Parent support for PCEF annual fall fundraiser gets an A+ |

Parent support for PCEF annual fall fundraiser gets an A+

Park City community comes together to answer the call for education

Jeremy Ranch Elementary School was awarded a grant for finishing in first place among all Park City School District schools in the Park City Education Foundation’s annual Beat the Call fundraiser.
Courtesy of the Park City Education Foundation

Parkites can list plenty of reasons to disagree with each other. But a recent fundraiser proves that, as a community, ensuring a quality education for children is something residents overwhelmingly agree to support.

Parents responded in record numbers this fall to the Park City Education Foundation’s annual “Give $180 to Beat the Call” campaign, donating approximately $200,000 in total. The goal of the fundraiser is for parents to donate $180 per student, which represents $1 for every day of the school year, before they get a request from the foundation asking for a donation.

“Since the pandemic, parents and our community have an even clearer understanding of how essential school is,” said Jennifer Billow, associate director of communications and development at PCEF. “Our kids don’t just get educated at school. School is important for their social and emotional health and is a safety net where services are provided to vulnerable families.”

All schools within the Park City School District receive support from the foundation, but this year’s fundraiser saw three schools move to the front of the class for participation.

Jeremy Ranch Elementary School clinched the top spot, with 84% of its parents participating. Trailside and McPolin elementaries tied with a 75% participation rate. Jeremy Ranch received a $5,000 grant for its efforts, and Trailside and McPolin received $3,000 grants, courtesy of the foundation’s longtime Beat the Call partner, The UPS Stores Park City.

Trailside Elementary School “Beat the Call” fundraiser supporters helped secure a $3,000 grant for their students.
Courtesy of the Park City Education Foundation

“We believe that great schools equal a great community, and it’s gratifying to see that Park City parents and community members agree,” Billow said. “We thank every single parent who donated to Beat the Call.”

The foundation uses money raised through Beat the Call and other fundraisers to pay for programs throughout the district, ranging from music lessons to coding courses. The funding has been particularly crucial during the pandemic, Billow said.

“We saw the 200-year-old model of education change overnight, and educators were able to adapt and teach quickly — ‘build the plane while it’s flying,’ so to speak,” Billow said. “PCEF supported all of these new endeavors, whether it was through direct assistance to families or Express Grants that are turned around in 24 hours for immediate teacher and classroom needs.”

Parents and supporters helped McPolin Elementary School secure a $3,000 grant from the Park City Education Foundation and program sponsors.
Courtesy of the Park City Education Foundation

Part of what makes the foundation’s initiatives essential is that all of the funding it raises stays within the Park City community. That’s important because a significant amount of the property tax revenues the Park City School District brings in each year is taken by the state and allocated to other districts..

“Every donation — even a dollar — counts. And it all adds up to support over $1.3 million in program funds for our students, teachers and schools,” Billow said.

Along with Beat the Call, the foundation hosts other community events throughout the year. The high-brow Red Apple Gala in October helped the foundation invest around $1.5 million in Park City schools, and the next edition of the popular Running with Ed is scheduled for May 21, 2022.

“Our community knows the value PCEF provides in funding support for our educators, students, and schools, and they’re willing to generously step up to provide the funds,” Billow said, adding, “Every year we are humbled and grateful for the astonishing support of the parents and community members of Park City. We are here for you, we stand with you, we support you and we want to ensure you have what you need to provide and receive a great education. When we support teachers and students, then students and teachers can focus on school.”

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