News and Past Events


BCF Provides Grant to The Upcoming

Benicia Dog Festival NEW!

Benicia, CA.  The Benicia Community Foundation (BCF) is proud to announce its financial support of the October 17th Benicia Dog Festival—organized for the rescue and care of animals affected by natural disasters in our region.

Last week, BCF board members presented Dog Festival founders Gaul Culley and Kelly Dillingham with a general grant to help to support the event.

“I would like to sincerely thank The Benicia Community Foundation for their generous support of the inaugural year of The Benicia Dog Festival,” said Gaul Culley, event Founder.

“Kelly (Kelly Dillingham, Operations Coordinator, The Benicia Dog Festival) and I had a chance to meet with the Board of Directors of the BCF; made up of individuals that have families that have lived in Benicia for multiple generations. We were invited to share the vision of the Benicia Dog Festival and the Board was so very supportive.  We are very grateful; to be acknowledged by the Benicia Community Foundation,” she added.

“We are so honored to partner with the team organizing The Benicia Dog Festival,” said David Batchelor, BCF Chair, “BCF brings heart to solving community challenges and is dedicated to supporting our community and local charities, while building community camaraderie,” he added.

According to Ms. Culley, “Not only is this festival going to serve as a fun day to celebrate our most loyal members of the community- DOGS! but also serves as a fundraiser to support the organizations that rescue and care for animals that are affected by natural disasters and declared emergencies.  The funds raised from this event will not be used until there is need from a natural disaster or a declared emergency occurs in our area.  The Solano Association of Realtors Foundation, who is a 501c3 organization that is overseen by members of our community that are in the real estate industry.”

“It is our mission to build strong, giving relationships with many Benicia non-profit organizations with grant donations that help each achieve their community-based goals,” added BCF Executive Director Terry Scott. 

“Supporting The Benicia Dog Festival is a perfect example of a local partnership between two local groups to make Benicia a better place through active philanthropy,” said Donna Koontz, BCF Board Secretary.   

The Benicia Dog Festival is a one-day free admission event on October 17 from 11AM-4PM.  Some of the fun things that will be happening at the event include a dog and me agility contest, red carpet runway costume contest, pet adoption event, shopping at vendor booths, and K9 Police demonstrations, to name a few.  At 3:30PM, there will be a pet blessing for the dogs at the event and a ladybug release honoring our furry friends that are no longer with us.

The Benicia Community Foundation joins a special group of sponsors that include:  Valero, NexGen K9 Dog Training, CrossCountry Mortgage,Twin Oaks Real Estate, Inc. Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific, ReMax Gold, Krystle Properties Compass, Creative Clips, Benicia Plumbing, Fairway Mortgage, Junk 180, Sandovals, Featherer Pet, A Zillion Air, Inc., ZW Branding.  

Attending the grant presentation was BCF Chair David Batchelor, Kristine Passalacqua, Vice Chair, Steven Green, CFO, Kathy Adams, COO, Donna Koontz, Board Secretary and Terry Scott, Executive Director. Representing The Benicia Dog Festival was founder Gaul Culley and Kelly Dillingham, Operations Coordinator.

For Information on The Benicia Dog Festival please visit BeniciaDogFestival.com.

BCF Supports Benicia’s Makerspace with Grant

Benicia, CA.  Benicia’s Makerspace became the second recipient of a grant from Benicia Community Foundation (BCF) during a donation ceremony recently held with executive members of both non-profit organizations.  

The donation was given to support the organizations commitment to inspiring and empowering members of all ages in our community.  Members of both organization’s Boards met at the elaborate Makerspace work space off East 2nd Street which is located in the Benicia Industrial Park.   

“I would like to express my gratitude to the BCF for their gracious grant to support the Benicia Makerspace,” noted Makerspace Board Member Jim Kennon.   “This is especially beneficial to us as, due to the Covid pandemic we haven’t been able to host our annual STEAM Discovery Festival.  The SDF is usually our largest fund raiser that brings hands on exhibits and activities to the community.”   

According to Aaron Newcomb, Founder/President of Benicia Makerspace, “We are a non-profit organization, founded in 2014, where people can come together to learn, collaborate, invent, prototype, and test new ideas using state-of-the-art equipment.”

He added, “We have a community shop where students, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs can make things, use shared equipment, learn new skills, and incubate new business ideas”. 

“Moreover,” he added, “Areas of interest include 3D printing, Laser cutting, IoT (Internet Of Things), electric vehicles, alternative energy, sustainability, robotics, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, vintage computers, woodworking, and metalworking.

“We are so honored to partner with Makerspace which actively helps support STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education and awareness in Benicia,” said David Batchelor, BCF Chair. 

“BCF brings heart and financial resources to solving community challenges and is dedicated to supporting our community and local charities, while building community camaraderie,” he added.

“It is BCF’s mission to build strong charitable relationships with many Benicia non-profit organizations like Markerspace which fill genuine needs in our community.  Recently, BCF provided Carquinez Village with a financial support and we have others grants in development,” added BCF Executive Director Terry Scott

“These partnerships we are building in our community we believe will make Benicia a better place through active philanthropy,” said Donna Koontz, BCF Board Secretary.  

According to Makerspace Treasurer Ben Parsons, the funds awarded to the organization will help support a wide array or projects including teaching students coding, working with 3-D printers and a host of expanded opportunities for its members. 

Board Member Mr. Kennon said Benicia Makerspace offers monthly memberships with 24/7 access to tools and equipment for adults and a discounted rate for students. 

Joining Mr. Newcomb for the donation ceremony presentation was Mr. Parsons, Treasurer and Mr. Kennon, Board Member.  Representing the BCF were Mr. Batchelor, Chair, Ms. Koontz, Board Secretary and Mr. Scott, Executive Director.

