Businesses and PUSD Combine to Donate Almost $200,000 to College-Bound Paramount Students
The Paramount Education Partnership has been giving out college scholarships for 14 years. The City's very generous business community has made this possible with their annual support of the PEP fundraiser. There have also been smaller fundraisers held on a regular basis at local businesses.
This past year, for instance, Yogurtland, Alondra Hot Wings, Horchateria Rio Luna, Gus's Deli, and Chipotle all gave part of what their customers spent on certain days to the scholarships.
During March, the annual Pennies for PEP fundraiser is also held through Paramount Unified School District. And what a success that was this year.
For 2016, by way of comparison, the District made a record-breaking contribution of more than $20,000 to the PEP fund.
But, as they say, records are made to be broken.
This past March, the Pennies for PEP figure from PUSD was an astonishing $114,000.
There were the usual containers for spare change in all elementary and middle schools, the high school campuses and adult school, at the District office, and at City facilities. But this year special events were held and creative ways of encouraging donations were put in place.
When all fundraising efforts were combined, a total of $188,000 was made available for college scholarships for local students. This amount allowed the number of scholarships to grow from 24 to 36.
Everyone deserves special thanks for helping out. But the schools that gave the most money deserve special recognition.
Five schools joined the "$10,000 Club," raising at least that much money:
Jackson Middle School (Principal Kelly Anderson);
Paramount Park Middle School (Principal Kevin Longworth);
Zamboni Middle School (Principal Sue Saikaly);
Alondra Middle School (Principal Lynn Butler);
Paramount High West Campus (Principal Elizabeth Salcido).
There was a competition among schools set up like college basketball's March Madness, with brackets and winners moving forward, and the top school in this was Jackson and Principal Anderson.
And the top fundraising school overall was … Jackson and Principal Anderson - $31,000!
All of the principals mentioned here were recognized at the May 2 Paramount City Council meeting and given special PEP Piggy Bank Awards.
What's just as important as the money for scholarships is the enthusiasm that's part of Pennies for PEP month. Kids at all schools get excited about the concept of going to college. It has turned into a great advertisement for higher education.
A very special thank you to the following PEP Scholarship donors:
Weber Metals, Inc. $18,000
AltAir Paramount $10,000
Marukan Vinegar (USA), Inc. $10,000
R&N Kroeze Family Giving and Legacy Fund $5,000
Fiesta Taxi Co-Op, Inc. $3,000
Mattco Forge, Inc. $3,000
Willdan Group, Inc. $3,000
Carlton Forge Works $2,500
Horchateria Rio Luna $1,713
CalMet Services, Inc. $1,500
Charles and Margaret Garcia $1,000
Charlie Lyons Properties $1,000
Daryl & Barbra Hofmeyer $1,000
Farmers & Merchants Bank $1,000
Paramount Grocery Outlet Bargain Market $1,000
SC Fuels $1,000
Total American Investment Company $1,000
Zamboni Company $1,000
Gus's Deli BBQ and Grill $800
Alondra Hot Wings $560
All American Wheel Company $500
Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo $500
Ink Head Design & Prints $500
Max B. Martinez, D.D.S. $500
Norwalk True Value Hardware $500
Paramount Elks 1804 $500
Raymond Guillen Income Tax $500
Standard Catering, Inc. $500
Maria MacLean $300
Casa Gamino $250
Gama Zeta Delta Kappa Gamma Society $200