Businessman donates to schools
By Maureen Robertson
While Ramona school district workers and administrators held their annual back-to-school convocation in the performing arts center at Olive Peirce Middle School last Thursday morning, a Ramona businessman and five of his employees were working next door trimming and cutting trees — at no cost to
“I feel I have to give back to the community,” said Sal Hernandez, owner of Sal Hernandez Tree Service and a Ramona resident for 18 years.
Hernandez’s business donated about 16 hours of labor and equipment to the back-to-school project that included trimming trees at Ramona High School and Olive Peirce Middle School and removing trees that have died. The estimated value of the work is $1,800.
While Hernandez provided the work at no cost to the school district, he had to pay his five employees. Because the work was for the schools, the employees said they’d donate 30 percent of their labor, said Hernandez.
As a Ramona resident and a contractor who does business in Ramona, including with the school district, “I’m obligated to donate to them,” said Hernandez, “and the high school is a good place to donate…I take from the community and with that I feel I should give back.”
Hernandez, a former policeman who found his passion is trees, worked a variety of jobs at the high school for about 9-1/2 years. His son is a freshman at RHS this year, so, he said, “you’re going to see my butt here for the next four years.”
Even if the school had a lot of money, Hernandez said he’d donate to the district.
“Imagine if all the contractors helped all the nonprofit organizations,” he said. “…There are things in life that money doesn’t fix. There are things that you have to do in life. The money is not the price. To donate makes me happy.”
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