Board of Directors
Fred Molfino, Jr.
Steve F. Brown
Deborah Frederick, M.D.
Richard G. Kampmann
Edward J. Reidy
Hon. Raymond J. Arata, Jr.
David F. Elgart
Chief Executive Officer
Message from Pomeroy's CEO
One of my favorite “taskers” from our communication team is to draft a thank you note as part of our annual report to all of our donors, volunteers and community supporters who help make the wheels of PRRC go. So I offer a great big “thank you” because all of you, through your donation of time, money, or love of our program have improved the lives of the nearly 400 children, teens, and adults we serve in our programs each day and the thousands more individuals who use our pool throughout the year. Beyond that, though, you have moved us closer to our goal of becoming a vibrant community center for people with and without disabilities. You have helped build a stronger community!
In this report, you will see the many ways your involvement has made a difference at Pomeroy, whether you gave money or time - or simply showed up to demonstrate your support.
If you ever have any questions about how your specific gift has had an impact, please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone, email, or in person. We love surprise visits and there is no better way to understand the impact you make than to see first hand the smiles, hear the laughter, or feel the trust that takes place every day between our remarkable staff and the people we serve. So if you ever need a “lift of spirits,” just come on by!
With my warmest best wishes and gratitude,
When you visit Pomeroy, you move us closer to our vision of an inclusive world.
Pomeroy Pumpkin Patch free movie night for many is now a family tradition
Pomeroy Putt Golf Tourament
Dewitt looking stylish at Pomeroy Prom
Harrison, Sister Selma & Suzy at Pride
“All behaviors welcome” means that if there are non-volitional movements or sounds, everyone there - audience and performers alike - is totally accepting."
WE LOVE IT WHEN YOU SHOW UP!
Your presence at our events this year helped us build community and expand our circle of friends. “Community integration” is a bit of a buzzword in the disability world, the idea being that life is better for everyone when people with disabilities are integrated as fully as possible into the community. When you visit the Pomeroy Center, you move us closer to that vision.
You came to learn at financial literacy workshops; to have fun at the Pomeroy Putt Golf Tournament; and to marvel at the Lions Club Fashion Runway. You brought your kids to play with our kids - thank you, Mighty Tots and Town School! You came for tours of the Center. And, importantly, you showed up at City Hall when the Board of Supervisors was about to vote on our 25-year lease renewal - and you testified about the value of the Pomeroy Center to the community.
You also helped build community by attending Pomeroy Live concerts during our inaugural season - and telling your friends about it! Concerts included performances by Ramana Vieira and her Fado Ensemble; Susana Y Su Orquesta Adelante; the Five Spot Jazz Quintet with Mike Greensill; and the fabulous voices of Kitka. Pomeroy participants set up the chairs you sat on, greeted you when you arrived, baked the cookies you ate, and sold you refreshments. The season sponsor was Sandy Gandolfo, a great friend of the Pomeroy Center, a realtor at Barbagelata Real Estate, and the daughter of Pomeroy luminaries Ray and Elaine Arata.
Our presenting partner was Autism Fun Bay Area, the brainchild of Stephen Prutsman. We caught up with Steve recently to learn more about him and his family’s interest in Pomeroy Live.
I’m married and have two kids, a 17-year-old boy with severe autism and a 15-year-old girl who is neurotypical.
A few years ago, my wife and I had a vision of a summer camp for the developmentally disabled (DD). We created a nonprofit, Autism Fun Bay Area (AFBA), as a way to fundraise for the camp - Camp Azure. Soon after that, we began producing “all behaviors welcome” concerts in San Francisco at Stanford, along with a family swim program. We’ve also been able to organize attendance at jazz jams and ballet or symphony performances (usually dress rehearsals) with access provided specifically for our DD population.
