With the 2019 year coming to an end, I can’t help but reflect on everything our city has to offer. We have had a year full of wonderful developments, new businesses opening, and incredible events.
It has been gratifying to see our community grow and I’m so glad I’ve played a small role. As a board member of the Morgan Hill Downtown Association for the past three years, not only was I able to give back through volunteering, I was also able to meet remarkable people from my city on and off the board.
I had lived in Morgan Hill for about 10 years when I saw an email announcement about the vacancy on the board. I wanted to be more engaged and involved in my community, and figured this would be my chance. After applying and being welcomed by our previous president, Councilman John McKay, I quickly learned there was a lot of work behind the scenes.
Events such as Wine Stroll, Brew Crawl and the Safe Trick-or-Treat required meticulous organizers and volunteers with a love for their community. For many years I had attended these events with family and friends, and now it was my turn to help bring it together. When planning, I connected and bonded with many people who share my same passion.
I had the pleasure of chairing this year’s Safe Trick-or-Treat with co-chair, Suman Ganapathy. I’m sure she would agree that after months of planning there was no better feeling than seeing the smiling children dressed up in Halloween costumes, trick-or-treating. Although the downtown association organizes the event, it couldn’t be successful without the support and participation of local businesses, the city and the community, and for that we are very grateful.
Being on the board enabled me to hear from and connect with city staff, the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce, businesses and the public. I always felt informed and involved. As a member, you can assist with planning events, or lead them, and watch people from all around come and join in the festivities. Aside from the events, I was able to help run our social media accounts and author occasional columns in Morgan Hill Life.
These past three years have been extraordinarily memorable. There is no better feeling than giving back to my community that I love so much and seeing people enjoying themselves at something I helped put together. If you have ever thought about joining the MHDA or want to learn more, please contact our office. We would love to have you join us. To all my fellow board members and new members, I would like to say thank you for all you do.
Lelannie Ornelas has lived in Morgan Hill for 13 years and works at Gavilan College. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, volunteering, and spending time with friends and family.