Bill Butler and Todd Utikal were a team
Bill and Todd worked tirelessly on the "Yes on I" campaign to pass the recent school bond measure that will benefit the students and teachers of the Pleasanton Unified School District. Their hard work and leadership laid the foundation for what would be a well-organized and effective campaign team. They held countless public and private meetings with individuals and various community groups. They walked neighborhoods and engaged people at the Farmers' Market in the eight weeks preceding the November election. They and their team answered the community's questions attempting to always keep the dialogue positive and focused on the need for improved school infrastructure. Importantly, their efforts often came at the expense of their own families and businesses.
Bill Butler is a strong believer in the value of service, as a Naval Academy graduate and former Navy pilot, he has served locally as a board member for the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Foundation, Campaign Chair for the Firehouse Arts Center, and graduate of the Leadership Pleasanton program that included being the first recipient of the Jenny Doehle award. For more than a decade now, he has coached youth basketball at the CYO, middle school and high school levels.
Todd Utikal helped with blood drives and feeding the homeless during his college days at Berkeley. He joined the Pleasanton Rotary and chaired multiple committees and helped raise money for scholarships, wheelchairs, and nonprofits. In 2020, he started a group called “We are Pleasanton” raising over $475,000 for projects at Amador Valley and Foothill High Schools, through his business at Sidetrack, he helps many nonprofits with their fundraising efforts.
George Bowen is a 38-year resident of Pleasanton; George has demonstrated his belief in serving others in a variety of ways over the years. At one point he donated a kidney to an acquaintance, giving the recipient another 13 years of life and counting. On another occasion, after a friend lost his 16-year-old son, George raised over $1 million and co-founded Impact Teen Drivers, the country’s largest non-profit curbing, teen distracted and reckless driving.
When George’s Marine son was deployed, he would visit wounded warriors at Bethesda Hospital. This inspired him to spearhead a benefit concert with Pleasanton Military Families and others to raise funds for local wounded warriors, raising over $70,000.
As a second career, George builds custom acoustic guitars for some of the country’s most acclaimed guitarists. After being diagnosed with ALS in January, his renowned guitar players came together with other masters for a concert to benefit the ALS CURE Project.
At his church over the years, George served on the elder board, played in the worship band, taught Sunday school, led a college group and mentored a group of young married couples with his wife, Jane. He has given his all in raising his family and serving others in his community.
Tina Ghai is especially passionate about women’s empowerment, helping children in abusive environments, and helping people fighting depression. Tina’s services during the Covid-19 pandemic included coordinating volunteers to distribute around 2,000 cooked packets of food, including for the elderly and sick. She had groceries delivered to essential workers, caregivers, and people who lost their jobs. She stitched 4,000
masks for essential workers across the country during the early days of Covid-19 pandemic.
Tina has been giving scholarships to local students anonymously on an annual basis. She has run drives to collect food and clothes for refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine, has regularly delivered needy items to the Goodness village (blankets, food etc.), has donated food to Sunflower Hill, and has volunteered many hours at an elementary school to work with children with autism. She helped and donated clothes, food, and money during the Bay Area fires on multiple occasions.
Tina paints and sells artworks, and donates the proceeds from the sales to various charities and to individuals who have no health insurance and need urgent medical treatments. She previously volunteered in the New Haven School district with ESL kids for several years. She drives elderly people to hospitals and for grocery shopping trips and donates school supplies, which are not provided by the school or parents, to teachers. Tina’s community service efforts are unique and far-reaching.
Pleasanton Police Officers Charitable Foundation
The Foundation is committed to helping the needy, children and seniors throughout the community. The PPOA strives to promote a high level of commitment to public safety and professionalism within the ranks of the Pleasanton Police Department with an emphasis on education, legal support, community outreach, and trust building.
They host an annual “Shop with a Cop” event at Christmas to help needy children shop for their families to create and build upon positive relationships with law enforcement and the community. They donate to Officers Give Hope for bone marrow, Miracles for Kids to provide financial aid, subsidized housing, and counseling to families fighting for their child’s life. They also support police officer’s memorial funds. Last school year, they helped provide funding for backpacks needed for children in need from the PUSD, as well as helped fund Adopt a Senior, to remember seniors at Christmas.