Mother's Day weekend 2019, May 10 and 11, 2019




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GALs Support Local Youth Over the Years--a Brief History of GALs Home Tour

Member since 1992, Donna Pray shared some of the history of Gilroy Assistance League (GALs) and how members have given grants to programs benefiting Gilroy children at least since that time.

At that time, the big fundraisers were a golf tournament at Gilroy Golf Course and a Bridge Tournament that was held in four-eight different homes (depending on how many people signed up) at the same time on a weekday afternoon.  When the games were over, members would get on the phone and figure out the winning team out of the 8 to 16 teams.  The bridge games died out in the late nineties as membership evolved.  They found that the Golf Tournaments were a lot of work for a small profit; so members decided investigate other fundraising options.

Paula Goldsmith was a new member in the late 90’s and she described “American Girl” parties that became a source of fundraising income for a few years. These parties were held in the St. Mary School gym.

Around this same time, Dina Fiorio presented the idea of selling Gilroy historic throws.  They were an additional source of income until 2017.

The idea of a cookbook surfaced in 2003. Members were asked to submit their favorite tried and true recipes to be gathered in a small binder and shared with the community. Many members asked friends for their favorites also and “Reflections” became a staple in many locals collections. As of 2018, the cookbook is in its third edition.

But these small sales could not sustain funding necessary to support youth programs as membership had become used to doing over the years. Member Janice Filice wanted to get more local community members involved in efforts to raise money for Gilroy Assistance League, she reported. Janice had attended some very successful events in the San Jose area and knew especially of the success of Home Tours in the Rose Garden area of San Jose. She brought this idea to GALs membership and they voted to move forward with this new fundraiser in 2003.

Janice spoke with organizers of the Rose Garden Home Tour and they were very generous sharing details of how this fundraiser was organized. The first Home Tour was held in The Forest, featuring four homes and a lovely garden at the home of one of the members. Janice structured leadership of the Home Tour using the very successful Garlic Festival as a model, with a chair and co-chair, who would step up the following year.

Over the years, the Home Tour has been a very successful venture--featuring homes from southern Gilroy to Morgan Hill--and has given Gilroy Assistance League the opportunity to support youth programs and organizations in our local community through grants, in addition to an annual Holiday Giving outreach to a family in need.

It is through the generosity of our Home Tour attendees that these giving opportunities are made possible.