Vulcan Vinny

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Sun Valley

Western Division

Donated Mascot Helps Spread School Spirit

For many students at Vinedale Elementary School in southern California, the best days are when Vulcan Vinny makes an appearance. 

A few years ago, Vulcan’s Sun Valley, California facility donated the blue hawk costume to the school and the students named it Vulcan Vinny.

“When the kids see him, they’re just like ecstatic,” said pre-kindergarten teacher Dana Fikes. “They get very happy and excited and they want to take photos.”

“Oh, they love Vinny,” said Vinedale Principal Aurora Arreola. “They hug him, they give him a high-five. He brings joy to the school day whenever he appears.”

Vinny recently cheered on the kids at their welcome back pep rally in the fall, which Vulcan team members attended and handed out  ice cream treats.

From left to right: Sun Valley Assistant Plant Manager Rick Teran, Operations Management Trainee Monica Arevalo, POA Deborah Molina, Mechanic Mike Garcia, Landfill Manager Jose Peña, Government and Community Relations Manager Barbara Goodrich-Welk, and Sun Valley Plant Manager Rick Lopez.

“I got a little choked up being in there,” said Rick Teran, Assistant Plant Manager. “Seeing all the kids with a happy face, just knowing that I’m part of such a great company that makes a difference…”

Plant Manager Rick Lopez couldn’t agree more. “Just being here and being part of the opportunity to do something like this for the school and the young kids and seeing the excitement and smile on their face, it just makes it all worth it,” he said.

From left to right: Vinedale Elementary School Principal Aurora Arreola, Government and Community Relations Manager Barbara Goodrich-Welk and Sun Valley Plant Manager Rick Lopez.

Officials at the school and the Sun Valley plant, which are both more than 100 years old, look forward to continuing their partnership for far into the future. 

“When corporations and businesses, such as Vulcan, come in to support us, it makes you smile first of all because you thought about us,” Fikes added. “Out of all the schools you could have been supporting you decided to come here and show your support. And when you guys show up, you show up incredibly.”