Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As we move into that time of year when we gather together to celebrate holidays with friends and family and to reflect on the activities of the year, we at WCF and our funds have much for which to be thankful.
While things are still not quite back to normal for our community and the world, the WCF and our funds have resumed activities this year and we wanted to share that work with you, especially since it’s thanks to your interest, ideas, and support that we’ve been able to carry on.
With grateful thanks and wishing you all the best for the coming year,
The Woodside Community Foundation
‘Shred It’ the Sequel!
On Saturday April 23, 2022, we offered our second annual free ‘Shred It’ Day. We timed it to help Woodsiders deal safely and handily with post-tax filing and other accumulated paperwork. WCF Board members and volunteers set up at Town Hall with the mobile shredding truck from Shred It! in Oakland. As last year, before 8 am, we had a line of cars and a pile of boxes and bags dropped off! By 11am, more than 75 cars had come by and left happily with empty trunks! We’re hoping to make this an annual event for the community.
Median Landscaping Project
The WCF is partnering with the Town of Woodside to tackle the median across from the Park and Ride at 84/280 that has been an eyesore for years. The Town is managing the project and thanks to our supportive community and our generous kick-off grant donors—the Ballinger Family, the Goldberg Family, the Gilhuly Family, the Woodside Landscape Community—and significant support from the Woodside Atherton Garden Club members, the Woodside Community Foundation and the Town of Woodside, we have raised funds to create and install an attractive, low-maintenance landscape, designed by Kikuchi & Kankel Design group with guidance from the Woodside Landscape Committee.
We had hoped to start construction this fall but, like every other current construction project dealing with supply chains and staffing issues, things have been delayed a bit. However, work should be starting shortly and once completed, the Town will take care of ongoing maintenance and we can all enjoy the result for many years to come.
2022 Updates from Our Funds
Woodside Horse Owner’s Association (WHOA!)
2022 Woodside Day of the Horse Makes History
With “Horses in History” as its theme this year, the 18th annual Woodside Day of the Horse made history with unprecedented attendance and enjoyment by visitors and local residents. Organized by the Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!), Woodside Day of the Horse events throughout the weekend of October 7 to 9 brought together a wealth of volunteers, sponsors, and participants to celebrate horses, equestrians, and everyone who loves them.
It is the mission of WHOA!, said steering committee member Anne Van Camp: “To preserve the fundamental role of horses in maintaining the rural character of the Town of Woodside and neighboring foothill communities, to enhance opportunities for equestrian activities, and to promote the enjoyment of horses in all their various roles.” All of that, and more, were accomplished in 2022.
Talented Youth Artists at Woodside Art of the Horse
On Friday, October 7, the weekend of equine fun opened with a reception and youth art show from 6-8p.m. outdoors at Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty on Woodside Road. Guests enjoyed nibbles, wine, and music, along with a silent art auction and youth art show.
Artists from ages five through eighteen submitted their original artwork of equine subjects for judging. In addition to awarding participation ribbons to all the youth artists, the top twelve artworks were selected to appear in the 2023 WHOA! Calendar, available at HERE. For the hundreds of attendees and participants, Woodside Art of the Horse kicked off the 2022 Woodside Day of the Horse weekend in fine style!
Creative Costumes at the Woodside Progressive Trail Ride
On Saturday, October 8, the progressive trail ride along the Town of Woodside Trails raised awareness that “Woodside Is Horse Country”. Cars and bicycles rolling by on the roads saw horses and riders costumed as “Horses in History” riding the trails. From groups of Viking raiders, to a racehorse Secretariat lookalike, to figures throughout history, everyone in Woodside witnessed the enthusiasm of equestrians for their horses and their community.
Later that day, riders, organizers, friends, and family met at the Mounted Patrol Grounds for fantastic food truck meals and beverages, music and costume awards. Shopping opportunities included Day of the Horse merchandise, sponsors’ products and services, and education about all things equine.
Family Fun for All Ages at the Woodside Horse Fair
Sunday, October 9, marked a return to the traditional walk-through horse fair at Woodside’s Independence Hall parking lot, which had been replaced during the pandemic with a physically distanced drive-through version.
Hands-on activities included face painting, leather crafts, petting mini horses and ponies, and photos with ponies. Demonstrations included youth vaulting, farrier skills, veterinary experiences, and more. Inside the hall, children created art, painted horse shoes, decorated horse themed cookies and enjoyed traditional carrot cake.
A short walk down Woodside Road, hundreds of children enjoyed rides on real-life versions of the ponies they may previously have only seen in picture books. They also petted ponies, a mini-horse and a mini-donkey, and painted on an enormous equestrian canvas.
Preserving and Protecting Equestrian Life
Through proceeds from Day of the Horse, WHOA! has gifted more than $300,000 toward preserving and protecting horses through support for the local equestrian community, including the $10,000 Woodside-area Equestrian Merit Scholarship Award jointly sponsored with the Mounted Patrol Foundation, infrastructure improvements at trails and stables, equine therapy for youths and veterans, equestrian relief, animal wildfire victims’ assistance, horse rescues, and community equestrian programs. Details can be found HERE.
