2017 Vallejo Waterfront Weekend Beneficiaries

Waterfront Weekend beneficiaries announced
By Richard Freedman
rfreedman@timesheraldonline.com @RichFreedmanVTH on Twitter

After three years and $50,000 that helped the ongoing Mira Cultural Communty Center renovation, the Vallejo Waterfront Weekend committee will distribute proceeds from this year’s event to eight local nonprofits.

Even coordinator Jon Riley said four organizations — Genesis House, McCune Art & Book Collection, Leadership Vallejo, and Shakespeare in the Park — will receive “as close to the full amount they requested.”

Another four nonprofits will receive even amounts distributed from the remaining proceeds from the weekend event: The California Maritime Academy, Robby Poblete Foundation, Friends of Loma Vista Farms, and the Capital Street Stairs Project.

Dalia Vidor, producer of the 8th Annual Shakespeare in the Park at Hanns Park, said she was “thrilled no matter how much it is” after getting the news.

“Having the support of the community is what’s really important,” Vidor added, admitting that having her event acknowledged “made me cry.”

There were 29 nonprofits submitting applications, Riley said.

“You submit and forget,” Vidor said. “You have to. If you dwell on it, you’ll be disappointed. Once you’re done, you’re done.”

Not this time and that made Vidor one happy gal.

“I am just thrilled that they decided to choose different community groups to give money to,” Vidor continued.

Pati Poblete started the Robby Poblete Foundation after her 23-year-old son was killed in Vallejo. Poblete also wants to take the metal from guns exchanged to create an “art peace” sculpture.

Only recently gaining 5013c nonprofit status, Poblete thought there was “no way” she would be one of those accepted by the Vallejo Waterfront Weekend committee for funding assistance.

“I thought you would need a track record, but we got it,” she said. “I was shocked. I was amazed. I just really didn’t think we had a chance. It tells me they care about making the community better.”

The Genesis House, serving Vallejo and surrounding communities since 1972, needs the boost, said its fiscal officer Clarissa Aveytia.

“We are very excited that we were selected,” she said. “This kind of support keeps us optimistic despite our recent funding cuts. We do a lot of fund-raising and it is always a great feeling when the community we serve supports us. We are looking forward to participating and being a part of the waterfront festival.”

The Waterfront Weekend funds help with the Genesis House’s Annual Spaghetti Feed and Silent Auction, said Aveyti, which assists us in raising funds that go directly towards resident care and beds that are designated for those who cannot afford treatment.

The Waterfront Weekend wanted to “spread the wealth around” after focusing on Mira, said Riley, “and open it up for more participation in the event. That was the goal.”

All recipients not only benefit financially from the Oct. 7-8 festival, but also get an information booth at no charge.

“We wanted to fully fund (the grant requests) and see these projects come to fruition,” Riley said.

Riley noted that the nonprofit benefiting from the Ducky Derby also changes this time around from Fighting Back Partnership to the cash-strapped Police Activities League.

“It was a no-brainer,” he said.

Riley said the event is looking to add more volunteers to complement the roughly 70 already working the festival, which should see a few more “family-friendly” additions plus live bands on the main stage that “we’ll keep a secret for awhile.”

“We’re trying to up the entertainment value,” Riley said.