Challenges in the local economy forces changes

The challenges in today’s economy forces us to rethink how we go about our everyday lives. Some of us may be insulated from the layouts and financial ruins, but many are having to tighten the belt and look for alternatives in terms of making a living and keeping family together.

Listening to the market, all sectors of the market, is key to understanding the “whys” of the change. Housing affects jobs, affects gasoline, affects everyday purchases affect the necessities and the luxuries of life. 

Philanthropy in the valley has changed. But there are still some that feel that “until I make it financially, I don’t have the time or money to give.” Too often this, “give back to the community” attitude puts the “me” before “we” and the entire community gets the back seat. Instead of “giving back to the community” we should be a “part of the community”. (“giving back” sounds like one is “taking something away).

We need to reaffirm this perspective and live our lives as a partner working towards the sustainability of our neighborhoods and community.


The end of an Era – A Silicon Valley Icon.


2003 board members

2003 board members

First in a series of articles.


One of the icons at the core of Silicon Valley has passed away a few weeks ago. It wasn’t the inventor of the silicon wafer, semiconductor, or the “dot” in the dot com. It wasn’t the computer with a “fruity” name. Nor the next greatest thing on the internet since sliced bread.

Sadly, the Silicon Valley Charity Ball never made it to its twentieth anniversary. Founded during the first boom of Silicon Valley when the tech sector was making its mark in the global forum, the Charity Ball reflected the exuberance and vision of the early pioneers who struck “silicon” gold. “Celebrating fortunes and giving back to the community” was the new mantra that would distinguish Silicon Valley philanthropy as the new model for success.

The Charity Ball mirrored the ups and downs of the Valley as more and more companies jumped on the bandwagon of giving. It was not only the mark of a good corporate citizen, it was an excellent opportunity to “network with the big boys” and a great way to promote one’s company. “Philanthropy” was a full-fledged marketing tool that created critical mass in the media as the “successes of the Valley gave to the needy of the Valley”.

Altruism? Marketing? Compassion? Networking? Opportunities? Social and civic duty? Or just plain fun? Silicon Valley was on a roll, and so was the Ball. How ever one was sucked into the frenzy, the Ball not only gained “traction” for itself, but kicked up charity fundraising in the Valley to heights.

Like the venture companies and the dot com entrepreneurs, there was “no stopping us now” as the bar continued to rise in terms of glitz, glamour and monies raised. “It was fun while it lasted”… “It gave exposure to a lot of smaller non-profits that were below the radar of the general media”… “It introduced the concept of giving to a lot of new tech venture companies”… “Times have changed”.

The rise and fall of a Silicon Valley icon gave birth to new ideas, different perspectives of raising monies, and attempted to “create community” in a diverse land of opportunity for many.

For the many who were involved from all aspects of the community, I welcome your thoughts, memories, critiques and commentaries on the passing of this Silicon Valley icon.

Steve Yamaguma

Cisco Workers Take Cues From a Former Boss

Posted on Wed, Dec. 27, 2006

Cisco Workers Take Cues From a Former Boss
By Sarah Jane Tribble
Mercury News

John Morgridge spent two decades at the top of San Jose’s Cisco Systems, helping build one of Silicon Valley’s biggest technology companies — and in his spare time he bagged groceries for the needy…

Perhaps the best known story about Morgridge’s giving is when he surprised organizers of the now defunct annual Silicon Valley Charity Ball one year by walking up to the stage and offering to auction the shirt off his back — literally the tuxedo shirt he wore to dinner. The first year he raised $5,000 for charity. Several years later during the last ball, it went for $25,000.

Hello world!

Welcome to Silicon Valley Charity Ball retrospective site.

We will be posting articles, photos, and information about the Silicon Valley Charity Ball in its 19 year reign.

Thank you for visiting.