Rowland Unified School District

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Giano Intermediate Receives Grant

Giano Intermediate Receives Grant

By Gus Ugalde – THE WEEKLY (Oct. 17-23)


Rowland Heights -- Giano Intermediate is the latest beneficiary

of the Exxon-Mobil school grant sponsored by local Mobil station

and Alamo Car Wash owner Dan Gerstner.

The $750 grant from Mobil Oil Corporation is earmarked to enhance

the school’s after-school program that helps students in need of

extra work outside the classroom.


“This grant will be used for an after-school intervention

program,” said Helen Benavides, Giano Principal. “We

are very thankful to Mobile and to Mr. Gerstner for this

wonderful gift.”


The grant is particularly welcome this year considering

the economic state that many businesses are struggling



“It is always a joy to receive grant money,” said Gina

Ward, RUSD public information officer, who attended the

presentation. “But especially in these economic times.

When you say ‘Mobil,’ you think of this giant, but this is

being presented by a local business not a faceless corporation.

It is greatly appreciated.”


Gerstner has owned and operated his station since

1990, and also owns the Alamo Car Wash and Detail Center

and the Mobil Express Lube at the same location.

His car wash has been used in the past by local schools

including Giano for fundraising purposes and his method

is more environmentally friendly than normal car wash



“Instead of having a car wash fundraising event at a

parking lot or other location as some organizations have,

we have ours at Alamo,” said Gerstner. “We sell half-price

tickets to the students and they go out and sell them to

individuals. We then have our event at our car wash where

the water is recycled as usual. It’s all very green.”


The event was highlighted by the presentation of the

check to a group of Giano Leadership Class students that

are involved in community projects to help the homeless

and with recycling programs.


Jocelyn Hernandez, Manuel Chincilla, Carmen Arreola,

Sergio Morgan and Dominique Mercado were all present to

receive the award along with principal Benavides.


Exxon-Mobil funds these awards through deserving stations

in a year-long process that includes surveying their stations

for the best candidates.


“They look at everything,” said Gerstner. “They send out

their mystery shoppers who visit stations to see how well kept the

facilities are and how well they are treated.

Once eligibility is established, it is then up to the station owner

to apply for the grant and to select a school to receive the



Giano has won this grant several years now, but it is not

the only RUSD School that has benefitted from Gerstner’s donations

in the past.


Oswalt Elementary, Walnut and Nogales High Schools,

and Rincon Intermediate have also won this award, along with

Walnut Valley Unified School District’s Vejar Elementary.

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