Be Our Guest

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

Stay tuned for Be Our Guest 2023!

Be Our Guest 2022

Demone Carter,
Be Our Guest Emcee

Join us for the 15th annual Be Our Guest -- Silicon Valley's most unique nonprofit luncheon and pumpkin auction! SVCN’s Be Our Guest is our fun twist on rubber chicken luncheons where local “celebrities” share lunch with hundreds of CBO staff and community leaders. Each year, SVCN honors nonprofits and nonprofit leaders who make a positive impact in our community and we auction off elaborately designed pumpkins.

After 2 years, we are excited to return back to in-person at Excite Ballpark on Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 11:30am - 1:30pm. Guests will enjoy a lively BBQ lunch, festive pumpkin contest, and the Nonprofit Impact Awards presentation. Halloween costumes are encouraged!

Parking will be available on-site and we encourage carpooling!

Nonprofit Impact Awards

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  • Patricia A. Gardner Changemaker Award
  • Nonprofit of the Year Award
  • Collaborative Impact Award
  • Nonprofit Leadership Award
  • Nonprofit Ally Award
The award recipients were honored at Be Our Guest on Thursday, October 20, 2022.​
Support for the 2022 Nonprofit Impact Awards comes from BDO FMA.

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


André Chapman + Susie Rivera

Nonprofit of the Year

The criteria are:
  • Improved the well-being of the communities it serves in creative ways, despite the challenges regarding our community's extended recovery and the challenges we face in 2022.
  • 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


Behavioral Health Contractors' Association (BHCA)

Nonprofit of the Year

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.

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


FIRST 5 & Family Resource Centers
San Jose Conservation Corps

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
  • And more...


Gabriela Berumen + Kylie Clark

Nonprofit Leadership 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 in 2022.

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


Dora Beyer + Victor Sin

Pumpkin Contest + Auction

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

Celebrity Table Captains

Celebrity Table Captains mingle with nonprofit staff and design pumpkins for the annual pumpkin contest and fundraising auction.
Ash Kalra
CA Assemblymember District 27
Camille Fontanilla
VP SV Programs, Sobrato Family Foundation
Chappie Jones
Vice Mayor, City of San José
Christine Thorsteinson
Director, Silicon Valley Community 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
Dolores Alvarado
CEO, Community Health Partnership
Greta Hansen
COO, County of Santa Clara
Holly Kreider
Program Director, Heising-Simons Foundation
Jacky Morales
Director, City of San José
Jean Cohen
Executive Officer, South Bay Labor Council
Jeff Smith
County Executive, County of Santa Clara
Jennifer Cloyd
CEO, FIRST 5 Santa Clara County
Jennifer Maguire
City Manager, City of San José
Jennifer Loving
CEO, Destination: Home
Jim Reed
Chief of Staff, Office of San José Mayor Liccardo
Julie Lata
Global Community Affairs, Applied Materials
Kelly Kline
AVP, Office of Gov't Affairs, Stanford University
Kevin Zwick
CEO, United Way Bay Area
Larry Klein
Mayor, City of Sunnyvale
Lee Wilcox
Deputy City Manager, City of San José
Lennies Guitierrez
Director of Government Affairs, Comcast
Lisa Van Dusen
Executive Director, Palo Alto Community Fund
Magdalena Carrasco
Councilmember District 5, City of San José
Mara Low
CEO, Shortino Family Foundation
Dr. Mary Ann Dewan
County Superintendent of Schools
Maya Esparza
Councilmember District 7, City of San José
Michele Lew
CEO, The Health Trust
Michelle Fries
Director, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Molly O'Neal
Public Defender, County of Santa Clara
Otto Lee
Supervisor District 3, County of Santa Clara
Pam Foley
Councilmember District 9, City of San José
Raul Peralez
Councilmember District 3, City of San José
Dr. Rocío Luna
SCC Deputy County Executive
Dr. Stephen Perez
Interim President, San Jose State University
Steve Preminger
Director, SCC CEO
Susan Ellenberg
Supervisor District 4, County of Santa Clara
Tracy Wingrove
Director of Development, Healthier Kids Foundation
Zoe Lofgren
Member of Congress, CA District 19

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