Donor Impact Report
What a difference a year makes ...
Friends & Family:
As we reflect back over the past year, I can’t help but think about an old Dinah Washington song, “What a Difference a Day Makes,” a song about 24 hours and the changes that can come with it. When you then think about “what a difference a year makes,” this last year will live in the memories of us all - what a difference, indeed!
Millions of people have been affected by the COVID-19 virus and so many people, especially the most vulnerable among us, are worried about their futures. The Pomeroy Center, our staff, and those we serve are blessed to be able to carry on our mission and remain strong. We could not and would not be in this position without your generous support.
This Donor Impact Report focuses on the meaningful effect you have had at the Pomeroy Center over the past year. We believe the stories in this report will lift your spirits, warm your heart, and demonstrate how your gifts have made a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities---and those that serve them.
As we look ahead, despite the challenges we surely will face and not always knowing what will happen tomorrow, we know that like Dinah sings … the difference that day makes is YOU. On behalf of the participants we serve and their families, we thank you.
WINNING WITH OUR FRIENDS
WHAT YOU MADE HAPPEN
WHO YOU ARE
The past year has seen some dramatic facilities improvements at Pomeroy, most of which nobody has had the chance yet to enjoy!
An old storage space cluttered with dozens of jammed file cabinets, event supplies, and dusty old broken items has been completely transformed into a large, airy classroom, thanks to donors like our own Banner of Love Auxiliary and the Barulich Family Foundation. This space will become our inclusive daycare classroom, welcoming about 20 young children with and without disabilities. A second grant from the Barulich Family Foundation will allow us to remove a line of trees where we plan to build an outdoor play area for the little ones.
The Women’s Changing Room at the pool has had a complete makeover - fresh paint, resurfacing, new benches and shower fixtures, new toilets, lots of hooks and cubbies for storage, and ventilation and heating improvements. Pool users had about two weeks to use it and then we had to close, but it is still there waiting for our return. These improvements couldn’t have happened without funding from the Herbst Foundation, the William G. Irwin Charity Foundation, and many of you who attended Banner of Love in 2019!
At Banner of Love one year earlier, many of you chipped in to help us improve our Children & Teens classrooms, all of them worn out and tired from years of heavy use. Like most renovation projects, this took longer than expected to complete. We needed to shuffle kids around like puzzle pieces so the work could get done with the least disruption - we were grateful to have that nice big future daycare space to use. The rooms are now bright, fresh, and ready to use, thanks to your generosity!
Buildings are just one thing we count on to provide programs for our participants at Pomeroy. Vans and buses are critical to accessing the community. One of our vans kept breaking down, including on one trip to Disneyland! Luckily for us, we have a friend who responded to our urgent request for support to buy a new van by funding it in full.
Once we can all be onsite together again, these long-awaited capital improvements will make a difference to the entire community, especially the children and adults who call the Pomeroy Center their home away from home. Thank you for making such a visible impact at Pomeroy!
FROM RUSSIA WITH ALOHA ...
Many of you are aware that Pomeroy opened its first residential home at 2626 Fulton Street in early 2019. Did you know that we then opened a second home, at 2750 Fulton Street, later the same year? It houses four adults with developmental disabilities and they love their home!
Pomeroy staff member Liubov Kovaleva started out at the first home and moved over to 2750 in May of 2019. Liubov Kovaleva is a love bug. “I love our participants. I think this is my big family. I wake them up each morning, make breakfast, help someone to brush their teeth, and another one to take a shower. They are all different and unique. Some go to work and some go to their day program or to school. I really enjoy them.”
Shelter-in-place has been a challenge for all of us, folks in the residential homes included, but Liubov says they still feel connected to the Pomeroy Center during the Shelter-In-Place with Zoom classes and meetings.
