Closing the Gap 2017 took place last Friday, May 5. We had a capacity crowd of over 380 attendees at the Summit Center on 4th Street for an inspirational, moving, and entertaining breakfast presentation.
Our Closing the Gap Chorus opened the program, followed by a welcome message from Supervisor Cindy Chavez. RCSJ Executive Director, Ken Goldstein, gave an update on our construction (it’s happening!) and the data on our success. Founder, Dana Bainbridge, put a face on Ken’s numbers with by introducing the achievements of several members.
The highlight was the moving testimony from RCSJ members themselves. Hollie Limbocker told her story from Silicon Valley success, to restaurant owner, to living in a car with three cats and a litter box, watching her husband battle cirrhosis. Keith Saldivar’s sharing included two original poems that told of chasing after recovery the way he used to chase after a high. John Duckworth used good humor and a bit of honky-tonk piano to tell his story of battling back from addiction.
President of the County Board of Supervisors, Dave Cortese, presented the Bridge Builder Award to Mike Blach, of Blach Construction. Mike exemplifies the Bridge Builder definition of joining the mind of innovation with the heart of compassion. His community leadership and philanthropy are well known and a perfect addition to our growing list of Bridge Builder winners.
Of course, it was a fundraising breakfast, and a very successful one at that. Our lead donors going into the breakfast put together a challenge fund of $58,000 that we would need to match. Breakfast attendees met that challenge, and then some, giving over $65,000 (with some donations still coming in) to fund RCSJ programs for the coming year.
Many thanks to our emcee for the morning, Russ Hancock, who held the program together and kept us on pace, and to the fabulous sponsors who made it all possible: Honda of Stevens Creek, Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara Family Health Plan, Heritage Bank, Stone Church of Willow Glen, JP Graphics, Carl P. Cookson & Julie Boggs, and Towne Ford.