07-21-21 | Department

Bronzed in Remembrance

Pat Dando Gave Back to Her Community Her Entire Life, Now Her Community Honors Her with A Bronze Statue
by Jennifer VanderArend

As a prominent member of Almaden Valley, Pat Dando gave back to the community either through her civic duties or as a substitute teacher for San Jose Unified School District, Dando was well respected in the community.
The Pat Dando Plaza honors her with a hand sculpted bronze statue and plaque outside of the Almaden Library and Community Center. The structure was sculpted by Mario Chiodo who sculpted the memorial from a sketch all the way through to its bronze casting. HMH donated their services to create a memorial sculpture to honor Dando.

After her passing in 2017, an endowment was set up to honor philanthropist, Pat Dando of San Jose, CA. Dando lived out her life giving back to numerous organizations that she connected with as a San Jose City council member and vice mayor, president of the San Jose Unified School District Parents and Teacher Association and substitute teacher. She also volunteered at the San Jose Women's Shelter for Domestic Violence, was co-founder of the Almaden Valley Counseling Service, and co-founded the Stroke Awareness Foundation.

Always giving back, the prominent civic leader admired bronze statues like the ones she would see on her frequent trips to Boston. She admired the sculptors so much she coordinated a bronze Fontana sculpture which is placed in Almaden Valley. The statue honors Jeffrey Fontana, a local police officer that was killed in the line of duty. After her passing, the Pat Dando Legacy Endowment Fund decided a bronze structure of her would be a suitable memorial.
HMH a multidisciplinary design firm from San Jose, CA volunteered to donate their services to help create a memorial sculpture plaza in her honor. Artist, Mario Chiodo, was selected to create the Pat Dando memorial sculpture in 2020 because of his experience in creating both public and private artwork. With the help of graphic artist, Pat Sunseri from De Mattei Construction, a rough sketch of the statue and plaque was drawn up before the sculpture was created. From there, a wireframe base was molded before the clay was placed and sculpted around the frame. Finally, the Pat Dando Memorial sculpture received its bronze casting, but the sculpture was only half of the project.
HMH worked closely with Biggs-Cardosa Associates, who supported the structural calculations for the statue. The Landscape Architects guided the contractors on layout and concrete specifications, selected a flowering tree from the south, and offered construction assistance. The result is a sculpture dedication that sits outside of the Almaden Library and Community Center. The Pat Dando Plaza honors a passionate woman with a heart for service. Dando will always be remembered for her philanthropy, advocacy, and meaningful contributions to her community.

As seen in LASN magazine, July 2021.


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