Men4Ed hopes to thrive as it gears up for second year | ParkRecord.com

Men4Ed hopes to thrive as it gears up for second year

Court Durling knows it’s important for both parents to be involved in a child’s education.

That’s why Durling helped found Men4Ed last year. The group, which is affiliated with the Park City Education Foundation, aims to unite men in the community to make a difference in education. The organization’s primary goal is for 1,000 fathers in the area to donate $1,000 to create a $1 million endowment that would fund three or four high-impact grants that would "fill in the gaps" that other programs funded by the Park City Education Foundation don’t reach.

After growing to about 40 members last year, Men4Ed is hoping to get more fathers involved as this school year kicks off. The organization wants to expand its membership into the triple digits.

"That’s our big push, and we hope to have that in a few months’ time," Durling said. "From there, we want to keep growing and reach into new circles. We’re trying to branch out and get everyone involved."

Men4Ed held several events last year, including movie screenings and a casino night. The aim, Durling said, is to put on activities that men are excited about. Events such as skiing days, mountain biking trips and fly fishing on private water are in the works for this year, and the organization hopes the events will encourage fathers from around the community to get — and stay — involved.

"I think it’s nice to have a social calendar apart from your normal routine," Durling said. "We’re trying to do things that are new and fresh and maybe things that you wouldn’t think to do otherwise. I want people to feel like this is a really cool group, networking for a good cause. I want people to want to make it happen."

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Durling said there is much enthusiasm among members and their families, and he is looking forward to what the new school year brings. He thinks this will be the year Men4Ed becomes a well-known group throughout the community. But even if growth doesn’t happen as quickly as hoped, he said the end result will be worth it.

"Raising one million bucks isn’t easy," Durling said. "If it was, everyone would do it. So you’ve got to just put one foot in front of the other. You can’t just say, ‘Hey, in six months we’re going to have a million bucks or we’re going to quit.’ It doesn’t work that way. It really is about putting out a quality product, getting the word out and going from there."

For more information on Men4Ed, visit the organization’s Facebook page at facebook.com/Men4Ed.