Pleasanton Weekly

News - January 21, 2011

Weekly's Holiday Fund wins Chamber's 'Philanthropy' award

Four others to share in annual community service recognition

by Jeb Bing

The Pleasanton Weekly has been named the winner of this year's "Business Philanthropy Award" by the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce.

The newspaper won its award for its annual Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund, which just concluded its 2010 fundraising campaign with a record $145,000 in contributions. Five local nonprofits will share equally in the contributions.

In addition to the Weekly, four others will receive awards at the Chamber's 48th annual Community Service Awards dinner to be held Jan. 28 at the Marriott Hotel in Pleasanton. They are:

* Spring Street Studios, Excellence in Business award, as a business that has made a positive impact in the Pleasanton community through its achievement within the scope of normal business activity;

* Child Care Links, Excellence in Service Award, as a nonprofit organization that has contributed to Pleasanton;

* Joyce Shapiro, for Distinguished Individual Service, as an individual who has contributed to Pleasanton through exceptional service to the community or philanthropic efforts, and,

* Ponderosa Homes, the Green Business award, as a business that promotes sustainable environmental business practices throughout its organization for the benefit of employees,

In selecting the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund for this year's award, the Chamber stated that 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 and marketing expenses so all money raised can support local nonprofit groups. This year, the fund has raised more than $450,000 from donors in direct and matching contributions, including a $50,000 match by the Tri-Valley Community Foundation.

In recognizing the other recipients, the chamber stated:

Spring Street Studios: In 20 years in Pleasanton, Jerry Pentin of Spring Street Studios has donated numerous videos at a value of hundreds of thousands of dollars for initiatives and nonprofits. A few of the recipients of his volunteering talents are Firehouse Arts, Pleasanton Partners in Education, Tulancingo Sister City, Cycling for Civics to support Mock Trial and Competition Civics at Amador Valley and Foothill High schools, Veterans Hall, Pleasanton North Rotary and more.

Child Care Links: In the past 30 years, Child Care Links has been dedicated to the children and families in Alameda County, acting as a leader in the community, advocating for quality child care and resources for families. Child Care Links is committed to offering a variety of services at no cost to the community. The agency helps to enrich the lives of children in the Tri-Valley by providing educational workshops for parents and childcare providers.

Joyce Shapiro: Joyce Shapiro has been a consistent volunteer and leader for the community since moving to Pleasanton in the mid 1960s. She has been a downtown business owner, property owner, chamber officer, director and president.

In the 1970s, she was on the Pleasanton Planning Commission. She started the Pleasanton Downtown Association and was its first president in 1979. She organized the first fundraiser for the Pleasanton Senior Center and the city's centennial in 1994.

More recently, for the past five years she has served as program manager of the Leadership Pleasanton program, a volunteer position. She chaired the first successful fundraiser for the Firehouse Arts Center project and joined the Tri-Valley YMCA board of directors in 2009.

Ponderosa Homes: Ponderosa Homes provides every home within The Village at Ironwood community with a solar (photovoltaic) roofing system and gives residents the ability to track energy performance of their Eagle Solar Roofing system on-line. The innovative storm water treatment system is designed to be integrated into the community, which includes a permeable paving system in the private streets, bio-swales and retention basins in landscaped areas, and an advanced underground detention facility to restore clean water to the environment.

In addition, the front yards are designed to maximize water conservation by featuring drought-tolerant plants and eliminating the use of turf areas to lessen the need for fertilizers/herbicides and maintenance. The high-efficiency irrigation system, which includes a satellite-based controller, also reduces water use by tailoring water consumption to the local conditions.

The Community Service Awards began in 1962 to recognize good people doing great things in the community and since then hundreds of recipients have been honored.

UNCLE Credit Union will once again sponsor this annual chamber tradition -- the 48th annual Community Service Awards and Chamber of Commerce dinner.

At the dinner, outgoing Chamber board chairman Steve Fast will pass the leadership gavel to incoming chairman Tom Powers of California Financial Advisors, a longtime Pleasanton resident and active member of the Chamber.

The dinner event is open to the public at a cost of $75 per person. Reservations can be made online at www.pleasanton.org or by calling 846-5858, Ext. 201.

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