Southern Utah News Articles
Kane Schools Foundation for Students celebrates first five years
The Kane Schools Foundation for Students was established as a nonprofit organization in January of 2004. In its first five years of operation, it has raised over $120,000 to nurture educational excellence in the seven Kane County public schools. The Foundation recently received a favorable final IRS determination that it is a public charity, the preferred status for a nonprofit organization.
During the first six months, board members were assembled, meetings begun, brochures and website created, and fundraising plans and roadmaps formed. Donations totaled approximately $9,000, at the end of the fiscal year June of 2004. That summer, the foundation issued $6,000 in scholarships to graduated seniors, and set up its first “Quench your thirst for Education” booth at the Western Legends Roundup in Kanab, getting the word out about the foundation, and collecting donations.
2005 saw donations and expenditures accelerate. The foundation bought $3000 in books for all of the elementary schools, established two new scholarships, and issued scholarships totaling $8,000.
During this period, the foundation began participating in the Lagoon Frightmares Rebate Program, the Utah State Tax Deduction program, and the “I Support Public Schools” License Plate Donation Program, through its membership in the Utah Association of Public School Foundations.
With the help of student volunteers and donated materials, the Foundation’s “Reading Makes Cents” coin collection box program was instituted.
The year 2006 was a big year for contributions to the Kane Schools Foundation. It held its first live charity auction, raising about $7,300. The Alvey family of Kanab established the foundation’s first endowed scholarship with a $25,000 donation.
The Partner in Education business donation program was begun with $1,000 donations from ERA Utah Properties and Adobe Realty, and a $5,000 donation from Best Friends Animal Society. These, and several other restricted donations in 2006 brought the total income raised for the year to over $86,000.
The foundation issued $8,200 in scholarships that year, purchased $2000 in books for schools, contributed $1,100 to bring the STAR Reading Program to Lake Powell School, and partially funded training for district teachers.
During 2007, the Kane Schools Foundation for Students Endowment Fund was created, with $10,000 of foundation revenue, to grow future income. New Partners in Education included Garkane Energy at the $1,000 level, and ARAMARK and Zions Bank each at the $5,000 level. Several new scholarships were established and almost $20,000 in scholarships was issued.
For the first time, ARAMARK Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas donated a seven day, luxury, Lake Powell houseboat trip to the Foundation, which was auctioned on eBay for $5, 350.
2008 brought the Foundation another ARAMARK houseboat trip eBay auction and another successful live dinner auction. These two special events brought in over $14,000.
Zion Pharmacy became a new Partner in Education, two new scholarships were established, about $9,000 in scholarships was issued, and $10,000 more deposited into the Kane Schools Endowment. The foundation helped procure and provide matching funds to Kane District for a federal library grant for web-based library systems for 10 schools in five school districts, greatly improving access to library services for rural students.
The foundation also provided funds for library improvements at Lake Powell School, and purchased the nationally acclaimed “My Access” online writing program for all of the teachers and students of the District.
Outside corporate donations to the Kane Schools Foundation have grown steadily. Since its inception, the foundation reached out beyond Kane County, broadening its donor base to corporate citizens as COSTCO, Target and Wal-Mart; and also the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Ballet West, the Utah Jazz, Dillards, Barnes & Noble and the Walt Disney Company.
For the past five years, in addition to raising money to help improve District programs for students, foundation staff and board members have helped students by mentoring Sterling Scholars, facilitating opportunities for outdoor science experiences through partnerships with local land management agencies, assisting with grant writing, contributing to community and school music programs, providing mini scholarships for students involved in high school activities at the state and federal levels, and by serving as ambassadors for the Kane School District- educating the public about our schools and developing support for our students. The foundation obtained and dispensed early literacy kits and information into the community, to help families prepare young children for school.
A recent audit of the Kane Schools Foundation for Students by the independent public accounting firm Wiggins and Company of Brigham City, Utah, gave the Foundation a clean bill of health, concluding the foundation’s financial transactions to be proper and in compliance with all applicable existing laws.
The foundation is committed to managing its resources intelligently and efficiently, so that 100% of donated funds directly benefit students. It provides a secure tax advantage for donors and those wishing to leave assets for an important and far reaching purpose.
Past members of the Board of Trustees included Lex Chamberlain, Corey Child, Dixie Brunner, Marietta Eaton, Joyce Hunsaker, Jim Koons, and Lynette Shelley. The current members of the Board of Trustees are Karen Alvey, Bruce Barnson, Jack Gisler, Lloyd Laycook, Marty Ott, Dorothy Ratzlaff, Carol Sullivan, Paula Zutes and School Board liaison Wendy Allan. These citizens are volunteers committed to helping improve our schools. Together with Foundation Director Tracy Hiscock, School District Superintendent Robert Johnson and Business Manager Cary Reese, they make up the Kane Schools Foundation for Students.
The Kane Schools Foundation for Students is pleased with its accomplishments over the last five years and looks forward to continuing its important work. If you would like to help or for information, please contact Tracy at 435-644-2555 ext. 8.
The foundation accepts contributions of cash, property, bequests, memorial contributions, in kind donations and planned giving arrangements. We encourage donations through eBay MissionFish auctions, and are seeking new business Partners in Education, as well as volunteers to aid us in our efforts.