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Annual Local Heroes Event Celebrates the Awarding of Pasadena Community Foundation Grants

PCF ‘Local Heroes’ breakfast honors scores of local nonprofits

Published on Friday, November 11, 2022 | 2:10 pm

The announcement of a $500,000 bequest to the Pasadena Community Foundation (PCF) from the estate of former Councilmember John Kennedy was one of the highlights Thursday as the PCF held its 23rd Annual Local Heroes Celebration before a packed house at the University Club, capping off a season of giving for the PCF. 

The Foundation ushered in the holidays early by celebrating the awarding of grant funds to more than 60 local nonprofit organizations across Pasadena in the areas of education, health, arts and culture, building community, seniors, rebuilding lives, affordable housing, and animal welfare.

Mayor Victor Gordo, U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu, Interim Police Chief Jason Clawson, City Manager Miguel Márquez, Housing Director Bill Huang,  and representatives of other local elected officials were in attendance, along with former Mayor Bill Bogaard, and City Councilmembers Felicia Williams, Andy Wilson, and newly elected Councilmember Jason Lyon.

Also in attendance were PUSD Superintendent Dr. Brian MacDonald, and School Board Members Jennifer Hall Lee and Dr. Elizabeth Pomeroy, as well as PCC Superintendent/President Erika Endrijonas.

Former Pasadena Mayor Bogaard also delivered a special tribute presentation to the late Councilmember John J. Kennedy, who passed away in July.

Bogaard announced that Kennedy’s bequest of $500,000 will be added to the endowed Kennedy Scholarship Fund set up in 2014 by Kennedy and his siblings.

“In further years,” said Bogaard, “this endowment will assist African-American young people to continue their education. PCF is honored to be the steward of this significant endowment and legacy.”  

Congresswoman Judy Chu congratulated the PCF for their sponsors’ generosity, and said, “I especially want to congratulate those organizations who are being recognized today. All of you do amazing things to support and uplift our community, including seniors who need access to computers, students facing challenges in school and families struggling to stay housed. You truly are our ‘local heroes.’”

Chu also presented a Congressional Resolution to the Pasadena Community Foundation.

In October, the PCF Capital Grant Program awarded more than a half million dollars to 24 Pasadena area nonprofit organizations.

Among the grants were a $50,000 Capital Campaign Grant to the Pasadena Conservatory of Music in support of that organization’s Common Ground Campaign,  which will create several new classrooms, and studios, as well as a new court route and a 140-seat amphitheater.

“These improvements will become the heart of the school and strengthen the sense of community on campus,” said executive Director, Stephen McCurry.

Coffee With a Cause, at the Rosebud Cafe in Pasadena—which assists homeless students in transitioning out of homelessness and moving into the workforce—was awarded $24,000, while Heritage Housing Partners, longtime builders and developers in Pasadena, were awarded $200,000 for their continuing work in providing homes for homeless students.

“We love restoring old homes,” said Heritage Housing Executive Director Charles Loveman, “and we’re good at it, which is why the City calls on us for projects like these, and we are thrilled to be a part of this.” 

The PCF also awarded grants to Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, and Beacon House for their work in providing affordable housing throughout Pasadena. 

A full list of the 2022 PFC Capital Grant awardees is available here.

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