Woodside IS Horse Country
This year’s Woodside Day of the Horse celebrated the history of horses, in the local community and around the world. It brought together those who love horses, through art, trail riding, family fun horse fair, and pony rides. “Horses in History” brought horse lovers together where “Woodside is Horse Country”.
See Woodside Day of the Horse photos HERE.
Trigger and Secretariat costumes on the trail
Pony ride for the next generation of equestrians
Woodside Community Museum
The Community Museum is housed in the former Mathisen Farmhouse. It is a good example of adaptive reuse of an historic structure and sets the tone for preservation in Woodside.
Exhibits in the Museum are rotated periodically and feature various topics from the Town’s past. Previous exhibits include Town Incorporation, Equestrian Heritage and Winemaking. A permanent timeline has been installed to highlight significant dates throughout the history of Woodside.
The Museum is staffed by the Woodside History Committee, a volunteer group which oversees ongoing community programs, maintains the archives and curates new exhibits.
An important outreach program is the annual presentation of the Historic Preservation Award when a plaque is awarded to residents who have restored, repaired or saved an historic structure. Past awards include large and small projects: one of the original village houses, a set of entry gates and an historic estate. The awards are given during National Preservation Month in May.
Another community program is the Oral History Project, which includes audio interviews with long-time residents. Their memories of the Town are recorded and transcribed for future reference.
The History Committee also helps maintain the Town’s archives. Archival collections are available to residents and the general public for historical research. Anyone with photographs or documents pertaining to the Town’s history is encouraged to donate or loan these materials to the Museum to help expand the collection.
The Museum is located in Town Center and is open to the public by special appointment. Contact the History Committee by phone at 650/851-1294 or by email [email protected]
Watch for our new website, coming in the New Year.
In 1882, Irish immigrants Michael and Bridget Byrne built this Victorian Gothic house on Cañada Road from a mail-order plan. The private residence is listed with the California State Office of Historic Preservation. The History Committee awarded them a Historic Preservation Award in 2013
New informational plaque at Independence Hall provides a “Brief History of the Town of Woodside.”
The Woodside Village Band
The Woodside Village Band is pleased to announce that we are back in full swing after that way too long hiatus. We made some fun videos during the pandemic but it sure was great to safely resume rehearsals outdoors in June of 2021. We mainly rehearsed outside for fun before deciding to figure out how to rehearse safely indoors and be able to perform in December of 2021. (Our last performance was December 2019). Rehearsing outside also allowed us to serve as a refuge for musicians from all over the bay area whose regular community bands were not rehearsing at the time due to covid guidelines for indoor rehearsal.
We are back to our weekly indoor rehearsals and always open to accepting new members that share the same love for music. If you are interested in joining the band, please contact the director Yessica at [email protected]
Local Disaster Relief
In May of 2021, the WCF partnered with the La Honda Fire Brigade to help raise the $100,000 needed to purchase a Type 5 Wildland Fire Engine that can traverse the rugged backroad and light-weight bridges to get firefighters to the source of wildfires. COVID supply issues and world events complicated the search for an appropriate chassis for the truck but one was finally found and acquired this October. The truck is now being built to specific requirements. The LHFB hopes to have the new engine in service by Spring 2023.
Woodside Landscape Committee
Our sowing of wildflower seeds on Village Hill was most visible with bright blue lupines, shown below. The slope is a very challenging spot from which to coax flowers!
Once a month, a team of our members weeds and prunes plants at the Museum and other landscaped areas near the Town Center. Twice a year, we wash and lightly wax the horse sculptures, “Spring and Sprite”, on Village Hill. Occasionally, we advise the Town on landscape maintenance needs that require more muscle power! We also partnered with the Town and the Woodside Community Foundation on the project to landscape the median at Woodside Road and Hwy 280 with predominantly native plants.
Next year, in addition to occasionally “grooming” Spring and Sprite”, we will complete a long-pending project to place a memorial bench in honor of Nancy Gonzalez in a suitable location in Town. Nancy founded our committee in 2001 with a mission to beautify landscaped areas of Town-owned properties. Currently numbering 14 members, the group continues that mission.
Light the Tree Fund
In December 2013, with the participation and generous donations of dozens of community members, the Christmas Tree, at the intersection by Roberts Market, was first lit. Over the years, this holiday tree, in the heart of Woodside, has brought joy to all as a symbol of peace and goodwill in our community.
In the almost 10 years since the original lights were strung, the tree has grown much taller and some of the lights have gone dark. It is time to remove the old and add new lights to make our holiday tree shine bright again.
We invite your tax deductible donation to help refresh and relight the tree. Let’s light up the town!
The WCF General Fund
In addition to supporting our funds, a gift to the WCF General Fund helps ensure that the Foundation stays ready to meet the ever-changing needs of our community.
General Funds are often used to establish matching grants to partner with our loyal donors to support charitable projects. A small portion of General Funds are also used to “keep the lights on,” to cover administrative costs for things such as bookkeeping accounts, and communications.
Thank you for caring about your community and for your generosity. Your support truly makes a difference.