Progress Report: Celebrating PEF's Achievements in 2023

As the early days of 2024 move along, we at the Petaluma Education Foundation (PEF) like to reflect on the significant milestones and heartwarming moments that defined 2023. It was a year brimming with achievements, growth, and profound community impact.

2023: A Year In Review

March: Welcoming Stacey Wenzel

Our year kicked off with an exciting addition to our team.

In March, Stacey Wenzel joined us as PEF's Marketing & Special Events Coordinator. Stacey, a Petaluma resident since 2010 and a parent to sons who have thrived in Petaluma schools, brought not only her expertise but also her deep community roots to PEF. As the "go-to" person for event details, Stacey has been instrumental in connecting and sharing our vibrant activities with the broader PEF audience.

April: Inspiring Future Leaders and Celebrating Student Achievements

April was a bustling month with two significant events. We had the honor of coordinating the annual Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Education Day. This enlightening experience took members through various local schools, showcasing diverse and innovative educational programs.

The same month, we hosted the PEF Scholarship Reception, a heartening event where we distributed $269,060 in scholarships to the ambitious Class of 2023, supporting their future academic endeavors in various fields.

May: Launching the Bite-Sized Learning Series

In May, we introduced the Bite-Sized Learning series – free, hour-long lunch sessions aimed at providing quick yet rich educational experiences. Covering topics from college savings to student mental health, these sessions, including a special evening edition featuring a superintendent's panel, have been a valuable resource for our community.

August: Community Engagement and Fundraising

August was a time of reconnection as students and teachers headed back to school. PEF was fortunate to partner with local businesses like i Leoni, Estuary, STINK, and Ethical Clothing for a Sip & Shop event. The month also marked the launch of our PEF BASH Gala online auction, an event that saw enthusiastic participation from near and far, enhancing our fundraising efforts.

September: The Unforgettable School of Rock PEF BASH Gala

September witnessed one of our most memorable events – the School of Rock PEF BASH Gala. This epic gathering at The Barn at Gambonini Ranch was a night of celebration and support for our Impact Grant Program. Our community, including 450 friends and supporters, enjoyed an evening filled with dinner, dancing, auctions, and a private concert, all while honoring our generous event sponsors.

October: On-the-Ground Insights and Engagements

October allowed our PEF Board members a unique opportunity to see our grants in action through a bus tour. This first-hand experience of witnessing the tangible impacts of our grants was coupled with our grant presentation nights, further solidifying our commitment to educational excellence.

November & December: Strategizing for the Future

In November, we took a step back to reflect and strategize during our Strategic Planning Sub-Committee retreat. This gathering focused on refining our strategies to amplify our impact in the coming years. November concluded with the rewarding task of awarding 16 PEF Impact Grants to local schools. This testament to the hard work and dedication of our community and team who pledged to invest in education through the mission of PEF. In December, the Traveling Lantern theater brought joy and creativity, showcasing the diverse ways in which PEF supports and enriches education.

Join Us in Making a Difference: Embrace 2024 with Gratitude and Purpose

Your involvement can help us continue this vital work. Whether it's volunteering your time at Alphabet Soup, donating goods, or considering a role on our board, each action you take makes a significant impact. We invite you to learn more about how you can contribute to our mission this year. Please visit our webpage to find out how you can become a part of our journey towards educational excellence and community empowerment.

As we move further along in 2024, we are filled with gratitude for the unwavering support of our community, the dedication of our team, and the countless success stories that fuel our mission. We continue to do outreach to raise much-needed funding the for PEF Impact Grant program - we are $50,000 from our fundraising goal for this academic year!

Here's to another year of making a difference, fostering learning, and building a stronger, more educated community.