Here are two names you should immediately associate with the YWCA of Silicon Valley: Tanis Crosby and Geena Davis.
Crosby is the new CEO of the San Jose-based agency, arriving here in February after 10 years leading the YWCA of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
No doubt the community will get to meet her April 12 at the 12th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event to support the YWCA's Rape Crisis Center. That's the event where guys step into high-heeled women's shoes and take a stroll around downtown San Jose, raising money and awareness as they go.
In the past, it's been a midweek event held in the afternoon, but it's taking place on a Saturday morning this year. Maybe the 10 a.m. start at Plaza de Cesar Chavez will get a few more men involved. Register for that at www.ywca-sv.org.
And what about Geena Davis? If you haven't guessed, the Oscar-winning actress (and world-class archer) will be the keynote speaker at the YWCA's 24th annual luncheon on Oct. 9 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The fundraiser always draws a huge crowd and attracts some truly amazing speakers, including Jane Goodall, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Billie Jean King and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
The lunch isn't a ticketed event, but a donation is expected. For more information on attending, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAT'S MEOW: An allergy has kept me from ever being much of a "cat person," but there I was on a rainy Saturday afternoon surrounded by dozens of people doing a lot of good for cats in the San Jose community.
We were all at "Downton Tabby," the clever title of 13th Street Cat Rescue's sixth annual fundraising tea at the Bowman mansion in downtown's Hensley Historic District.
Miranda von Stockhausen and Diana Hardick organized a top-notch afternoon English tea with all the trimmings. And you couldn't find a more appropriate location than the 1888 Victorian owned by Lance Shoemaker and James Williams, who have hosted this event the past two years. (Ironically, they're not really cat people, either, and have a pair of Greyhounds). I'm not surprised the two-day event sold out 120 seats in a week.
If you're unfamiliar with 13th Street Cat Rescue, Joanne Santner started the neighborhood volunteer group near downtown San Jose in 2005 to improve the lives of cats in the area. They get the cats foster homes and medical care for cats when needed and controlling the population through "trap-neuter-return." You can get more info on the group at its website, www.13thstcats.org.