Given the nationwide economic downturn of the early 1990’s, the City of Millbrae’s General Fund financial support for the municipal Parks and Recreation Department was considered non-essential. More and more operational costs to provide community parks and recreation services needed to be full cost covering. Some parks and recreation programs serving the most vulnerable populations were in jeopardy due to rising participation/enrollment fees and charges.
At that time, the City of Millbrae Parks and Recreation Department had a well established in-house grant writing team, plus youth and senior scholarship programs. However, many non-governmental grants were only awarded to bona-fide 501 © (3) non-profit status foundations. Thus, the need for a 501 © (3) tax-exempt foundation seemed to be the best way to increase funding opportunities. As shown in other cities, this independent additional funding stream could help generate needed resources to address the essential leisure time needs of Millbrae residents. The idea was four-fold; 1) to help support existing and potentially new programs for youth, 2) to subsidize senior programs, (such as the daily lunch program), 3) to provide scholarships and 4) to address capital project needs.
Initially, Millbrae Parks and Recreation Department Recreation Services Manager, Pam Reliford, presented the concept of establishing a non-profit foundation to Millbrae Parks and Recreation Department Director, Karla McElroy. Upon gaining approval for the use of in-house staff time from City Administrator, James Erickson, the Parks and Recreation Department proceeded with exploratory groundwork.
Pam Reliford approached R. Terry Bauer with the idea of forming a foundation for Millbrae's needs. At the September 1994 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, the official process to develop a community foundation was presented. Under “New Business,” Pam brought forward the idea of developing additional funding sources via a separate community driven non-profit, 501 © (3) corporation. At the meeting, Pam requested that two (2) commission members join this new ad-hoc committee. Commission members, R. Terry Bauer and Robert Lustenberger, Chair, volunteered to work toward the efforts to form a foundation. Prior to the commission meeting, R. Terry Bauer had been briefed and attended several informal meetings. At this meeting, Pam also gained permission to widen the ad-hoc committee membership.
From that point staff and the ad-hoc committee members started attending foundation workshops in Sacramento, as well as visiting local and state-wide foundations. Pam recognized that the well-endowed Peninsula Community Foundation (PCF), later renamed the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), would be an excellent source of guidance during this development phase. Numerous meetings were held with PCF staff, which included important resources from the PCF Library. Through this networking period, the ad-hoc committee began to refine the base components necessary to form a foundation. On
At the January 1995 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, Chair, Robert Lustenberger requested Commission approval to approach the Millbrae City Council for their added conceptual support and financial backing of $5,000 in seed money for the proposed two-year foundation budget. As a result, on February 7, 1995, in a letter signed by Robert, a formal request was submitted to the Millbrae City Council. Their approval was secured, which allowed for the continued efforts to form what is today’s Millbrae Community Foundation.
In April 1995, Karla McElroy suggested adding Millie Bishop (1947-2004) to the effort and then Millie requested including Victor Graff (1914-2007) . Millie acted as the chair person of the committee to form a community foundation. Victor Graff was the vice-chair. They were both community leaders that gave tirelessly to insure their vision of today’s foundation could be possible. Professionally, Millie was a Taylor Middle School Teacher in the Millbrae Elementary School District. Victor was an active senior in the Millbrae community and a career Captain in the U.S. Navy; decorations included the Silver Star and the Bronze Star. Victor was the task master and keeper of the foundation’s incorporation records. Millie served on many advisory committees and approached every assignment with a “can do” attitude. She negotiated the challenging administrative aspects throughout the process and beyond. These two philanthropic minded individuals were instrumental in creating the foundation and, therefore, are highlighted with our gratitude and a special acknowledgement in the history of MCF. In addition, representatives from various City of Millbrae committees were recruited. Key members included Marc Hershman, Vice-Chair, representing the Millbrae City Council, and Kay Runkle from the Senior Advisory Committee who served as unofficial secretary.
With the partial Board of Directors in place, it was determined that the most cost-effective way to draft language for the articles of incorporation, by-laws, mission statement and a two-year budget was to use existing "boilerplate" models. The thought at the time was to customize generic documents to file multiple applications would be the most expedient way to proceed. The needed documents included: Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1023, used to apply for exemption under IRS 501© (3), the State of California Attorney General’s Office Form 3500A, a Submission of Exemption Request from the Secretary of State and Franchise Tax Board applications.
In the process, the board members quickly realized the need for professional expertise to navigate the mountains of technical and legal paperwork, thus enlisting help from Millbrae attorney, Stevan Luzaich, of Corey, Luzaich, de Ghetaldi & Riddle LLP to help with pro-bono assistance. Luckily, an attorney in Stevan’s law firm had the expertise needed. That individual was Leticia G. Toledo, Associate Attorney at Law. Leticia spent many hours developing the legal narrative and many more personal hours keeping everyone on track and focused.