On the importance of “all behaviors welcome” events:
At typical concert events, our DD population’s “stims,” jumping and vocalizations are not tolerated. Parents therefore are not able to enjoy concerts because they can’t bring their child, or because of the anxiety and unease when they do - and they are asked to leave. "All behaviors welcome" means that if there are non-volitional movements or sounds, everyone there - audience and performers alike - is totally accepting. Parents can relax and their kids have a great time. Sometimes the sounds or movements from our DD friends are embraced by the typical audience as being particularly poignant, or in some (cosmic) way a contribution to the beauty of the performance.
On his family’s experience at Pomeroy Live concerts:
We love the Pomeroy Live events. Beyond the first rate performers they book, what's so wonderful is how Pomeroy has been so successful at creating a friendly environment for BOTH their neurotypical and DD audiences. I would say this is the gold-star standard that all care, support and advocacy groups should aspire to, when they speak of wanting to be fully integrated into the community! Everyone leaves these shows with BIG smiles on their faces.
We hope you’ll show up again this year!
It literally does take a village to provide all the things our folks need to live their best lives.
SF makeup artist Dean Disaster glams up Pomeroy Prom attendees
THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND!
Your time, kindness, and expertise made an impact this year at Pomeroy. If you were one of the hundreds of volunteers who helped out this year, whether you tossed a ball with one of the children in our After School Program, threw on your work gloves and dragged dead branches to a dumpster, installed a temporary fish pond - with real fish! - or performed bluegrass music for clients in our Main Hall, you brightened the lives of our participants and made the world a better place.
Increasingly, corporate groups are choosing the Pomeroy Center as a volunteer site for team building and community service for their employees. Volunteer Coordinator Cindy Blackstone loves to work with these groups to find just the right project for them. When LinkedIn contacted her to bring a group of employees, we paired them up with clients in our Work Ready program to provide one-on-one work readiness coaching. One of these volunteers, Jim Morin, is a relationship manager at LinkedIn, specializing in helping users get the most out of the product and software; he’s been there a year.
Upon arrival, Jim was paired with an older participant. “He talked about how he had been in and out of work over the years and had a hard time keeping a positive attitude about it. Mostly the conversation was about encouraging him not to feel down.” The client was very interested in photography so Jim talked to him about inexpensive or free online tools for editing and showing his work.
After the one-on-one sessions, LinkedIn volunteers played a basketball game against the legendary Pomeroy Wildcats. Jim recalls, “The game was great - a really uplifting experience for everyone. It was just fun and special to see members of the Pomeroy community interact with and support one another.”
Jim is interested in returning to volunteer some more on his own. He has a long history of giving back to the community and a special appreciation for people with disabilities. We loved having Jim and all his LinkedIn colleagues here.
Come back any time, folks - you have friends at Pomeroy!
Time, money, and support at all levels.
Pomeroy supporters lined up to address City Hall & secured our property lease
Volunteering changes two lives at once.
Hands On Bay Area volunteers shine!
YOU INVESTED IN OUR PEOPLE
Last year, your generous giving directly improved the lives of people with disabilities. Your donations helped us meet our fundraising goal of $1.3M, funds that enabled us to serve children, teens, and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities.
Some of you are trustees at the 29 private or corporate foundations whose program and capital improvement grants have had a major impact on the people we serve. 728 of you made individual donations last year, whether you bid in the Banner of Love auction, made a tribute gift in memory of a beloved friend, or pitched in to the Fund-a-Need to pay for improvements in our Children & Teens wing. Some of you even fundraised for us, donating your birthdays on Facebook, or putting on drag shows in the Castro - thank you, fabulous friends! And for those of you who live in District 7 who cast your vote in support of funding for Pomeroy Live concerts, you helped us win a $10,000 city grant through the Participatory Budgeting process - thank you, too!
