Gilroy Today 2012 12 Winter - Page 52

And that’s what I love about Gilroy! By Sam Bozzo Recently the Gilroy Foundation adopted a new slogan “Give Where You Live”. Of course for them it is dealing with the 8 million dollars and the many local donors that have contributed to the many individuals and non profits since its inception in the early 1980s. But that slogan could have another meaning which would apply to those that give of their time and energy. In this article we salute the work of Edith Eddy, Ken Fry, Eddie and Gloria Mondelli Pollack, and Lisa Iwanaga Sheedy. Each of them personifies the quote: “No joy can equal the joy of serving others.” Definitely, they are people who serve and manage to stay under the recognition radar. Edith Eddie Edith, and her husband Herb, came to Gilroy in 1957. Herb was an engineer and went to work for Gentry. Later Gentry became a part of Gilroy Foods and now it’s known as Olam, located where 10 th Street becomes Highway 152. Edith, who was born in New Mexico to a farming family, got right to work. She had a fabric store on First Street. Before long, she began volunteering with the Children’s Home Society. It was an organization dedicated to assisting with children’s adoptions. She did that for 25 years. That organization phased into what is now The Gilroy Assistance League (also known as GALs). Edith remained involved in GALs for another 25 years. She also served on the Library Commission, followed by eight years on the Gilroy Planning Commission. She put in another eight years with the Santa Clara County Planning Commission. She was also appointed to the Santa Clara County Trails Committee and was involved in the preliminary planning for what is now the Harvey Bear Ranch Park. Edith has been a volunteer with the Garlic Festival from the beginning — working in the Garlic Festival office, while Herb worked into the late night hand peeling garlic. To this day she still puts in one day in the administration trailer at the festival. In 1989, she was selected as the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce “Woman of the Year.” She says that garlic is what brought them to Gilroy and feels that Gilroy is a good town to live. As I was writing Edith’s story, she said “if you have any questions, I’ll be at the Gilroy Museum.” Of course, doing what she has been doing ever since she and Herb came to town, giving where she lives. Lisa Iwanaga Sheedy 52 G I L R O Y T O D A Y W I N T E R / H O L I D A Y 2 0 1 2 Lisa Iwanaga Sheedy was born in Gilroy with five brothers of a farming family and married Dave Sheedy. Lisa, like her mom, gives entirely of herself. Every one of her three children’s coaches received a handmade crocheted blankets while they were being coached in whatever sport they were participating. She was active in the Crippled Children’s Society raising needed funds and remains active in the Japanese American Citizen League (JACL) where she serves as secretary and vice president of activities. She was a very active parent at Rod Kelley School. Margaret Kubota got her into doing tickets at the Garlic Festival and then she went on to being on the Advisory Board followed by serving on the Board of Directors for a total of 20 years of involvement. Last year she gathered a group of volunteers including my partner Gene Sakahara to work on the annual Sister City dinner and fundraiser. Speaking of Sister Cities, her daughter Mikela upon graduating from Arizona State University is now working as the Coordinator of International Relations in Gilroy’s sister city Takko Machi, Japan. Her primary responsibility is to serve as a liaison between Takko Machi and Gilroy. When Mikela got the job Lisa’s advice to her was “to do what’s right”. At the center of long lasting relationships that her children have had with friends was Lisa. Lisa and Dave encouraged Ryan Sequin, Ben Glines, Brad Nunes, Bobby Baksa, and Robert Lucente to visit their home frequently because they served as role models for each other and also for their sons, Harken and Trevor, and daughter, Mikela. Because of Lisa’s belief in association and doing for others, I would not be surprised that when the 25 th anniversary of the Sister City relationship between Takko Machi and Gilroy takes place in Takko next year, Lisa will be organizing a tour group to help celebrate.