2020 ViewPoints

2020 ViewPoints

WCF is a small group with modest resources but a big desire to make positive contributions to our community — especially in this time of unprecedented challenges.

Dear Friends and Neighbors

The Woodside Community Foundation (WCF) was created in 1952 to provide a tax-deductible platform for Woodsiders interested in putting their charitable contributions to work in their community. Like our community, the WCF has changed a bit over the years—connecting with the community through the website and social media, improving our administrative practices, benefiting from alliances with other Bay Area non-profits. But what hasn’t changed is the extraordinary philanthropic spirit of Woodsiders, resulting in a wide range of projects that make our Town a better place to live, work and play.

Our focus has always been hyperlocal but 2020 changed that too. This year’s unprecedented challenges have made us sit up and really appreciate how we are connected to others; how what affects our neighboring communities impacts us. While having to stay closer to home, with your help, we have expanded our reach, connected with other non-profits and groups with kindred goals, working to help provide critical support for those most impacted by COVID and the recent wild fires.

WCF is a small group with modest resources but a big desire to make positive contributions to our community. So an equally big thank you to our generous, responsive donors and to the community members who came to us with inspired ideas for helping those in need. We hope you will take a few minutes to see what we’ve been able to accomplish this year with your help. We couldn’t have done it without you; thank you so much!

Wishing you all the best,
Marsha BonDurant
President, Woodside Community Foundation

Your Ideas In Action

Over the years, many of the projects supported by WCF have originated with a Woodside resident who sees a need or an opportunity in Town and brings this idea to the Foundation’s Board of Directors for consideration.

Barkley Fields and Park is an early Foundation success

These community-led initiatives have helped forge the Foundation’s unique hyper-local focus on the larger Woodside community, resulting in projects like the construction of Barkley Fields and Park, Native Plant Garden at the Town Library, a ParCourse at Woodside Elementary School, Woodside Children’s Theatre and the Open Space Fund.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation’s Board of Directors has been pleased to sponsor three different community-led Funds — Robert’s of Woodside Employee Fund, WES COVID-19 Community Coalition Scholarship Fund and B.O.K. Ranch Equestrian Scholarship Fund.

With your help, the Woodside Community Foundation continues to forge new partnerships and pathways for strengthening our community.

WCF quickly responds to your ideas and helps you raise tax-deductible funds almost immediately. We put your ideas into action!


Regional Partnerships

Learn more about how WCF is partnering with the community to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the members leverage the relationships and knowledge from the Alliance of Community Foundations of Silicon Valley to learn new ways to support the community. This podcast features WCF President, Marsha BonDurant and WCF Secretary, Elizabeth Dressel.

Serving Local Needs

Center Trail Bridge

This year, the Woodside Trail Fund established a partnership with the Town and other groups to complete the long-awaited Center Trail Bridge.


Woodside Village Band

The Woodside Village Band hosted its first virtual concert in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click above to tune into the Woodside Village Band’s virtual rendition of The Teddy Bear’s Picnic and below to learn more about their creative way of coping with the pandemic.



Disaster Relief Update

Saving for the Future:
When disaster strikes close to home, WCF is there to help.

Joining forces with the Mounted Patrol and Junior Riders, WCF launched a rapid response to the devastating CZU Lightning Complex fires. WCF received $26,760 in donations, plus a contribution of $10,000 from the Woodside-Area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!).

To date, almost half of the funds were spent on hay, feeding and care of about 50 animals rescued and evacuated to the Woodside Jr. Riders and the Mounted Patrol of San Mateo County.

Remaining funds are being held in reserve for when the winter rains hit the burn zones in the Santa Cruz mountains. It is anticipated that mud and debris flows will result in large impacts to people, property and livestock. WCF will be there to help.

“People have been very generous with donations to help those in need after the deadly CZU fires, especially when it comes to the care and safety of horses and other livestock.”

Rick DeBenedetti
WCF Local Disaster Relief Fund Manager


Lemon-Aid Out of Lemons

Over the years, WCF has been recognized for being a unique resource for local giving. This year, East Bay youngster Ryan Donahoe raised funds for WCF’s Local Disaster Relief Fund dedicated to large animal rescue from the recent CZU Lightning Complex fires.

“My 7 year old son wanted to have a “lemon-aid” stand to raise money for the large animals affected by the fires. We chose your community foundation to donate his proceeds. He had the stand on September 19th (the first weekend when air quality was tolerable) and so many folks stopped to contribute, including the CHP officer and his second grade teacher. He asked for 50 cent donations and ended up raising $127.50. Thank you!”

Kirsten Donahoe
Walnut Creek, CA

WCF salutes you Ryan for your creativity, ingenuity and generosity. You give us hope!


COVID-19 Response Update

In the days following the initial Shelter in Place orders, the Woodside Community Foundation Board of Directors sprang into action raising funds and putting them to work in the community quickly. Six separate fundraising efforts were launched. Here’s a quick summary of our efforts to date:

Woodside Together 1.0 Fund—San Mateo Strong

Working with the San Mateo Strong initiative, the Foundation launched a matching fund to help struggling individuals/families, small businesses and non-profits in Woodside and adjacent communities.

TOTAL RAISED: $22,967 (including WCF $10,000 match)

Woodside Together 2.0 Fund—Food, Rent and Housing Assistance for Woodside Workforce

The Woodside Together 2.0 Matching Fund was created in partnership with the Fair Oaks Community Center efforts to provide housing, food and rent support for those in crisis in our wider community.

