Placer Community Foundation honors donors for giving back in 2012

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The Placer Community Foundation recently honored nearly 125 of its donors at the Blue Goose Fruit Shed in Loomis. Guests had the opportunity to hear the many ways their philanthropy impacted Placer County in 2012.

Jeff Birkholz, chair of the board of directors for PCF, began the evening by announcing that in 2012, 58 charitable funds managed by the foundation distributed close to $600,000 in grants. Approximately 90 percent of those grants supported nonprofit organizations that serve Placer County residents. He went on to acknowledged the personal benefits that come from giving back.

“Our family of donors addressed community needs based upon their commitment to give back to their place of home — making their philanthropy personal and meaningful,” he said. “Giving back to the community where I’ve raised my family and built my career has provided me personal benefits I hadn’t realized.”

Later in the evening, guests heard from a PCF donor and from various grant recipients. This was an emotional highlight of the evening, reinforcing the impact philanthropy can have on many different aspects of a community.

Christina Wagstaff spoke about the legacy created in memory of her dear friend and the many grants made in 2012 through the Robert Kemp Community Fund at the Placer Community Foundation. The fund recently put up a challenge grant for PCF’s Fostering Futures Program, which supports local foster youth. PCF is seeking donations within the community to match this gift and its consequent impact on underserved youth.

“Some of the programs that are closest to my heart are the ones that help children,” Wagstaff said. “For example, the Fostering Futures Program provides laptop computers to kids in foster care, allowing them to keep up with their homework and to keep up with technologies that are certainly going to be part of their future.”

 “Being a new resident to Placer County, I wasn’t aware of the specific needs that existed here,” she added. “Thanks to PCF I’ve come to know what some of those needs are and through Mr. Kemp’s fund, and matching donors, we’ve been able to address them in a significant way.”

Additional speakers included Natalie Pohley, who spoke about her foster daughter and the impact made when she received a laptop computer; Tom Hart, who spoke emotionally about how grants from PCF to The Gathering Inn supported that organization in helping him on his road to recovery and a new life; and Janice Forbes, who honored and thanked Mary Ann Hamilton for her more than 13 years of service on the PCF board of directors. Culminating the evening’s presentation was a standing ovation given to three young men — Brandon Scott, Andrew Tuller and Justin Marson. They passionately performed two songs they wrote through the writing and recitation programs offered by another one of PCF’s grantees, Hip Hop Congress.

Guests enjoyed locally prepared food by Chef Laura Kenny.  he event was sponsored by SAFE Credit Union, Propp Christensen & Caniglia, Justice Keith and Mary Sparks and the Birkholz Fund at Placer Community Foundation.

Each year, the foundation distributes grants to nonprofits in the arts, community development, education, children and youth, health and human services, environmental protection and animal welfare. Placer Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity. The foundation has granted $4.1 million and currently has assets of roughly $10 million. To learn more about PCF, and to donate online to the Fostering Futures Fund, visit