Spokes_LogoMore than 130 nonprofit board members, nonprofit staff members, corporate donors, personal philanthropists and key elected officials gathered at Ventana Grill Wednesday, Oct. 15 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. It was a rare opportunity for nonprofit leaders to gather and be celebrated for the invaluable contributions they make to the health and vibrancy of our community. Special grants were also awarded by the Robert Shanbrom/Xiaoping Cheng Family Fund.

The event was hosted by Spokes, sponsored entirely by Compass Health Inc., and was free to all attendees who were directed to “leave your checkbooks at home.”

“All too often, nonprofit organizations move from solving one problem to the next without celebrating the smaller wins they experience every day, month or year” says Lesley Santos Dierks, CEO of Spokes. “Spokes Salutes was an opportunity to reflect on the powerful benefits of our nonprofit sector and recognize and thank the thousands of local residents who give their time and resources to help our nonprofits thrive.”

The highlight of the evening came from the Robert Shanbrom/Xiaoping Cheng Family Fund which awarded three surprise grants to the Wellness Kitchen and Resource Center, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center and OperaSLO. The grants were made in recognition of an organization’s efforts to strengthen its governance practices, operating capacities and program performance in 2014.  Specifically, candidates were qualified if they attended a comprehensive governance training, completed an organizational assessment and participated in workshops or consulting relevant to the results of their assessment. Winners were each provided with a $1,000 general operating support grant.

“Nonprofit board-building is so important in so many ways.” Shanbrom said. “We congratulate all of the Spokes Salutes invitees for their courage and dedication in seeking out Spokes’ help in becoming more and more functional, building both their capacities as human beings and as members of communities.”

Bob Wacker, CEO/CIO of Wacker Wealth Partners, emceed the evening which included recognition by California Assemblyman Katcho Achadijian, a presentation by Adam Hill, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor, a comedic performance by Michael Kaplan, nonprofit management tips from Herb Kandel, musical performance by Arts for Living and raffle prizes.

In Spring 2015, Spokes will host the Spokes Salutes Award Gala to further recognize our outstanding community leaders. To learn more about Spokes, the nonprofit resource center for the Central Coast, Spokes Salutes or the Spring Gala event in 2015, please call 805-547-2244 or log onto www.spokesfornonprofits.org.