Gitane boutique hosts fundraiser for PRERNA refugee organization

Elizabeth Barcelos/Town Crier
PRERNA volunteers welcomed shoppers to their trunk sale fundraiser, co-hosted by Gitane Freedom of Style boutique in downtown Los Altos. Supporters include, from left, Farah Al Saka, Shreyani Shah, Karen Mecker and Dharini Hiremagalur.

With the idea that the season of giving shouldn’t apply just to friends and family, Gitane Freedom of Style boutique on State Street in downtown Los Altos hosted a holiday trunk show fundraiser Nov. 9 for the refugee support organization PRERNA.

In addition to offering shoppers 15 percent off their purchases, Gitane donated 20 percent of the evening’s sales to the nonprofit agency.

Mountain View mom takes design skill from kitchen table to factory floor with baby bowl

Photos courtesy of Brooke Boak
The Nummy Bowl is the work of Mountain View mom and product developer Brooke Boak. Boak’s daughters were heavily involved in the testing phase.

After having two daughters, Mountain View resident Brooke Boak had an experience familiar to all parents – scoop oatmeal into a glass bowl, microwave, transfer it to a less fragile vessel for the sloppy circus of baby self-feeding, then face a sink full of dishes. But she also brought a product design focus to her experience in the family kitchen.

“I’ve been in China and seen how the plastics are made. Even if they say they are BPA-free, I wouldn’t trust it,” she noted. “Everything in our house is glass, steel or silicone.”

LAH-based agriculture titan adds a tiny sideline, in wine

Photos Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
John Vidovich grows Cabernet Sauvignon grapes at his Los Altos Hills home.

If you visit Los Altos Hills resident John Vidovich’s office on San Antonio Road, row after row of filing cabinets list agriculture companies and land holdings, ranging from pomegranate juice bottling to almond processing, with property records organized by county spanning Kern, Kings, Tulare and beyond.

LARC prepares Matrix launch

Elizabeth Barcelos/Town Crier
Los Altos Research Center plans to open its doors next month to introduce the Matrix, a new data-sharing program that seeks to take on and eventually replace the internet.

While Peet’s Coffee & Tea on State Street bustles with customers, things are much quieter next door at Los Altos Research Center.

The storefront is usually empty and easy to walk past without noticing. You have to ring a doorbell to gain entry, if you’re lucky enough to score an invite.

LAH couple donates $50M to Iowa State business school

Courtesy of Iowa State University College of Business
Los Altos Hills residents Jerry and Debbie Ivy donated $50 million to the Iowa State University College of Business. Their gift will primarily support a supply chain management program.

Los Altos Hills residents Debbie and Jerry Ivy’s $50 million donation to the Iowa State University College of Business, the largest in the university’s history, has led to another Iowa State first.

Pending approval of the Iowa Board of Regents, the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business will be the first donor-named college at the university.

Local fitness company celebrates finding time to move, one day at a time

Mountain View resident Reena Vokoun’s parent-and-child yoga classes, filmed for broadcast via YouTube, are a family affair. Vokoun, owner of Passion Fit, teaches a variety of high-energy classes.

Mountain View resident Reena Vokoun’s passion for balancing mind and body found a first local outlet when she began leading yoga at her sons’ Springer School, focusing on body awareness, breathing and mindfulness – tools to manage stress and hone focus and balance.

Her idea found a fit with local parents, too, and three years ago she founded a wellness business – Passion Fit – to expand her adult offering to nearby companies as well as online.

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