The joy of living is the joy of giving.
In the story of Nevada County, Bill and Marian Ghidotti occupy a very special place. They were married in 1925. Together they worked very hard and invested prudently. When their efforts became fruitful and they acquired some wealth they turned their energies and love to their community and to young people especially those involved with animals.
The gifts to the community were two-fold. First, they gave of themselves to the groups and causes they loved. A specialty of theirs were barbecues. They cooked at hundreds. Second, they contributed a long list of monetary gifts to organizations spread throughout Nevada County.
Bill and Marian did not have children but they dearly loved them. They occupied a good deal of their lives. Constant support went from them to the 4 H the FFA and the agricultural side of the Nevada County Fair. Here Marian was able to express her love for young people by year after year bidding on their livestock. To see youngsters’ happiness after all their hard work was among her most fulfilling moments. The Ghidottis had a ranch and the employees were not regular ranch hands but high school students earning money for their education.
The final expression of Bill and Marian’s spirit of giving was the creation of a trust which upon their deaths would be funded with over half of their estate, The primary beneficiaries were high school students through a scholarship program and secondarily they left funds for the community. The extraordinary gift of millions and millions of dollars over a period of forty years has helped hundreds of students achieve their education and will continue to do so for an indefinite time to come. Education, the arts, the libraries, health programs, and a multitude of other community organizations have also benefited, some hugely, from the funds left in trust.
One of Nevada County’s foremost educational Institutions has recognized the magnitude of the Ghidotti’s contribution to the students of this community by naming their school “Ghidotti Early College High School”
Bill and Marian have been remembered as down-to-earth Nevada County people who lived unadorned personal lives. Early in their marriage, they had tacked above a door in their home a sign reading “The Joy of Living is the Joy of Giving”.
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