Gilroy Elks promote patriotism among fifth graders

Photo courtesy Gilroy Elks
Back row from left, Angela Moore Flores, Exalted Ruler; Wayne Weller, PDDGER; Rick Flores, PER;
Mitch Marinovich, PER and Lodge and District Americanism Chairman. Front row from left, Mrs. Niki Estacio, 5th grade teacher; students Ezekiel Wharton; Guillermo Alavares; Danny Jimenez; and Bradley Kirk; and Mrs. Jean Southland, school principal.

By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Congratulations to the four students and their families honored by the Gilroy Elks Lodge in the Americanism Essay Contest. The students are from  Niki Estacio’s 5th grade class at Rucker Elementary School who were judged to be the best writers for this year’s theme of “What Does Freedom of Speech Mean to Me.”

The students are Ezekiel Wharton, Guillermo Alavares, Danny Jimenez and Bradley Kirk.

“The ambition and goal of the Americanism Program is to quicken the spirit of American patriotism and to stimulate an awareness — a genuine feeling of pride and respect toward patriotism,” said Gilroy Elks Club member Mitch Marinovich.

Tired of watching what you think are inappropriate decisions made by elected officials? Maybe get involved with the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury. Applications are now available to serve on the Grand Jury, which acts as the county’s civil watchdog agency and may examine all aspects of county and city government, special districts, and school districts. The Grand Jury plays an integral part in ensuring that government officials are accountable to residents. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, U.S. citizens, and residents of Santa Clara County. Service does require a time commitment of an average of 25 hours per week, or as determined by the Grand Jury. Candidates must be willing to dedicate this year of service to keep careful watch over various aspects of county government, and the one-year term of the 2020-2021 panel will begin on June 18, 2020.

“It is important that we have a diverse group of people with different experiences, skills and abilities who are willing to assume the important task of serving on the grand jury,” said Presiding Judge Deborah A. Ryan. “We need civic minded citizens willing to critically assess the operations of local governmental entities and to recommend improvements, as necessary, to benefit our community.”

Questions about informational events or about the Grand Jury may be directed to [email protected] or by contacting Britney Huelbig, deputy manager for the Civil Grand Jury, at 408-882-2721. The deadline is April 1, 2020.

If the Grand Jury is too much, the Gilroy Arts Alliance is recruiting board members. Do you have an interest in promoting the arts? The groups working board is currently recruiting volunteers with time and energy. Help them create an even more vibrant center for the community. Email [email protected] for an application and more information.

Nancy Howe

After 25 years serving Santa Clara County, Nancy Howe, the county librarian and executive director of the Santa Clara County Library District, is retiring effective March 27.

“I am proud and grateful to have been a part of nearly one quarter of the Library District’s journey alongside our wonderful staff, supporters, and volunteers,” said Howe. “Howe began her career with the Santa Clara County Library, as it was known then, in 1995 as a substitute librarian. Prior to becoming county librarian, she worked at each of the district’s seven community libraries and received seven promotions.

Under her leadership, SCCLD removed all fees to use the library or open an account; expanded hours at each library and added service seven days a week at every library, initiated passport services at three libraries, and oversaw the renewal of a 20-year tax measure ensuring this source of SCCLD funding through 2033.

The Gilroy Assistance League is accepting grant requests that will benefit local youth organizations and services for the year 2020. Last year, GALs gave out $22,000 to various youth services, such as Community Solutions, One Heart to Another, Gateway School, Learning and Loving Education Center MH, and Luigi Aprea School.

A formal grant request proposal must be completed and returned no later than Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Forms may be downloaded at Details: please email Lori Kent at [email protected]

Robert Airoldi