“Ana and John were unable to pay their July rent after both had to quarantine when they tested positive for the coronavirus. Although John’s regular workplace remained closed, he had been working side jobs whenever he could. Because the entire family ended up testing positive, it took several weeks before John was able to go back to working even the side jobs. As of late August Ana was hoping to return to work soon. Neither were eligible for EDD or stimulus check. We assisted their family with April rent and then with part of August and all of September. We are thankful for the support of the Woodside Community Foundation.”

Teri Chin
Human Services Manager, Fair Oaks Community Center

TOTAL RAISED: $12,925 (including WCF $5,000 match)

WES COVID-19 Community Coalition Fund

A group of key donors established this Fund through WCF to assist with approximately thirty families in our Woodside Elementary School (WES) community who were experiencing extreme financial hardship. $1,000 checks were cut for 17 families with urgent and immediate food needs, and a total of 68 people and 38 children were supported through the crisis, in several cases allowing them to remain in our community (and not be financially displaced).


Roberts of Woodside Employees Gratitude Fund

Several community donors established the Roberts of Woodside Employees Fund through WCF as a way of showing gratitude for Roberts workers’ commitment to our community, and in recognition of the hazardous, front-line nature of their work. Individual checks for $540 were distributed to each of Roberts of Woodside’s 75 employees. Roberts owner Christine Roberts matched the Foundation’s Woodside donations with checks of an equal amount for every Portola Valley Roberts Market employee.

TOTAL RAISED: $49,780 from more than 150 individuals

B.O.K. Ranch Equestrian Scholarship Fund

The WCF Board of Directors created this matching fund in response to a request for help from the Director of the B.O.K. Ranch program at the Horse Park at Woodside. Funds raised will allow eight children with social/emotional needs to participate in B.O.K’s unique equestrian program.

TOTAL RAISED: $6,470 (including $2,000 match)

Child Care Relief Fund

This Fund was launched in September to partner with the San Mateo County Childcare Relief initiative to provide much-needed financial assistance to subsidized child care providers for low-income families in San Mateo County especially in the areas of North Fair Oaks and Redwood City.


The ongoing COVID crisis has highlighted the lasting value of WCF’s model of philanthropic community impact. With a combination of WCF- and community-led initiatives, six separate fundraising efforts were launched and more than $160,000 has been raised for COVID-19 relief efforts. Giant thanks to the generosity of Woodsiders for making these efforts a success.

Day of the Horse Reimagined

Creatively Reimagined Woodside Day of the Horse Events

With the rallying call “Let’s ride this out together,” Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) volunteers worked for months to create a Day of the Horse weekend like no other. To continue this beloved event in the midst of the pandemic, the WHOA! steering committee and dedicated volunteers creatively reimagined every event, with compliance and safety first, but family fun with horses equally at the forefront.

Online Equestrian Art Exhibit

More than 100 submissions, including painting, photography, collage, and sculpture, were posted online, with voting by the public culminating on Saturday, October 10, when the top 12 were selected to appear on the WHOA! calendar for 2021.

Riding the Woodside Trails

On Saturday, October 10, the traditional Progressive Trail Ride continued its theme costume tradition with “Roaring 20s” interpretations that ranged from tuxedos and flapper fringe, to pearls and feather boas. This year’s route was kept to Town of Woodside trails, with safely masked and gloved ride stop volunteers offering refreshments on sanitized trays to horses and riders. While horses enjoyed their carrots, riders chose from packaged snacks and bottled water, or sandwiches generously donated by Buck’s Restaurant.

Family Fun With Horses

Sunday, October 11, brought the first-ever drive-through Family Fun Horse Fair to the parking lot at Woodside Town Hall. Vehicles were lined up down Woodside Road, eagerly awaiting the Horse Fair’s start. With free admission, family fun with horses was available to all.

Kids and adults had the opportunity to take photos and videos of exhibitors, and sometimes to pet a velvety soft muzzle.


Start a Fund of Your Own

WCF’s model of providing fundraising support makes it easy to put your ideas into action.

If you’ve identified a community-based opportunity in need of funding, let us know. We provide an array of services for your Fund, including online donation processing, financial record keeping, disbursements, financial reports and asset management so you can focus on your project and put those funds to work quickly.

Take a few minutes to complete this New Fund Request and together we can make a difference close to home.


Give to Our General Fund

Your Donation Helps Us Help Woodside

Please consider a gift to our General Fund to ensure that the Foundation stays ready to meet the ever-changing needs of our community.

WCF General Funds are spent in several different ways. First and foremost, the Board of Directors uses these funds to establish matching grants. The Woodside Together 1.0 and 2.0 Funds were both initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as matching funds. Dollar for dollar, WCF matched contributions from the community to assist with regional needs such as housing and food support for neighbors hit hard by the COVID-related economic downturn. These matching funds allow the Foundation to partner with you, our loyal donors, to address the needs of our larger community.

A small portion of General Fund donations are also used to “keep the lights on,” to cover administrative costs for things such as bookkeeping, accounting, and communications. General Fund donations may also be distributed across our existing funds, and for occasional “good causes” that arise in the community.


Giving Thanks

Our work would not be possible without your support. Thank you for caring about your community and for your generosity. Your support truly makes a difference in people’s lives.

Stay Safe!