Lancer Letter: Philanthropy through the years and what it means for McLane

Category:  News
Friday, November 8th, 2019 at 11:31 AM
Lancer Letter: Philanthropy through the years and what it means for McLane by Richard Scaletta | General McLane School District Superintendent

Philanthropy is defined as “the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.” In the K–12 arena, philanthropy used to only be a pursuit for private schools. As public dollars for education have become more scarce and as more uncontrollable expenses have accelerated, public schools are looking to solicit philanthropists to maintain their level of programming.

In June 2005, we formed the General McLane Foundation as a designated recipient of any philanthropic outreach for the district.  At that time, the primary aim was to raise funds to keep scholarships alive in the district. Over the years, scholarships which had been established were depleted to a very low levels, and scholarships given were very insignificant amounts of money. The foundation at that time was one of the only foundations connected to the K-12 education system.  Now, most school districts have a foundation.

Over the years, our foundation has been able to replenish and boost the many scholarships offered to our students. This has allowed us to go from offering scholarships which were, frankly, an embarrassing amount of money, to offering a decent amount of money. Additionally, over the years, the foundation has expanded its reach to not only provide scholarships, but to provide a number of funds that are designated to help the district carry out specific programming.

The flagship fundraiser for the foundation has been the annual Holiday Arts Fair. This year, it is being held on Saturday, Nov. 16. Please note that is one week earlier than normal. This change of date will give you an even greater head start on your holiday shopping!

The Holiday Arts Fair features artisans who create beautiful items you can purchase and use as holiday gifts, which are certain to delight. The vendors at this event are carefully selected and only those who offer a high quality product are permitted to sell. You won’t find reindeer made out of clothespins or Christmas bells made out of styrofoam cups here!

Another feature of the Holiday Arts Fair is the opportunity it presents to some of our internal organizations. Stroll down “Lancer Lane” where school clubs, booster groups and classes are permitted to set up tables to provide information and/or sell fundraising products. Some of the examples for this year would include the high school technology education classes selling products they’ve made in the shops, the art club raising funds for a trip to Europe, and the softball boosters raising money for the softball program.

The Holiday Arts Fair requires an enormous amount of work and is a good example of how a community can support its schools. Founded by local citizen and foundation board member Sally Scarlet, and now continued by Carrie Crow and Kelly Harrison, the event takes an incredible amount of work and coordination. Students and administrators within the high school provide hands-on help to prepare the facility for this event. Vendors graciously come every year to sell their wares, but also help our students. And, of course, community members come out in force to support the vendors and school groups with their purchases. Last year, the event raised $7,400.

If you are a supporter of what we do at General McLane, I would strongly urge you to go to our website at generalmclane.org and click on the GM Foundation tab at the top right of the screen to learn more about the opportunities for you to support programs of the district.  

If you are part of a business that regularly invests in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program of the state, we have programs in which you can invest as well.

See you next Saturday!

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