Janet Ramatici, who led one of Petaluma's largest nonprofits, the Petaluma Educational Foundation, for seven years, has announced she is retiring this spring.

Since she took the reins in 2005, Ramatici has helped the organization raise $3.9 million and award $2.8 million in grants and scholarships to local schools.

In addition, she helped grow PEF's $3.8 million endowment.

"I am particularly proud that we achieved this collective success during the recent economic recession," said Ramatici. "We stayed focused on our mission, relentlessly looked forward and boldly grew our impact for our schools."

Ramatici expressed confidence in PEF's long-term viability. Ramatici has been involved with PEF for more than 22 years, starting as a freelance graphic artist designing event posters for PEF's annual Bash.

"We are so very honored to have worked side-by-side with Janet during her time with PEF," said Board President W. Thom Knudson, who said there is no set timetable for her departure or replacement yet. "As friends, we are very excited for her to celebrate this next stage in her personal life. As her colleagues, we will truly miss working with her on a day-to-day basis but know she will always be a part of the organization's legacy in Petaluma."

PEF supports 13,000 students at Petaluma's 37 K-12 public, private and charter schools. It fundraises through individual donors, business partners, and the Alphabet Soup Thrift Store, enabling the foundation to provide grants and scholarships to create a positive and lasting impact in local schools.

Recently, Alphabet Soup Thrift Store announced plans to expand its current retail operation. The second location will be at 203 Western Ave. Called Alphabet Soup @ Home, it will feature home decor like furniture, cookware/kitchen, tabletop entertaining, art, seasonal merchandise, electronics, books, music and media. It is currently undergoing store layout improvements. A grand opening is set for mid-march.

Save PHS Auto helps and is helped by Petaluma’s Cruisin’ the Boulevard, the yearly salute to the film “American Graffiti.” The event, set for May 17-19 this year, includes a car show.

There will be a Save PHS Auto booth at Cruisin’ the Boulevard. Program donations can be sent to Cruisin’ the Boulevard – Save the Auto Shops, P.O. Box 4412, Petaluma, CA 94955-4412.

For more information, check out the Facebook page, Saving Petaluma High School’s Auto Shop Program, or email savephsauto@gmail.com.

For information on Cruisin’ the Boulevard, visit americangraffiti.net.