ABOUT US: Hilary's Story

I lost my mom, who was my best friend, to breast cancer. This was after losing several other beloved family members to other types of cancers. I was devastated and promised my mother she would never be forgotten.
— Hilary Newsom

In 2002, Tessa Newsom, the mother of PlumpJack President Hilary Newsom and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, lost her fight with breast cancer.  She was 55.  It was not the first time the Newsom family had been struck by this disease: Hilary & Gavin’s father had lost four of five siblings to cancer.  Something had to change, both to preserve Tessa Newsom’s legacy and — most importantly — to turn the tide on cancer.

“As long as we are around, we will give back. It is our honor and our pleasure.”

In response to their family’s tragic loss, Hilary and her husband Geoff Callan (whose own mother is a 27 year breast cancer survivor) began their work to support breast cancer treatment, education, and the eventual cure of this disease.  Hilary threw herself passionately into the cancer research and support communities, forging profound relationships with families at all stages of the treatment and recovery process.  In 1999, PlumpJack hosted the first PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic, which to-date has raised over $3.3 million for the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC).

 The success of the golf tournament, coupled with PlumpJack’s increasing role as a powerful philanthropic and environmental force in the Bay Area and Tahoe, evidenced the need to formalize the company’s commitment to the community.  The PlumpJack Foundation was established in 2014 as a means of uniting PlumpJack’s many philanthropic and service pursuits under one umbrella.


 “What can I do that will make your life better, today, right now?”

 A 4th-generation San Franciscan, Hilary Newsom was raised with a legacy of serving her community.  Her father — himself an environmental philanthropist and advocate — encouraged every opportunity for the family to participate in acts of community service extending well beyond philanthropy.  Today, at a moment when so many philanthropists and corporate foundations work with officials and administrators on a citywide or nationwide level, Hilary reminds us that behind every cause is a collection of individuals: her neighbors, her employees, her friends, her family.  A tireless volunteer in her free time, she is never more inspired than when she is interacting with people in need and asking the question: “What can I do that will make your life better, today, right now?”

 A wig.  A meal.  A ride.  A friend.

 From the beginning, PlumpJack has partnered with organizations that empower individuals by providing them with the day-to-day resources and tools, which restore or affirm their dignity, and help them to regain control over their lives.   

“It starts with the lemonade stand on the corner of your street, teaching the next generation that raising funds and sharing with others can change the course of someone’s life. Wow, how empowering is that!”