We were honored to have Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
tour Second Harvest on Saturday, February 23rd. Justice O’Connor was in town to
visit her former roommate at Stanford, Dian Cooley, who also happens to be a
good friend and supporter of the food bank.
Second Harvest CEO, Willy Elliott-McCrea, led the tour. Needless to say, the
volunteers working the Saturday sort were pleasantly surprised and excited to
meet Justice O’Connor. Volunteers included members of St. Andrew Presbyterian
Church and the Congregational Church of Soquel, the Petersen family, Dominican
Hospital employees, and local high school and college students, among
After the tour, Justice O’Conner visited with leaders from throughout the
community over brunch in our conference room. Ms. Cooley commented that the
people in the room were a very special group, including those who steward the
land, those who farm the land, those who distribute the food, and those that
support that work.
O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the nation’s high court, had also
attended the iCivics Summit at the Henry J. Mello Center for the Performing Arts
at Watsonville High School on Friday. Students from area public and private
middle and high schools and Cabrillo College, as well as Girl Scouts and the
Interact Club, attended the event.
iCivics, inc. is a non-profit organization, founded by O’Connor to promote
civics education and help students become active citizens. She encouraged the
students to visit the iCivics
website to learn more about government and how to get involved.
All in all, Justice O’Connor made quite an impact during her brief visit,
encouraging the youth and acknowledging those that work so hard to make Santa
Cruz County a strong and healthy community.