Transforming Lives and Community Luncheon
The Transforming Lives and Community Luncheon is a celebration of aging and our annual signature fundraising event. The hallmark of the luncheon is an award to one or more persons in their 70’s or older who have made a profound impact on the lives of San Franciscans and beyond, and who exemplify what it means to age with continued meaning and purpose. Recipients may include politicians, civic leaders, artists, scientists, philanthropists and others who continue to transform lives and community into their older years.
The 2019 Transforming Lives and Community Luncheon, honoring Gretchen de Baubigny and Judge John Dearman, will take place on Tuesday, May 7, at the Julia Morgan Ballroom, in the Merchants Exchange Building (465 California St.). We are proud to recognize Gretchen and John for their lifelong contributions to public service, education, and social justice.
About our honorees
Gretchen de Baubigny. Education has taken center stage in Gretchen’s life because for her, “Education is the oxygen for America’s enterprise and strength as a Democracy.” She has dedicated her life’s work to it. In 1963 she founded San Francisco School Volunteers – a non-profit engaging community members as partners in public schools – providing students with one-on-one attention to help them build a deeper connection to learning and ultimately succeed. Her ongoing commitment to civic leadership is evidenced in her service at the Board, Advisory, and Founders level in many local organizations: Junior League of San Francisco, Children’s Cancer Research, ARCS, NARAL, Northern California Cancer Center, the S.F. Volunteer Bureau, the American Cancer Society, San Francisco General Hospital and its foundation, the S.F. Public Library, and the Women’s Museum. She helped launch Enterprise for High School Students and Alumnae Resources and has been a speech consultant to corporations and executives. Thanks to her example and zest for innovation, thousands of city residents have heeded the call to engage with one another in making San Francisco a responsive and caring community.
John Dearman, born and raised in Texas, is a retired Superior Court judge and the longest serving judge on the San Francisco bench. Even after his retirement he continued to serve in “the drug court” where he helped young offenders rehabilitate and refocus their lives. Born in the segregated south to a family of sharecroppers, his mother impressed upon him the importance of education, a value that has shaped his life and taken him from an auto factory in Michigan to the highest levels of the legal profession. Through a combination of good fortune, timely mentors and a love of learning, he graduated from Wayne State University Law School, practiced law in Michigan for a few short years, before heading out West for what he thought was a vacation. He was a partner in the San Francisco law firm of Brown, Dearman and Smith for 12 years before being appointed to the bench. For 32 years, he presided over civil cases and spent his last 10 years as the presiding judge in the probate court. John is highly regarded for his values-driven leadership, his compassion and abiding commitment to fairness, equity and inclusion.
2018 – Rita Semel and Mark Buell
2017 – Dagmar Dolby and Fran A. Streets
2016 – Lewis H. Butler and Louise Renne
2015 – Roselyne Swig and Toni Rembe
2014 – Belva Davis and Henry Safrit
2013 – Eva Auchincloss, Mary Moore Gaines and Glady Thacher
member since 2014