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
While we didn’t quite get ‘back to normal’ as hoped when we put 2020 behind us, we have all found new and creative ways to deal with the continuing challenges. Our community continues to respond to needs and help us prepare to deal with threats of natural disasters and other emergencies. The WCF is looking ahead and, with your help and guidance, planning projects for the benefit of our Town and greater community.
This newsletter highlights our 2021 activities, achievements and new goals. Thank you to our generous, responsive donors and community members who provided ideas and resources to make it happen. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Wishing you all the best,
President, Woodside Community Foundation
From Our Hearts to Yours
In February 2021, we reached out to our community to ask for help in rebuilding the Foundation’s General Fund which was depleted by COVID grants and disaster preparedness in 2020. You responded with wonderful generosity and we thank you!
Gearing Up for Wildfire Season
In May, with a long, anxious fire season on the horizon, we partnered with the La Honda Fire Brigade to help them raise the $100,000 needed to purchase a Type 5 Wildland Fire Engine. A $10,000 grant from our Local Disaster Relief Fund enabled them to meet their goal. The Wildland Fire Engine can traverse the rugged backroads and light-weight bridges, getting firefighters to the source of wildfires. This small fire engine can carry up to 500 gallons of water, foam and firefighting equipment. While we hope it’s not needed often, we’re glad it will be part of our community.
Give Us Your Priorities
In June, we reached out and asked you to help us focus and prioritize efforts for the coming year and beyond. Board member Ellen Ablow created an online survey with some suggested objectives and an invitation to offer other ideas. We were thrilled with the response to this survey. Here are a few of the highlights:
84% of responders support WCF maintaining and administering a large animal disaster relief fund for evacuation and maintenance of livestock during emergencies.
68% prefer keeping these disaster relief funds local, Woodside and neighboring communities, rather than stretching limited resources state-wide.
The following project ideas received the most interest:
- A fund to support grants for the preventative clearing of brush on private land.
- A fund to support the undergrounding of electrical wires to prevent equipment-triggered wildfires.
- Grants to local youth-oriented community groups, like the Woodside 4H Club.
- Beautifying Woodside Road and the Hwy 280 median.
- A fund to support grants to the communities of Belle Haven, Fair Oaks, and East Palo Alto.
At the mid-point of 2021, we held a free ‘Shred It Day’ to help Woodsiders safely eliminate backlogs of old paperwork. On June 29, Board members and volunteers set up at Town Hall with a mobile shredding truck from Shred Works In Oakland.
Well before 8 am, we had a line of cars and a pile of boxes and bags dropped off! No one had to wait long and we received lots of nice feedback and inquiries about doing it again. All told, we had about 75 cars come by and filled up a little over 1/4 of the truck. We hope to offer this free service again next year.
WCF Welcomes a New Board Member
This year we welcomed Karie Thomson to the WCF Board of Directors. Karie brings a wealth of non-profit experience and a deep commitment to the environment and our community.
Woodside Landscape Committee Fund Update
A regular monthly “weeding work day” by members of the Woodside Landscape Committee (WLC), halted by Covid-19 restrictions, was resumed for the first time in July 2021 and will be continued later this fall. We also resumed what had been our twice-a-year washing and waxing of the Village Hill horse sculptures, “Spring and Sprite.”
When requested by Sean Rose (Town Engineer and Public Works Director), the WLC continues to recommend plants for landscaped areas around the Town Center. Without a water supply on Village Hill, where the WLC has scattered a variety of wildflower seeds in the fall for three years, the extended drought has prevented the colorful show we had hoped for, and our seed-sowing project remains on hold. Seeds remain viable for years, so there may yet be blooms if sufficient rainfall resumes!
Woodside Community Museum Update
The Woodside Community Museum is temporarily closed but continues to collect and catalogue new acquisitions for the Woodside Town archives.
During the pandemic, many local residents had the time to sort through personal files and found items which they donated to the Museum. If you have any Woodside-related documents or photographs, please contact the History Committee about including those materials in our archives.
The History Committee has created a collection to document life in Woodside during the Covid-19 pandemic. You can be part of this collection by sharing how this historic crisis has affected you and your family.
Through the Roof! WHOA!’s 2021 Woodside Day of the Horse Exceeded All Expectations
With its 17th annual Woodside Day of the Horse events now behind them, Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and participants can reflect on the October 8-10 celebration, which exceeded all expectations. “Through the roof!” exclaimed one young visitor when she was asked if she was having fun at the drive-through Family Fun Horse Fair. At the time, she was literally standing up through the roof of her father’s slowly moving vehicle, the better to see and video the variety of equine exhibits.
Saturday, October 9: “Oktoberfest” Trail Ride
How often do you see dirndl-clad and lederhosen-wearing riders ambling along the Town of Woodside trails? Blue skies and perfect temperatures brought out the best spirits, and the best costumes. In addition to riders dressed to reflect the “Oktoberfest” theme, there were some black-caped vampires, along with a few cowboys. 80 trail riders showed the fun of having horses in their lives to local residents out enjoying their Saturday. More than one rider was asked, “Can I pet your horse?” And more than one horse’s velvet muzzle made new friends for equines, one nuzzle at a time.
Sunday, October 10: Horses Were Everywhere
- Horse Fair
Expanding on the innovative drive-through Family Fun Horse Fair that was so popular last year, volunteers and exhibitors brought the world of horses to life for visitors of all ages. From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Woodside Town Hall parking lot hosted a slow-moving parade of 286 people in 103 cars, including 170 children who received free plush pony “stuffies” to take home their own little horse.
- Free Pony Rides
From 11 a.m to 1:30 p.m., in the field next door to the Woodside Fire Station, 167 children, accompanied by 200 adults, enjoyed free pony rides as well as petting time with both mini horses and a mini donkey.
- Youth Art Show
The children’s art show at the Village Hub was open for viewing from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Youth artists from age five through age thirteen exhibited an array of styles in a wide variety of mediums, all clearly demonstrating their true love of horses. Every entrant won a Woodside Art of the Horse ribbon, and twelve works of art were chosen to feature in the 2022 WHOA! calendar. Their delightful artwork makes a fun splash of color every month.
Online Art of the Horse
This year, the original in person art show was transformed into an online event. With 32 online booths, a variety of equine artists from across the country began showing their work online October 8, continuing through November 8. Visit the gallery to see photographs, paintings, sculptures, and more, or to purchase their work. To support the projects funded by WHOA! that help the equestrian community, a 10% buyers’ commission is included in these purchases. Next year, WHOA! plans to return to a live art show, building on previous years’ success and innovation.
WHOA!/DOTH Update by Nan Meek
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.
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.