Around Pleasanton: PPIE's Pillars program aims at raising record-high contributions for schools


The Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) Foundation will launch a citywide campaign later this month to generate increased business support for Pleasanton schools and school organizations.

Called the "Pillars of Pleasanton" campaign, PPIE, in conjunction with the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, will publicly recognize and encourage all businesses that operate in Pleasanton to support public schools in various ways.

"Pleasanton's award-winning schools are a major reason why families and businesses move here and stay here," said PPIE's executive director Steve McCoy-Thompson. "While our local economy and housing values are strong, local businesses are critically important. We want to celebrate our contributing businesses."

Many businesses already contribute in many ways with financial support, employees volunteering time, and through in-kind and discount gifts.

Moreover, McCoy-Thompson pointed out, these businesses also support organizations such as PPIE, but also parent clubs like PTA, PTSA and PFC, and our athletic and music boosters groups by donating directly to schools.

"So, in partnership with the chamber and a group of business, school and community leaders who want to support our schools and students as part of the PPIE Advisory Council, we are launching this campaign," McCoy-Thompson said. "We invite businesses that operate in Pleasanton to review our Pillars poster and join up."

McCoy-Thompson will present the Pillars campaign to the City Council at its Aug. 20 meeting to inform members about the program.

PPIE also will sponsor the inaugural "State of the School District" luncheon next Jan. 22 at DoubleTree Hotel, which will feature an address by PUSD Superintendent David Haglund and will showcase the Pillars program.

Through its fundraisers and last April's Run for Education, PPIE has donated $711,000 in the last school year for key supplemental staff, STEAM grants and other programs. The April run alone raised $115,000.

"The Pleasanton Chamber recognizes the value that our excellent schools bring to our community," said Steve Van Dorn, president and CEO. "They are not only an important reason why families choose to live and work here, but also a major driver for new businesses to locate and grow in Pleasanton. This is why we are happy to support the Pillars of Pleasanton campaign."

Carrie Varoquiers, vice president, global impact and employee life at Workday and president of the Workday Foundation, agreed.

"As a proud member of the Pleasanton community, Workday is a longtime supporter of our local schools through PPIE," she said.

Nichelle Rachal of the Pleasanton operations of Clorox added, "Clorox has supported Pleasanton schools since we first built our R&D facility here in 1973. Since then, our employees have been very involved in the local schools and overall community."

"We take pride in helping to build the incredible and thriving town that Pleasanton is today and look forward to continuing to play an active role in the community for years to come," she said.

Tim Cabral, chief financial officer of Veeva Systems in Pleasanton, said his cloud-computing company is proud to be a part of the Pleasanton community.

"Supporting our schools and helping them build for the future is important to us, and we look forward to our continued partnership and engagement with PPIE," he added.

Nathaniel S. Rearick, social investment representative of San Ramon-based Chevron USA and steward of the company's "Fuel Your School" program, said Chevron works with groups like PPIE and takes a comprehensive approach to investments in education by supporting teachers and providing access to quality education.

"This includes STEM education where we hope to get students excited about STEM and encourage them to pursue STEM-related careers," he said. "These investments ultimately help us. Tomorrow's Chevron engineers are today's schoolchildren."

Editor's note: Jeb Bing is editor emeritus for the Pleasanton Weekly. His "Around Pleasanton" columns typically run on the second and fourth Fridays of every month.

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