Resident Spotlights: Rachel and Giorgi
Resident Rachel loves her home. She helps out around the house, doing chores and some housecleaning. She attends lots of Pomeroy classes by Zoom, and particularly enjoys yoga, art, and cooking. She also teaches classes for other participants, running both a hula and American Sign Language class. Here’s a link to her recent talent show hula performance. (That’s resident Nick on the left and Giorgi on the right).
Resident Giorgi who, like Liubov, is from Russia originally, speaks four languages and when he was in high school, used to help his dad in a physics laboratory.
“I’ve been at 2750 Fulton for one year, since it opened. Before that, I lived with my sister in San Bruno.”
Giorgi was born in Ukraine, where he went to a special school. When he was done with school he moved from Ukraine to Georgia and went to university there. After that, he lived with his parents. His sister moved to the United States in 1995 and Giorgi came over to join her after their father passed away.
“I like it here,” says Giorgi. “It was difficult at first but now I like it. It’s a good house, a good location, and good people. I can help some of the other participants. It’s nice to take out someone like Brian because he’s not allowed to go out by himself. We’ve got a good relationship, he always listens to me.”
Giorgi says, “The house changed my life because I’m living more independently.” One great example of this increased independence is that now he can take long walks from the house all the way out to La Playa three or four times a week.
Housing is a major issue for people with disabilities in San Francisco. Pomeroy’s partnership with Helpers Community, the owner of these homes, enables folks like Rachel and Giorgi to get the services they need, to be a part of a second family, and to contribute to the community.
pivoting: from in-Person to zoom
While we weren’t sure how everyone would adjust to sheltering-in-place and receiving all their services virtually, Pomeroy’s Zoom classes and services are a hit!
Whether participants are receiving an Occupational Therapy session, making art, watching story hour, or learning ballet, there is something fun and engaging for them to do. Staff hold multiple classes daily - even on Saturdays - and they’ve gotten creative with the format. Virtual bingo works well on screen, short videos can be shared with everyone, and using the Zoom “spotlight” feature allows one attendee to show off their work for all to see.
While no real substitute for in-person support and services, it’s still keeping us connected. Here’s what some participants and families have said about Pomeroy’s online offerings:
Andrew Prentice, Children & Teens Parent:
Just wanted to send you and your staff a huge thank you for Pomeroy’s online services during the pandemic shutdown. My son Jack looks forward to his Pomeroy Zoom meetups every day. I’m very impressed by how fast your staff got things up and running online as well as the continued attention to detail and improvement as things are rapidly changing during difficult times for kids and parents.
Compared to the school district that my son attends as well as the school district I work for, you and your staff are light years ahead with distance activities/learning both in constant improvement and consistency. Everyone wants to go back, of course, and there doesn’t seem to be a perfect substitute for in-person programs but I think Pomeroy is doing an excellent job online, dealing with the realities and restrictions of the pandemic.
Diane Gallo, sister of Mark Gallo, adult participant:
Mark smiles, laughs, and often says "YAYYY!" when he sees his Pomeroy teachers and friends on Zoom! I know he's just happy to be able to stay connected with everyone.
Miltinnie Yih, board member and mother of David, adult participant:
I thought you might like to know what happened from 3-4 pm today on an extended social Zoom! I was about 15 minutes late coming in to turn off Zoom for David. He usually just gets up and walks away when it is over. However, today, there were five individuals still on screen: Hiep, Duane, May, Lanier, and David.
They were pretty quiet (except for Lanier's occasional comments), but they seemed to enjoy looking at each other on the screen. Then I asked if David was ready to get off, and he said, "Stay on!" so I left him and continued working in another corner of the room. I noticed that May's mom tried to get her off, and she screeched, "No!" and pushed her away. I came by to see if David wanted to get off (I wanted to use my computer), but each time, it was, "Stay on!" Duane thought this was funny.
Though the five didn't say much to each other, they definitely enjoyed looking at each other (I think they're glad there is still a Pomeroy!). And although this may not seem very social to us, I felt distinctly that they were socializing on another level. David finally reluctantly got off as the others waved goodbye to each other without adult prompting.