As the MCF started to take shape, the need for an accountant to assist with crafting of the initial two-year budget was identified. Millie knew David M. Slosberg through her work on the Millbrae Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. David was an active community volunteer and added the MCF cause to his list of pro-bono accountant support.
Millie kept the committee on point during this development phase as the “brainstorming” sessions led to a fine-tuned mission statement. Their wish to be all encompassing and visionary with a futuristic viewpoint was a central theme.
The acting MCF Board of Director members elected the following members to serve on the Board: Millie Bishop - President, Victor Graff - Vice-Chair, Kay Runkle - Secretary, Marc Hershman - City Council Liaison, R. Terry Bauer - Board Member, Robert Lustenberger - Board Member, Caroline Shea - Board Member, representing the Millbrae Elementary School Board, two Youth Advisory Committee members and Pam, who was assigned to provide clerical and operational support to the Board.
In September of 1998, thanks to the guiding legal support of Letitia, the Federal and State Governments officially accredited the Millbrae Community Foundation and granted it official 501 © (3) non-profit status. R. Terry Bauer and Millie Bishop presented the Millbrae Community Foundation to the City of Millbrae at a City Council Meeting on September 22, 1998.
In January of 1999, Paul Bourque was elected to the MCF Board, (he remains on the Board today), and Board Members Marc Hershman, Caroline Shea and David Slosberg where reelected. In January of 2000, the Millbrae Community Foundation added Director, Dan Rogers, along with Trustees George Corey, Vince Muzzi, Michael Parker, and Joan Ryan. The following year, Art Lepore joined as Assistant Treasurer and Lee Mahon joined as an advisor.
The above Officers and Directors remained in place until September 2004. In 2005, Cathy Quigg embraced the presidency after Millie passed away.
MCF Early activities: A brick paver program was established to kick off the first Millbrae Community Foundation fundraiser. Donors purchased dedicated paver plates which were installed in prime locations like; City Hall, the Library and the David Chetcuti Room. The second fundraising event was a casino night and silent auction held at the Millbrae Community Center. Other early fundraising projects included a vehicle donation program and an endowment legacy program. In addition, R. Terry Bauer launched a logo development sub-committee to provide input towards establishing an icon logo design for the foundation.
Thank you to Pat Crilly, Millbrae Parks and Recreation Department Administrative Assistant, who assisted in scribing Commission documents during the foundation planning phase as well as volunteering her time to help MCF with this history.
M I L L B R A E
Founding member R. Terry Bauer designed and trademarked the MCF logo in 2007. It reflects the positive and constructive attitude of the Foundation while demonstrating our synergistic connection to the community of Millbrae.
The unique aspects represent:
1. Color Green: Growth, harmony, intellect, fertility, and environment. Green is also associated with money.
2. Color White: Light, wholeness, innocence, purity, and a transparency or honesty.
3. Color Yellow: The energy of the sun and optimism. It is meant to repeat Millbrae’s slogan, “A Place In the Sun.”
4. Color Gray: Neutrality and nonspecific as to gender or race.
5. Color Black: Black is required for all enclosed colors to have depth. In this case, black is also the symbol of strength.
6. The rectangular border(s) is actually not two concentric enclosures, with one
representing the City of Millbrae and the other representing the foundation; but rather, one continuous path, as with infinity or as one. MCF does not operate within the City of Millbrae; but rather, it functions to serve in contiguous association with the Millbrae Community.
7. The green outlined leaves appear to be white, but actually they are clear and represent a transparency or honesty, as well as symbolizing nature, fertility, growth, and life.
8. The white background represents wholeness, innocence and a purity that feeds the roots, the white trunk and the branches of the tree. The tree itself represents balance, learning, growth and harmony. Millbrae has been formally acknowledged as a “Tree City.” The trunk of the tree also represents strength, stability and structure, standing firm and
withstanding the greatest of challenges.
9. The figures demonstrate an interconnection and a co-existence between the groups and organizations of our community and its people. The gray-colored figures are meant to be non-gender and non-race specific, with their arms and heads motioning upwards in a positive and optimistic gesture. The figures are also representative of adulthood and youth (as per their individual proportions) and they appear to be connected, symbolizing an intergenerational relationship.
The posture of the black legs reveal the body language of vigor and liveliness and those legs also form a free spirited but stable “M” for Millbrae.
10. The green background symbolizes the green grass of our fields and open spaces. It also represents recreation and our concerns for our environment.
11. A wine glass is subtly demonstrated as a white or clear alternate background shape; formed by starting with the base of the trunk of the tree and ending at the top of the inner rectangle. This is meant to remind us of our proximity to the wine countries to the North and to the South of Millbrae and that wine glass gives recognition to Millbrae’s Annual Art & Wine festival.
12. This logo is not a two dimensional depiction of the relationship between the community and the foundation; but rather, it should be seen as a three dimensional model, synergistically looping and connecting the community of Millbrae.