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Honored by Gavilan They say good things come to those who persevere. In May, Cecelia received an Honorary Associate’s Degree from Gavilan College for her leadership of the Edward Boss Prado Founda- tion and its positive impact on youth pursuing education in the face of economic and other challenges. There was nary a dry eye during Cecelia’s acceptance speech. According to Gavilan President Kathleen Rose, “Every year Gavilan’s board considers candidates to receive honorary degrees…people whose work reflects the power and promise of education in building strong communities. Through her foundation, Cecelia has consistently provided local students in need with food, clothing, supplies and scholarships. She was surprised when I called to let her know of the award, and over the moon with enthusiasm about participating in our graduation ceremony. It was an opportunity to share her conviction that all youth have access to education and respectful treatment on campus.” Edward Boss Prado Foundation Since establishing her nonprofit foundation in 2013, Cecelia has launched ten community service programs, all empowering people in need with resources that foster dignity and respect. “Whenever an issue tugs at my heart, I dig into it,” she said. The all-volunteer foundation funds 100 percent of donations directly to programs and recipients. She credits her board members—Gary Ponzini, Steven Riley Prado, Laura Escoto, Melissa Santos, Connie Sue Murray, John Horner, Kathy Carrera, Betty Beach, Michelle McKay, and Mayor Steve Tate; and former members Ken Murray and Jennifer Tate—for their help and support along the way. Last year, the Foundation partnered with the YMCA to host a “pop-up Christmas” in Gilroy for more than 50 home- less people, complete with dinner, a decorated Christmas tree, and gifts. “It was such a cold holiday season; one woman’s fingers were blue from being exposed. We gave out tents, sleeping bags, blankets, thermals, Christmas cards with a little note and cash inside, and Tupperware containers so they could take leftovers with them. Homeless families told me they were looking for a way out, jobs, and a safe place to live.” “Giving keeps me going. This foundation is my life. If Edward was with us today I think he would love it!” Foundation Programs Cecelia’s Closet & Food Pantry – donated food and clothing for people in need through referrals from Morgan Hill and Gilroy Unified School Districts, Community Solutions and other agencies. Over 3,000 families served since 2014. No Child Goes Unfed – Funds donated to Live Oak, Ann Sobrato, Christopher, and Gilroy high schools provide no-cost lunch to students in need; no questions asked. Walking with Dignity – Since 2014, the Foundation has provided nearly 2,000 gift cards to students at eight elementary schools for the purchase of new shoes. HOPE Program – Provides special duffel bags carried in Morgan Hill Police Department patrol cars. When officers encounter the homeless, these duffles provide them with basic necessities and create opportunities for positive interaction with public safety officers. Back to School Fit for Fall – Every August, backpacks, school supplies and clothes are distributed to Morgan Hill and selected Gilroy elementary school district students in need. Share the Runway – Since 2013, the Foundation has provided more than 1,100 donated prom dresses and accessories to girls in need. Free Octoberfest – Every October, community members in need are invited to Cecelia’s Closet to select from donated and surplus clothing. Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway – Throughout South County, families in need who would otherwise go without are provided with a complete Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Holiday Toy Drive – Since 2014, the Foundation has part- nered with the City of Morgan Hill, Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce, CAL FIRE, Girl Scout Troup 62224, Kiwanis, and many other organizations to collect and donate toys to MHUSD elementary school families in need. Prado “On the Go” Scholarships – Awarded to local students demonstrating financial need and the desire to earn skills certifications in medical billing, automotive repair, culinary arts, home inspections, water & wastewater system maintenance, veterinary tech services, and more. Fundraising Event “Cecelia wants to help families struggling to make ends meet and to make sure they are treated with dignity. She’s always on the lookout for unmet needs, like a guardian angel.” — P.A. Walsh Principal Teresa Sermersheim 76 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN An Evening with the Boss June 23rd marked the Edward Boss Prado Foundation’s “An Evening with the Boss” gala fundraiser, a Frank Sinatra themed event at the Granada Theater. Guests enjoyed fine food with wine pairings from Léal Vineyards, music and dancing, and a live-silent auction. Event Platinum Sponsor: Léal Vineyards. Gold Sponsors: Ladera Grill, Kaiser Permanente, Cochrane Road Self TODAY . Storage and gmh JULY/AUGUST 2017 gmhtoday.com