During the Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Foundation’s fourth annual Golden Gala, two principals expressed their deep appreciation for the group.
For Steve Dissinger, principal at Hillendale Elementary School, the foundation was “the catalyst to bring in funding for the Hillendale Trail. We completed the [0.7-mile] trail in the fall. It was really an education foundation grant that started everything coming in.”
He said he appreciated the foundation’s funding of other projects as well, including the renovation of the school’s large instructional room, the trail and has been involved in technology purchases.
“They’re very supportive of Hillendale and we appreciate the foundation greatly,” Dissinger said.
He added that he would like to see a future expansion of the trail, maybe add a nature area. “We’re hoping they’ll partner with us with that.”
Tim Hoffman, principal at CF Patton Middle School, said the foundation was involved in providing grant money for some technology initiatives and specifically mentioned getting the funds to make additions to water fountains so students can fill their own water bottles.
“The foundation tries to fund projects that would benefit most of the kids. You don’t want to deal with small projects that only benefit a small number. We want to use foundation grant money to make the biggest impact it can,” Hoffman said.
In the past, foundation money was used for the outdoor vegetable garden and Hoffman said the school is now looking to get involved in the American Chestnut Project, a science research project that inoculates, measures and grows chestnut trees.
Also attending the gala was Unionville-Chadds Ford School District President Vic Dupuis who said the foundation is representative of a great community that comes out to support its schools.
“This is part of the fabric of what we do as a district,” Dupuis said.
Anne Millman, the chairperson for this year’s gala, said the event has raised, on average, $20,000 to $25,000 per year for the past three years. She hopes the 2017 event would raise at least the same.
While the foundation has only been holding the gala for four years, the group has been in existence for more than 20 years. During that time it has raised more than $300,000 for grants and special projects for each of the schools in the district, Millman said.