Annual Verde fundraiser a success despite pandemic

Annual Verde fundraiser a success despite pandemic
Photo from the 2019 fundraiser for Verde Elementary courtesy of Supervisor John Gioia's Office.

By Kathy Chouteau

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia’s 22nd annual fundraising drive for Verde Elementary School in North Richmond proved successful despite the pandemic.

Mostly individual donors rallied to raise more than $3,000 to purchase new books from West County READS, tote bags, shirts, learning kits and other swag for Verde Elementary’s approximately 400 students. Chevron Richmond, an annual supporter, was the largest donor to this year’s cause.

Supervisor Gioia held this year’s holiday party fundraiser virtually on Dec. 9. More than 40 people logged onto Zoom to listen to the supervisor’s updates spanning the County’s challenges and successes throughout an unprecedented 2020. And in a moment evoking both the virtual party’s theme and seasonal spirit, attendees followed up the supervisor’s yearly review by sharing what they are grateful for with the group.

Verde Elementary Principal Eric Acosta-Verprauskus also spoke during the event, providing attendees a front-row glimpse at the accomplishments of the school’s teachers, staff, parents, volunteers and children in 2020, as well as their collective goals for the year ahead.

According to the supervisor’s office, Verde Elementary is not only the sole school serving North Richmond, it also bears the stark distinction of having its entire student population qualify for free or reduced lunch—the County’s highest ratio.

“For our 22nd year, West County residents and businesses stepped up and again supported the deserving students of Verde,” said Supervisor Gioia. “I’m so proud of the generosity and compassion that our community has shown even in these very challenging times.”

To check out a video of Gioia’s Virtual Annual Holiday Party, click here.

Supervisor Gioia says he will publish a full list of all the donors who made this possible, and send them each personal letters of thanks, after the holidays.