Ed Kinney awards go to Jan Batcheller, Tony MacchianoThe eighth annual Ed Kinney Community Patriot Awards were presented at a reception Monday evening at the Museum on Main with friends and family members of the 2012 award recipients, Jan Batcheller and Tony Macchiano, in attendance.
Museum on Main hosts reception to honor 'Community Patriots'
"By recognizing these worthy community members, we hope to inspire others and to motivate them to do what they can to make a positive difference in Pleasanton," said Ron Sutton, founder of the community's Fourth of July celebration, for which Kinney was the original master of ceremonies. Kinney also was a former mayor of Pleasanton and well known as announcer of local parades.
Jan Batcheller has been described as "a perpetual whirlwind of positive activity." She has owned two businesses downtown, the Photo Plant until 1982 and Main Gift Source, and has worked to promote support for local businesses. Along with Joyce Getty Shapiro, Batcheller said she launched the Pleasanton Downtown Association "at my dining room table" in 1981; Joe Callahan provided the start-up funds so that they could hire a manager for the 17 businesses that were then downtown.
Batcheller served on the board of directors for the Tri-Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau from 1994-98 and is a former president of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce; she notes that its membership is 95% small businesses.
"The quality of life we enjoy in Pleasanton is largely due to business," she said, which provides the tax base to support amenities.
Batcheller served as vice-president of the Centennial Celebration Committee, was a member of the Hope Hospice board of directors and is currently on the board for Museum On Main. She was formerly a school teacher, serving on the Valley View Elementary School parent advisory council and the site council for Pleasanton Middle School. Twice she has been on the search team for the local superintendent of schools.
She helped Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) Foundation 1985-87 with the CEO dinner fund-raiser and served on the advisory board. From1999-2007, Jan was on the board of directors for the Cal State East Bay Foundation, serving on the financial committee.
"This community has been the best place I know of to raise a family --wonderful teachers, coaches, and librarians," said Batcheller, who has lived here since 1973 with her husband John, and where they raised their two sons and daughter. "I am in debt to this community. I believe we should leave our community better than we found it, and so I will be paying my debt forever."
The other recipient, Tony Macchiano, uses his skills as a master of the barbecue to help charities and families in need. He has a crew of about eight called the Lickety Spits who have worked on hundreds of charitable barbecues, for organizations such as the Tulancingo Sister City Association and the Ryan Comer Health Library, as well as for families facing medical emergencies. Each autumn, Macchiano plays a key role in the Lions Club's crab feed for more than a thousand people at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
Macchiano served on the Alameda County Fair board of directors from 1998-2010 and is a board member of the 100 Club, which provides funding to the widows and families of law enforcement. He has also arranged for medical supplies and sports equipment for Tulancingo. At Pleasanton's Lions Wayside Park, he arranged building the bandstand, and he also helped renovate Amador Theater by hauling away truckloads of rubble.
Macchiano says he is most proud of founding GASIT, the George A. Spiliotopoulos Invitational Tournament, that for decades raised funds for scholarships to help local students attend college.
"When you interview some of these kids who are less fortunate than most in this town -- and there are a lot of them -- it makes you teary to hear how they want to better themselves," said Macchiano, who himself had to leave high school to start working at age 14.
Macchiano and his wife Shirley have lived in Pleasanton since 1969, when he and his brother-in-law, Bob Molinaro took over the Pleasanton Garbage Service. They are the parents of twin sons and a daughter and the grandparents of five children.
"I have to give back," Macchiano said. "We made a living here, and this town has been good to us. You don't have to call a newspaper every time you do stuff. You just need to help people and the community to be a good place."
The honorees are selected by past recipients of the Ed Kinney Community Patriot Award, plus the members of CelebratingJuly4.org, a nonprofit affiliate of the Tri-Valley Community Foundation.
--Pleasanton Weekly staff