Helping Hands

Crataegus phaenopyrum was struggling. Commonly known as Washington Hawthorn, the small tree had everything a hawthorn could get: mites, scale, blight and cedar rust, along with a bifurcated crown. Beyond all that, it was in an odd location. I planned to remove it on a dry day in February.

As luck would have it, the dry day coincided with a work day scheduled with Archie Williams High School students. Through the school’s academies, SEA-DISC and TEAM, student fulfill community service requirements. This has been an awesome partnership between Archie Williams and MAGC.

The students, Pete, Sevi, and John, all had prior experience using chainsaws. I saw this as an opportunity to to demonstrate how to safely and properly bring down a small tree. They were up for it!

Using a pole chainsaw and an abundance of caution, we worked together to piece out limbs from the lower branches to the top. This left the trunk, which we sectioned out in three-foot lengths to grade level, where they made a flush cut. We bucked up our cuttings and loaded it onto the truck to finish the job.

I am impressed by these emerging adults. Pete, Sevi and John are solid representatives of their school, community and generation. MAGC will continue to partner with Archie Williams and all of the Tam Unified High School District schools. We are indeed a place for hands-on learning, just with a chainsaw!

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IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center