CowParade SLO raises $250,000 for over 40 local nonprofits

San Luis Obispo County

CowParade San Luis Obispo County, a public art and charity event that took place from September 2016 to May 2017, raised $250,653 for more than 40 local nonprofits.

CowParade has been held around the world, typically in large cities, such as Paris, New York and Rome. Local dairy farmer Alan Vander Horst applied for a CowParade in San Luis Obispo County, having seen the original CowParade in Chicago back in 1999.

CowParade entails artists creating art out of life-sized fiberglass cow statues. Those art pieces then are displayed in public for several months. CowParade SLO County featured 101 cows, which were auctioned off at the finale event in May.

Jesse/Jane, a cow sponsored by Barnett Cox & Associates and created by artist Dennis Bredow, earned the highest bid in San Luis Obispo County at $45,000, which supported the 40 Prado Homeless Services Center. The auction benefited three main charities — the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, ARTS Obispo and the California Mid-State Fair Heritage Foundation — but cow sponsors could also choose the charity they wished to benefit.

San Luis Obispo

French Hospital Medical Center Foundation will honor Noreen Martin with the 2017 Louis Tedone, MD, Humanitarian Award for her dedication to the well-being of the San Luis Obispo community, leadership and philanthropic efforts.

The award was established in 2006 to recognize the remarkable contributions of those who dedicate themselves to improving the health and well-being of their communities. Martin will be presented with the award at foundation’s annual Celebration of Caring Gala on Aug. 19.

Martin founded Martin Resorts in 1998 with her late husband. She has successfully propelled the business to become one of the top private, female-owned employers in the country.

Good News? Send word of accomplishments in your community. Email:

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune