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Past Galas

Author's Gala 2016

Michael Chabon

The fifth annual Author's Gala was held Saturday, April 30, 2016. This year’s event featured Pulitzer Prize-winning Michael Chabon, in conversation with KQED Silicon Valley Correspondent Rachael Myrow. The event was held at Green Hills Country Club in Millbrae.

If you were unable to attend and would like to make a donation to our Fund-a-Need, click below:

find a need

Funds raised through the 2016 Author’s Gala will go toward increasing access to our wonderful public library. Beginning July 1:

  • The Main Library will be open until 9 pm Monday through Thursday
  • Both the Marina and Hillsdale branch libraries will increase their hours to 40 per week

Now you’ll have more time for to Discover, Enjoy, Connect and Learn at all the San Mateo Public Libraries.


Pictures from the Gala

Gala 2016

Gala 2016

Gala 2016

Gala 2016

Author's Gala 2015!

Joyce Carol Oates
photo: Michel Spingler

Mark your calendar for Author's Gala 2015! Scheduled for Saturday, April 25, our signature fundraising event will feature best-selling author Joyce Carol Oates whose work in a variety of genres and formats has won a host of literary recognition and legions of devoted fans. To be held at the elegant Peninsula Golf and Country Club in San Mateo, the evening will include cocktails, dinner, a live auction that includes Fund-A-Need and insights from the distinguished Ms. Oates. All Gala proceeds will directly support excellence and access at the San Mateo Public Library. Please join us!
Learn More

A special thanks to our Gala Sponsors...

  • Gilead
  • Franklin Templeton
  • Ernst & Young
  • Sutter Health
  • Mills-Peninsula Health Service/PAMF
  • Portola Pharmaceuticals
  • S.E.A. Construction Inc.

Author's Gala 2014
San Mateo Public Library Foundation
Event Overview

Wilson by A. Scott Berg

Saturday, May 10, 2014; reception at 6 pm; dinner and program 7 – 10 pm

The Gala will be held in the Bayview Dining Room on the campus of the College of San Mateo.

This signature fundraising event will feature a best-selling author, cocktail reception, catered dinner and live auction.

This year's Gala will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning author, A. Scott Berg.

Berg's new book, Wilson, about President Woodrow Wilson offers a definitive and revelatory biography of one of the great American figures of modern times. Already the subject of considerable press, the book's film rights has been optioned by Warner Brothers who plan to produce a feature film.

A. Scott Berg graduated from Princeton University in 1971 and is the author of Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, Goldwyn: A Biography, and Lindbergh, for which he received the National Book Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Pulitzer Prize. To listen to A. Scott Berg's interview with Fresh Air's Terry Gross click here.

One of our Library's most pressing needs and the community's most passionate desire is extending operating hours. Funds raised during the Gala will enable the Main Library to open every summer Sunday, as well as Sundays before a Monday holiday throughout the year.

A raffle featuring jewelry donated by Tiffany & Co from their Ziegfeld Collection will showcase the elegance of the period. You can see these beautiful pieces by clicking here. Tickets are $20 each or six for $100. The winning ticket will be drawn at the Gala. To purchase tickets, send your check made out to SMPLF to San Mateo Public Library Foundation, 55 West Third Avenue, San Mateo, 94402.

2014 Gala Corporate Sponsors List

  • Acutate
  • Barulich Dugoni Law Group
  • Baywood Owners Improvement Association
  • Bohannan Foundation
  • Burns Loew, APLC
  • Concar Enterprises, Inc.
  • Ernst & Young, LLP
  • Franklin Templeton Investments
  • Informatica
  • Putnam Subaru
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • S.E.A. Construction, Inc. /Peninsula Siding Company
  • Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Wells Fargo Foundation

Past Foundation Events

The Foundation’s Literary Society Creates Magic and Results

On Saturday, May 4 the San Mateo Public Library Foundation hosted its second annual Author’s Gala. With the leadership of the Foundation’s auxiliary, the Literary Society, the Main Library’s sweeping atrium was transformed into elegant French themed setting for friends, guests and corporate sponsors. “It was especially meaningful to be able to hold the event at our marvelous Library,” noted Event Co-Chair, Pam Casey. “It really helps to highlight how important this resource is to our community.” Casey, together with her Co-Chair Michele Freed, spearheaded the successful event. 

