‘He always helped’
He ALWAYS helped — let us return the same!
I am writing to share the story of a dear friend of mine and of many in the Cambria area and beyond and to ask for your help.
Pat Gannon is battling early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. All of you who know him know what an amazing person he is and has always been — creative, kind, funny and generous to a fault. He literally saved lives in this community through his committed 12-Step involvement.
In all his years as a builder, contractor, cabinet maker and fine woodworker he added great beauty to the community and many peoples’ homes while at the same time mentoring and helping other contractors and builders. He often shared his knowledge and skills with young people to give them a start in the craft he knew so well.
Skip Moss tells a story typical of Pat’s generosity: “Pat has been a friend since the first month I moved to Cambria in 1984. One of the most caring people I have known, who would drop everything to help someone in need. He ‘loaned’ me his shop to build my doors and windows and we worked together for a couple of years. Connie, his wife, is his full time caregiver, and now they both need our help. Her blog says it all: www.dwindlinglight.blogspot.com.”
Cut down by dementia in his mid-50s at the peak of his career, Pat is now nine years into the disease and needs skilled care. Connie is helping him at home, but nine years of care-giving, the last 14 months full-time, has drained their finances. A care facility will cost between $3,500 and $8,000 per month.
This is a chance for us to thank Pat for what he gave to Cambria and to many of us individually! I am asking on his behalf as he can no longer reach out for himself. My remembrances of Pat are many and varied and detailed — but one that always comes to mind is what a brilliant mind he had — an unparalleled problem-solver, a never-ending lover of quality and beauty.
Many times in the past years as his connection to this part of himself was distancing, I would say to him: “Pat, if you forget half of what you know, you will still know more than most people ever know.”
If you don’t know Pat, it’s a way to honor a loved one you’ve lost to Alzheimer’s or another dementia, or “pay it forward” for any reason. Our hearts tell us when to help!
There is an online campaign at fundrazr.com and it is shared on Facebook, but I realized many in Cambria would not use those vehicles, so I set up an account at Heritage Oaks Bank, 1276 Tamson Drive (up by the Cookie Crock), to offer others the opportunity to be apart of helping Pat.
You can make donations at the bank or mail them to me at P.O. Box 1513, Cambria CA 93428. Checks should be made to: Pat Riley FBO Pat Gannon.
Please remember that no amount is too small — $1 is an acknowledgement and they do mount up! On behalf of Pat and Connie Gannon, from my heart, thank you.
Making world better
Six large, richly colored mosaics surround the entrance doors to the auditorium at the Cambria Grammar School. Each illustrates “Making our World a Better Place.” In 2011 children in the third, fourth and fifth grades were guided by April Benham (teacher), Stephanie Arehart (artist in residence), and Susan Atencio (community volunteer).
They created visions of how we can make our world a better place by taking care of the forest, birds, ocean, composting, planting gardens, and keeping the world beautiful.
Chris Corbet Construction kindly mounted the mosaics on the walls.
In The Cambrian of May 23, a photo of five retiring teachers tells us that the careers of these educators were 144 years of fun. Day by day they made the world — children, colleagues, volunteers, parents, communities, environment — a better place.
To see the world’s beauty, visit the artful mosaics. To assist learning, volunteer with young readers or older mathematicians. To thank teachers and staff, support them in imaginative ways.
To April Benham, Terri Amberg, Steve Dunn, Kit Hansen and Sally DiMaggio, give a merry, grateful “fare well”!
Polishing the diamond
The coaching staff would like to thank the Coast Union High School field maintenance staff — Rocky, Mitch and Mike — for their hard work to keep the Bronco diamond one of the most beautiful places to play on the Central Coast.
We would also like to thank the Sons of the American Legion for their time and their excellent barbecue skills during our Cambria Day and CIF quarter-finals game. It really creates an atmosphere of baseball — “can you smell those tasty hot dogs?”
We would also like to thank the Coast Union High School faculty for excusing our athletes from class three to five minutes early on big game days. It’s amazing what five minutes can do for mental game prep.
In addition, we would like to thank KTEA 103.5-FM for broadcasting our games. I’d say that there isn’t another high school on the Central Coast that has their games on the air and streamed live over the Internet. It feels like the big time!
And, finally, we would like to give a big thanks to our fans, the community.
Head Coach Brian Machado, Assistance Coach Mike Mclaughin, Assistant Coach Steve Kniffen
Coast Union High School baseball team