Napa’s Jenna Bolyarde: From homeless woman to homeless advocate

From a Napa Valley Register article updated on July 17th, 2017 by Jennifer Huffman.

Jenna Bolyarde’s life has definitely had some dramatic twists and turns.

Over an 18-month period several years ago, Bolyarde was homeless. She lived in her car or slept on couches or even on the bathroom floor of a hospital.

As if that wasn’t enough, at the same time Bolyarde was also an IV heroin user who had lost custody of both of her children. She spent time in jail, on probation and in multiple rehabilitation programs.

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The foundation of a community

From a Napa Valley Register article updated on March 29th, 2017 by the Napa Valley Register Editorial Board, which consists of Publisher Brenda Speth, Editor Sean Scully, and public members Cindy Webber, Ed Shenk, Mary Jean Mclaughlin and Chris Hammaker.

Erecting a bunch of buildings and calling it a “city” is easy. Assembling a bunch of people and calling it a “community” is an entirely different matter.

What constitutes a healthy “community” is difficult to say precisely, but certainly a key element is a willingness of its members to help one another – from acts of heroism and large-scale philanthropy down to routine daily interactions, volunteering, serving, even just smiling and greeting. It is the routine acts of casual charity that define what it means to be “us.”

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Gasser Foundation makes a difference

From a Napa Valley Register article posted on March 31st, 2017 by Yvonne Baginski

As a recipient of funds from the Gasser Foundation, I'd like to add a few more points to the wonderful editorial published recently in the Register ("The foundation of a community," March 26).

There is much to say about the terrific people who work there, the kind and generous board members and the leadership that takes risks on helping fund innovative and forward-thinking projects that make such a significant difference in our community. These are people with vision and perspective. They don't rely on what was, but are looking forward to what could be. And, they're very realistic, down to earth and know Napa well.

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Catholic Charities’ Nightingale Center to provide medical respite for Napa County

Catholic Charities’ Shelter and Housing Department will operate the Nightingale Center at 1950 Jefferson Street as a medical respite center for patients from the Queen of the Valley and St. Helena hospitals that can be discharged but have no place to continue recovery. It is critical that clients be released to a safe and stable environment to minimize recidivism. The facility will have 11 beds to provide temporary on-site residential medical care.

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Gasser Foundation buys embattled Napa site for affordable housing

From a Napa Valley Register article updated on December 3rd, 2016 by Barry Eberling

Gasser Foundation will attempt to overcome stumbling blocks that stymied Bridge Housing Corp. of San Francisco and bring affordable housing to a northeast Napa property.

The Foundation is known for distributing millions of dollars to local nonprofits. It recently bought the former Sunrise Assisted Living of Napa property at 3700 Valle Verde Drive from Bridge for more than $5 million.

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Gasser Foundation Welcomes Nancy Watt as Grant Consultant

nancyThe Gasser Foundation is happy to announce the addition of Nancy Watt to the Gasser team as Grant Consultant. Nancy comes to the Foundation after three decades with the County of Napa — first as a Management Specialist, and then as Chief Executive Officer for the last 12 years. The Gasser Foundation hopes to make the most of her experience and remarkable skills for years to come.

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Transforming Lives Through Education: Exploring the Partnership Between the Gasser Foundation and Justin-Siena

Excerpted from a Justin-Siena article on August 9, 2016

What do an old Napa card room and a cleverly named Pale Ale at Downtown Joe’s have to do with the history and viability of Justin-Siena? Fortunately in 1970s Napa, the early years of Justin-Siena, a few downtown businessmen and community leaders understood the important role a school like Justin-Siena played in their community and shared an interest in supporting the school.

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Wolfe Center Building Donated to Aldea

“In 2014, The Gasser Foundation made a generous gift of the Wolfe Center building to Aldea Children & Family Services. This gift greatly enhanced the agency’s balance sheet. More importantly, however, this gift has meant that each year instead of spending well over $100,000 in occupancy costs to deliver programming, this money can be used for staff to deliver much needed treatment and prevention services to youth in need of help and support. Quite literally, this gift means that hundreds of vulnerable people each year will get the services they need in order to repair their lives and have brighter futures who would otherwise go unserved due to resources needing to go to pay for occupancy costs. This has allowed Aldea to deepen our impact by serving more people. On behalf of those people in need that we serve, I say thank you to the Gasser Foundation on their behalf.” — Mark Bontrager, Executive Director, Aldea Children & Family Services

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Volunteer Center of Napa Valley

During the last few years, the former Volunteer Center of Napa Valley has found stability and an enhanced mission by merging with the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership, a move supports through grants from the Gasser Foundation. This merged effort, now called Volunteer Napa responded immediately and effectively to two major catastrophes in our region, the earthquake in August, 2014 and the Lake County fires in September, 2015. The group has been widely commended, helping literally hundreds of families in a myriad of ways, with shelter, food, clothing, medical care and repairs. And in the midst of all of this volunteer response, the agency has also brought staff and board development opportunities and training to dozens of nonprofit agencies. They have also revived the wonderful celebration of volunteerism, an annual luncheon called Heart of Napa.

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“Improving Quality of Life”

Excerpted from NorthBay biz Magazine‘s January 2016 article by Jean Saylor Doppenberg featuring The Gasser Foundation:

“The residents of the city of Napa have a special friend in the Gasser Foundation. Pete and Vernice “Pat” Gasser were lifelong Napa residents and community boosters who built a multimillion-dollar business empire. Pete got his start in banking, then moved into used car sales, eventually opening a Dodge dealership called Gasser Motors that he ran for 30 years before selling the business in 1965.

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