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October 12, 2005

Gavilan College to present 2005 Community Spirit Awards for Gilroy

Individual: Arline Silva
Organization: Eigleberry Neighborhood Association
Business: Intero Real Estate

WHAT: Will be honored with Community Spirit Awards, presented by the Board of Trustees of Gavilan College. The awards were created in 1999 through Board Resolution 739, in order to promote and recognize service to the communities Gavilan College serves. A representative committee of the campus community reviews nominations and selects the award winners. Anyone may nominate an individual, organization, or business in the community for an award. In all, three sets of awards are given out annually, in Morgan Hill. in Gilroy, and in San Benito County.
Last years winners in Gilroy were Joe Peralta, St. Joseph's Family Center, and South Valley Disposal and Recycling. The committee is still taking nominations for awards in Gilroy and San Benito County, to be presented later in the fall (dates to be announced.) For nomination forms and more information, go to or call (408) 848-4724.

WHEN: Thursday, October 13, 2005, at the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce October Mixer, 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

WHERE: Student Center, Gavilan College Gilroy campus, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd.

Arlene Silva has been tirelessly promoting the arts in Gilroy for more than a decade. She is a quiet, shy dynamo who manages to support the diverse arts community while running a successful Allstate Insurance brokerage. She has two grown children and her community service goes way back to her involvement with children's community groups as her children grew up here in Gilroy.
Her arts related activities include:
* Served on the City of Gilroy Arts and Cultural Commission (10 years, twice Chairperson).
* Served on the South Valley Symphony Board (10 years)
* Currently president of the Board of Theater Angels Art League (a volunteer-run non-profit providing support to the arts in Gilroy) and a major force behind the fundraising efforts to support multiple arts groups. Most recently the Reek Run at Bonfante Gardens; the proceeds of which is dedicated to the new Arts Center.
* Represented Gilroy at Arts Council Silicon Valley and helped put the County-wide strategic plan (20-20-20) for the arts in place.
* Helped write the City of Gilroy public art policy and spearheaded the Public Arts Committee.
* Currently serving on the City of Gilroy Cultural Facilities Taskforce, helping to conceptualize the new Arts Center.
* Helped write the newly created naming rights policy for the City of Gilroy.
* Generously gives to support arts programming.
* Spearheaded the effort to get the mural painted downtown on Monterey Street
Her other activities include:
* Member of the Gilroy Historical Society
* Member of the Gilroy Downtown Association
* Member of the Methodist Church and serves on the Staff parish Committee
* Served for 3 years on the Board for the Rainbow Girls
Volunteered for Special Olympics

Through the efforts of mailman Art Barron and others, Eigleberry Street neighbors formed their association a little more than 2 years ago and quickly became one of the city's most active. Gilroy Eigleberry Neighborhood Association serves a mixture of apartments and single-family homes located in central Gilroy, and was established to address ongoing concerns about the blighted conditions and criminal activity in the area. The association has successfully attracted grants to engage the members of the community in improvement and clean-up activities and to develop a neighborhood crime watch with the Gilroy Police Department. Eigleberry Neighborhood Association also secured funding and hosted a Health Screening and Resource Fair, open to the community of Gilroy. It included free screenings for diabetes, hearing, eyes, breast exams and a bone marrow drive. It was attended by hundreds of Gilroy residents.Other activities have included a tamale fundraiser featuring United Farm Workers icon Dolores Huerta, a cleanup day last Spring, a voter drive and a "Pizza and Politics" forum in which two mayoral candidates and two City Council candidates discussed issues with the neighbors. Before Christmas, they organized an "adopt-a-family" program. Hundreds of families gathered at the Veteran's Hall on the corner of Eigleberry and Sixth streets for the Gilroy Eigleberry Neighborhood Association's Christmas celebration.

Although relatively new to Gilroy, Intero Real Estate has been generous in donations to the community. In the past two years they have made three significant contributions - two of $10,000 and one of $25,000 to Rebekah's Children's Services. The contributions have made it possible for Rebekah's to continue their program of (Drug) Prevention and Education in Schools, which reaches over 800 children in Gilroy each year.
Eleanor Villareal of Rebekah's Children's Services (and a former Community Spirit Award winner) said "if not for Intero, the Prevention and Education program might not have happened this year. Even though they're not a very old company, they started right off with the idea of giving back to the community, and that doesn't happen very often."


Last modified: August 17, 2011
Gavilan College Red Diamond 5055 Santa Teresa Boulevard Red Diamond Gilroy, CA 95020 Red Diamond (408) 848-4800