Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - January 14, 2011

Thanks for your generosity

Contributions coupled with matching funds for the Pleasanton Weekly 2010 Holiday Fund soared to more than $145,000 this week, far surpassing our goal of $100,000 and raising to nearly $30,000 the amount each of this year's five beneficiaries will receive to meet the growing needs of their organizations.

The Holiday Fund campaign, which wraps up today, has provided nearly $1 million in donations to nonprofits in the Tri-Valley, including more than $400,000 last year to help fund a special jobs program in corroboration with regional, county and other funding sources. That program, managed by the Tri-Valley Community Foundation, was able to put more than 200 managers and professionals who had lost their jobs back to work in meaningful, long-term positions.

Again this year, the Tri-Valley Community Foundation has provided $50,000 in matching funds for the eighth annual Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund. The five nonprofits that will benefit are Axis Community Health, Hope Hospice, Open Heart Kitchen, Valley Humane Society and the Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center at ValleyCare Health Systems.

Axis Community Health: Provides medical, mental health, addiction counseling and health education services to more than 20,000 patients and clients each year, regardless of their ability to pay. An estimated 70 percent have no medical insurance or are underinsured, including some that have recently lost their jobs and health benefits. Call 462-1755 or visit www.axishealth.org.

Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center at ValleyCare: The ValleyCare Health Library and Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center, established in 1991, offers free access to easy to understand, up-to-date health and medical information. Open to the public, the library is located in the ValleyCare Medical Plaza, 5725 W. Las Positas Blvd., Suite 270, Pleasanton. The center is named for Ryan Comer, a star baseball player at Amador Valley High School who died of a rare form of pediatric cancer known as rhabdomyosarcoma in 1991 at age 17.

Hope Hospice: Hospice care is unique because it works to not only meet the needs of those at the end of life but also supports the emotional and spiritual needs of the family as well. Hope Hospice care is provided regardless of the ability to pay and relies on contributions such as those raised by the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund.

Open Heart Kitchen: As the only nonprofit free soup kitchen in the Tri-Valley area, this service provides nutritious meals for low-income people in the area at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pleasanton, Holy Cross Lutheran and Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Livermore, and CrossWinds Church in Dublin. Visit www.openheartkitchen.org or call 580-1616.

Valley Humane Society: This nonprofit group's mission is to teach responsible pet ownership. It assists in rescuing and placing abandoned or injured animals and operates an adoption center on Nevada Street in Pleasanton. It does not euthanize unless health problems dictate. Call 426-8656.

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 of the money raised will go to these local nonprofit groups. In addition, all funds are held in trust by the Tri-Valley Community Foundation and are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Contributions will continue to be accepted through Jan. 31. Checks should be made payable to Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund and sent or delivered to: The Holiday Fund, Pleasanton Weekly, 5506 Sunol Blvd., Suite 100, Pleasanton, CA 94566.

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