A few years ago my husband and I were approached for a donation to fund the repair and restoration of the Allied Arts Guild. We discussed how much we enjoyed the beautiful plantings, the delightful shops and the wonderful restaurant at the Guild and decided to make a sizeable contribution. We were assured that this money would be well spent on the property so that it could continue to generate donations to the Children’s Hospital at Stanford for years to come. That was a much better decision, we were told, then simply contributing money for the hospital’s current needs. It made sense to us, and we definitely wanted to continue to walk in the rose gardens and eat lunch with the delightful ladies at the restaurant.
Now we read the many entries in the Almanac’s Town Square Forum and we are deeply concerned that our money has not been used to provide a foundation for long-term donations, but rather to pursue one person’s “legacy” for the future: a Menlo Park Conference Center! Where are the large, continuing contributions to the hospital that the Guild was supposed to make? Where is the restaurant we cherished for lunches and social activities? Where are the retail shops we browsed and patronized? And most important, where did our money go?
Has there been any oversight of Woodside-Atherton’s management of the funds given to them to improve the property and continue and increase donations to the hospital? If the Forum postings are correct, how can one woman, the president of the Woodside-Atherton Auxiliary, effectively destroy a sister auxiliary (the restaurant), empty the complex of rent-paying tenants, and pursue a strategy (dream?) of creating a conference center that even the most casual observer realizes will never be successful in competition with local alternative sites.
Who at the hospital has had anything to do with this fiasco? How could they let this happen? Will our contribution to the restoration be wasted when the property is sold for an apartment complex or home sites? Has anyone kept investors informed of how their money was being used? And don’t point to the “Friends of Allied Arts” mailings that are clearly party-line bulletins.
There needs to be an investigation of how our contributions were spent and why. Contributors (actually, investors) deserve to know how and why the Guild came to it’s current precarious state: a nearly-empty site with few tenants and an unrealistic plan for the future. I hope other contributors note this posting and also seek answers.