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Oct 12

Puente gets ready for first Community Health Fair and Bike Rodeo, October 19

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A breast exam. An eye doctor. An STD test. These are all reasons someone on the South Coast might drive 25 miles to the nearest health clinic. Fortunately, anyone who comes to Puente’s inaugural community Health Fair on October 19 will have access to all those medical services – for free.

“There is so much need in the community for preventive services and screenings,” says Molly Wolfes, Puente’s Community Health Coordinator, who has organized the fair.

That will change for good once Puente and its partners at the San Mateo County Health System introduce a new mobile health clinic in 2015.

But in the meantime, the Health Fair will have nearly everything on offer, including Puente’s annual flu vaccination clinic, which will no longer occur during Dia de los Muertos. Professionals will be on hand for hearing tests, skin screening, blood pressure and diabetes screenings, family planning, and referrals for everything mentioned above. Information will also be available about health insurance coverage, CalFresh, and the many programs for which eligible South Coast residents can enroll at Puente.

Puente has invited a number of experts to present workshops as well as to lead exercise sessions on yoga and Zumba. Topics include spiritual health, disaster preparedness, repetitive stress injuries, and preventing harmful pesticide exposure for farm workers.

No Puente event would be complete without healthy snacks, and there will be plenty on hand for kids and adults. Thanks to Kaiser Permanente, Puente now has two blender bikes so attendees can take turns pedaling the blenders to make smoothies. Puente will also raffle off cool donated fitness gear.

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Kids will be happily entertained by a Bike Rodeo, courtesy of the San Mateo County Bike Alternatives Program, Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance, Silicon Valley Bike Coalition, Siena Youth Center, and Anyone who does not own a bike helmet will be given one to keep.

Puente needs your help to make the Health Fair a success. Before October 19, Puente needs to find an optometrist willing to donate four hours’ worth of free eye exams. Puente also needs two people who can help act as Spanish-English translators; a portable massage table; and additional volunteers to help cook healthy food the day before the Health Fair.



Contact Molly Wolfes to help: (650) 262-5989. The Puente Health fair is October 19, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Pescadero Elementary School Multi-Purpose Room, 620 North St.


Oct 11

Guests and Goats Mingle at Harley Farms Fundraiser

Sunshine, goats, ocean air, handmade gourmet food, and big smiles all around – by that measure alone, Puente’s first-ever Fall Harvest Fundraiser was a consummate success. It also achieved its primary objective, raising $32,000 for Puente’s youth programming.

The fundraiser, held September 14, brought 106 Puente supporters to the sunlit pastures of Harley Farms, Pescadero’s acclaimed goat dairy. Unlike most visitors, these special donors had the run of the farm – and a great deal of happy chatter and goat petting ensued.

“Everybody was just so happy to meet everybody else,” recalls Kerry Lobel, Executive Director of Puente.

Supporters also enjoyed a mouth-watering menu of finger foods, prepared in-house by Harley Farms chef Jim Harrington. Dishes included artichoke frittata, stuffed jalapeno peppers, pulled pork from Markegard Family Grass-Fed, lemon cucumbers with Harley Farms tomatoes and thyme, and duck crostini with melted onions and Farmstead quince.

“We had a fabulous afternoon with wonderful people supporting Puente and their involvement in our community. It was a pleasure to host the event and to be a part of our diverse and happy village! I hope we will have the opportunity to do it again,” says Dee Harley, founder of Harley Farms.

Lobel made some remarks inside the farm’s beautiful big barn, along with Program Director Rita Mancera and board members Laura Franco and Mary McMillan. The women updated guests on important goings-on at Puente, including progress on the mobile medical clinic bound for the South Coast in 2015 and Puente’s emerging early literacy programs.

About half the money raised came from foundations and sponsoring corporate partners, and half from individuals. All new and increased donor gifts, and gifts from donors who had not given to Puente in the previous 12 months, will be matched by the Sobrato Family Foundation.

All the money raised at the Harley Farms event will underwrite the costs of Puente’s transformational youth summer program as well as its children’s programming. It’s an essential source of support, says Lobel.

“These unrestricted gifts allow us to be the most flexible and do things other organizations would wait for money to do, like create a youth program. It helps us respond quickly to community needs.”

Click here for more event photos by Lars Howlett.

Sep 01

Puente’s Fall Harvest Fundraiser on September 14

Join Puente as we celebrate our 16th Anniversary at Harley Farms for an afternoon of conversation with Puente neighbors, supporters, volunteers, and friends. The afternoon will include a bounty of delicious hyperlocal foods, including Harley Farms award winning cheeses.

The afternoon will includea tour of Harley Farms, a restored 1910 dairy farm, with 200 alpine goats on nine acres of pasture in Pescadero.

All proceeds will support Puente’s programs for children and youth. For tickets, click here.


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