Women’s Hall of Fame

Patricia Ann Giosso

Patricia “Pat” Ann Giosso has worked tirelessly for 40 years to promote the interests of developmentally disabled children and adults in San Mateo County. Her driving concern is to ensure that the humanity of the developmentally disabled be recognized, that their potential be understood, and that they be given an opportunity to participate actively in the workplace and in the world. In 1963, Pat began volunteering at the Poplar Center, helping to raise funds. Since then her efforts have steadily increased. She served 10 years as a member of the board of directors for PARCA, was president of the Board from 1990 to 1991, and is now serving a second term as a member of the board of directors for Community Gatepath. Pat was a driving force in the creation of two group homes for developmentally disabled adults, Cedar House in San Carlos and Alameda House in Redwood City. She and her husband John created the Festa Foundation, whose purpose is to fund programs for developmentally disabled persons in San Mateo County. And for each of the past 19 years, Pat and John have organized a series of major fundraising events that have netted more than $2.5 million, all of which has been used by the Festa Foundation to fund and support programs for developmentally disabled children and adults. Pat is the proud mother of three grown sons, Michael, Dino and Victor. Victor, born in 1963, was brain damaged at birth, his injury resulting in developmental disability and severe impairment of speech. Pat says, “Every mother dreams that her child will be President of the States. When Victor was born, I went through a period of painful reconciliation and diminishing hopes. But I have gained more as a person from having Victor for my son than if I were the mother of the President of the United States.”
*This biography and photo of the honoree was published in .

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