A new component of the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation was honored on September 23, 2015 at the Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club. More than 150 members enjoyed live music, drinks, and hors d’oeuvres while bidding on auction items. The event raised more than $45,000 for the SILVAR Veterans Scholarship Fund, a new inititiave that honors local veterans with military histories spanning the 1950’s through Desert Storm.
This new scholarship fund will support eligible U.S. veterans and dependents of deceased veterans residing in SILVAR’s traditional service area who wish to continue their education. SILVAR’s president, Chris Isaacson, welcomed the guests to the event. Lehua Greenman, SILVAR Membership Committee Chair and Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation Trustee, organized the evening, and also served as the Master of Ceremonies alongside Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County District 5 Supervisor.
“We encourage our community to care enough to say thank you [to veterans] and tangibilitize our appreciation for their service,” said Simitian.
U.S. Representative, Anna Eshoo, presented the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community. The presentation preceded the recognition of all attending U.S. veterans. Over ten veterans described their branch, achievements and were honored for their service.
“Getting an education is one of the things that can help us lead a fuller life,” says Tom Gordon, guest speaker and U.S. Air Force veteran (1984-1988). “When veterans come home there are gaps that are gradually getting better and the largest gap was education.”
The inspiration for the scholarship event spawned from a desire to aid the large population of veterans and military families living in the mid-peninsula area. The event’s proceeds will go towards Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation and be earmarked for the SILVAR Veterans Scholarship Fund. The scholarship recipient must use the scholarship towards a college within the borders of Woodside to Los Gatos.
“Education is one of the three criteria that would qualify a charitable grant or contribution considered by the Foundation. The three criteria are education, housing and children. We have never had an event to honor our veterans,” says Greenman. “Many veterans no longer have education benefits. There are veterans who would like to further their education goals but need financial support. This seemed like the perfect way to help them achieve those goals.”
The Charitable Foundation has funded scholarships and presented to students for over 16 years. The organization looks forward to expanding their aid to local veterans.
The event was generously sponsored by Menlo Park-Atherton District, Palo Alto District, Los Altos-Mountain View District, Cupertino-Sunnyvale District, Los Gatos-Saratoga District, Silicon Valley Young Professionals Network, HomeFolio Media, as well as the SILVAR’s Membership Committee who planned the successful fundraiser.