Lisa and Dan Hall, parents of adult participant Tracy Hall:
We are pleased to say that Tracy is doing OK. She misses her friends and activities at Pomeroy, but that is where the classes are making a difference for her. She especially loves Lesley’s Story Hour Zoom Class. She gets excited to see her teachers and friends. The cute part about Tracy is that she smiles and is happy to see everyone, but doesn’t speak to them. She is used to watching a television show in which the people don’t respond to her, we think she isn’t quite sure they will hear her? Too cute for words. Thank you for brightening her day and keeping touch.
Carol Windsor, mother of adult participant Hope Windsor-Wells:
Hope’s favorite Zoom is the upcoming Friday talent show. She loved practicing her slalom race to the song "Eye of the Tiger”which she transformed into “Eye of the Virus.” She raced between COVID virus balloons, trying to make it safely to the finish. It occupied her for several days.
She also loves classes like hangman, singing, and social hour.
She has been sequestered in her house and loves the social
interaction the Zoom classes provide!
Thanks for keeping in contact with the participants!!!
Thanks for being there!!!!
Metelda Paul, Pomeroy Program Staff
Staff have made the adjustment to remote teaching, too. Metelda Paul has worked at Pomeroy for 17 years, often helping with participants’ personal needs, providing hand-over-hand support, and friendship. “My favorite thing about working with the participants is positively impacting their daily lives, whether it’s simple conversation or daily activities.”
Going into shelter-in-place made Metelda sad because she couldn’t see the participants anymore. Using technology to stay connected was obviously the only way to do that, so she pushed herself out of her comfort zone. “It was hard to adapt to something that was new to me. A challenge I faced was consistency with work, especially not having my own technology and having five kids at home that were doing online learning.”
Metelda didn’t know what to expect from her Zoom classes with clients - it hasn’t been all bad! “The most surprising thing is how interacting with clients on screen compares to interacting with them in person. An example is my client Jason who is very dependent when we are at the Center. But in Zoom classes, he has learned to be independent. He is able to follow instructions without aid.”
To all of you who have supported the Pomeroy Center over the past year, these little victories are yours, too. Thanks to your caring and generosity, participants like Jack, Tracy, Hope, and Jason are navigating these challenging times well. Thank you!
MOBILIZING FOR LOVE
Starting in 2018, Tim and Robyn Bittle, pastors at The Father’s House, a church in San Francisco, began passing along a portion of their congregation’s monthly donations to the Pomeroy Center. New to San Francisco, they felt an instant connection to the Pomeroy Center when they realized who we serve - they had both spent time working directly with kids with disabilities in past years. They came for a visit and fell in love with the program.
One day in 2019, they raised the idea of expanding their service to the community by opening up a new food pantry for the SF Marin Food Bank.
Why a food pantry? The inspiration came from seeing a critical need and knowing they had to find a way to help. “When we heard that over 400 people were on a waiting list to receive groceries from the SF Marin Food Bank because there weren’t enough host sites, our hearts broke. We had plenty of volunteers to help, but our church doesn’t own a facility so hosting a pantry on site was not an option. While meeting with Esther (Pomeroy’s development director) one afternoon for coffee, we shared our desire to host a pantry and she quickly began strategizing with us. A few weeks later, the Pomeroy Center graciously offered to let us use their back lot for weekly food distribution.”
What was it like to get started? “We were incredibly excited to get started, says Tim. “We had 20 volunteers ready to serve and you could have cut the excitement with a knife. And during those first few weeks, we met dozens of grateful families that had been waiting for a pantry to open in the area. A few said, “This is an answer to our prayers.”
So what does a typical food pantry client go home with? “A LOT!” says Tim. “Generally, there are 2-3 different kinds of fruit, 2-3 vegetables, 1-2 starches, a protein, and milk. The goal is to provide groceries for a week.
