Princess Project offers prom dresses for girls low on cash

Courtesy of Apala Egan
As a member of the local National Charity League chapter, Jenny Carmel helped less-fortunate peers secure prom dresses through the nonprofit organization The Princess Project.

As a member of the Stanford Hills Chapter of the National Charity League, which includes Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, Jenny Carmel volunteered at a number of philanthropies, but the one that gave her the deepest satisfaction was The Princess Project.

The Princess Project is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “promote self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who cannot otherwise afford them.” Carmel and her friend Lindsey volunteered with the group for two years.


Los Altos mom of 27 adopted boys shares her journey in new book


Los Altos resident Marian Aiken recently published a memoir chronicling her life as the mother of 27 adopted and foster sons with special needs.

“Derek: A Story of Acceptance, Love and Advocacy for Children Living with Special Needs” (CreateSpace, 2014) recounts Aiken’s nearly four decades of caring for children with physical and developmental challenges, beginning with Derek, who came into her life as an infant in 1979.


Los Altos Neutra House architecture series launches this month with 6 new speakers

The 2015 Los Altos Neutra House Architecture Speaker Series will feature six speakers highlighting various aspects of modern architecture.

The series kicks off Feb. 19 with John Loomis, architect, educator and author of “Revolution of Forms: Cuba’s Forgotten Art Schools” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011). The book examines the convergence and collision of architecture, ideology and culture in 1960s Cuba through the design for the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (National Art Schools). Booth has taught at The City College of New York, the California College of Art, Stanford University and the University of San Francisco. He is currently a professor at San Jose State University.


100 Women Charitable Foundation schedules dinner to disburse $172.5K in grant funding

The 100 Women Charitable Foundation has scheduled its annual dinner and voting event 5:30-9 p.m. March 6 at the Crowne Plaza Palo Alto, 4290 El Camino Real.

The foundation will donate $172,500 to local nonprofit organizations this year. Six grant finalists will give presentations to members, who will vote to award three impact grants of $47,500 each.


Community Briefs

Library hosts talk on artists Kahlo, Rivera

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art docent David Grady is scheduled to present an illustrated lecture on “Frida and Diego: Mexican Originals” 7 p.m. March 2 in the Program Room of the Los Altos main library, 13 S. San Antonio Road.

The discussion will highlight the artistic contributions of Mexican painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Kahlo explored the realities of her life and feelings through her deeply personal art. Rivera was a larger-than-life figure whose murals and paintings reflected his passion for his native country and the social, political and cultural issues of the day. The presentation will delve into their odyssey as a couple and emphasize their many connections to the Bay Area.


Halsey House subject of Feb. 15 meeting

The Friends of Historic Redwood Grove committee is hosting an informational program Feb. 15 on the status of the landmark Halsey House at Redwood Grove.

The program, scheduled to begin 2:15 p.m., includes Katherine Halsey Buss, a granddaughter of the couple who built the family home and planted the redwood trees on the property. The event is being held in the Garden House in Shoup Park at 400 University Ave. For more information,house visit www.friendsofhistoricredwoodgrove.org .

The Halsey House was closed several years ago for health and safety reasons. The Los Altos City Council adopted a Capital Improvement Project (CIP) to define the cost and benefits to renovate and reuse the existing historic landmark building, as well as the cost and benefits to replace it with a purpose –designed facility. Funding for this project is contingent on securing external grants and/or contributions.

The “Friends” came together last August as concerned citizens to work to preserve the historic building and move the process of preservation forward. The City subsequently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) and selected M. Sandoval Architects, Inc., founded by former Los Altos Historical Commissioner Mark Sandoval. The project will cost approximately $25,000 and will begin as soon as the money is raised.

The Friends of Historic Redwood Grove is a designated fund of the Los Altos Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible. Checks payable to the Los Altos Community Foundation, noting “Friends of Historic Redwood Grove” in the memo line, can be delivered to 183 Hillview Ave., Los Altos, CA 94022.

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