Campo di Bocce returns after January renovation
In December, longtime Campo di Bocce customers opened their Facebook feeds and saw construction workers in hi-viz outfits stretching sheets of translucent plastic across the popular Los Gatos eatery and sporting hall.
But the facility, one of the community’s mainstay establishments, wasn’t shuttering for good. It was simply getting a spruce-up.
It reopened in mid-January, front desk employee Jase Stone told the Los Gatan on Friday. And now the business is preparing to celebrate a massive milestone.
Campo di Bocce, the Bay Area’s premier bocce facility and restaurant, is marking its 27th anniversary on Feb. 8.
Beginning with a family vacation to his ancestor’s town, Campobasso, Italy, Tom Albanese saw the residents playing bocce and families enjoying a meal at the local bocciodromo (a large building with bocce courts, a restaurant, and bar).
Albanese immediately thought it would be a great idea that might work for families in his hometown of Los Gatos.
When he returned, he explained the concept to his friends of the local Los Gatos Bocce Club and found many of them interested in investing.
He described it as “a place where friends and families could come, learn to play the game and enjoy a great Italian meal.”
With investors and his own funds ready to go, he found an old lumberyard in downtown Los Gatos, perfect for the opportunity. Campo di Bocce was born.
It became an important growth center for the sport of bocce along the West Coast. The site has also played host to countless family gatherings and raised money for many local charities.
Ben Musolf, the company’s COO, says Albanese’s dream came true.
“Campo di Bocce has proven that anyone, of any age can learn and enjoy the sport that’s played by more than 30 million enthusiasts worldwide,” he said.
Los Gatos High School teacher releases history book
Los Gatos High School teacher Tonya McQuade released her first book, “A State Divided: Civil War Letters of James C. Hale and Benjamin Petree of Andrew County, Missouri” on Amazon on Feb. 1.
The book description shares, “‘A State Divided: The Civil War Letters of James Calaway Hale and Benjamin Petree of Andrew County, Missouri’ presents 50 previously unpublished Civil War letters written between 1862-1865 and explains the context in which these two Missouri soldiers and their families found themselves living, both before and during the Civil War, as they watched discord, destruction and bloodshed erupt all around them.”
An accomplished writer, McQuade has been a regular contributor to the Emerging Civil War website, a writer of her own personal blog, Chasing History: Exploring My Ancestral Roots, and a mentor helping her English students publish poetry ebooks.
“Our teachers and support staff are extremely talented and oftentimes experts in their field,” Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District Superintendent Bill W. Sanderson said. “Tonya has always taken the time to bring real-life opportunities into her classroom. This level of personalization to U.S. history will be an added bonus for students as she continues to share her research and knowledge.”
For information, visit chasinghistoricalroots.blogspot.com.
Cregg recognized at University of Mississippi
Mckenzie Cregg of Los Gatos was named to the University of Mississippi’s Fall 2023 Honor Roll lists.
Cregg, majoring in General Business, was named to the Dean’s Honor Roll, which is reserved for students who earn a semester GPA of 3.50-3.74.
In order to be eligible for honor roll designation, a student must have completed at least 12 graded hours for the semester and may not be on academic probation during the semester.
Fund provides $15M to help build affordable housing
California Coalition for Community Investment (CCCI), a group of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) serving California, says it’s received a $50M grant from the State Treasurer’s Office for its California Investment and Innovation Fund Program (Cal IIP).
The first round of $15M will be distributed to over 60 CDFIs across California to invest in some of the state’s greatest needs, including building affordable housing and supporting small businesses. CDFIs are mission-driven lenders that provide responsible financial products and services where mainstream finance doesn’t traditionally invest.
In 2022, the Legislature created Cal IIP, a grant program to empower CDFIs in providing vital programs, including lending and technical assistance, to economically disadvantaged communities across California.
“The Cal IIP program is a critical development tool to help California’s underserved communities overcome economic challenges and I’m thrilled to be putting this money to use,” said California State Treasurer Fiona Ma. “Partners like CCCI empower CDFIs to maximize these resources and serve their communities with programs and services that meet their unique needs.”
One of the beneficiaries of this grant will be Housing Trust Silicon Valley, a nonprofit community loan fund, that has loaned more than $554 million towards the development of affordable homes throughout the greater Bay Area. Housing Trust has created more than 26,000 affordable housing opportunities and helped nearly 50,000 people.
“This is an incredible opportunity for CDFIs across the state” said Noni Ramos, CEO of Housing Trust Silicon Valley, who is also chair of the CCCI. “This visionary fund exemplifies the Legislature’s commitment to economic equity and resilience in communities statewide. Housing Trust is thrilled to continue its efforts in the greater Bay Area region, with the support of the Cal IIP Fund grant, to provide affordable housing that is so critically needed across California.”