According to Mr. Newcomb Benicia Makerspace is always in need of volunteers and donations to keep costs down. If you can donate time, equipment, or money you can contact them by sending an email to info@beniciamakerspace.org.

To get information about prior STEAM Discovery Festivals, news about the next event, entering your own exhibits, volunteering, or to see updates about some of the new exhibits the Makerspace is building visit “steamdiscoveryfestival.com”.

For more general information about Benicia Makerspace please visit BeniciaMakerspace.org

Foundation Provides Grant to Carquinez Village

Benicia, CA.  Carquinez Village became the first of many Benicia Community Foundation (BCF) Grantees during a donation ceremony recently held with executive members of both non-profit organizations.  With the Benicia Senior Center as a backdrop, board members of the BCF presented Carquinez Village with a monetary donation to help the many senior programs in our community. 

“According to Judith Donaldson, Founder and President Emeritus of Carquinez Village, “It is an honor to have been selected by the Foundation to receive this grant.  We are honored with your trust in us to use your resources wisely.”

“The Benicia Community Foundation grant will make a significant difference to Carquinez Village. We are investing it in ways that will strengthen our technological capacity––which is critical if we are to serve our members and stay abreast of the times,” added Ms. Donaldson.

“Specifically, we plan to purchase the technology that will enable us to simultaneously deliver our programs online and in person. This new hybrid programming model, which has emerged as a result of the pandemic, looms large for villages like Carquinez Village.”

“Secondly, we plan to use the funds for something that has been on our wish list for some time: tech support for our members. As you can imagine, this is particularly relevant to our population of older adults. They need help!” 

“Your grant will allow us to determine how best to deliver support and build a foundation for the future. Our deep appreciation for enabling us to strengthen our technological capacity. We will do our best to represent the Benicia Community Foundation,” she noted. 

Carquinez Village is a vibrant organization of active and engaged older adults. They believe in transforming aging into a time of opportunity, connection, and meaning at whatever level is possible for each person. They invite you to join a community of older adults who are learning and thriving together.

“We are so honored to partner with Carquinez Village which actively helps our senior community,” said David Batchelor, BCF Chair. “BCF brings heart to solving community challenges and is dedicated to supporting our community and local charities, while building community camaraderie,” he added.

“It is our mission to build a strong giving relationship with many Benicia non-profit organizations like Carquinez Village and also providing other Benicia non-profit organizations with financial support,” added BCF Executive Director Terry Scott.  

“This is a perfect example of a local partnership between two local groups to make Benicia a better place through active philanthropy,” said Donna Koontz, BCF Board Secretary.  

Joining Judie Donaldson for the donation ceremony presentation was Susan Neuhaus, Board President.  Representing the BCF were David Batchelor, Chair, Donna Koontz, Board Secretary and Terry Scott, Executive Director.

Benicians Adopting Benicia helps spruce-up Alvarez 9th Street Park. 

Using wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes and lots of very early morning determination, more than 30 volunteers faced the low morning temperature and coastal fog on Saturday, July 24 to undertake a sizable spruce-up of Benicia’s Alvarez Park at W 9th Street.  

The volunteer event was sponsored by Benicians Adopting Benicia (BAB) which is part of the newly formed Benicia Community Foundation (BCF) and received significant support from the City’s Parks and Community Services Department. 

“The City estimates our volunteers spread between 40 and 60 yards of much needed mulch around the park”, said BCF Vice Chair Kristine Passalacqua.  “The City provided the mulch that was then spread across the park by the volunteers including City Council member Lionel Largaespada,” she added. 

In addition to the materials the City provided, Bruce Adams, owner of Bottom of the Fifth Bar and Restaurant,  donated lunch for all participants.

BCF Board Member Kathy Smith said, “ it was a wonderful community turnout. Thank you for your hard work it was deeply appreciated.  Plus, we also lucked out from the weather in keeping us cool.”

According to Terry Scott, BCF Executive Director, “The BAB is doing an incredible job of collaborating with the City to provide volunteer resources to continuing its mission of beautifying our community. “

”BAB was created to bring community volunteers together to assist in the care, maintenance and beautification of our many city parks, open spaces and other sites,”said Ms. Passalacqua. 

BCF’s Chair David Batchelor added that “I want to thank our local volunteer’s for helping us this last weekend. We are so grateful for supporting our projects and helping to make our community a better place to live, work and play!!”

“BAB is currently developing a number of new community improvement projects and we will be letting the community know when and how they can volunteer to help make Benicia a better place,” noted Ms. Passalacqua.

For more information on Benicians Adopting Benicia or Benicia Community Foundation, please continue to visit this website.

Long-time Benicia Resident Donna Koontz joins Board of Directors as Board Secretary

The Benicia Community Foundation receives donation from local Kaneka Aerospace.

With the iconic City Park Gazebo as a backdrop, board members of the Benicia Community Foundation recently accepted a generous monetary donation from representatives of locally headquartered Kaneka Aerospace LLC, which is located in the city’s Industrial Park. “As Kaneka Aerospace LLC is focused on being a good community partner, we are honored to representContinue reading “The Benicia Community Foundation receives donation from local Kaneka Aerospace.”

Benicia’s Historic Cemetery receives a well-deserved clean up from the BAB this past Earth Day, May 1.

More than 50 volunteers armed with rakes, shovels, pitchforks, tarps and lots of determination braved the high winds and low morning temperature last Saturday to undertake a considerable clean-up of the city’s historic cemetery.  “It was totally a community effort’, said BCF Vice Chair Kristine Passalacqua.  “While the volunteers came equipped with the needed gardeningContinue reading “Benicia’s Historic Cemetery receives a well-deserved clean up from the BAB this past Earth Day, May 1.”