This post was written by Nichelle Rachal, senior community relations consultant.
The employee auction for the Marcus Foster Education Fund (MFEF) raised more than $99,500, making this another record-breaking year in Clorox’s fundraising efforts for the Clorox Partners Scholarships. The Clorox Company Foundation awarded an additional grant of $30,000, for a total of $129,500. This amount was awarded in the form of 34 Clorox partners scholarships: 31 to high school seniors in Oakland, California, and 3 to seniors in Pleasanton, California. To be eligible for these scholarships, students must attend a public school in either the Pleasanton or Oakland district; have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher and plan to attend a four-year college or university in the fall after high school graduation. These scholars should also be educationally motivated and embody Dr. Foster’s vision that education requires the involvement of the whole community. This fall the recipients will be matriculating at some of the most competitive schools in the country, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford and UC Berkeley.
The scholarships are directed to students in Oakland and Pleasanton, cities where Clorox has its corporate headquarters and a large research facility, respectively, as we believe in investing in the communities where we operate.
And we’ve made a long-term commitment: our scholarship efforts began with a bake sale in 1992, which raised $600 and funded two scholarships. Since 1992, we’ve raised $834,601. Combined with $446,929 in grant funding from the Clorox Company Foundation, that has allowed us to award 471 Clorox Partners Scholarships through the Marcus Foster Education Fund.
This year our fundraising activities included product stores and silent auctions at both our Oakland and Pleasanton sites, as well as a videoconferenced live auction, all of which were held in April and May. In addition, we offered some items via an online auction that was open to all employees in North America. To plan and execute these activities every year, a core team of dedicated volunteers meets once a week for four to six months, and as many as 75 employees pitch in on the day of the live auction. Employees are also instrumental in providing items to auction, donating anything from hotel stays to a round of golf to baked goods. Nanette Marek, a senior project manager based in Pleasanton and a member of the auction steering committee, described why she donates her time to the project: “My heart is in Oakland, and as a graduate of Skyline High School (in Oakland), volunteering for this event every year allows me to give back to the community. It’s a lot of work — six months of planning — but it is all worth it when you see results like this year. Enabling the Pleasanton community to participate just made it better!”
Nichelle Rachal is an Oakland native and has been with Clorox for five years.