Tim and Robyn were surprised by the friendships they developed with the participants. “While some come and go without much interaction, many are just as needing of human contact and friendship as they are groceries. We’ve been able to meet more than just a practical need but a deep emotional need as well.”
Tim and Robyn have gotten creative, too. The week of July 4th, the Food Bank was closed for a few days to allow their employees a much-deserved break. This meant the pantry sites would not be getting their delivery - but that didn’t stop Tim and Robyn. “We knew that our participants were counting on us to feed their households; the idea of shutting down the pantry for a week was simply not an option. So, we took it upon ourselves to provide the groceries that week.”
Demand at the food pantry has changed dramatically since shelter-in-place began. “Participation has more than doubled,” says Tim. “Prior to the shelter-in-place orders, we were averaging between 40-50 participants each week. Now, we serve well over 100 families each week and that number continues to grow as the needs of our community increase. It is not uncommon for us to meet a new participant each week that lost a job or was recently furloughed. Just this past week we had a man come back at the end and ask to take all of the leftovers. He had a family of five to feed and had just been laid off.”
For anyone interested in joining the volunteer crew for the food pantry, Tim and Robyn would be delighted to put you to work. “Currently, we have a rotating team of roughly 50 volunteers. We could ALWAYS use additional help. Serving together is not only rewarding but it’s honestly a blast! If anyone is interested in participating, they can go to our website (TFH.CHURCH) and click on the “city outreach” tab to sign up.”
One of The Father’s House cultural values is “Live Generously”. For us, said Bittle, "giving is not an occasion, its a lifestyle. This was simply an opportunity for us to live out our value."
THE "MOBILIZE LOVE" TRUCK
Christian Huang, a member of The Father’s House church,
has added his own touch to the weekly food pantry scene
at Pomeroy on Thursdays. His fully-equipped food truck,
part of his Mobilize Love fleet of outreach trucks, serves
free hot meals to every food pantry visitor.
Pomeroy: Tell me about the Mobilize Love truck - what is its mission?
Huang: Mobilize Love exists to show up and give hope. We do this by providing
mobile human services. Our fleet of outreach trucks includes a laundry truck,
wellness truck, stage truck, and the Bay Area's first non-profit food truck.
Pomeroy: What does the food truck offer to the pantry clients? What’s a typical meal?
Huang: Our menu ranges from: chicken & rice, nacho supreme, cheeseburgers, pasta, taco salad, and bbq plates. We always try to offer one protein, one carb, one veggie, one snack, and a drink.
Pomeroy: Any meaningful interactions you’ve had with pantry clients - any highlights?
Huang: We met one guest who has been attending the TFH pantry for a while. He stated that he has written a cookbook using only the items he receives from the pantry. These are really good meals he's able to produce from the pantry. Also, I remember one time Pastor Robyn helping a single mother bring food to her car. This was early on in the pandemic and I asked the mom how many people she needed dinner for and she stated seven: for her, her children, and her mother. She was super grateful to not only receive groceries but also a ready-to-eat meal so she could take a night off from cooking dinner. This kind of moved me emotionally a bit. Lastly, one young man who stated he was homeless said it was the best meal he had eaten in a long time. We love hearing that!
Pomeroy: Where else does the truck sell food? Where can we find you to give you business?
Huang: We never sell food. We are the Bay Area's first non-profit food truck. We do the hard work of fundraising so that children, youth, families, seniors, and those who need it most can have free meals. The Father's House has helped us tremendously, which is why when the pandemic happened we wanted to serve alongside them because we trust their leadership and generosity.
The LGTBQ Community Loves Pomeroy
... and We Love You Back!
There are many LGBTQ organizations in San Francisco whose purpose is to serve organizations like ours. For many years now, the Pomeroy Center has been on the receiving end of their great generosity. We have had volunteers from Gay for Good do heavy yard cleanup and grounds improvement projects around the Center, and we have also been the recipient of thousands of dollars raised by the Ducal Council and Imperial Court of San Francisco as part of fundraising events they hold at gay bars around the city.
