Gilroy Today 2007 07 July/Aug - Page 16

garlic festival , continued from page 1

Parents and kids of all ages scour the park and pick-up the trash left by festival goers . When the gates close each night , the grounds look pretty bad but when they open the next day , they are fresh and clean … thanks to the many hands of the Gators . In 2006 the Gators earned over $ 6,000 . Jay Baksa , full-time Gilroy City Administrator and part-time GHS basketball coach , explains how he uses the Garlic Festival garbage pick-up as the first try-out for incoming basketball players , “ It answers questions like : How hard do they work ? Do they follow instructions ? Do they work well with others ?” he notes .
“ Garlic Festival .”
Gilroy High School receive over $ 50,000 from volunteer hours at the Festival last year . “ Without the Garlic Festival we would have a lot more candy sales and some programs would not be alive . Where else could we raise $ 50,000 on one weekend ?” states Jack Daley , Activities Director , Gilroy High School . It is no surprise that Gilroy High School hosts a team in every sport and attends numerous tournaments year-round . Both Jack Daley and Garlic Festival Director , Brian Bowe , refer to the Garlic Festival logos on the GHS Student Activity Center with pride .
Often we forget about the impact of the festival year-round . Besides giving Gilroy an identity , a spirit of
Travel anywhere today and mention that you are from Gilroy and someone will say
volunteerism and dollars to support our non-profit organizations , it has spawned numerous business ventures . One of the most prominent effect has been a viable and effective Chamber of Commerce ; in large part due to the profits from beer sales at the Festival . Businesses around town that have keyed off the garlic branding include Garlic World , Garlic City Mercantile , Garlic Festival Foods ( no direct association to the Gilroy Garlic Festival Association ), Garlic Glass , Garlic Shoppe and garlic . com Soon the Garlic Festival building downtown will host offices for the Association , retail space and condos .
The Garlic Festival might be a great event to the rest of the world but to the citizens of this beautiful little town it is a source of community pride and energy .
2006 Gilroy Festival Committee Photo by Bill Strange

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