Be Our Guest

Silicon Valley’s most UNIQUE pumpkin auction!

Be Our Guest 2021

Each year, elected officials and other local luminaries get together to honor the nonprofit community and compete for the best pumpkin designer awards.


Every year, Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits recognizes leaders and organizations in the nonprofit community who make a positive impact on the community, as well as the efforts of those who support local nonprofits.

The award recipients were honored at SVCN’s Be Our Guest event on October 21, 2021.

Patricia A. Gardner Changemaker Award

Named after SVCN's long-time CEO, Patricia A. Gardner, this award honors Patricia's vision of nonprofit power in unity strengthened many community-based nonprofits and their work throughout the County.

The criteria are:
  • This leader, organization, or collaborative questioned the status quo and was not afraid to work to change policies or practices for the betterment of the community
  • This nominee’s or nominees’ work created positive, lasting change that contributed to building thriving and equitable communities


Parents Helping Parents

Nonprofit of the Year

This award honors a nonprofit organization that has:

  • Improved the well-being of the communities it serves in creative ways, despite the challenges we have all faced in 2021
  • Extended the benefit of existing services and programs to people who have previously lacked access to those services, supports, or experiences, especially to the BIPOC community or other disadvantaged groups
  • Demonstrated a commitment to share insights and new processes with other nonprofits to enhance the quality of programs and services in the sector as a whole
  • Displayed values and practice of racial equity
  • Engaged and centered constituents beyond providing services
  • Maintained or implemented programming and outcomes that are influenced and improved through connection and partnership with community
  • Lived out meaningful practices of inclusion and empowerment in governance, staffing and staff development, volunteer engagement, Board recruitment, program implementation.


Community Health Clinics
Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI)
Bay Area Community Health (BACH)
Gardner Health Services
Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley
North East Medical Services
Peninsula Healthcare Connection
Planned Parenthood Mar Monte
Mar Monte (East Valley) Community Clinic
Ravenswood Family Health Cente
rRoots Community Health Center
RotaCare Bay Area
School Health Clinics of Santa Clara County

Collaborative Impact Award

This award reflects SVCN’s value of collaboration. The awardees will have worked across boundaries to develop a common vision and shared values; the awardees will have generated outcomes improved by their collaboration. Awardees can be nonprofits and partners working together, or leaders who inspired or led such a collaboration.

The criteria are:
  • This leader, organization, or collaborative has created and nurtured an impactful collaboration or partnership that inspired action, especially if the collaboration worked together to address this year’s challenging circumstances
  • The collaboration has resulted in tangible benefits to the community


Valley Palms Unidos

Nonprofit Ally Award

This award will be given to a government, private partner, Board member, or volunteer who has demonstrated an extraordinary level of commitment to the goals and work priorities of Santa Clara County nonprofits during 2020.

The criteria are:
  • This nonprofit ally worked to strengthen nonprofits to carry out their work
  • The nonprofit ally went above and beyond the call of duty to support a nonprofit organization or coalition


Rhonda McClinton-Brown
Jennifer Gacutan-Galang

Nonprofit Leadership Award

The future of the nonprofit community is in the hands of emerging leaders who are shaping the future of our sector through their energy, creativity, and exceptional leadership. This award is for individuals working in the nonprofit sector who are early to midway in their careers.

The criteria are:
  • This leader is committed to building an equitable and thriving community
  • This leader has already shown creativity and made significant contributions to our community and to their nonprofit organization
  • This leader has demonstrated the potential for continued leadership in the nonprofit sector


América Aguirre Gomez
Saul Ramos + Victor Duarte


Every year, local celebs (or their loyal staff) create and donate pumpkins to compete in the annual pumpkin contest and fundraising auction.


Zoombie Room Hosts (formerly celebrity servers) lead a team of nonprofit staff in online competitive games against other nonprofit teams.
Ahmad Thomas
CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Ash Kalra
CA Assemblymember District 27
Andrea Shelton
PRNS Human Services Director, City of San Jose
Angel Rios
Deputy City Manager, City of San Jose
Anne Im
Director, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Avo Makdessian
VP, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Camille Fontanilla
VP SV Programs, Sobrato Family Foundation
Dave Cortese
California State Senator District 15
David Cohen
Councilmember District 4, City of San José
Dev Davis
Councilmember District 6,City of San José
Ellen Kamei
Mayor of the City of Mountain View
Gina Dalma
Exec VP, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Jean Cohen
Executive Officer, South Bay Labor Council
Jennifer Loving
CEO, Destination: Home
Julie Lata
Global Community Affairs, Applied Materials
Karla Lomax
Public Affairs Director, Kaiser Permanente
Kevin Zwick
CEO, United Way Bay Area
Kathleen King
CEO, Healthier Kids Foundation
Ky Le
SCC Deputy County Executive
Larry Klein
Mayor of the City of Sunnyvale
Lennies Guitierrez
Director of Government Affairs, Comcast
Magdalena Carrasco
Councilmember District 5, City of San José
Mara Low
CEO, Shortino Family Foundation
Maribel Martinez
Director, Office of LGBTQ Affairs
Mary Ann Dewan
County Superintendent of Schools
Matt Mahan
Councilmember District 10, City of San José
Maya Esparza
Councilmember District 7, City of San José
Michele Lew
CEO, The Health Trust
Pam Foley
Councilmember District 9, City of San José
Patricia Gardner
Interim CEO, FIRST 5 SCC
Raul Peralez
Councilmember District 3, City of San José
Rocío Luna
SCC Deputy County Executive
Ron Gonzales
President & CEO, Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley
Rosalynn Hughey
SJ Deputy City Manager
Sal Pizarro
Columnist, Mercury News
Sandy Herz
President, Sobrato Philanthropies
Sergio Jimenez
Councilmember District 2, City of San José
Steve Preminger
Director, SCC CEO
Sylvia Arenas
Councilmember District 8, City of San José
Daniel Cedeno
Principal Regional Operations, PG&E
Ahmad Thomas
CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group



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