Hearts of Yolo: John Martin

Thursday, Sep 6, 2018

John Martin and his partner, Rafael Galiano, always dreamed of having a country property. "We lived in San Francisco for over ten years and saw an ad for the property one day. We got in the car and drove to what we thought was the ‘new frontier’ as we didn’t often venture out of San Francisco. We immediately fell in love with it and knew it was where we needed to be.”

After moving to what is now Park Winters, John and Rafael realized that the area was vibrant and had an old world hospitality that reminded John of his childhood in Indiana. In fact, it’s that kind of hospitality that first made John aware of Yolo County CASA. “Vicki Murphy knocked on the door one day. Her family originally built the property and she was one of the first board members at Yolo County CASA. She told me all about the mission and I really felt drawn to the organization. I love it when things happen organically like that. No phone call, no email, but a knock on the door of all things.”

John and Rafael generously donate the use of their facility to Yolo County CASA for their dinner and auction each year. "Actually, here's a bit more about Rafael and my connection to Yolo County CASA. Our neighbors, who also became close friends, were foster parents to a young girl when we moved to Winters. As we got to know them better, they told us all about the amazing work their foster child's CASA did for her and how instrumental the service was in advocating for her in court. Rafael and I saw right there the power of this organization. It works… and we hope that every foster child in Yolo County has the same chance as our neighbor. It all starts with a CASA volunteer.”

John has been on the advisory board of Yolo County CASA for over a year to help spread the word and grow the organization. “The staff and key supporters of Yolo County CASA are amazing people to work with. They are incredibly dedicated and do whatever it takes to help kids who really need it. It’s my pleasure to rally around this cause and do my part to make a difference.”

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