WCF Grants $11,000 To Support Fine Arts Departments At Local Schools

(L-R) Jim Sackett, Elizabeth Rochaine, Herta Suess, Pam Tahan, Gail Marshall, Lindsay Ingersoll, Edilia De La Vega, Dr. Jennifer Galindo, Darren Edgecomb, John Rejc, Dana Pallaria, Michele Chorniewy, Dr. Eugina Smith Feaman, Chad Phillips, Michael Gauger, Michella Levy, Diana Fernandez, Terri Kane, Maggie Zeller, Stacy Morast, Mellissa Heath and Barry Manning.

On Wednesday, April 5, the Wellington Community Foundation hosted its annual Our Schools breakfast event to honor the principals from all 11 public schools serving the Wellington community. At the event, the WCF board presented $11,000 to support the fine arts departments at these schools through the Our Schools grant program.

The WCF board of directors, including Chair Barry Manning, Vice Chair Jim Sackett, Secretary Terri Kane and directors Mike Gauger, Pam Tahan, Maggie Zeller and Herta Suess, were in attendance to celebrate the principals and representatives from the 11 schools.

The principals and school representatives were welcomed with opening remarks from Tahan, a foundation board member and CEO of Wellington Regional Medical Center, which hosted the event. She stressed the mission of the foundation, which serves seniors, children and veterans, and expressed her respect for the public school system as a product of it.

Tahan then introduced Manning, the foundation’s newly elected chair, who thanked everyone for coming and thanked the Wellington Regional Medical Center team for hosting the event. He also highlighted the importance of children, a key focus of Tom Wenham, the foundation’s founding chair, who passed away late last year.

“This foundation will continue doing all it can to move that mission forward,” Manning said, praising each of the schools for their contributions to the community’s children.

Tahan and her staff did a great job organizing and preparing the room, the menu and each table, adorned with freshly cut flowers to complement the bright and cheerful colors of the event. The delicious buffet-style breakfast included a made-to-order omelet station with all the fixings, French toast casserole, bacon, sausage, kielbasa, home fries with peppers and onions, a smoothie station, fresh fruit, assorted pastries, and coffee, water and freshly squeezed orange juice.

The WCF Our Schools grants have been awarded for the past six years with different concentrations of spending, from elementary after-school programs to middle school requests for laptops, additional tutoring staff and assisting students needing help affording the annual safety patrol trip. This year, the board felt it was necessary to fund every Wellington school’s fine arts department and found the budget to do so, thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors and annual sponsors, such as Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, Wellington Regional Medical Center and Tom & Regis Wenham.

“This morning has been a true example of what makes our village an amazing community for families with children,” Manning said. “The foundation is proud to support local schools in their efforts to provide students with opportunities to excel in the arts.”

For more information about this grant project and other foundation projects, visit www.wellingtoncommunityfoundation.org.