Five years ago, Rosana Francescato found herself on a construction site surrounded by unfamiliar tools, gleaming solar panels, and countless GRID-tee-shirt-clad volunteers. She landed there after hearing GRID co-founder and CEO Erica Mackie speak at a green networking event about the upcoming Bay Area Solarthon, GRID's signature fundraiser and solar 'block party.' Eager to get out of the office and experience solar first-hand, Rosana signed herself up.
Since that first Solarthon Rosana has been hooked on GRID, and has become one of our longest-running donors. She has consistently raised thousands of dollars for the annual Bay Area Solarthon and has broken her own fundraising records year after year. Her creative and memorable fundraising campaigns (like her "The Most Solar Man in the World" campaign, where she ate cricket flour cake for meeting her fundraising goals) have made her a solar celebrity among fellow supporters and GRID staff alike. Read on to learn more about what inspires Rosana’s unwavering support of GRID.
Q: What makes you so passionate about supporting GRID’s work and furthering the mission?
A: I love that GRID makes such a big impact by doing something relatively simple. Solar power gives a lot of bang for the buck: it not only helps the planet but also creates jobs, improves public health, and increases national security. What's especially great about GRID is that you take this a step further by helping low-income families and training future solar workers. GRID makes a real difference in so many people's lives -- and I love the people who work at GRID!
A: At one Solarthon in Richmond, the whole family got involved in one way or another -- whether it was feeding us throughout the day or participating in the solar installation. A little girl in the family, maybe about 8 years old, was so excited about it that she made us a beautiful welcome sign and then helped in any little way she could the whole day. Without GRID, that little girl might have gone many years without ever hearing about solar power. Now she'll likely be a lifelong solar advocate. It gave me hope for the future.
Q: What is your favorite GRID memory?
A: It's hard to pick one favorite memory, but there's probably nothing that compares to the feeling of my first Solarthon. It was wonderful seeing so many people come together to help a community with solar power. I loved the whole day, but when we turned on the system my team had installed, it was one of the most satisfying moments I’ve experienced from a day of work. It’s hard to equal the feeling of accomplishing something that’s so useful on so many levels.
Thank you, Rosana, for your incredible support of GRID over the years! And thank you to all of our volunteers, clients, supporters and fundraisers who make GRID's mission possible each and every day!