Many of these fundraisers are “drag” performances, a type of entertainment where people dress up and perform, often in highly stylized ways, and often but not always cross-gender. The Ducal Council and Imperial Court are two fundraising royal families, and each year they elect Queens and Kings and many others with honorary fundraising titles like Emperor, Empress, Duke, or Duchess. This year, Grand Duke “Madd Dogg 2020” and Grand Duchess “Miss Shugana” were involved in raising $4500 for Pomeroy!
Jodi and Tressa (Miss Shugana and Madd Dogg’s given names) first learned about the Pomeroy Center through a Pomeroy mom, who happens to be a fabulous drag performer herself. They soon realized that they knew other Pomeroy staff members who are also part of the drag community. “Having so many staff members at [our drag] shows really made a difference,” said Jodi. “You could see how much they love the participants and their work!”
As Jodi and Tressa got to know Pomeroy better, these two royals met Brian Lee, an out gay adult Pomeroy participant who, with staff member Karin Jaffie’s support and encouragement, has been able to live his dream of being a drag performer himself. Once Karin started bringing Brian to local drag events, he instantly connected with Madd Dogg and Miss Shugana. And soon Brian -- aka the glamorous “Princess Pomeroy” -- was a regular on local stages with them.
When she isn’t raising money for Pomeroy, Jodi works for software company Workday. Tressa does construction, specializing in the restoration of Victorian homes. They live in Campbell where they garden and care for their dog, kitten, and a rainbow family of new drag performers throughout the Bay Area.
Pomeroy is lucky that San Francisco’s most generous drag kings and queens care so much about the people we serve - and our staff, too. Jodi says, “The Pomeroy Center is our favorite cause, and Madd Dogg and I are beyond inspired by the Pomeroy staff! Y’all are heroes!”
We feel the same way about these two generous friends. Thank you to Miss Shugana, Madd Dogg, and the other members of the LGBTQ community who show up to support organizations like ours!
Raising Spirits, Hope … and Money!
“For it is in giving that we receive.” ~ Francis of Assisi
Birthdays are a pretty big deal at Pomeroy Center. Cakes, singing, camaraderie and the ubiquitous gifting. Pomeroy Board Member Steve Brown, missing that human connection during this time of COVID-19 quarantine, decided to make his own fun - by raising funds!
In the 1980s and 90’s, Steve volunteered for Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC) as a sea kayaking guide. He worked several trips with Recreational Center for the Handicapped (RCH: Pomeroy’s previous name), and recalls that “I always had such a fun time with this group. In fact, I used to join other ETC guides for an occasional basketball game with the RCH/Pomeroy crew.” Steve's natural connection with the people and purpose of Pomeroy's mission made him a prime candidate for Board membership. He said, "When I was asked to serve on the board by a couple of other board members, I jumped at the chance!”
On the Board since 2012, Steve takes an active role in a variety of projects and committees, consistently adhering to the “give or get” theory of board participation. An easy way board members help elevate an organization’s public persona is by sharing its story via their personal social media networks, showing connection and commitment. Steve recently took an opportunity to both raise funds and awareness of Pomeroy programs by holding a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser.
Steve shares that his motivation outweighed any concerns about technology or other challenges: “This was my first Facebook fundraiser. And I tried it now because Facebook made it so easy, and because in this time of COVID I felt it was even more important to support amazing community organizations.”
Like many who want to help but are not sure where to start, Steve responded to Facebook’s (automated) suggestion that he create a birthday fundraiser. He said, “It was so easy! I posted it one time in my FB feed about a week before my birthday and that was it.” Steve knew people would be taking a look at his feed to post their annual ‘happy birthday’ messages and hoped they would see his post about the Pomeroy Center. Steve set his fundraiser goal of $1000 -- “to be meaningful but also achievable” -- and in a little over 5 days met and exceeded that at $1115.
