On Thursday, May 4, 2017, Meridian Hayward proudly hosted the 9th Annual Hero Awards Dinner in its new 30,000 sq. ft. hangar. The event was organized by the Hayward Education Foundation located in Hayward, CA. The Hayward Education Foundation launched the HEROES campaign in 2008 to acknowledge those who believe that children deserve the best education possible. Today, the organization’s everyday activities are building their future – Hayward Heroes are investing in their future.
Each year, the Hayward Education Foundation asks all schools in the Hayward community to choose a ‘hero’, someone in the school who has gone above and beyond his or her usual duties to serve the school. A ‘hero’ may be a volunteer, parent, custodian, office worker, parent, teacher, or anyone who the school community feels should be recognized for his or her commitment to the students and school in general.
The ‘hero dinner’ was the idea of community member and local philanthropist, George Pacheco, who had gathered support for the dinner during HEF’s annual fundraiser. In 2009, the first awards ceremony was celebrated with a small intimate gathering for lunch. The event has since evolved into a grand celebration growing every year in both attendance and number of heroes honored.
The evening began with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by welcome remarks from Rick Bartholomew (HEF Board President), Matt Wayne (Master of Ceremonies), and Mayor Barbara Halliday (City of Hayward). A dinner then followed with remarks from Community Heroes, then the Award Ceremony itself, and concluded with the announcement of auction winners. Total attendance was estimated to be over 600 people.
Carlos Rodriguez, Operations Manager for Meridian Hayward, had this to say, “We were honored that the Hayward Education Foundation had asked us to host their annual Awards Dinner at our facility. It is truly a great organization for honoring those individuals who make a positive impact in our communities by going above and beyond for the students and schools. We are proud to support this worthy cause and to be able to give back to Hayward and the local community.”
For more information about the Hayward Education Foundation and the Heroes Award Dinner, go to www.haywarded.org