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Celebrate Diversity Fund to Stop School Bullying

Partnering with the Community Foundation to Turn Passion into Action.

Bullying hurts everyone – the victim, the bully, and the bystander. Lilli is doing something about it.

Who is Lilli Trinchero?

As a child, Lilli was teased for her signature curly red hair, and she felt isolated from her classmates because she came from a large extended farm family (the farm was on Sutro Street in Reno) with lots of love and fresh food and little spending money for clothes or activities.

Like the rest of the country, Lilli watched in horror at the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher and wounded 23 others before taking their own lives. After it had become public that the gunmen were fellow students and victims of bullying, she began to think about ways to create safer schools for all students.

After making her decision to embark on a community effort to end bullying in schools and to Celebrate Diversity, Lilli inquired into establishing her own 501c3. She interviewed a few CPAs and attorneys, only to discover that the effort, time, and resource commitment was more than she was willing to devote to this cause, just having left large corporate business life. Her financial planner referred to the Community Foundation as a place that could help.

In 2004, Lilli Trinchero walked into the Community Foundation door with an idea and the commitment to see it through.

“I knew that I had found what I needed to succeed…. kindred spirits, with a work ethic to match my own, and an honest commitment to community causes that mattered. I sensed instantly that through their networking and guidance, I could achieve my dream and have an impact on preventing bullying in schools…. it has worked beyond my fondest desires! ” Lilli Trinchero

Lilli established the Celebrate Diversity fund. Along with Foundation staff and volunteers, she collaborated with local experts and school district representatives to create a curriculum for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. For a few weeks during the summer of 2004, her garage housed an assembly line as Lilli, her friends, neighbors, and staff from the Community Foundation volunteered to assemble the printed pages of the curriculum into thousands of binders for use in the classroom. Once school started, the Celebrate Diversity fund put the No Bullying Allowed curriculum in the hands of every WCSD elementary teacher, principal, and counselor. Meetings were called to encourage each school to teach acceptance and to celebrate their students’ unique qualities.

In successive years, the fund focused on bullying in middle and high schools and gave cash awards to schools that made significant progress in addressing the bullying problem.

As a permanent endowment, the fund will continue to work to help our children’s children learn to live peaceful lives.  The Celebrate Diversity Fund supports the Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP) education curriculum taught in elementary schools.

“This philanthropic effort for our community has been timely, effective, and enjoyable, with none of the requirements of managing your own 501c3, and all of the benefits of a Job Well Done, with shared effort …It has been a meaningful experience with a wonderful end result.” Lilli Trinchero

Lilli’s effort not only made real changes within our schools; she inspired the staff and Board of the Community Foundation. For this, she was awarded the first Community Foundation Inspiring Philanthropist Award for her leadership of the Celebrate Diversity fund.

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto joined Lilli and Pine Middle School Counselor to award Pine Middle School a cash gift for their efforts to combat bullying.

In 2013, the Celebrate Diversity fund brought in a school consulting firm, Community Matters to perform a school district climate audit. This audit, paired with the evidence-based suggestions helped the school district earn a more than $4 million Federal Grant to create more peaceful and safer schools.

As a Community Foundation Trustee, Lilli Trinchero continues to inspire and work for peace in our community schools.