By Hailey George
The Wellington Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization with the goal of improving the lives of Wellington residents, is currently in the midst of a school supply drive.
Formed in 2009, the foundation has recently been transferred to the hands of a new board, led by former Wellington Mayor Tom Wenham. Other board members include Robbin Lee, Mickey Smith, Maria Becker, Ken Adams, Karen Cavanagh, Barry Manning, Jim Sackett and Maggie Zeller.
“Our mission statement is: The Wellington Community Foundation is a charitable organization committed to benefiting the residents of Wellington by supporting and improving their quality of life,” Wenham said. “What we mean by that is, the people in the footprint of Wellington, whether it’s kids, seniors or whomever, we will work with them to help them.”
The foundation’s first project is a school supply drive for children in need. On Thursday, June 2, Dr. Edward and Maria Becker hosted a fundraiser at their Wellington home to launch the drive. Each ticket priced at $50 was able to purchase 10 backpacks filled with school supplies, such as folders, paper, notebooks, pencils and a sharpener, pens, scissors, a pencil case, glue, erasers and crayons.
“We raised about $6,200, and there were roughly 74 people who attended,” Wenham said. “The money is going to be used to buy backpacks. That was the main reason for the fundraiser.”
The foundation’s first fundraiser was a big success.
“We were very happy with the money we raised on our first fundraiser,” Wenham said. “We were extremely pleased with the number of people who came and gave us the dollars to help us.”
The Wellington Community Foundation is not finished with its work on the project. The foundation will partner with the Village of Wellington on a block party, which the foundation will attend. It is there that the backpacks will be given out to all the children who need them. The block party is scheduled for Aug. 6 at Tiger Shark Cove Park from 6 to 8 p.m.
“The block party consists of an opportunity for residents to come together for music, food and fun,” Wellington Community Services Director James Poag said. “In addition, we will be distributing school supplies for underprivileged children in the village that day.”
The partnership between the village and the foundation is an important one, which will provide necessary resources for less fortunate children to receive an education, Poag said.
“We are very excited about our partnership with the foundation,” he said. “We think their goal is an honorable one. We are really pleased that they have chosen the block party event. It is so important that children are prepared when they go into the first day of school, because preparation is the key to success.”
With this project underway, the Wellington Community Foundation looks forward to a bright future of assisting the people of Wellington. “We haven’t decided on our second project at this point in time,” Wenham said. “We will be bringing that up at future meetings.”
For more information, call (561) 333-9843, visit www.wellingtoncommunityfoundation.org or stop by the foundation’s office in the original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 19F.