Twenty-one charity organizations, including 10 from Benicia and Vallejo, received a combined $320,000 in grants awarded through the Valero Benicia Refinery’s participation in the Valero Texas Open and Benefit for Children Golf Classic held in the company’s headquarters in San Antonio, Texas last April. The golf tournament raised a record $11 million with funds to be distributed to children’s charities throughout the United States.
The Valero Benicia Refinery announced its local recipients at a breakfast held Friday morning at Veteran’s Memorial Hall. The meal was catered by First Street Cafe and had several local dignitaries in attendance, including Vice Mayor Steve Young, Councilmember Mark Hughes, Economic Development Manager Mario Giuliani, Benicia Unified School District assistant superintendent of educational services Leslie Beatson, Good Neighbor Steering Committee founder Marilyn Bardet and more.
Among the 21 recipients were 10 from Benicia and Vallejo:
* Benicia Ballet Theatre (awarded $10,000): The grant will go toward providing outreach to students in Solano County schools who are underrepresented in performing arts education. The ballet dancers also performed at the breakfast.
* Benicia Community Action Council ($25,000): The grant will continue to fund resources and services for low-income families, including an opportunity to attend summer camp.
* Benicia Education Foundation ($25,000): The grant will go toward supporting the Elementary Exploratory Wheel project– which provides classes in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics courses– at BUSD’s four elementary schools.
* The Benicia Historical Museum ($10,000): The grant will go toward supporting the museum’s educational programs, including the annual “I Dig Benicia!” archaeological event.
* Benicia Youth Soccer ($5,000): The program will designate its funds for its TOP Soccer program for children with special needs.
* Friends of Loma Vista Farm ($20,000): The funds will sponsor projects to support education programs and facilities at the 5-acre outdoor classroom in Vallejo that provides hands-on educational activities involving plants and animals.
* Leaven Program ($10,000): The grant will help fund the Burgess Tutoring Center, which has a residential complex in Benicia for elementary schoolers.
* Literary Tools ($20,000): Literary Tools is a Benicia nonprofit which provides literary resources to students and agencies. The grant will support the STEAM Ahead Program to help promote literacy as well as STEAM programs for children.
* Reynaissance Family Center ($10,000): The funds will continue to serve the Vallejo residential center that serves families and children in transition, including parents and children displaced from their home due to domestic violence.
* VOENA ($10,000): the grant will continue to provide the opportunity for children from economically disadvantaged families to participate in the world-renowned local choir.
The rest of the groups honored were the Boys and Girls Club of Contra Costa, Camp Taylor, Court Appointed Children’s Advocates of Solano County, Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County, Child Start, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation– NorCal Chapter, East Bay College Fund, Harbor House, Horseplay Therapeutic Riding Center, Royal Family Kids Camp, and Vacaville Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club.