The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association announced distributions totaling $275,000 to 132 different charities and non-profit organizations. The 2016 figure brings the Garlic Festival’s 38-year total distributions to $11,206,725.
In the Volunteer Equity Program, instituted by the Gilroy Garlic Festival founders in 1979, net proceeds from the three-day event are distributed to local schools, sports teams, non-profit groups, and service organizations based on the number of hours logged at the Festival by over 4,000 volunteers for those organizations. This year, each volunteer earned the equivalent of $8.00 per hour—one of the highest rates in recent years.
2016 Gilroy Garlic Festival President Dave Reynolds said, “Our volunteers really are the secret ingredient that make the Gilroy Garlic Festival such a special event. I was truly honored to serve as President this year, and I’m thrilled to see the Festival go over the $11 million mark in total donations to the community!”
For 2016, the top five beneficiaries are: South Valley Community Church Youth Group: $13,286.36; Live Oak Emerald Regime: $11,783.10; Gilroy Police Explorers Post 818: $8,988.03; Catamount Actors Theatre Boosters: $8,500.67; Gilroy Gators Swim Team: $8,458.42.