Auburn leaders gathered recently to dedicate a memorial to Janice Forbes at the Auburn School Park Preserve where a monument was erected to commemorate her contributions to our community.
Forbes was known as an active community leader, and as the founding chairman of the Placer Community Foundation she was committed to philanthropy and the good impact it has on our community. Forbes led the Board of Directors at the Placer Community Foundation in support of the Auburn School Park Preserve and community garden and worked toward the project’s completion for 15 years.
“It’s fitting that this tree and plaque memorialize Janice and her many contributions to the public and the environment,” Bob Gilliom said during the dedication. “Her fight to create this park epitomizes her secret to success: perseverance, confidence that she knew the right thing to do, steady pressure on the public and decision makers to do what’s right, and all with a grace.”
Supporting the restoration of the Auburn School Park Preserve was in perfect alignment with Forbes’ values as an environmentalist and her keen appreciation for the heritage of our community. Without her tireless leadership the park would not exist today.
Forbes will also be honored and remembered as the leading force in establishing Placer Community Foundation. A long-time board member of the private Auburn Community Foundation (ACF), she had a vision for local philanthropy in Placer County.
“Janice was like a brilliantly cut diamond with so many facets,” Justice Keith Sparks said. “Placer Community Foundation and Auburn School Park Preserve were just two aspects of her dedication.”
She, along with other key members, understood the impact giving could have on current and future needs throughout the county. She also believed strongly in honoring and sharing the legacy of those who have chosen to give back to their place of home. In 2004 she led the board in ratifying the decision to transform ACF into a public charity that could serve donors in directing their charitable intent to address a wide range of causes. That decision created the Placer Community Foundation. Since 2005 the Foundation’s assets have grown to $12 million, and the Foundation has distributed nearly $5 million in grants to local charities. Janice was a true leader and passionate champion of many causes. It can be said that her unflagging work has contributed to the quality of life we all share in this county.
Janice Forbes was a native of Auburn, CA. A proud Placer Hillmen, she attended Placer High School with some of PCF’s current and emeritus board members. At board meetings it was common for members to address her affectionately by her childhood nickname, “Booie”-a name she bore on her license plate frequently seen in Old Town Auburn where she worked in her office above Sierra Moon Goldsmiths. After high school, she attended Mills College in Oakland, was elected to the Berkeley Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and received her B.A. from the University of California, Davis.
She was publisher of Sierra Heritage Magazine, a regional magazine covering the Sierra Nevada mountain range, for 26 years and published the weekly community newspaper, The Sentinel, until 2010. She served several terms on the City of Auburn’s Economic Development Commission and on numerous local boards including the Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce, the Auburn Symphony and the Auburn-Placer Performing Arts Center. She was also a founding board member of the Sierra Business Council, a regional business organization.
Janice’s work as a conservator of open space and her leadership with the Placer Community Foundation points to her long-standing commitment to preserve this region’s unique assets for generations to come. She understood the importance of always keeping these resources in the forefront of Placer County’s growth and development.
About Placer Community Foundation
Placer Community Foundation (PCF) grows local giving to strengthen our community by connecting donors who care with causes that matter. Known for sound financial management and knowledge of the nonprofit sector, the Community Foundation continually monitors the region to better understand the nature of local needs, so that it can invest in areas such as arts and culture, education, health and human services, and the environment. The Community Foundation provides regular trainings and technical assistance for the many local nonprofits that are experiencing growing public demand for programs and services.