Oakland, CA – Oakland Parks, Recreation & Youth Development is pleased to announce that Frances Bienati has been selected as Oakland’s 2022 Mother of the Year.
Frances affectionately known as “Fran” is a long-time resident of the upper Fruitvale district of Oakland. Frances was a businesswoman in the area for more than four decades, where she welcomed everyone to Ann’s Café, the breakfast diner that became a gathering place for the neighborhood. Fran ran Ann’s Café, the café her mother founded in the upper Fruitvale district, for 42 years. For those years Fran was a nurturing figure for the neighborhood, bringing together people from all walks of life. She fed people who were down on their luck. She was a matchmaker who brought many couples together. She was a cheerful presence to the lives of many. She would volunteer with neighborhood events, such as pancake breakfasts. She was a friend to police and criminals alike. Since retiring from the restaurant business she has been managing catering at the Colombo Club, arranging many festive occasions, and has been an active participant of many other Italian club activities.
Bruce De Benedictis, Chair of the Friends of Oakland Municipal Band initiated the nomination and Robert Raburn, PhD, Director - District 4 for the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) also provided a support letter in honor of Frances Bienati.
The honoree will be recognized during the 69th Annual Oakland Mother of the Year Award Ceremony at 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The ceremony will be held virtually. The public is welcome to view the event online.
"Oakland’s Mother of the Year Award" is a project of Oakland Parks, Recreation & Youth Development and was initiated in 1954 to publicly honor an Oakland citizen whose contributions to the community symbolize the finest traditions of motherhood. Past honorees have included hard-working, dedicated community servants whose volunteerism has been exemplary.