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Donors Boost Party Cache to Honor City
Fremont's 50th birthday committee gets $450,000 windfall at fund-raiser

by Scott Wong, Staff Writer
Fremont Argus
July 8, 2005

FREMONT Celebrate Fremont, the community group planning the city's 50th birthday bash next year, hit the jackpot at a recent invitation-only fund-raiser, when about 20 local businesses gave more than $450,000.

Contributions from a number of other donors including New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. and the city, which kick-started the fund-raising campaign earlier this year put the total amount raised for the celebration close to $500,000. Organizers are hoping to collect $750,000.

Some donors also have pledged to provide space for future fund-raising events, print T-shirts and programs, and donate water and other supplies.

Since January, an army of volunteers has been planning for the main event, a two-day party called "Celebrate Fremont @ The Park" set for Sept. 9-10, 2006, in Central Park. The city turns 50 on Jan. 23.

Those leading the planning efforts were "humbled and overwhelmed" by the donations, announced last week at a fund-raiser dinner at Massimo's restaurant.

"All the planning we have done and reaching out to the community to get ideas is great, but if we don't have funding to carry out those plans, then they are just great ideas and great concepts," said Fremont business consultant Irene Koehler, chairwoman of the group's executive steering committee. "This makes a reality of what we were all envisioning."

Dale Hardware, Fremont Bank and other corporate donors have a storied history and deep roots in Fremont. Others, such as Pan Pacific Bank and The Saddle Rack, are relatively new in town but say they are quickly becoming part of the community.

"We're very happy we made the choice to come to Fremont," said Andy Buchanan, co-owner of The Saddle Rack, which served line dancers and country music enthusiasts in San Jose for a quarter-century before moving to Fremont in 2003. "Our employees enjoy it as well as our customers, and donating was the right thing to do for the city of Fremont."

Jack Brooks, a developer and property manager whose Fremont company built nearly 25,000 houses in neighborhoods such as Ardenwood, Sundale and Brookvale, said he gave $50,000 to celebration efforts because he's played such a major role in the city's development.

"I've been in business with an office in Fremont for over 50 years, so I've seen the city grow from 20,000 people to what it is now," said Brooks, who in the mid-1950s helped form the committee to incorporate the city and calls himself the "midwife" of Fremont. "And I will continue to do business in Fremont."

For information about Celebrate Fremont or to donate, call (510) 790-9352 or log on to

Staff writer Scott Wong covers the city of Fremont for The Argus. He can be reached at (510) 353-7002 or

Celebrate Fremont's Biggest Donors


  • Ardenbrook Inc. Property Management

  • Catellus Development Corp.

  • Dale Hardware

  • Fremont Bank

  • Santa Clara Development

  • SummerHill Homes


  • CalCoast Financial

  • The Saddle Rack

  • Washington Hospital Healthcare System


  • Balch Enterprises

  • Charter Properties

  • City of Fremont

  • Fremont Auto Mall

  • Gonsalves & Kozachenko Law Firm

  • Mission Peak Co.

  • Murco Management

  • New United Motors Manufacturing, Inc.

  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation

  • Pan Pacific Bank

  • Synnex Corporation

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43575 Mission Blvd., #210    Fremont, CA 94539

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