The Hillmen Foundation

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$14,124 raised by 89 donors

94% complete

$15,000 Goal

Placer High School, one of the most iconic and historic schools in California, celebrated a major milestone last fall - 125 years of educational, social and economic impact on the region.  

Since the school's founding in 1897, local civic groups, businesses and individuals have rallied behind Placer High to ensure students have the experiences needed for a dynamic education beyond what state funding provides. That legacy lives on through the Hillmen Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by legendary coaches, educators and principals Jug Covich and Tom Johnson. For more than 30 years, the Hillmen Foundation has enriched Placer High and our community in the areas of academics, athletics, student activities, and alumni relations. But we cannot do it without you! 

Thanks to our generous alumni, faculty/staff and community donors, the Hillmen Foundation has distributed nearly $850,000 in grants and scholarships. Direct grants to the school include: scoreboard, new all-weather track, lighting, and the concession stand/restroom facility at LeFebvre Stadium; the arched entry to the campus; 3D printer for the Mechatronics Lab; welding machines and supplies for the Metal Shop; technology for multiple classrooms; art supplies for the Art Department; sound and lighting for performing arts; specialized calculators for math; DNA materials for science; field trips; at-risk student intervention programs, including Peer Counseling; equipment for special education students to learn business and life skills; and musical instruments and uniform enhancements for the Marching Band. 

In addition, various individual teachers and departments have received grants for materials, resources, conferences, grad night, and student assemblies. Moreover, the Foundation's impact includes in excess of $200,000 in endowed and Foundation-sponsored scholarships to students in all academic areas during its tenure. 

The Hillmen Foundation is an all-volunteer organization managed by a Board of Directors consisting of retired and active faculty, alumni, current and former parents, and community and business leaders. This means 100% of funds raised goes toward our mission to enhance Placer High and our community. Please join us and help continue the legacy of our founders with a gift through the Big Day of Giving.

Give $50 or more to the Hillmen Foundation from April 20, 2023 through the Big Day of Giving on May 4, 2023, and receive a free magazine commemorating Placer High's 125th anniversary. Your gift will be unrestricted to go towards the greatest need. Or you can check out the Supporting Campaigns below to support a specific program or project, board member or friend of Placer High.

To learn more about the impact the Hillmen Foundation and Placer High School have had on generations of students and families, visit our website at hillmenfoundation.orgAnd remember, whether a graduate, parent, faculty, or fan...

In the best of times, in the worst of times, at all times...

It's Great to be a Hillman!


The purpose of the Hillmen Foundation is to support Placer High School in the areas of academics, student activities, and athletics. This includes the staff, students, and alumni endeavors of the school. Additionally, the Hillmen Foundation seeks to stimulate gifts of service, endowments, and bequests, and to maintain an association of persons interested in Placer High School.


The Hillmen Foundation has launched a campaign to increase its overall impact to more than $1.3 million by 2027 (the school's 130th anniversary). This will allow the Foundation to increase grants and support for:


Central to the Hillmen Foundation's mission is ensuring that our students, faculty and staff have the resources they need to enhance student learning. Our classroom and career tech grants and initiatives often bridge the gap between education funding and what students need to excel in a 21st century learning environment. Examples of academic grants include: DNA lab and enhanced resources for Science Dept; specialized math materials and equipment; technology: 3D printers, computers, scanners, microprocessor kits, etc.; Career Tech programs and equipment, such as welding machines, photo lab, etc.; Performing and Visual Arts Dept. programs and equipment; English Dept. literature and writing programs; support for at-risk youth; music instruments and band uniforms; Peer Counseling; World Language programs; AVID Program; multi-media/film program; and much more. All students benefit from the philanthropic support of our donors towards our Academic grants.


An exceptional education is a synergy between the classroom and outside activities. Our activities grants support a wide breadth of programs, including student clubs (such as FFA, service clubs, etc.), new student orientation, assemblies, special events, field trips, Grad Night, Eagle Scout projects, community service projects, outreach to middle and elementary students, and much more. Donors interested in enriching student activities outside of the classroom are encouraged to support the Hillmen Foundation.


Hillmen pride is embodied in a long and storied history of athletic accomplishments. Our athletics grants help provide the equipment and improvements needed to encourage safe development of our student athletes, upgrade facilities for both athletes and fans, and support lifelong fitness in our community. Athletic grants benefit Placer High athletes with general funding for the department, as well as special grants for a multitude of needs by various competitive teams.


Each year, thousands of dollars are granted to graduating seniors to help further their post-high school pursuits. The Hillmen Foundation manages several endowments established by alumni and community members to provide scholarships that honor or memorialize those who have made an impact on the school and community.

We also raise funds for three scholarships sponsored by the Hillmen Foundation:

- The Hillmen Foundation Covich Johnson Founders Scholarship awarded to an outstanding senior in honor of our founders, Jug Covich and Tom Johnson; and

- Two Hillmen Foundation scholarships for exceptional graduating students who have excelled in at least one of our focus areas of academics, athletics and activities.

In 2023 alone, Placer High students will have access to more than $20,000 through approximately 20 endowed and Foundation-sponsored scholarship opportunities. Donors are invited to help students further their academic and career opportunities by contributing to an existing scholarship or opening an endowed scholarship that can honor or memorialize a loved one or family.

Capital Improvements and Major Initiatives:

Special grants for capital improvements or other major initiatives that enhance both the school and community are a significant hallmark of the Foundation's work over the past three decades. Currently, we are helping Placer High raise funds for upgraded lighting structure in the Placer High Auditorium (also used by community groups), as well as electronic signage that can add to communications and promotion of school activities and accomplishments. Examples of past grants include: Athletic Complex campaign support; All-Weather Track used by students and community organizations, such as the renowned Western States 100 Race; Stadium scoreboard, sound system and lighting (all used by both the school and community); and the new Alumni Center and snack bar (used to help fund multiple sports) in the historic Earl Crabbe Gym.

Organization Data


Organization name

The Hillmen Foundation

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category


Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Program, Funding: Other

Local Counties Served



PO Box 6115
Auburn, CA 95604

Service areas

Placer County, CA, US



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