Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - December 24, 2010

Rotary helps our community

Fresh on the heels of Pleasanton's downtown Rotary Club serving turkey dinners with all the trimming to Pleasanton seniors, the Pleasanton North Rotary Club is preparing for its New Year's Eve "Ball at the Mall" to benefit children and those in need in our community. These service organizations, including the Pleasanton and Amador Valley Lions Club, Tri-Valley Rotary and Pleasanton Kiwanis hold benefits throughout the year to raise funds for nonprofits that need our help. Like the Pleasanton Weekly's annual Holiday Fund, these efforts make a difference in Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley where the new Census might show a high percentage of affluency, but there are still thousands in less fortunate situations.

Pleasanton North Rotary's first annual New Year's Eve Ball at the Mall will be held from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Stoneridge Shopping Center. The fundraising gala will benefit children in our community. The dance party event for adults over 21 at a ticket price of $75 per person will feature live music, DJ Brad Kinney of Brad Kinney Productions as Master of Ceremonies and spinner of recorded music, and a piano bar for those who enjoy quieter entertainment. Cocktail food and several no-host bars will be situated at various locations throughout the Mall's common areas and complimentary champagne in commemorative glasses will be served to toast the New Year at midnight. The beneficiaries are:

* The School of Imagination, which offers families educational, developmental and enrichment services to ensure that their young children's individual needs and true potential are discovered.

* Pleasanton Partners in Education (PPIE) Foundation, a community-based organization which exists to enhance learning experiences for students of the Pleasanton Unified School District.

* Dublin Partners in Education (DPIE), which maximizes resources and enriches the learning experiences for all students of the Dublin Unified School District, and,

* Axis Community Health, which provides medical care, mental health counseling, substance abuse recovery and nutrition services for those in need in the Tri-Valley.

The event is being led by Pleasanton North Rotarians Bill Wheeler of Black Tie Transportation and Mitch Sigman, co-founder of the School of Imagination and Happy Talkers. Janet Lockhart, former Dublin mayor and executive director of the Dublin Partners in Education organization, pointed out in a recent message that "these are tough times for many people in our community and local nonprofit organizations and schools are feeling this, especially."

Pleasanton North Rotary is presenting a wonderful fundraising event that will be both classy and affordable.It's a chance for the public to have a fabulous New Year's celebration close to home, and, best of all, to feel good about helping our treasured Tri-Valley non-profits and local schools. It promises to be a fun and festive opportunity to help our own children while celebrating the new year with friends and family. Managers at Stoneridge Shopping Center, which has a capacity for thousands and is already beautifully decorated for the holidays, stepped up with enthusiasm when the Pleasanton North Rotary Club approached them to host this benefit for the community. Tickets can be purchased by going to www.theballatthemall.org. Hotel, transportation and babysitting services also are available online. We hope to see you there.

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