SLAC received the Golden Acorn award for community service for the year 2000 from the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce. SLAC was recognized for its longstanding commitment to the chamber, for being a member for more than 30 years and for service to the community in education, charity and the environment. The Chamber of Commerce will present the award May 11 at an annual awards dinner.
Education has been a prime focus of many of SLAC's community activities. More than half of the 10,000 visitors who tour SLAC each year are school-aged children. SLAC donates surplus equipment to public schools for reuse and recycling. Scientists, engineers and others routinely donate time to schools as guest speakers.
Educational activities at SLAC include job training for the disadvantaged, including summer work-study programs and apprenticeships. Much of the credit for these early programs goes to Doug Dupen, past Human Resources manager. "SLAC was so far out of town that in addition to the job training programs, we had to arrange transportation as well so people could get to work," said Dupen. "And this was before the word carpool was even in the language."
Throughout the year, SLAC contributes to the community's needy. Four times a year, the Stanford Blood Bank sets up operations in the SLAC auditorium lobby and about 300 people donate blood. The food and toy drive each holiday season nets close to 1,000 pounds of food and several boxes of toys. Frequent travelers donate hotel-size shampoos and soaps to Menlo Park organizations such as Haven House, a transitional shelter for the homeless, and the Boys and Girls Club.
"We recognize the need to be involved in the community and be a part of the neighborhood. SLAC does important work in basic research that will make a difference in the lives of our children and grandchildren," said SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan. "But we also want our community efforts to make a difference in the present and we are delighted that our activities are appreciated." SR