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Pleasant Hill Community Foundation Announces

Pleasant Hill Community Foundation Announces

Oliver Holmes Awards


Oliver Holmes was a Pleasant Hill resident devoted to community service and public parks. He first served on the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District Board of Directors when the first community center and Brookwood Park were built. Later, he served as mayor and city councilmember for the City of Pleasant Hill and director of the East Bay Regional Park District. During his tenure with the city, the PH Police Station was built and then the new City Hall. Holmes was chosen as Pleasant Hill’s Citizen of the Year in 1994 and was one of the founding members of the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation. In 2006, Holmes funded an annual award to an outstanding employee of the park district and City of Pleasant Hill. Each received special recognition and a check for $1000. Holmes passed away at the age of 85 in 2007.


The city manager of Pleasant Hill has chosen Gayle Vassar for this year’s Oliver Holmes Award. Gayle began as a volunteer with the city in 2018. Shortly after that, the city lost its beloved public information officer and Gayle agreed to assist the city on a short-term basis with its social media, Civic Action and Education Commissions, garbage and recycling contract management, and public information efforts. Gayle did an outstanding job during a difficult time and was asked to accept the position of community relations manager. Gayle has done an amazing job keeping the community consistently informed during the Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) that began in fall 2019; has made the city’s Facebook page a fun, accurate, and informative source for residents, businesses, and visitors; dramatically increased subscribers to The Weekly Update; and ensured the Outlook newsletter continued to be a valuable source of information for residents. She also provides informative and timely updates on the new library and the COVID-19 pandemic and helped implement the Civic Action Commission Diversity Subcommittee’s social justice conversations this past summer. Gayle is passionate about her work and keeping the community she loves engaged and active.


The general manager of Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District has chosen Danny Martinez for this year’s Oliver Holmes Award. Danny started in 2010 as a recreation coordinator who provides programming and childcare for families at Gregory Gardens Elementary. Through the on-site childcare program, Danny provides a safe and nurturing environment for children. He has made a huge impact on individuals and families, especially those with special needs. During the pandemic, Danny has led the charge to provide safe distance learning opportunities for families of essential workers and those that must work out of the home. The CARES Academy that Danny has developed has been a lifeline for so many families during these challenging times.


President of PHCF Aloma Levine states, “The Pleasant Hill Community Foundation is proud to be able to continue to provide the Oliver Holmes Awards virtually this year. We plan on returning to present these awards at our ‘Celebrate Your Community’ event in 2021 when we are all able to gather again.”


For more information about the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation, visit our website at