School foundation is looking for volunteers

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Paul Schermann diplomatically says it's hard for people to donate time in this busy day and age, but it shouldn't be -- especially if it's a worthwhile cause. And the Cape Girardeau Public School Foundation, of which Schermann is a board member, certainly qualifies as one of those.

Even so, the foundation is struggling these days because it doesn't have enough volunteers to fill the 12-member board. There are four vacancies on the board, which meets once a month to work on fund-raising strategies.

That's unfortunate. The fund-raising foundation has done a lot for the Cape Girardeau School District over the years and has a solid tradition of pitching in at just the right time. It's been an invaluable community service and has enhanced the school system in ways that many people aren't aware of.

Think about what the foundation has done over its eight-year history:

It helped raise money for a new track at the former Central High School campus in 1995.

It has raised money for things like scoreboards, soccer lights and track equipment.

Last year, it bought items that had been cut from the budget to accommodate the new Central High School.

The foundation recently sponsored its first annual foundation dinner, which generated $15,000.

In fact, since 2001, the foundation has raised nearly $250,000 for the school district.

In these tough economic times, those are tremendous accomplishments.

Now the foundation says it wants to branch out to nonathletic programs as well. The foundation is currently working on generating money for band uniforms and furnishings for libraries in various schools.

The foundation also is constantly seeking creative ideas that will help generate money. They are selling Mark Farmer prints of the old high school for $100 apiece. They are also working with Big River Telephone, which allows its customers to donate through a special program.

The foundation relies solely on donations from the community. But the organization also needs manpower to effectively run the program. That's where the volunteers come in.

Perhaps the reason people aren't volunteering isn't a lack of time but, rather, a lack of awareness about all the good that the foundation has done and how much more it could do with adequate manpower and resources.

If you have ideas, thoughts or time, contact the foundation at 651-0555.

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