Dear friends and colleagues,

Today we awoke once again to the news of another senseless act of violence, this one resulting in the loss of 12 lives. This time, the tragedy occurred in our neighboring community of Thousand Oaks, just five miles from the offices of the Hilton Foundation at the Borderline Bar and Grill, where dozens of local college students gather every Wednesday night to dance, celebrate and socialize.

What happened last night, while many of us were sleeping, is nothing short of horror. This time, it was right here in our neighborhood.

Working with the Ventura County Community Foundation, the City of Thousand Oaks, Amgen Foundation and California Community Foundation, we established the CONEJO VALLEY VICTIMS FUND to provide support to the victims, families and organizations providing first and second line support. Please visit this page to learn more or to make a donation.

Today, we extend our support and compassion to the victims and those affected by last night’s tragedy. We ask that you take a moment today to commemorate the lives that were lost and to honor first responders like Sergeant Ron Helus, who devoted his life to protecting the safety of the community.

But tomorrow, we must work to address the larger issue. Last week, it was Squirrel Hill. This week, it was in our neighborhood. What happened last night is another horrifying example of another local occurrence of a national phenomenon. I do not and will not accept that this is our new way of life.

On this day and every day, we encourage you to be kind to yourself, and to others.