The Yolo Community Foundation (YCF), a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit charitable organization, celebrated and honored 30 Yolo County volunteers, donors and organizations during Yolo National Philanthropy Day.
The outdoor reception held at Central Park Pavilion in Davis on Nov. 16, was well-attended by honorees, representatives of numerous nonprofits, state, county and local elected officials and many supportive community members.
“These honorees inspire all of us to engage in our community, to use the resources we have available to support our local nonprofits, so they can continue to serve our neighbors in need,” said YCF’s Executive Director Jessica Hubbard on the foundation’s website.
Local nonprofits nominated individuals to honor for their philanthropic work during the year that made a positive impact on Yolo County nonprofits. The nonprofits recorded videos honoring their select nominees. The videos can be viewed on the YCF’s YouTube channel.
Four of this year’s honorees were selected by Winters nonprofits: Rob Coman by the Winters Participation Gallery; Robert “Rob” Nickelson by the Rotary Club of Winters; and Floyd Shimomura and Gloria Lopez by the Winters Museum.
Coman volunteers as the social media specialist and helped fundraise for the Winters Participation Gallery. Since 2017 the gallery has produced murals during the Summer Historical Mural Project and continues to meet its mission of beautifying Winters — one mural at a time. Murals can be found at Winters Market, John Rogers Building, Lorenzo’s Market and Laundryworks building. Murals are designed to celebrate aspects of Winters’ history and are painted during the summer months by middle and high school students.
Liz Coman, Participation Gallery board member and his wife, presented the honors for him in the video. Liz said that Coman single-handedly created the Participation Gallery’s digital presence and that the nonprofit would not have been able to survive the pandemic without Coman’s efforts.
“Not only does he maintain and grow the Gallery’s online presence, he also ensured we participated in this year’s Big Day of Giving by running the entire campaign. The public awareness the Gallery has earned from his time and efforts has helped us grow our supporter base, even as other so many arts organizations have struggled through these difficult times,” said Liz.
Gloria Lopez and Floyd Shimomura
Lopez and Shimomura were honored by the Winters Historical Museum and nominated as Volunteers of the Year for their curation of “The Lost Japanese Community of Winters” exhibit currently running at the museum. Shimomura’s family was one of the families featured in the exhibit who were displaced and marched off from their Winters property and homes to internment camps during WWII.
“The rich history of the Japanese community is an important part of Winters’ history that should not be forgotten,” said Lopez.
Woody Fridae, Winters Historical Society President, said “Floyd was the inspiration, (and) Gloria was the determination” behind the creation of the museum exhibit.
The Rotary Club of Winters selected Rob Nickelson of Vintage Paving to honor for securing and delivering a 10-thousand-pound concrete tube that was placed in the Rotary Reading Garden at the Winters Parent Nursery School.
Winters Rotarian Taylor Buley said they nominated Nickelson “to point out that sometimes philanthropy is just connecting the right two people.”
The Yolo Food Bank nominated Class of 2011 Winters High School alumni Sarah James. YFB volunteer coordinators Yasmin Frausto and Natalie McDonald for her contributions and actions against food insecurity in Yolo County.
“Sarah James is what we consider a volunteer all-star at Yolo Food Bank,” said Frausto.
McDonald commended James for jumping straight into volunteering with the YFB’s COVID-19 emergency response program where she managed 20 delivery drivers before taking on the role as a site lead at the largest distribution site in Woodland.
“Serving through the rain, smoke and sun, Sarah gave her time enthusiastically to make ensure Woodland families were able to put nutritious food on their dinner tables each night,” said McDonald.
In March she moved closer to her Esparto home by serving as a site lead in Guinda where she lead efforts to address food insecurity in Capay Valley’s rural communities.
“Her hours of dedication to the community ensuring that residents of the Capay Valley have access to free fresh food has enabled her to build deeper connections with her neighbors,” said Frausto. “She went above and beyond her role as a site lead and quickly became an advocate for her community.”
James, who recently gave birth, said she looks forward to continuing her volunteer work after her family medical leave.
“My work with the Yolo Food Bank has been such a wonderful experience! I have made so many beautiful connections with my community here in Esparto and the Capay Valley,” said James.
Event sponsors included Nugget Markets, which supplied generous appetizers, Matchbook Wines supplied the beverages, Davis Media Access released a 17-minute video introducing the nominees Davis Wills & Trusts, the Edward Jones Office of Matt Yancey and Watermelon Music.
For more information about the YFC, Yolo National Philanthropy Day reception, this year’s honorees and videos, visit the YCF’s website at www.yolocf.org.
Crystal Apilado contributed to this article.