Festival Awards $325K to Local Volunteer Groups

The Gilroy Garlic Festival has awarded a record $325,000 to 175 participating non-profit organizations from revenues realized from the 34th annual event, 2012 Festival Association President Hugh Davis announced today.

In addition to the landmark charity distribution, the Festival Board of Directors voted to contribute $50,000 to the Rudy Melone Memorial Scholarship Fund, $9,000 to the Gilroy Unified School District for lunch tables and $8,500 to the Kids Discover Arts program.

The awards bring the 34-year total of monies distributed locally by the internationally renowned three-day summer food extravaganza to $9,737,763. entering the event’s 35th anniversary in 2013.

“The people most responsible for the record amount of this year’s awards are the volunteer leaders who diligently managed expenses and realized that every dollar saved is a dollar returned to their organizations,” explained Davis. “ There is no better time of year to represent the Garlic Festival than after all the bills are paid and the Board of Directors decides how much we can grant back to our volunteer organizations.”

At the 1979 inception Festival founders created the Volunteer Equity Program, whereby profits are allocated to non-profit organizations designated by its work force.

Conducted by 4,000 volunteers, the 2012 Festival, presented by Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill Foods, entertained and fed 100,240 visitors during the last weekend of July.

The Top Five beneficiaries in 2012 are:

  • South Valley Community Church Youth Group, $14,688
  • Gilroy HS/Christopher HS Alliance Choir, $12,224
  • Live Oak Emerald Regime, $11,298
  • Gilroy Gators Swim Team, $11,223
  • Gilroy Hawks Wrestling, $9,539


A complete list of revenue distribution is available here.