“I was delighted to exceed the goal that I set and was really moved that so many of my friends took the time to donate to the Pomeroy Center,” observed Steve. He also noted accomplishing another, more personal goal, “I don’t find it very easy to ask others for donations, so I was proud of myself for trying something new on my birthday. It was my birthday present to myself. Especially in the middle of this pandemic ... it made me feel great to give to such an amazing organization.”
With an eye toward the future, and Pomeroy’s ongoing need for support, Steve promises, “I will definitely do this again and strongly recommend that others try it. It’s easy to set up. And it provides an easy and meaningful way to connect with your friends. I think in this time of COVID, we are all looking for deeper connections and ways to build our community.”
With this link, people will be able to easily create a fundraiser for Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation Center. Share it with supporters and encourage them to help you raise money on Facebook.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING!
In mid-February, Pomeroy was the lucky recipient of a large in-kind donation from law firm Alston & Bird. The donation included art supplies, socks, swimsuits, and more than a dozen barely used laptops. We interviewed Alicia Lewis, the firm's San Francisco and Silicon Valley office administrator, to learn more about her connection to Pomeroy and how the firm started donating
Pomeroy: How did Alston & Bird get connected with Pomeroy?
Lewis: Through me! I recommended that the offices support the Pomeroy Center because of its positive impact on the community, which I experienced firsthand due to multiple personal connections to the organization. Since Alston & Bird has a deep commitment to pro bono and community service, our Bay Area attorneys and staff were eager to support the Pomeroy Center when they were made aware of its lasting, positive impact on the community.
Pomeroy: What was Alston & Bird’s first donation to Pomeroy?
Lewis: We made our first donation to the Pomeroy Center as part of an internal month-long fundraising initiative to support local nonprofits. Our Bay Area offices followed this initiative by purchasing items from the organization’s wish list for its clients. Additionally, we’ve participated in the Pomeroy Center’s holiday gift-giving and supply drive for the last two years. In June 2019, our Bay Area offices sponsored the Pomeroy Center during our firm’s Pro Bono Week and presented the organization at a firm-wide initiative, which resulted in an additional donation.
Pomeroy: Tell us about this more recent in-kind donation, the one that included the laptops - it was huge! What inspired you to give again like this?
Lewis: Alston & Bird is always looking for ways to give back and serve the communities in which we live and work. After completing a technology refresh, we had the opportunity to provide some of the community-based organizations we support, including the Pomeroy Center, with the laptops.
Pomeroy: You made that last gift not long before the shelter-in-place began. Pomeroy suddenly needed laptops for staff so they could work at home. You had probably initially intended for the laptops to be used by participants. How did it feel to hear that it was mostly staff who were using them instead?
Lewis: It’s great to hear that the laptops are being utilized by the staff! We knew that the Pomeroy Center would make an excellent home for the laptops, and it’s wonderful to know that they are aiding the Pomeroy Center’s business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pomeroy: What would you say to other businesses and law firms about the value of making in-kind gifts as you have?
Lewis: All gifts, no matter how big or small can make a significant impact on a nonprofit organization’s ability to operate and provide critical services to its clients. We are proud to help.
Pomeroy: Is there anything else about Alston & Bird you’d like to share?
Lewis: We look forward to continuing to support the Pomeroy Center in the years to come!
About Alston & Bird
Alston & Bird (www.alston.com) is a leading national law firm whose core practice areas are intellectual property, complex litigation, corporate, and tax, with national industry focuses that include financial services, technology, health care, manufacturing, and life sciences, among others. The firm has built a reputation as one of the country’s best employers, appearing on Fortune magazine’s ranking of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for 21 consecutive years—an unprecedented accomplishment among law firms in the United States. Alston & Bird’s Bay Area presence began in Silicon Valley more than a decade ago, and expanded its footprint in 2017 by opening its San Francisco office. Alicia Lewis is the firm’s San Francisco and Silicon Valley office administrator.
