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Max Rossi cared deeply for the needs of the people in SolanoCounty and always supported them in various ways. He was a civic leader and community representative for former Congressman Vic Fazio, entertaining guests such as former Governor Jerry Brown and Assemblyman Tom Hannigan. He was the assistant county tax assessor for Solano County.
But Max was an influential community activist and philanthropist, too. He was a key force in forming the Solano Community Foundation, and one of the eleven founding members. Max Rossi was enthusiastic about strengthening the community, and was dedicated in doing so through private donors and lasting contributions.
According to his wife Nancy “He started the Foundation because he saw a real need for it in Solano County." He had noticed there was nothing here like it, and money that could help people was leaving the county. He really stressed the importance of keeping the money local, and for the need to help each other."
In February 1995, Max Rossi became the first elected Chairman of the SCF Board of Directors. In March of 1996, SCF received its 501(C)(3) I.R.S. determination letter and fundraising began in earnest. With Max's personal efforts, and his leadership, SCF assets held under management grew from $20,000 in 1997, to $1.8 million in 2002. Max also served as the Board Chair of the NorthBay Healthcare Foundation. His passion for improving the community’s health care services for seniors helped NorthBay Healthcare fund their Alzheimer’s Day Care program.
For Nancy Rossi, losing her husband Max "so early" was one of the hardest ordeals she has faced. Max Rossi was only 73 years old when he died. "He was the love of my life, and we were five months short of celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary when he passed away," said Nancy, during her 2007 interview with SCF. "He loved dancing, jazz music, and seeing the world." During their almost 50 years of marriage, they had travelled to 156 countries. Prior to his untimely death, they had made plans to make more trips.
Max Rossi was a man devoted to his family and the church. “He was very secretive about his donations and charitable giving," said Nancy. "He always felt that when you give, you feel blessed". "God remembers that, and it feels good."
The Rossi family set up an endowment fund at the Foundation, in honor of Max. His desire to help the community continues even in his absence. Nancy Rossi, a woman devoted to helping the children in the community, finds fulfillment when making grants that support children’s programs. “I enjoy helping people in need, and particularly children in need. There are so many single mothers who need our help, and having a charitable fund is something the community can benefit from," said Nancy. "It’s money going toward something I love."