Living Treasures runs out of funding options | July 31, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - July 31, 2009

Living Treasures runs out of funding options

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

San Ramon Valley is not out of Living Treasures, but the program to honor such residents is out of money.

"I'm disappointed. I thought it went rather well," said Betty Joyce, a volunteer at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley who inaugurated the program two years ago.

Living Treasures began as a presentation at the Museum but when the program received a $10,000 grant from the Lesher Foundation, it was able to move to the Danville Library and the Community Center. The people honored as Living Treasures were Joan and Don Kurtz, Beverly Lane, Ken Behring and Brent Jones.

Presentations by each of them were well attended. The Kurtzes, who designed the One-Room Schoolhouse program, turned the Diablo Room at the library into a schoolroom, and adults became school children again in an enjoyable trip down Memory Lane. Lane presented historical characters from Danville's past. Behring told his rags to riches story that culminated in the founding of the Wheelchair Foundation; and Jones brought gridiron action alive with his colorful tales of life in the National Football League.

"We applied (for another grant) and Lesher is just not coming through with the grants. There was no real reason," Joyce said.

The Lesher Foundation also has awarded capital grants for museum restoration and in 2005 gave $20,000 toward the History Curriculum of the San Ramon Valley.

"While we have been faithful funders of the museum for the last several years, the current economic development has made all grant-making very competitive," said Kathleen Odne, executive director of the Lesher Foundation. "The foundation continues to greatly admire their work."

Joyce said she is glad that historical lectures will continue in conjunction with the Abraham Lincoln bicentennial being celebrated this year. Gerald S. Henig, emeritus profession of History at Cal State East Bay, will present "Lincoln at 200- In Fact Rather than Fiction," at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Danville Community Center, 420 Front St.

"At the museum we have lots of creative people," said curator Beverly Lane. "We work to have a variety of programs."