BoL 2020 success: change & chance!
It was completely a fluke that Pomeroy decided to try holding its gala, Banner of Love, in February this year rather than in the spring as it traditionally is. How could we have known what a good decision that would be, just weeks later when the City shut down all large events?
The timing wasn’t the only lucky thing about Banner of Love 2020, though - so was the location and the warmth and generosity of the crowd. The fundraising focus was on therapeutic services for our Children & Teens Program. MC Liam Mayclem and the family of Pomeroy participant Brandon Dobbs helped guests see with their own eyes the important impact of their gifts.
Banner of Love Auxiliary Board President Jeannette Montarano noted that Banner of Love 2020 had numerous upgrades from previous years. Most notably, Pomeroy moved the event to a new venue, the elegant Julia Morgan Ballroom in downtown San Francisco.“We thought the venue change would be good for the size crowd we usually get,” said Montarano. The elegance of the space, the beautiful menu, the location, and the high-quality turnkey services offered by the venue made it a stellar experience for both Pomeroy staff and event guests.
The event itself was popping! As Montarano said, “Everyone seemed to be having so much fun! Part of an event’s success is based on attendee interaction, so that was a win.” The VIP room for high-level sponsors actually ran out of space, especially when Mayor Breed arrived to address the special guests. We are fortunate to have a mayor that feels such a connection to the Pomeroy Center and our friends with disabilities.
What will happen to Banner of Love for 2021? We will hold the event - virtually - on Thursday, February 11, 2021. The Auxiliary will continue their role in planning and being at the event as Ambassadors - they will just be welcoming guests virtually.
The platform we plan to use will allow for guests to mingle and socialize with each other as if they were actually together - you’re going to love it! Montarano assures us that the Auxiliary will not let technology be a barrier, and that “once the group decides what we are doing, we go for it!”
Thank you to all of you who supported the event in 2020 -
you helped us raise $318,000! Please mark your calendars
for the evening of Thursday, February 11, 2021, to join us
for another unforgettable night in support of people with disabilities.
PomeroYLIVE: KEEPING ART ACCESSIBLE
PomeroyLIVE 2019-2020 season was livelier than ever -- another outstanding year of building community and inclusion through the arts.
The season opened in September with the insanely talented Carlos Reyes [link: http://www.carlosreyesmusic.com/]. Reyes is a legendary multi-instrumentalist, singer, and bandleader in the Bay Area, bringing in collaborators with connections to Santana, Tower of Power, and more. The audience could hardly stay in their seats for most of the night, grooving to songs by Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Jean Luc Ponty, Norah Jones, and by Carlos himself.
In November, we celebrated Pomeroy’s first-ever Diwali, curated by Pomeroy supporter and Kathak dance teacher Sarika Parekh [link: http://www.sfkalakendra.com/]. Roti Bistro [link: https://rotibistrosf.com/] catered a delicious vegetarian feast and the crowd enjoyed beautiful live music, dance, and Diwali-themed crafts activities for kids.
In early March, just before we couldn’t gather in large groups anymore, Ted Kuster and Friends filled our Main Hall with bluegrass music. Ted and the band visit Pomeroy’s adult day program every month to share the joy of their music, so we were very excited to add them to PomeroyLIVE! While we felt a little like we were dancing on the deck of the Titanic, we couldn’t help but tap our toes and enjoy the beauty of live performance one more time before we were told to hunker down in our homes.
Pomeroy is committed to continuing to present these talented live artists, now via a virtual experience that everyone can enjoy from home! PomeroyLIVE Virtual 2020-2021 features the return of favorite Ramana Vieira and her Fado Ensemble, Comedians with Disabilities, and music of the Roma people. You’re invited to join us for culture and fun! Tickets will go on sale soon.