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California Missions FoundationSeptember 2012   
Latest News from California Missions Foundation


Dear Friends,


[ Knox Mellon, Executive Director California MIssions Foundation ] Traditionally, California Missions Foundation's electronic newsletter commences with a letter from our Executive Director, Knox Mellon. This time, it begins with a letter about Knox Mellon. In fact, this entire newsletter is a tribute to Knox Mellon. Why?


As Chair of the CMF Board of Directors, I need to share with you what Knox has told the Board: Knox is planning to retire as Executive Director of the California Missions Foundation.


Knox has been an absolutely superb Executive Director of the California Missions Foundation. I know that everyone associated with the Foundation will miss him very much. His accomplishments on behalf of the Foundation are myriad. Knox has had a storied career in preserving historic structures. He practically wrote the book on historic preservation. Knox served as California's very first State Historic Preservation Officer and served twice in that position. His expertise and background brought tremendous knowledge and instant credibility to the California Missions Foundation, and funders are consistently impressed by his abilities and talents.
[ Knox Mellon, Executive Director Calif Missions Founddation ] Part of Knox's legacy can, and will, be measured in terms of the resources he has raised to preserve and restore the missions. Knox has established wonderful working relationships with many funders and foundations that have consistently supported CMF's preservation efforts. During Knox's watch the coveted "Save America's Treasures" grant program administered by the US Interior Department awarded CMF not one or two but four separate grants totaling $2,288,000 to finance preservation efforts at Missions San Miguel, San Luis Rey, Carmel and Santa Barbara. I believe that CMF is the only organization in this nation that has received four "Save America's Treasures" grants, and this is a great tribute to Knox personally.
The other part of Knox's legacy is a personal one. Let's face it: Knox is a class act. He brings wisdom, humor, perspective and wit to everything he does. He is unfailingly honest and approaches everything and everyone with candor and consideration. Knox has developed wonderful relationships with each of the 21 missions and their supporters, and no doubt they will miss him as much as I will.
[ Knox & Carlotta Mellon California MIssions Foundation ]
Knox & Carlotta Mellon award a check to Carlene Bell of Mission Soledad
Of course, there is something else Knox Mellon brought to the California Missions Foundation: Carlotta Mellon! For many years while Knox served as CMF's Executive Director, Carlotta was the full time Executive Director of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra. Despite that role she simultaneously served as perhaps CMF's #1 volunteer, helping Knox in so many of his efforts. When CMF's headquarters moved to Carmel, Carlotta undertook a part-time role as CMF's Associate Director for Marketing, Development and Operations. As everyone associated with CMF knows, Carlotta has brought tremendous talent, vitality, enthusiasm, and judgment to that position, and her ability to multitask is nothing less than incredible.
Carlotta and Knox have made a mutual decision. Both are retiring to enjoy their time together without the constraints of full time employment, so we will be bidding both of them farewell.
Knox and Carlotta love the sea. When Knox wrote the Directors announcing that he and Carlotta will be retiring, he concluded his message by saying, "Not farewell, but fare forward voyagers."
Now to you, Carlotta and Knox, on behalf of the entire California Missions Foundation family, I extend our heartfelt appreciation for everything you have done to preserve California's missions. All of us wish you nothing but clear sailing ahead.


[ Photo of Larry Gould ]

Laurence K. Gould, Jr.
Chair, Board of Directors
California Missions Foundation

Tributes to Knox and Carlotta Mellon: A Very Warm Farewell!

[ Knox and Carlotta Mellon, California Missions Foundation ]

"Knox: You and Carlotta did a wonderful job running our Foundation. Without you and Carlotta's leadership this foundation would not have been able to accomplish our goals. Please enjoy your time and know that your hard work is and will always be appreciated. Thanks so much for your friendship."   

Steve Hearst, Vice President and General Manager Western Properties for the Hearst Corporation, and Co-founder and first President of the California Missions Foundation


"I have seen a mere fraction of all you have done for the California Missions up and down the Coast. San Juan Bautista just happened to be my focus because of my upbringing there and the long interest Mrs. Davies and Mrs. Field had in California History, particularly centered around the area between San Francisco and Monterey. San Miguel and others must have been a much bigger challenge for you than San Juan. In any event, when I appeared on the scene with some financial help, you took the ball and ran with it, with much open-field running for a touchdown in my estimation. Ruben and Clancy completed our 'team' and the rest is history, literally."
Phil Hudner, Trustee of the Louise Davies Foundation and Field Fund, major supporters of Mission San Juan Bautista


