To honor the memory of longtime supporter Dave Mitchell, the Palo Alto Community Fund launched its inaugural Impact Grant in May 2020 with awards to two outstanding local nonprofits:
- Canopy, which aims to grow the urban tree canopy in Midpeninsula communities
- Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA), which provides legal services that improve the lives of families in East Palo Alto and throughout the region.
About Dave Mitchell
Dave Mitchell was a Palo Alto resident, attorney, environmental advocate and passionate community volunteer. When Dave passed away in December 2018, PACF worked with the Mitchell family to design an Impact Grant that would honor his work on behalf of the organization and inspire others to give back to the community.
About the Dave Mitchell Impact Grant
The $75,000 for the inaugural Dave Mitchell Impact Grant came from donations to the Palo Alto Community Fund, and a grant from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The Impact Grant award recipients were chosen by the PACF Board based on their track record of community impact and alignment with issues that were important to the Mitchell family. PACF aims to make the Dave Mitchell Impact Grant part of its annual grantmaking process in years to come.
CLSEPA’s executive director Phil Hwang was thrilled to hear about the Dave Mitchell Impact Grant award, saying “PACF was instrumental in allowing us to expand our housing program years ago. We are so appreciative of the investment you’ve made in us throughout the years. It is heartbreaking to see so many families struggle now, and we will make sure to put the funds to great use in honor of Dave.”
Canopy’s executive director, Catherine Martineau, was also excited to receive this award from PACF, saying, “We truly are honored to receive an Impact Grant. I know Dave Mitchell was a dedicated environmental advocate. In fact, I recently learnt that in his early years as an attorney in our region, he represented families that owned apricot, prune and cherry orchards on the Peninsula as well as major almond growers in California.”
Dave Mitchell’s service to PACF spanned 15 years and included serving on the Board of Directors for 10 years, Advisory Board for four years and as Board President for two years. In addition to his Board service, Dave provided PACF with invaluable legal advice. Dave’s service to PACF was marked by his commitment to strengthening the local community, his integrity, and his big heart. We hope that his example of service inspires others to make a difference. As his daughter remarked, “My Dad’s heart was really an activist’s heart. He had a lot of reverence and cared deeply that humanity had justice.”