The evening began with a catered dinner followed by a lively auction and Fund-A-Need. With Master of Ceremonies, Carolyn Johnson, ABC News7 anchor and friend, Rafe Brown energizing the room, guests made generous bids to support one of the Library’s most pressing needs and the community’s most passionate desire – extending operating hours during the summer months.

Since 2009, the San Mateo Public Library has had to close its doors to patrons every Sunday during the summer months. This has been a significant hardship to families that depend on the Library for entertainment and education, business professionals and entrepreneurs who utilize Library resources for energizing their endeavors and children and teens for whom the relaxed summer pace offers opportunities to find a cozy corner for reading and discovery. The Foundation is delighted to be able to insure that the Library will be open every day during the summer to discover, enjoy, connect, and learn.

The evening concluded with a conversation between Carolyn Johnson and Julie Powell, author of Julie & Julia, a warm, witty account of one woman’s attempt to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's voluminous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in one year. Julie shared with guests her insights on cooking, writing and finding a sense of direction in her life.

Thank you to our Gala 2013 Sponsors and Special Contributors

Fox Marble and S.E.A Construction, Inc.
Franklin Templeton Investments
Michele Freed and Gary Sprague
Lynn Song and Rafe Brown
Wells Fargo Foundation
Debbie Sharp, Keller Williams Peninsula Estates
Barulich Dugoini Law Group
Pam and Bill Casey
Linda Fitzpatrick
Ernst & Young, LLP
Max Lo, Green Banker Realty
Nasi and Lily Jazayeri
Putnam Subaru Burlingame
Stephanie and Phil Gatto & Family

Photos from the Gala

Click images to view larger

Board member Jan Epstein with City Librarian Ben Ocón and Rosa Ocón Jeanine Tonas, Stephanie Gatto, Linda Fitzpatrick, President, Board of Directors, San Mateo Public Library and Alison Affrunti Nasi Jazayeri places a bid during the live auction Board member John Draper with Linda Kunnath.Carolyn Johnson, ABC7 News anchor and gala emcee in conversation with author Julie Powell. Gala guests Michael and Amy Liou Literary Society members  Shashi Deb, Julie Lev and Caroline Low with spouses and guests Gala Co-Chairs Pam Casey and Michele Freed


Tiffany & Company's Elegant Support for the Foundation's Gala

The San Mateo Public Library Foundation was thrilled to have the opportunity to raffle off a gorgeous collection of Paloma Picasso designed jewelry at the Author's Gala on May 4 at the Library. Inspired by the intriguing patterns of Morocco, this Marrakesh collection of sterling silver included a bracelet, earrings, necklace and ring. Brian Neel, Group Director, commented "We are so pleased to be able to support the Foundation's elegant event with this donation and are delighted to play a role in helping to insure the vitality of one of San Mateo's most important resources – the San Mateo Public Library."

San Mateo resident, Linda Herz, was the lucky winner of this exclusive prize. "The pieces are absolutely gorgeous! And I will think of the Library each and every time I wear them. It's one of my favorite places in San Mateo and I was pleased to be able to support it through my raffle purchase."

Funds raised through the raffle will be used to provide summer access to the Library. During the years of fiscal constraint starting in 2009, the Library has had to close its doors to children, adults and families every Sunday during the summer months.

Tiffany's Elegant Support
Tiffany & Company's Elegant Support for the Foundation's Gala

First Annual Author's Gala - 2012
Saturday, April 28th
We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to all who attended and supported our 1st Annual Author's Gala. It was truly an amazing evening.

Special thank you to our feature speaker and bestselling author, Khaled Hosseini of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns and Carolyn Johnson, ABC7 News Anchor, KGO-TV for generously serving as our Master of Ceremonies.

Additional gratitude to our sponsors:

Newbery Medal
Franklin Templeton Investments
Michele Freed and Gary Sprague
The Ting Group, Merrill Lynch

Caldecott Medal
Bill and Pam Casey
Ernst & Young
Mills Peninsula Health Services
Oomph Juice Foundation
The Fitzpatrick Family
Wells Fargo Bank



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