"It is very sad to hear about your retirement, but it would be impossible not to say that you have already given the foundation so much of yourself that you have exceeded any reasonable expectation. Your efforts are more than appreciated and I am certain generations to come will recognize your extraordinary talents and skills helped to save some of our most important cultural landmarks."
Jack Williams, Member of the Board of Directors of the California Missions Foundation and archaeologist who has worked on many missions


"Father Serra always instructed Always Go Forward, Never Back, but he never told us how to do that when faced with such devastating news as your retirement. While we understand and support your decision, it is not easy for us to sever the cord that binds us to such an amazing couple. It has indeed been an honor and privilege for us all to be associated with CMF. This is not the end, but the beginning of a new chapter in your lives and the life of CMF. Eternally grateful for your leadership."  

Janet Bartel, Member of the Board of Directors of CMF


"It has been a distinct privilege serving on the CMF Board during your tenure. To me, you epitomize the best of that generation of scholarly gentleman who were my mentors. Such people are difficult to find any more."  

Bob Hoover, Member of the Board of Directors of CMF and an archaeologist who has worked on many missions, particularly San Antonio


Knox and Carlotta: "While I know in my heart that you will be an extremely hard act to follow where the California Missions Foundation is concerned, and very much missed by me and San Juan Bautista patron and CMF supporter Phil Hudner, I am comforted by the thought that you and your lovely wife Carlotta will finally have the opportunity to retire and enjoy your home and life here on the California central coast. You are clearly the epitome of the gentleman and scholar, and Carlotta the sage counselor and advocate, leader and humanitarian, that has permitted CMF to grow and build the bona fides so needed to see us through the amazing success of late."
Ruben Mendoza, Member of the Board of Directors of CMF and Professor of Archaeology, CSUMB


"In 2010, Knox's many contributions toward the historic preservation of the Missions earned him the coveted Norman Neuerburg Award at CMSA's Annual Conference at Mission San Luis Rey. He's accomplished so much. And incredibly, at age 87, he successfully leads CMF on a daily basis with as sharp a mind as someone half his age. At CMF, he's made a huge mark institutionalizing support for our Alta California Missions -- support which helps make the fall CMF grants possible. These grants, which are distributed amongst our Missions, help cover restoration, much needed infrastructure upgrades, and education. The list goes on. Knox you're a legend and a true talent. You've been a huge friend and supporter of CMSA."
David Bolton, President, California Mission Studies Association  


[ Fr. Junipero Serra 300th Anniversary California Missions ]

Serra 300th Website Launched!

2013 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Father Junipero Serra, founder of the California missions. The California Missions Foundation has created a special website, Serra300.org, to post the many celebratory events that will occur during this tricentennial year. Some are already underway, such as the California Mission Ride. Take a look when you have a moment and find out more about Father Serra and the upcoming celebrations of his life and work.  


September Featured California Mission Events 


Mission Santa Cruz | (all events, 1-2pm

Building Methods at the Mission, Saturday, September 8
Hides and Tallow at the Mission, Saturday, September 15
Wool, Spinning, and Weaving, Saturday, September 22
Gardens of Time at the Santa Cruz Mission, Saturday, September 29  


Mission San Juan Capistrano |

Romance of the Mission (Benefit Gala Concert & Dinner), Friday, September 14 


Mission San Miguel |
215th Birthday Celebration, Sunday, September 16 (and last stop on California Mission Ride)     


Mission San Buenaventura
Seeing the Light Garden Party, Thursday Sept 13 5:30-8:30pm


You can help us to preserve California's historic missions and all their cultural treasures! 

Call our office at (831) 622-7500 to donate by credit card, or click the button below to donate via PayPal!   


[ Learn how you can donate to the California Missions Foundation ]
About California Missions Foundation

Nothing defines California's heritage as significantly or emotionally as do the 21 missions that were founded along the coast from San Diego to Sonoma. Their beauty, stature, and character underlie the formation of California. All 21 missions are California Historical Landmarks; many have also been designated National Historic Landmarks. The missions are among the most popular tourist destinations in the state, attracting millions of visitors each year.

Founded in 1998, the California Missions Foundation was established with the objective of preserving and protecting the missions. The Foundation is the only statewide organization dedicated to the long-term preservation and restoration needs of all California missions and their associated historic and cultural resources for public benefit.

Visit us online at www.californiamissionsfoundation.org.
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