive Director Mary Davey. "It was in large measure due to Mr. Hewlett's matching grant. We think that that made a lot of difference."

In all, 1,360 donors gave to the fund in amounts ranging from $10, given in memory of the Palo Alto Times, to $10,000, given by an anonymous donor.

Recent donations included a $5,000 contribution from the Palo Alto Professional Firefighters Union Local 1319.

Individuals, families, and organizations banded together to donate throughout the campaign. Fourth-graders at Keys School in Palo Alto took up a collection and, with the help of their teacher, came up with $114.33 for the fund. The Chinese Community Center of the Peninsula donated $150. The Friday Night Dancers at Cubberley Community Center gave $1,000, and the Hewlett Foundation gave $5,000 to current giving.

"Never in our wildest dreams did we expect to reach the donor levels we did in this campaign," said Palo Alto Weekly Publisher Bill Johnson. The combination of the Hewlett match, recognition on the Centennial Wall, and the chance to give to local non-profits "was simply too compelling to resist. It's a real tribute to what can be done when 1,400 people all come together to accomplish something."

The Holiday Fund money will be channeled into the Centennial Endowment Fund, the Centennial's permanent gift to the city. Earnings from the endowment will be used to provide annual subsidies to Palo Alto area non-profit organizations in such fields as education, health, housing, arts and culture, seniors, youth, recreation and the environment.

With the Holiday Fund money, the total generated for the Centennial Endowment now stands at nearly $380,000. This includes funds raised during the Centennial opening in October. The goal for the year is $450,000, and the fund-raising campaign will continue throughout 1994.

More than $248,000 of the Holiday Fund money was raised for the Endowment. The other $10,280 was designated for current giving and will be awarded as grants in March as part of the Palo Alto Fund grant-making process.

--Elizabeth Darling 

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