Parties: Creating Community on the Peninsula

by Katie Sweeney | Photography by Slava Blazer Photography

“Ask me what Peninsula Family Service does, and I will tell you, we change lives,” Heather Cleary, the nonprofit’s CEO, said at the start of the Hillsborough Auxiliary to Peninsula Family Service’s 58th annual gala on March 12 at Menlo Circus Club.

Two hundred elegantly clad guests, including former Burlingame mayors Ann O’Brien and Donna Colson, enjoyed a live jazz band, surf and turf dinner, and wines by Flowers. The event, which also included an auction and dancing, raised more than $500,000 for Peninsula Family Service, thanks in no small part to Ron Lynch, the organization’s board chair, who served as the evening’s emcee and auctioneer.

The funding helps ensure that the San Mateo–based community center, which offers 39 distinct programs that support every stage of life, can continue its critical work. Cleary explained it best when she said, “We advocate for the youngest in our community with high-quality early learning centers, we help stabilize individuals and families, we battle isolation, we advance employment opportunities, and much more. We are opening doors and changing lives.

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