2023 ViewPoints

2023 ViewPoints

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Your Community Foundation is ending a busy year in the best way: we are starting a new fund. We hope you will be as excited about the scope and possibilities of the Good Neighbor Fund as we are. So please read on to learn more and see the variety of ways you and the WCF have impacted Woodside in 2023, from improving the Town landscape to supporting theatre and our awesome equestrian community.

With grateful thanks and wishing you all the best for the coming year,

The Woodside Community Foundation

Viewpoints 2023

New – The Good Neighbor Fund

Launched in October, the Good Neighbor Fund is the formalization of what the Woodside community is always eager to do – help our neighbors. Between wildfire damage and preparedness, and COVID 19, we were able to raise funds at a critical time to help neighbors in need. The Good Neighbor Fund establishes a permanent source of funding, allowing us to quickly respond to all types of emergencies and disasters in our region.

Our first Good Neighbor Fund contribution will be to the La Honda Fire Protection District. They are raising funds to add an ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) to their firefighting and emergency rescue fleet. An ERV is small enough to transport firefighting crews and water over rugged fire roads as well as evacuate injured hikers, horseback riders, and bicyclists.

Please join us in supporting our mutual aid partner and neighbor. the La Honda Volunteer Fire Brigade. They currently need $29,000 to reach their goal of $60,000. The GNF will match your donation up to $5,000. Thank you for helping our local fire-fighters and rescue workers in their critical work.


2023 Community Projects

In addition to the launch of the Good Neighbor Fund, the WCF drove the following projects and fundraising efforts:

  • Canada Road oak tree trimming
  • 280 and Woodside Road Median Landscaping Project
  • Jumps for Junior Riders
  • Woodside Musical Theatre funding
  • Annual Shred It event

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.


2023 Community Project Details

Oak Trees Along Canada Road Get a Trim

A Recipe for Beauty

Mix 1 cup vision
Add 2 cups of concern for the environment
1 cup fundraising
304 Oak Trees
10 cups hard work
Blend together with interested members.

By 6th Graders at WES, Katie Nolan,
Kate Connor and Julie Williamson, 1991

In February, hundreds of oak trees planted to beautify Cañada Road 30 years ago were pruned for the first time. WCF Board member Noel Perry and his family founded the project in 1991 on what they saw as a “sparse” stretch of Cañada Road between Woodside Road and Jefferson Avenue. Dozens of neighbors donated to the project and more than 300 Coast live and valley oaks, 4 to 6-foot-tall, were planted on both sides of the roadway. All but about 50 of those trees survived and matured and have made Cañada Road a much more inviting experience for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.

Now that many of the oaks are about 20 feet tall, Noel felt they needed shaping. He spearheaded a WCF fund to hire arborist Ned Patchett and crew who spent a week carefully pruning the oaks, removing low-hanging branches and encouraging them to grow into an “arch-like” canopy.

Next time you walk, bike, ride a horse, or drive along Cañada Road, enjoy the view and appreciate what one person with community support can accomplish.

‘Shred It’ Again!

Our third annual free ‘Shred It’ Day was held on Saturday, April 29 at Woodside Town Hall. WCF Board members and volunteers helped Woodsiders deal safely and handily with post-tax filing and other accumulated paperwork. Again, 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! Start collecting your paper for April 2024!

Median Landscaping Project

The WCF partnered with the Town of Woodside to tackle the unsightly median across from the Park & Ride at 84/280 that has been an eyesore for years. Thanks to our supportive community and generous kick-off grant donors—the Ballinger Family, the Goldberg Family, the Gilhuly Family, the Woodside Landscape Committee—and with significant support from the Woodside Atherton Garden Club members, the Woodside Community Foundation and the Town of Woodside, we were able to raise funds to create and install an attractive, low-maintenance landscape, designed by Kikuchi & Kankel Design group with guidance from the Woodside Landscape Committee. The Town will take care of ongoing maintenance and we can now be proud of this new attractive entrance to our Town.

Jumps for Junior Riders

The Woodside Junior Riders reached out to us to help them purchase jumps to continue their long running summer English Riding program at Kiely Field in central Woodside. The WCF partnered with Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) to match all donations up to $6,000. The community responded enthusiastically and within just a few days, we were able to raise the needed funds.

Anne Van Camp, WHOA! (left) and Rick DeBenedetti, WCF (right) present Woodside Junior Riders Program Director Kathi Dancer (center) with check for jumps.

