In their 20th year, the Sedalia School District Foundation continues to be a major contributor to the success of the District.
“Our mission is all about giving back to the schools,” Deidre Esquivel, Foundation president said early Saturday morning as the foundation was hosting their annual pancake breakfast for Homecoming. “We want the students and staff to have the best opportunities available and we are blessed to have such a giving community who support our efforts on behalf of the district.”
The breakfast, at the cafeteria at Smith-Cotton Junior High School, saw hundreds of alumni; their families and friends come together to reminisce about their memories at S-C.
The event is just one example of a goal of the Foundation; bringing people together who care about the schools in Sedalia.
“I don’t know how many came through the line this morning, Terri Paul, treasurer for the foundation said. “I do know we went through 13 cases of pancake mix and seven cases of sausage patties.
“It’s really been amazing this year to have everyone come back and see all the friendships renewed.” Paul added. “We’ve had a tremendous turnout this year and I think one of the reasons is because all of the elementary groups are becoming more involved with this.”
The breakfast is just one event the foundation hosts yearly to raise funds.
“We have our golf tournament each year, as well as the homecoming activities and of course our major saver cards,” Esquivel said. “We typically raise $50,000 per year and virtually all of that money goes back to the schools.”
The foundation operates on a volunteer basis, having only one paid employee.
“We have a very low overhead for an organization,” Esquivel added. “Our board is made up of volunteers, and I can’t say enough about how wonderfully talented they are.
Many of our members don’t even have students in the district anymore, but they continue to volunteer because they care about their community and they have a passion for education.”
That passion is also shown by the district’s teachers and staff who contribute their time and finances to the foundation.
“As an organization we can’t say enough about the willingness of the teachers and staff in the district,” Esquivel said. “They are always willing to help and at the beginning of each year we have a payroll contribution campaign where their teachers generously contribute to our projects.
“I can’t say enough about the alumni either,” she added. “Every week we get calls from alumni asking what they can do to help.”
The alumni have been major contributors to the success of the foundations scholarship program.
This year four new scholarship opportunities have been added from alumni: the Gerald Cecil Scholarship, the Skip Schultz Scholarship, the Miller Family Scholarship and the Morris Byrum Memorial Scholarship.
In addition to annual scholarships, the foundation awards mini grants to teachers and staff, dual-credit payments for students as well as funding donations and special projects throughout the district.
The Foundation is working toward becoming an endowed foundation.
Three area businesses, US Bank, Wilson Toellner & Associates and Chris Klinginsmith of Central Bank have provided in-kind services and support as the Foundation moves toward that goal.
“We are taking steps toward our goal to become endowed,” Esquivel said. “With the help and support of the school, our alumni and the community we plan to make sure we are around for a very long time so we can continue to keep giving back.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484