24th Annual Local Heroes Event Celebrates PCF’s 2023 Impact

Two women stand together smiling broadly. Their faces and shoulders take up most of the frame. The woman on the right has her arm draped on the shoulders of the woman on the left. They appear to be in a large event room with other guests behind them. Ellen Kramer, Executive Director of Young & Healthy, and Lisa Cavalier, CEO of Boys & Girls Club Pasadena.

Pasadena Community Foundation has awarded more than $2 million to over 100 Pasadena-area nonprofits this year, and Thursday, November 9 was a day to celebrate that uplifting impact. PCF’s 24th annual Local Heroes Celebration brought together dozens of nonprofit executive directors with civic officials, community partners, and PCF donors. The event, held at Altadena Town & Country Club, showcased PCF’s wide-ranging grants in impact areas such as affordable housing, food security, the arts, education, youth and families, and cultural landmarks. View event program

Spotlight Grantees

Representatives from three organizations were invited to serve as “Spotlight Grantees” and share remarks from the stage about how PCF funding has helped their missions in the past year.A man and a woman, both Black, stand together facing the camera and smiling. You can see tables and other people in a large room behind them.

Nate Bradley and Natasha Mahone from the African American Parent Council (right) shared that a 2022 Education Grant helped expand its Math Power Hour program at PUSD, which “secures first and second graders’ fundamental understanding of early math concepts. We target both attitude and aptitude with a goal of encouraging confident, enthusiastic, lifetime learners.”  Read more.

Executive Director Thomas Meneghini (center, bottom right) from Mount Wilson Institute shared that PCF’s $50,000 Capital Campaign Grant award will help MWI launch its Second Century Campaign to imThree people stand together facing the camera and smiling: A blonde woman in a teal dress, a man with gray hair in a dark blue suit, and a woman with long brown hair in a bright pink dress. prove infrastructure for visitors at the Mount Wilson Observatory mountain campus. Read more and watch a short video about MWI’s grant award.

Executive Director Leslie Ito (below) represented the Armory Center for the Arts, which received one of PCF’s inaugural Arts & Culture Grants, as well as support through the Rowe & Gayle Giesen Trust. Ito noted that the Armory “has been incredibly fortunate to have PCF supporting us all along the way. . . We have received nearly $900,000 in PCF funding over the years. As arts organizations in Pasadena, and across the region, continue to build back our audiences (following the pandemic), it’s comforting to know that PCF is there to support us.”

An Asian woman with glasses smiles broadly - she is surrounding by many other people but they are purposely out of focus.
Leslie Ito, Executive Director of the Armory Center for the Arts, presented as a Spotlight Grantee.

Highlighting Affordable Housing

The program also showcased PCF’s Affordable Housing Initiative, which launched in 2019 to fund projects that add beds for those who need a home in the greater Pasadena area. Through a video and short presentation, guests learned that in the last five years, PCF has awarded nearly $1 million to support housing-focused nonprofits: This funding has helped add over 100 new housing units.  To date, PCF has worked with several nonprofit partners, including Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment.  Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army, Door of Hope, and Heritage Housing Partners. Watch 3-minute Affordable Housing video.

“A Better Place for Everyone”

PCF President & CEO Jennifer DeVoll closed the program by referencing the place-based nature of community foundations, which “need to reflect their community, collaborate with local organizations, and build on the unique strengths and assets in that location. PCF has been here in Pasadena, in a particular place that influenced our mission at our very beginning in 1953 and continues to influence our evolution 70 years later. Today we honor our local nonprofit grant recipients.  These grants, though monetary in nature, symbolize something much greater: our shared vision and unwavering commitment to make our community a better place for everyone.”

Visit Shutterfly to see our Event Photo Album.

Five women stand together facing the camera and smiling. They are in a large room surrounded by chairs and other people. You can see a large screen for video projection behind them.
Marsha Rood, Diana Peterson-More, Phyllis Mueller, and PCF board member Uma Shrivastava with PCF President & CEO, Jennifer DeVoll