gmhTODAY 11 gmhToday Nov Dec 2016 - Page 78

right away but in retrospect we should have spent a little longer establishing committees and defining individual roles. Communication was key in keeping us on track; like most organizations, we some- times fell a little short of perfection. We found out that it would take more than our class members to help us achieve our goal. We had mentors such as our beloved Program Director, Theresa Kiernan. Chris Houle of L/M Inc., donated labor and reached out to other generous business contributors on our behalf. Community members such as Frank Léal and Cecelia Ponzini contributed to our success. Organizations such as Heritage Bank, Kaiser Permanente, PG&E, Santa Clara Valley Water District, and the Persing Family and Edward Boss Prado Foundations, all earned our thanks and hopefully points for good Karma. We raised over $72,000 in cash and in-kind donations, which paid for trees, plants, planters, mulch, irrigation, two storage sheds and lockers, fencing and more. A special brick feature was created including names of project donors and supporters. We also provided a set of tools for students to maintain the garden after project completion. I can honestly say a good 80 percent of our project was a golden experi- ence. As for the other 20 percent, a few glitches are inevitable and the end result was well worth the effort. Are we better leaders? Only time will tell. For now, we’ve got the Oasis, some strong new community connections, and nineteen people who are no longer strangers. “The Oasis is an amazing place — the culmination of selfless awesome individuals coming together with energy, enthusiasm and synergy to create an educational and community space for all to enjoy. I hope this idea serves as a springboard for others to make positives changes in our town.” Vera Gomes, Principal Central High School 78 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016