gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 54

for people ’ s homes has allowed us to have the longevity of showing homes year after year .”
Marie Blankley , the current president of GALs , became acquainted with the group when someone asked to feature her home on the home tour of 2008 . “ I don ’ t know that anyone ever thinks their home is ‘ good enough ’ for people to pay money to see , no matter how nominal ,” Blankley said . “ But it was an honor to know that something as simple as opening up our home for two days could benefit so many local kids .”
Blankley explained , “ One hundred percent of the gross proceeds go directly to grants applied for by organizations benefiting local youth . Procuring the homes for the tour is the biggest challenge , and I am constantly in awe of the perseverance of our members and the generosity of our community .”
According to Pray , “ This year it ’ s going to be a one-mile walking tour of historic homes in downtown .” The event is always held on Mother ’ s Day weekend . There will be a boutique with 18 vendors , including artists from the area and one from as far as Napa , a no-host wine bar , complimentary non-alcoholic beverages , appetizers and desserts from the GALs Cookbook . Members serve as hostesses and give a history of the houses . The tour is open 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday , and all members work both days . “ It ’ s a commitment ,” Pray said , “ but we have a good time .”
GALs also conducts other fundraising activities throughout the year . One newer tradition is the creation and sale of an annual cookbook . Volume III was published just before Christmas in 2016 and is available for purchase on the GALs website or at the Gilroy Foundation office .
Each member , active , honorary or nonactive , is asked to provide ten recipes , and the newer volumes include a few favorites from the first or second cookbook . The cookbooks also share recipes from friends and families who are great cooks .
Each year culminates in the Associate Luncheon and Grants Presentation . The GALs invite the grant recipients to a complimentary lunch , along with the members and honorary members — those who have served five years or more , then retire . Every grant recipient offers their thanks and speaks about how the money will be used . For Pray , “ Hearing how much impact our money and work is going to have on the children here in Gilroy ” is one of the most gratifying parts of serving as a GAL . It ’ s an opportunity for her to say , “ I ’ m glad I voted for them .”
Edde , too , stays active by attending the grants presentation luncheon . “ I want to support the work , so I go on most of the home tours . And then I want to see where the money goes ,” she said . As someone with such a long history of service , Edde ’ s said , “ You work for the organization that is nearest and dearest to your heart . You have to enjoy doing it .”
Above all , it ’ s the friendships that keep this tight-knit group working tirelessly for the cause of children . “ It ’ s a joy to work with these women ,” Pray said . “ When a new member comes in , you get to meet new people , and their husbands , and children . Friendship of women , combines with doing good work . It ’ s a win-win .” “ With a wide range of ages ,” Pray said , “ you learn more , rely on each other . People will ask , ‘ Donna did we used to do it this way ?’ And we get GALs who are a little bit timid , but they eventually give ideas . There ’ s this process of gradual turnover , so then they become friends .”
As apparent from Edde ’ s 50-year plus dedication , those bonds extend well beyond the 35 active members . “ Every year I ’ m elated that so many people are doing things and applying for the grants ,” Edde said . Even for those organizations that don ’ t receive the grants , she watches the numbers of applicants and is heartened “ to feel like people are doing things for the city .”

Reflections Volume III Is Here

Hundreds of new recipes along with some tried and true favorites from Volumes I and II . This cookbook is filled with fun , delicious and family favorite recipes and makes a great Christmas gift . Get one for your collection and wrap up a few more for all those special cooks in your life .
Gilroy Assistance League , is a nonprofit organization that provides grants to local youth-oriented projects in the Gilroy community . You can order by calling 408-713-1414 , emailing gilroyassistanceleague @ gmail . com , or purchase online at gilroyassistanceleague . org .
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GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MARCH / APRIL 2017 gmhtoday . com
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