Help for Woodside Musical Theatre

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Seussical, the Musical

Woodside Musical Theatre came to us to help them keep the lights on after COVID and a post-pandemic dip in audiences and rising costs threatened live musical theatre in Woodside.

Woodside Musical Theatre (WMT, formerly Woodside Community Theatre and a former fund of the Woodside Community Foundation) has staged live Broadway musicals in Woodside since 1957 except for the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. Your friends and neighbors have appeared on stage and behind the scenes. You can see the history at www.woodsidetheatre.com/history.

Our goal was to raise $10,000 to help cover costs for WMT’s October production of Seussical. With a $3,000 matching grant from Woodside Community Foundation, we were able to provide the needed funds.

2023 Updates from Our Funds

The Woodside Village Band

The Woodside Village Band invites you to our free Winter Concert:

Saturday, December 16, 2023, 3:00pm

Woodside Village Church

3154 Woodside Road, Woodside

Concert will be held indoors. Masks are recommended.

The Woodside Village Band is composed of amateur musicians from the communities of the San Francisco Peninsula. The group was organized by Richard Gordon in 1988 with the goal of bringing the music of the wind ensemble and the concert band to the local community. The Band is in its 35th year and continues to grow and perform under the direction of Yessica Gallagher.

We rehearse weekly and we are 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]. For more information, visit our website.


Woodside Horse Owner’s Association (WHOA!)

Woodside Day of the Horse Celebration:

Three Days of Equestrian Experiences for Our Community

Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) conceived Woodside Day of the Horse in 2004, to celebrate the unique equestrian heritage of Woodside and the extraordinary contribution horses make to the quality of life throughout San Mateo County. Originally dedicated by the Town of Woodside for the second Saturday of October, it expanded into three days of fun, family-oriented activities with something for everyone.

The Kick-Off Reception and Youth Art Show began Friday, October 13, at Golden Gate Sotheby International Realty’s parking lot on Woodside Road.

On Saturday, October 14, riders costumed in the 60s and 70s theme followed the official trail ride route on Town of Woodside Trails, and a new trail loop was added this year inside The Horse Park at Woodside, which was also the location for the Trail Ride After Party. Food, fun, costume contest winners, polo matches, and a demonstration by the talented Woodside Vaulters were enjoyed by all.

The Family Fun Horse Fair and Pony Rides highlighted Sunday, October 15, at the parking lot at Woodside Independence Hall. The young and young at heart enjoyed free equestrian exhibits, face painting, equine crafts, demonstrations by an equine blacksmith and veterinarians, vaulting demonstrations, live music, and more. Free pony rides were offered to hundreds of young visitors by Chaparral Ranch’s ponies.

Members of the WHOA! Steering Committee, numerous sponsors, and loyal volunteers worked together to make this celebration of equestrian experiences available to all in our community.

About WHOA!

The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) ensures that the presence of the horse in Woodside and surrounding communities is recognized, protected, and promoted. Find out more at whoa94062.org and mark your calendar for WHOA!’s 20th anniversary October 11, 12, & 13, 2024.


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. The Museum is staffed by the Woodside History Committee, a volunteer group which oversees ongoing community programs, maintains the archives and curates new exhibits. 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.

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 award winners include the Runnymede Dairy Barn, the Little Store restaurant and the Log Cabin on Albion Avenue. 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 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.


Woodside Landscape Committee

This year we partnered with the Town and the Woodside Community Foundation on the project to landscape the median west of Woodside Road/Hwy 280 with predominantly native plants. This project was funded by donations from Woodside residents and the Town.

We also completed a long-pending project to place a memorial bench in honor of Nancy Gonzalez in a suitable location in Woodside. Nancy founded our committee in 2001 with a mission to beautify landscaped areas of Town-owned properties. Currently numbering 11 members, the group continues that mission. Nancy’s bench sits under a majestic oak on a knoll near the popular pedestrian path between Canada Lane and Canada Road.

Next year we will continue to weed and prune plants at the Museum and other landscaped areas near the Town Center, to advise the Town on landscape maintenance needs, and consider other good ideas that our members propose. Biannually, we wash and lightly wax the horse sculptures on Village Hill to keep them “well groomed”. (Our committee spearheaded the fundraising and installation of Spring and Sprite.) We will also help to develop a public-private proposal for a “median beautification project” for the east side of the Woodside Road/Highway 280 intersection.


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.


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