In a presentation ceremony with many of Benicia’s notables in attendance, Valero Benicia Refinery representatives announced that 28 children’s charities from Solano and Contra Costa Counties would be the recipients of grant awards totaling $375,000. The standing-room only event was held at the Benicia Veteran’s Hall. Valero employees and representatives from the 28 charities came together with  community leaders, local business owners, City department heads, City Council members Mark Hughes and Christina Strawbridge, Solano County Supervisor Linda Seifert, City Manager Brad Kilger, Benicia Chamber of Commerce President Stephanie Christiansen and Benicia Economic Development Manager Mario Giuliani, to applaud the grant allocations.

Grants ranged from $5,000 to $30,000, and were awarded to a diverse group of organizations that work with children in some way. For example, The Benicia Historical Museum received $10,000 for offering children the opportunity to experience living history demonstrations, tours and outreach programs that enhance the California’s history curriculum, and the Benicia Education Foundation was awarded $25,000 to help fund libraries and computer labs in Benicia schools. Other Benicia recipients included Benicia Little League, Friends of the Benicia Public Library and the Benicia Community Action Council. 

The charities are nominated each year by Valero Employees, with grant awards funded from the proceeds of the 2013 Valero Texas Open and Benefit for Children Golf Classic, held in San Antonio, Texas, last April. “Each year, these gifts enable our community agencies and organizations to provide a wide range of services for children,” said Vice President and General Manager John Hill. “We know these grants will benefit children a multitude of ways in the communities where our employees live, work and volunteer.”