Some of you have included a gift to Pomeroy in your will - thank you for honoring us with your trust! As a member of the Scola Legacy Society, you are helping to ensure the future of services for individuals with disabilities in San Francisco. Anita Antler told us how she and her late husband decided to make this gift:
My husband, Gynt, had a very serious back injury, a ruptured disk, and had to have emergency surgery. The Pomeroy Center’s pool was part of his rehabilitation. This was more than 20 years ago, and he came once or twice a week for quite a while. He felt the pool was the most exercise that he could do, the most healing for him. During those months, there was nothing that could have stopped him from going to the pool! He could just feel the improvement, though it was really slow, he could really sense it. When he came home he was always on a high. After about six months he was able to walk again; a year later, he was able to hike the Austrian Alps!
As for making a gift in our wills, my husband and I made that decision together, right around the same time as he was using the pool in the late 1980s. Since it really benefited him so much, we wanted to do this.
My hope is that the Center and its pool will continue and even grow to help more people, people who are really, really in need.
"Triple H" & his fans at Banner of Love
Brian choreographs & Leda follows.
ARE OUR FRIENDS
Partnering for success
Popular Pomeroy artist Marjorie Schiffer working "en plein air" at Helpers in Ghirardelli
Most people don’t consider the disabled population when they discuss the housing crisis in San Francisco, but this community
has been particularly hard hit.
The video below is a September 2018 KTVU story about care homes that were closed, leaving 16 adults with disabilities homeless.
Over the past year, we have been honored to build a partnership with Helpers Community, a nonprofit committed to assisting community members with developmental disabilities and the organizations that serve them in the greater Bay Area.
With a history almost as long as Pomeroy, Helpers was founded by Joy Bianchi in 1953 with the vision of creating comfortable and welcoming homes for adults with developmental disabilities. Between 1963 and 1973, three houses were purchased and opened on Fulton Street, right across from Golden Gate Park. These beautiful homes were in operation for decades, housing multiple individuals, until they closed in 2002.
In 1966, Ghirardelli Square invited Helpers to host a weekend bazaar to sell the creations handmade by residents of the homes, as well as donated items from Helpers’ supporters. Helpers hosted these pop-up bazaars until 1974, at which point Ghirardelli donated a permanent storefront to Helpers, now known as Helpers Bazaar.
The link between Pomeroy and Helpers goes back to the early 1960s. It was Janet Pomeroy who provided the mentorship Helpers founder Joy Bianchi needed to open the homes and build her nonprofit. They remained friends for years, connected through their shared love for individuals with developmental disabilities.
This old partnership was rekindled recently. Helpers Executive Director Jan Cohen explains: “We were searching for organizations to support that epitomize our mission. Pomeroy, with its many activities and programs, was a logical choice for a major grant to fund the Senior Health and Wellness program.” This Helpers grant had a deep impact on the seniors Pomeroy serves, helping to support all types of healthy activities from chair yoga and therapeutic water exercise to gardening and cooking. A second grant from Helpers supports our respite program, enabling us to refresh the space where adults with developmental disabilities spend the weekend onsite; it also helps support our expansion into managing residential services.
Beyond this generous funding, Helpers has also become an important Pomeroy partner around employment and training. Cohen continues: “When we decided at the end of 2017 to convert the Helpers Bazaar store to a training and employment site for individuals with developmental disabilities, Pomeroy was a logical partner as we made this important change. Pomeroy trainees, earning minimum wage, have been learning customer service and retail store skills in a prominent location; they can then move on to other community-based employment as they complete their training.” Helpers sources an increasing quantity of its merchandise from Pomeroy and other Northern California nonprofits serving those with developmental disabilities - handcrafted items, artwork, and more.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this new partnership relates to the reopening of two of the original homes on Fulton Street. Most people don’t consider the disabled population when they discuss the housing crisis in San Francisco, but this community has been particularly hard hit. Group homes close and suddenly an adult who has lived their whole life in San Francisco must move out of the area - as far away as the Central Valley - to a new house, attend a new program where they know nobody, and lose contact with all their friends. By reopening the homes, Helpers will be addressing this challenge head on; Pomeroy will staff the two homes and manage their operations.
Thank you, Helpers, for your fierce commitment to people with developmental disabilities and for your warm partnership with the Pomeroy Center!