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It is with deep gratitude that I have been able to live in this community since 1967. I think many of us feel that way no matter how long we have lived here. I have also been a Rotarian for the past 20 years and have, through that organization, been able to “give back” to my community.

Have you noticed some signs around town that say, “You Won’t Believe What Rotary is up to now?” If you haven’t found out, I would like to tell you. Rotary is challenging the individuals in our community to donate to Preschool For All, an organization that provides scholarships to 3- and 4-year-olds in the St. Helena area to attend nursery school. Most of their charitable contributions have come from generous Family Foundations. Only 5% of the total has come from individuals. We would like to widen the giving pool to include the whole community, giving whatever one can to help send a child to preschool. Rotary and their sponsors, Sunshine Market, Grace Church, Jennifer Lamb, Joice Beatty Scholarship Fund, and anonymous givers will match donations up to $13,000. Rotarians and preschool parents are also putting on a Celebration Party in Crane Park on Sept. 7. At that time we hope all donors will come and hear from grateful parents, meet the prospering students, and hear from Julio Olguin, managing director, who will tell us exactly how our donation dollars have been used.

There are two ways to donate. You may write a check to St. Helena Rotary Foundation and mail it to St. Helena Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 211, St. Helena, CA 94574 or go online to sthelenarotary.org, press the Preschool For All button at the top of the page and you will be taken to a donate page.

So many of our children have the opportunity to attend preschool and it gives them a head start when they begin kindergarten. For those who don’t have that experience, they start off a little behind. We hope you will find it in your heart to help those students get off to positive kindergarten experience because they have had two years of preschool. St. Helena is a community that takes care of its own.

Kathleen Patterson

Rotary President

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