Checks totaling $138,715 were distributed this week to seven local nonprofits that were beneficiaries of the 2008-09 Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund, an annual community fundraiser that also included $50,000 in matching funds by the Tri-Valley Community Foundation.
Each of six of the organizations received checks of $19,245 with Open Heart Kitchen receiving $23,245 because of additional contributions specifically earmarked for this nonprofit. The other six are Axis Community Health, Hope Hospice, Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley, Tri-Valley Haven, Valley Humane Society and the Emergency Room expansion program at ValleyCare Medical Center.
The checks were distributed at a reception by the Weekly's President, Gina Channell-Allen, and Dave Rice, president and chief executive of the Community Foundation. The event was held at the Weekly's offices at 5506 Sunol Blvd.
"We all know how difficult the economy is, which makes these contributions from our readers and others in the Tri-Valley very impressive, indeed," said Channell-Allen. "I'm sure the beneficiaries of these contributions appreciate that so many stepped to the plate to help those who need our support more than ever, and so do we."
Rice agreed, adding: "These are truly desperate times for organizations that serve the needy--those with fixed incomes, with little or no health insurance and without jobs or whose employers have significantly reduced their working hours," Rice said. "A number of these individuals and families were among those who contributed to the Holiday Fund in years past and now they need our help, too."
"Although Pleasanton is ranked as one of the wealthiest cities its size in the nation, there are thousands in our area who rely on these seven organizations for individual and family assistance, emergency aid when they're suddenly without jobs and health care," Rice said. "Not everyone is wealthy here, not everyone has a job, not everyone has health insurance. These are the people who need our help."
Unlike most other fundraising drives by individual organizations, the Holiday Fund has no administrative expenses or other overhead. The Pleasanton Weekly donates all the support services so all money raised can support local non-profit groups. Under the umbrella of the Tri-Valley Community Foundation, which handles and audits donations as they are received, all contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.