SEATTLE – A couple of decades ago, Bill Cahill did plumbing, landscaping and other tasks at St. George School to help pay for the education of his six children there. Now he’s giving back to the school.
Last year, Cahill — owner of Beacon Plumbing in Seattle — donated $220,000 toward a $320,000 renovation and expansion of St. George’s preschool.
“I think the Catholic school is without a doubt the best place a child can to go to school,” Cahill explained.
St. George, a Beacon Hill school that Cahill’s children attended in the 1980s and 1990s, has more than 250 students from St. George and surrounding parishes. Its preschool, located in a house that served as a convent and a parish education center before a 1990s renovation, had reached its capacity with 30 students aged 3 and 4.
“For the last few years we couldn’t keep up with demand for the preschool,” said Monica Wingard, St. George’s principal.
The school didn’t have the money to pay for the much-needed expansion, but donations from Cahill and others made the new space possible.
In 2017, a third classroom and a community space were added, providing space for a total of 40 preschoolers. “Now it’s much more comfortable and [has] more room for the children,” said Cristina Sacramento, the preschool’s director.
There is still a waiting list for the preschool, however, Wingard said.
Seattle Seahawk Bobby Wagner was a surprise guest at the October 2017 ribbon-cutting at St. George School’s expanded preschool building. He is joined by Monica Wingard, principal of St. George. Photo: Carlos Cruz
During the official opening event in October 2017, Cahill had a surprise for St. George students: a visit from Seattle Seahawk Bobby Wagner, who has appeared in Beacon Plumbing commercials. Wagner even did the honors of cutting the ribbon. (Watch the video.)
Cahill started Beacon Plumbing (known for its catchphrase, “Stop freakin’, call Beacon!”) out of his home in 1999; the company now has 65 full-time employees. As his business grew, Wingard said, Cahill told her that if St. George needed anything, all she had to do was ask.
Besides supporting the preschool expansion, Cahill helped get the school’s music program off the ground, Wingard said.
“I was so thankful to do it,” Cahill said of his involvement at St. George. “I’ve never forgotten where I’ve come from.”
Correction: This article originally misstated Bill Cahill's first name.