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Men put time and hearts into school

Frank Fisher, Of the Record staff

Several husbands were embarrassed by the whirlwind of school-related accomplishments achieved by their wives at McPolin Elementary, and what they felt was a dearth of school-related accomplishments of their own. But their wives, after all, were members of the Parent Teacher Organization, a great vehicle to make great things happen.

Why not have a male counterpart doing manly things around the school? Nick Seifert suggested they call themselves, the Men of McPolin, or MoMs for short. After a good laugh, the question arose, why not?

And so, MoMs was on the drawing board. Soon, the 10 men took action. Lori O’Connor, the McPolin principal, appreciated their generous offer to "step up to the plate" and donate their time to McPolin.

After talking with The Park City School District construction guys, Steve Oliver, head of Support Services, and Joe Schuring, who heads Buildings and Grounds, they got the go-ahead to take it one-project-at-a time.

MoMs has been nurturing ideas of bettering McPolin for two months now.

First project: painting school entrances, hallways and bathrooms. One of the founders, Bob Peek, knows paint. He is a painting contractor. He donated the time and services of two of his painters to do the over-the-holiday work. On Thursday, the first day of the holiday break, Peek was lining up paint to match the existing paint, while his painters were preparing the walls for painting. Peek estimated the job would take two days.

John Pollard, husband of PTO co-president Laura Pollard, enthusiastically spoke of what he and the others hope to do from here to benefit the students at McPolin. MoM’s plans are taking off with a plethora of project ideas. Some may require fundraising for the scope of the projects, carried out by pros. One possible project mentioned by Pollard would be expanding the playground facility.

Another MoMs founder, Maurice "Mo" Hickey, was instrumental in getting MoMs a non-profit status, Pollard said. Seventy five people are now on the e-mail list expressing interest in helping MoMs. Every fundraiser will be project specific, Pollard said, so fundraisers would know exactly where the money would be spent, and what the project would cost.

Is Men of McPolin exclusively male? Although the make up of the group is all-male, Pollard seemed open to the idea.

Pollard said MoMs is considering all sorts of ideas to help out during these times of district budget concerns, including a possible program to give teachers bonuses.

With MoMs in its nascent stages, it’s hard to say where this could lead, or if MoMs groups could spread their labor and love to other schools. The reality now is that these 10 moms can go home to their industrious wives knowing they also know a thing or two about doing good for their school and its kids.


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