Thank you to the 256 donors to the Pleasanton Weekly's 2018 Holiday Fund. Your generous contributions allowed us to present at total of $68,416 to 15 deserving nonprofit beneficiaries last week at a luncheon hosted by the Rotary Club of Pleasanton.
At the same time, the Rotary Club, in its generosity, donated $38,000 from its foundation to local charities, many of them the same that received checks from the Weekly's Holiday Fund.
The Holiday Fund checks were presented by Gina Channell, publisher of the Pleasanton Weekly, and Julianne Brown, manager for corporate responsibility of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, our partner in handling Holiday Fund contributions.
"The Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation, PPIE, is very grateful to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund and the Rotary Club of Pleasanton for their support," executive director Steve McCoy-Thompson said at the event.
"These funds will help us keep school libraries open longer, provide targeted intervention for all students in reading and math, support counseling for our high school students and ensure that school information technology is accessible to all teachers and students," he explained.
Added Debi Zentner, vice president of Sunflower Hill, another recipient: "We appreciate so much the generosity and support of Pleasanton Rotary and the Pleasanton Weekly. You are changing the lives of developmentally disabled individuals."
"Sunflower Hill will use these funds to lay the groundwork to create a vibrant residential community at Sunflower Hill's Irby Ranch," she added, "creating a warm and vibrant residential community for individuals with these disabilities."
Valley Humane Society will use the contribution for its expansion program.
"Because of the incredible support received through the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund, we are getting closer to reaching our goal of opening a surgical center on our property so won't have to outsource necessary services that we've had to do for the last 31 years," said Melanie Sadek, executive director.
Shaké Sulikyan also thanked the Pleasanton Weekly, our readers and the Rotary Club of Pleasanton Foundation for the generous contributions to ValleyCare Charitable Foundation, where she is the executive director.
"You have done some noble work without expecting anything in return. You are my inspiration," she said in quoting a patient who had been supported through philanthropy.
Also grateful for the Holiday Fund help was Jennifer Pettley, development director at Hope Hospice. She said the funds will help her organization meet the increasing costs of providing hospice, home health and dementia care, grief support and community education.
Other Holiday Fund recipients and their comments included:
Kay King, REACH for Special Adults of the Tri-Valley: "We provide homes where an adult with a developmental disability can live independently. These grant funds help us with the costs of maintenance and repairs on the properties REACH owns."
Denise Bridges, development director, Open Heart Kitchen: "These donations will allow us to continue serving about 6,300 meals each week throughout the Tri-Valley, including our weekend bag lunches for Pleasanton students on free/reduced lunch programs."
Kelly Cousins, Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council: "Generous donations from the Weekly's Holiday Fund and Pleasanton Rotary help us to continue our mission of encouraging, supporting and promoting the arts in our schools and community, as we have been doing for the past 40 years."
Also sharing in the $68,416 from donors to the 2018 Holiday Fund were Axis Community Health, Agape Villages Foster Family Agency, CityServe of the Tri-Valley, Museum on Main, Pleasanton Military Families, Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation and Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley.