By: Claire Marx Solot
Last November I was delighted to join fellow members of the LSFN as we cheered on an extraordinary group of people and organizations who were honored for their work in the field of philanthropy.
I had heard of National Philanthropy Day, but had never attended the AFP Golden Gate luncheon and award ceremony. Ken Kuchman, Executive Director of the Bernard E. & Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation and active LSFN participant suggested I attend, as he had been a regular attendee and felt that legal services was underrepresented. It turned out that the 2018 honorees included three funders who support legal services: Blue Shield of California Foundation (Outstanding Corporate Grantmaker), Y & H Soda Foundation (Outstanding Foundation) and Outstanding Philanthropists honorees, Toni Rembe and her husband Arthur Rock.
As I listened to each honoree speak, I felt a tremendous sense of community spirit. 2018 was a tough year on many fronts. Continued assaults against our immigrant populations by the current administration, devastating natural disasters that wreaked havoc on both coasts, and appointments of individuals to government posts that may threatened essential rights have left many of us tired and worn. Yet, while sitting in this room I felt a sense of hope. The honorees ranged from some of the most affluent members of our community, with giving histories that spanned decades, to a group of teens from the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco’s Keystone Club, who were recognized as Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy. All shared a common goal, to help those in need and contribute to the world in a positive and meaningful way.
As I left the room, I thanked Ken for encouraging the LSFN to participate in this special event and promised that we will keep the spotlight on legal services, as future honorees are considered.