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to paint a mural on the north wall at the Gilroy Center for the Arts, close to Monterey Road and Seventh Street. Those who donated to our Patrons of the Arts fundraiser are acknowledged by name on a bronze plaque mounted on the mural wall. Our class put in a lot of physical effort and time. My son-in- law helped power wash the wall before Cathers began work on the mural. One team came in and spackled cracks and painted primer on the entire wall. After Sheryl worked her magic completing the mural, another team came in and applied two coats of anti-graffiti varnish on the entire wall. The labor of love brought us all closer together. Our project also included development of a video encouraging children to be involved in the arts. Local Video- grapher Zach Patterson was commissioned to produce the video, and the result is amazing. The video is available via the Arts Alliance, Gilroy Unified School District, or Leadership Gilroy for anyone interested in a copy. Leadership Gilroy’s Class of 2017 is a wild conglomeration of folks who have developed while learning leadership skills, group dynamics, and all about Gilroy and its glory. We’ve learned about one another’s strengths and weaknesses, and encouraged each other throughout our project. Classmate Scott Winant said, “It’s been amazing, really, I grew up in Salinas and never had that experience there, where you’re fully engulfed in the community, you know a lot of the business leaders, they know you.” Another class member, Mike Luevano, expressed his surprise at the breadth of knowledge he attained from the program: “I learned so much more about the police, the city, the agricultural and education side of things. Getting to talk to those people and ask questions and get their feedback. To learn the big picture of…their contribution to the community is so big.” The Class of 2017 is committed to quarterly gatherings to maintain our newfound friendships and share personal and city updates. Personally, my participation in Leadership Gilroy and in our class project helped me to reconnect with our wonderful city after 40 years living in Fresno. It feels good to be HOME. TM “What’s so special about the program is that we do really try to focus on the idea that leadership looks different for everybody. Our goal is that we’ve helped foster skills that will continue on in the community.” Andrea Gamble, Executive Director, Leadership Gilroy GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 gmhtoday.com 45