You're Invited: There's Still Time to Buy Tickets to the Yearly Chamber Gala

You can still buy tickets to the 49th Annual Community Service Awards Gala, where the Chamber of Commerce honors the city's brightest stars with Community Service Awards.

By Wendy Gutshall

The , featuring dueling pianos, elegant food stations, fine art and a hosted bar will be the setting for a community celebration of good people doing great things in Pleasanton on Friday, March 23.

According to Board Chair April Mitchell, a limited number of tickets remain available to attend the 49th Annual Community Service Awards Gala that will feature gourmet food stations by and 2 Grand Entertainment, performing audience favorites in lively ‘dueling’ fashion.

The Community Service Awards began in 1963 to recognize good people doing great things in the community and since then hundreds of recipients have been honored.

“This year we continue the tradition with four outstanding recipients,” says Mitchell.

A fifth award, from the Chamber’s Foundation, will be presented to the city of Pleasanton for the outstanding manner in which the Firehouse Arts Center has operated in its first full year of operation, contributing to the vibrancy of downtown, and advancing arts and culture throughout the community.

The evening begins with hosted drinks and heavy hors d'oeuvres stations at 6 p.m., awards presentations, and entertainment follow until 10 p.m. $75 per person, and parties of eight or more receive preferential reserved seating for the entertainment and awards.

RSVP by March 19. Reservations can be made online at www.pleasanton.org or call 925-846-5858, ext. 201.

Business Philanthropy Award: For businesses that have provided philanthropic service beyond the scope of normal business activity. Honoree: Sensiba San Filippo LLP. (See below for more information about the firm, and all the other honorees).

Excellence in Business Award: For businesses that have made a positive impact in the Pleasanton community through their achievement within the scope of normal business activity. Honoree: .

Excellence in Service Award: For non-profit organizations that have contributed to Pleasanton. Honoree: .

Distinguished Individual Service Award: For individuals who have contributed to Pleasanton through exceptional service to the community or philanthropic efforts. Honoree: Bob Athenour.

Green Business Award: For businesses that promote sustainable environmental business practices throughout their organization for the benefit of employees, customers or the community. Honoree: .

Distinguished City Initiative Award: For a City of Pleasanton program or project given for social, economic or cultural accomplishments achieved by a group. Presented by the Pleasanton Chamber Community Foundation. Honoree: .

Sensiba San Filippo (SSF) is one of the largest Northern California-based CPA and Business consulting firms, focused on providing superior client service, deep technical expertise, and a passion for the industries they serve, to clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Their firm management leads by example, including setting a "tone at the top", in regards to community involvement and active participation in local communities where employees work and live. The leading principal of their management team is: Family. Community. Firm.

This commitment is reflected by examples from their leader, John Sensiba and his involvement in the local community, including coaching more than twenty youth sports teams, is the Audit Committee Chairman of Valley Care hospital, and is an active participant in the local Rotary club. Their employees are equally involved in supporting local community organizations.

Their firm further supports this with their annual "All Hands Day", during which they provide their employee base of 90+ people, to spend the afternoon volunteering for a local non-profit group. In addition, a number of employees are involved in the community giving back to a variety of organizations.

The West Coast Nationals brings over 60,000 attendees and an average of $6 million in economic impact to the Tri-Valley region each year. This represents the money that is spent by show attendees in restaurants, shops, hotels, and other Tri-Valley businesses during Goodguys events. Since Goodguys began hosting the events in the region in 1982, the association has brought more than $539 million in economic impact for the Tri-Valley region.

The event that started it all for Goodguys - the All American Get-Together, celebrates its 30th anniversary March 24-25 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. The festive weekend includes a giant show and shine and the crowning of the Goodguys 2012 West Coast Custom of the Year takes place.

The Pleasanton Community Concert Band marked the 30th Anniversary in 2005 and now has about 70 members, coming from as far away as Alameda, Brentwood, Fremont, San Francisco, and Stockton. The band has attained a high level of excellence and a strong spirit of community. Some musicians who played in the early years under Jerry Lapinski are with the band today: Bob Butler, Yvonne Greilich, Chuck Smith, and Bob Williams. Bob Williams is an instrumental component to the band’s success over the years and has been a member since 1975 as a horn player and the band's conductor since 1989.

Every year, the band sponsors a spring, family and holiday concerts. They also perform at several community events throughout the year. The band is s a non-profit corporation operating under contract with the Amador Adult Educational Program of the Pleasanton Unified School District. They are sanctioned by the City of Pleasanton and governed by an elected Board of Directors.

In 1984, Bob Athenour discovered Tulancingo and proposed establishing a sister city association which he has headed three different times. He has become a household name for thousands of Mexicans in Tulancingo where he has led delegations of Pleasanton supporters for the last 26 years. He spearheaded the fundraising efforts to aid the people in Tulancingo after the devastating flood.

In 2003, Bob, who is a lifelong Rotarian, encouraged the Pleasanton Rotary to join forces with the Wheelchair Foundation in Blackhawk. They have done about 2 containers a year, given away over 4,000 wheelchairs since it started and Bob has been on all the Pleasanton Rotary Club trips but one. When Pleasanton Rotary started wheelchair distribution in Latin America, he helped kick off the
program with his sister-city connections.

Bob Athenour received the Mayors Award in 2001 and was honored with the Ed Kinney Community Development Award in 2008. In 2010, Bob was honored by the Community of Character Collaborative for his years of service as a founder and board member of the Pleasanton Tulancingo Sister City Association and as chairman of the Wheelchair Committee of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton. Bob was also recognized in 2001 as the Pleasanton Weekly’s Man of the Year.

In 2011, The Dahlin Group Architecture Planning received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for its headquarters building in Pleasanton. Located at 5865 Owens Drive, the facility earned United States Green Building Council's LEED Silver rating for commercial interiors. It is the first LEED-certified structure for Hacienda Business Park and the
third for Pleasanton.

Originally an auto insurance inspection facility, the Owens Drive building today reflects Dahlin Group’s signature design approach, featuring a dramatic focal stair and an open office plan. Among these are functional sunshades, low VOC paints, environmentally sensitive carpeting and adhesives, water thrifty plumbing and spectrally selective glass.

Dahlin Group maintains offices in Pleasanton, San Francisco, Irvine, and Solana Beach, California; and in Beijing, China. The firm’s staff includes LEED-accredited professionals and LEED projects under construction in Sacramento, Dublin, San Jose and Oakland.

The historic Fire Station Number One in downtown Pleasanton was built in 1929 with bricks from a local foundry. This treasured building continues its legacy with the Pleasanton Community as it was transformed into the Firehouse Arts Center in 2010. The Pleasanton Cultural Arts Foundation (PCAF), the City’s non-profit partner on the project, raised nearly $2 million in donations for the Firehouse Arts Center.

The Firehouse Arts Center is the centerpiece for the visual and performing arts in Pleasanton. During the Firehouse’s first year of operation, 20,000 patrons came through the door for performances, classes, movies, and events. The stunning facility hosts an ongoing roster of performances and shows and plays a pivotal role in the local economy.

Based on an arts attendance multiplier, the economic benefit to Pleasanton is estimated to be $600,000 in the first 10 months the Firehouse Arts Center has been open. The Firehouse Arts Center helps generate many new patrons who enjoy the many retail and dining options available in the downtown district and throughout the city.


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