By Denny Boyles
FRESNO — As thousands of students waited anxiously at The Big Fresno Fair’s 4.0 and Above event this week, Marlene Murphy-Roach dipped her hand into a basket to draw the winning name for the first of four $1,500 scholarships for eighth-grade students who achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average or higher.
For Murphy-Roach, senior manager for PG&E’s Fresno Division, the event is an annual highlight and a great example of a company finding a way to make a meaningful impact in the community.
“This event represents an amazing investment in our future generation. The parents and students are so appreciative of the scholarships, and our employees are so enthusiastic about the event, that they seek out opportunities to volunteer before we even have a chance to ask,” Murphy-Roach said.
The event, which this year drew 4,000 students from the eighth grade and high school level, offers free admission on opening day and free entries in drawings for prizes such as a new car, 529 Savings Scholarships and gift certificates for bicycles, iPads and computers. As a top sponsor of the event, PG&E provides four $1,500 scholarships to eight-graders, but Murphy-Roach said that even families whose students didn’t receive scholarships thanked her for PG&E’s support.
“More than 20 families stopped me to say thank you and talk about PG&E. I’ve not felt that kind of tangible appreciation for the company at any other local event. It really shows me that the work the public affairs group did to set up this partnership was time well spent,” Murphy-Roach said.
The scholarships are funded through PG&E’s Charitable Contributions Program.
Along with the scholarships, PG&E provides volunteers work the information table where students learn how to receive their scholarships.
This year, a total of $84,000 in scholarships was awarded during the 4.0 and above event.
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